I’m a candidate for the Los Alamos School Board from the Aspen District. The election is Tuesday and I encourage you to take a few minutes during the day to vote.
We are facing many challenging issues and I want to share my immediate priorities:
- Improve our response when students struggle. We need to identify focused and effective responses and remain engaged with students and families until students move toward success.
- Tighten the strategic planning process and communication between the school district and the community. A communication plan should be implemented to set expectations and methods to communicate. We should clearly demonstrate and communicate how changes in our schools are linked to the goals set in the strategic plan.
- Build a team to plan and execute a push back on teacher evaluation criteria, mandatory testing and Common Core Standards implementation. The school district and school board have started working on these issues. The next steps are to evaluate our effectiveness, identify a strategy to move ahead and coordinate with school districts statewide to build common responses.
- Move the middle school and high school start times one hour later.
- Integrate suicide prevention, stress management, life skills and personal safety programs more effectively into the schools. Successful programs need to continue as well as adding new programs by coordinating with community expertise and organizations such as the Juvenile Justice Advisory Board, the Los Alamos Public Schools Foundation, the Los Alamos Family YMCA, the Teen Center, University New Mexico-Los Alamos and others.
- Embrace the commitment made to our 600 out-of-district students and their families.
- Make our schools a place for all students to feel safe and accepted. Solutions must be family-, community- and school-based. Two recent incidents involving distribution of pot-laced food products and the December shelter-in-place threat at the high school indicate we have much to do in this area.
Contact Hargraves at WilliamHargravesForSchoolBoard@gmail.com.
Editor’s Note: The election is Tuesday for the Los Alamos School Board and UNM-LA Advisory Board. The polls open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. with vote centers at White Rock Fire Station #3 and the Municipal Building.