Here are responses to a questionnaire from the Dolores Educational Association with candidates for the Dolores School Board RE-4A. Responses from candidates Stan Mannis and Rick Carpenter will appear in next week's Dolores Star:
Why are you running for school board?
I realize that I am only one board member. I would like the opportunity to work with the other board members to bring open and honest discussions to the community.
What are your goals and priorities for our district?
At this time my goal is to get elected to the school board. At that time I will begin the process of learning more about what it takes to be a school board member. Then I can begin to prioritize issues of the school board.
What are the most pressing problems in our school district?
I feel that the most pressing problem in the school district is communication. The inability of the school board to communicate honestly with the public. I have been to the last two school board meetings, and in just those two meetings there were three items that were found not to be totally accurate. Also, the school-renovation project is a concern.
What will you do to ensure that our district gets adequate local, state, and federal funding?
Continue the process of obtaining grants and seek the advice of past school board members to see what else might be available.
What is the role of online and home-schooling in our district?
To give students an alternative to public school if they become dissatisfied with their options.
What ideas do you have for how schools should measure student achievement?
I do think that the current system bases everything on academics. There are students who are very bright but don't test well. That doesn't make them bad students. They may just need to learn in a different way. And possibly be tested in a different way.
What role (if any) should our district take in recruiting students from other schools?
None, I believe that our school is becoming overcrowded and any more students would put a strain on the staff and existing students.
What do you believe is the role of a school board member in relationship to the community? To the superintendent, principal, teachers and staff?
To have open communication with the community.
As the school board's only employee I think that the school board should help the superintendent and give him or her the resources that they need to lead the principals and staff. The school board should listen to the concerns of the principal and teachers, then work with the superintendent to resolve their issues.
As a board member, what kind of communication do you want with the Dolores Educational Association?
Open, honest, and transparent. I know the word transparent is used loosely, and I do not want to down play this word in any way. We need to make these three words valuable in our communication. It is the only way we can gain trust with each other.
How will you work with teachers and staff during salary and benefit discussions?
I will work to ensure that all personnel is compensated fairly, based on guidelines and policies we have to work with.
What is your stance on Amendment 66? Why?
I am not yet sold on the amendment. Even though it is better than Amendment 23 there are still loopholes that might allow funds to be used in other places. There are still no guarantees that all of the money will stay within the school districts.
How do you plan to communicate with the community?
I would like to communicate with the community the same way as the Dolores Educational Association openly, honestly, and transparent. This is the only way that we can gain back the trust of the community.
How should the school board respond to community concerns?
Sincerely listen to the concerns of the community and make decisions based on policies that have been adopted by the school district.