Questions Proposed by Quality Bainbridge to the 2019 BISD Director Candidates: Answers from Lynn Smith Candidate for Bainbridge Island School Board Position 1

  

1.  What is the proper role of the School Board in relation to the teaching staff and the school administrators? How much managerial authority should the School Board exercise in connection with the day-to-day operations of the schools?

The School Board is responsible for creating the policies that serve and protect the school district. It also can help oversee the creation of the procedure to carry out that policy. The Board should be available if there is any sort of question regarding how any day-to-day operation would be affected by a given policy but managerially speaking, the Board should not exercise its authority in day-to-day operations. That being said, the Board should absolutely be made aware of any issues that may come up that would be out of compliance of a particular policy.

 

2. What would you propose as the three most effective steps the School Board take in the next four years to respond to budgetary challenges?

1. Budget conservatively to ensure there are no cost overruns/deficit spending while not hurting programs or student learning.

2. Improve our long-range forecasting to get an idea of the steps and lanes our staff fall into since their compensation is tied to their continuing education, work experience, and professional development while the salary amount received from the state is averaged across the state and does not take into account these differentiators.

3. Continue with our District Budget Advisory Committee (DBAC) which consists of staff, district office personnel, board members, and community members. DBAC looks at the budget and helps the district prioritize programs that adhere to our mission.

4. Continue lobbying the state legislature to fully fund education. I had to add a fourth item since it always applies.

 

3. What are the biggest operational challenges facing the School District in the coming years?

•   Declining enrollment/Affordable Housing to bring young families to the island.

•   Continuing to be able to offer the competitive salaries necessary to recruit and retain top staff even though they are not fully-funded by the state.

•   I am concerned with our bell schedule at the high school level. State law requires that students have 24 credits of core curriculum. Although there are 4 credits of electives I would love to see more opportunity for students to take classes they are passionate about. Being able to take a class that engages you, allows you to grow creatively, or ready you for your chosen career in the 2D, 3D, or performing arts would lessen the stress levels for our high schoolers. Changing our bell schedule to increase the number of periods per day, while shortening our very long class blocks, would be amazing. Unfortunately, from an operational perspective, this is a costly endeavor since in means more teachers (or teachers teaching more classes), more professional development and trickier scheduling. I plan to keep trying to figure out how to make this work because I feel it’s incredibly important.

 Here is the list of credits needed to graduate.

English

4

Mathematics

3

Science

3

Social Studies**

3

Arts

2

Health and Fitness

2

Career and Technical Education

1

Electives

4

World Language or Personalized Pathway Requirement

2

Total Required Credits

24

(Up to 2 credits can be waived locally based on a student's unusual circumstances.)

 

4. What criteria should be used in deciding what new programs should be added or making other curriculum changes? What, if any, curriculum changes should the School Board review?


Criteria: 

What do the students gain from the new program/curriculum?

Are we able to deliver it equitably across the district?

Does it adhere to our district vision?

As far as program changes go, we want to make sure we have programs and courses that engage our kids. We have an excellent staff who are always looking for exceptional curriculum and creative ways of reaching our learners. While the Board has final say on the addition of new programs we are a collaborative district and often one or two board members would sit on any committee that is tasked with developing new programs.

Regarding curriculum changes, we have a recently re-vamped policy to cover curriculum adoption. I personally worked hard on this policy and have been a non-voting member of the Instructional Materials Committee for 4 years. I am proud of our work and how specific we’ve made this policy. It allows for teachers to use supplemental materials at their discretion (or the discretion of the building principal) to enhance their curriculum - which should not be micromanaged by the Board.

 Policy 2020 - Instructional Materials

The primary goal of the Bainbridge Island School District is to provide opportunities for all students to achieve intellectual growth and development. The board recognizes its responsibility for the improvement and growth of the educational program of the schools. To this end, the course designs shall be evaluated, adapted and developed on a continuing basis. Instructional materials shall be selected to ensure alignment with state learning standards and enable all students to master foundational skills and knowledge to achieve college and career readiness.

It shall be the responsibility of the Board of Directors to authorize the adoption of instructional materials to meet this goal. The selection and screening of instructional materials shall be a continuous and cooperative process in which certificated professional staff, administrators, parents, and community members participate.

Course Design is the process that includes identifying and sequencing essential content supporting students’ skill development towards state learning standards. Course design involves providing appropriate instructional materials, professional development, and support systems for teachers as they implement the course.

The superintendent or designee will establish procedures for course design that:

A. Provide for the regular review of selected content areas and implementation of any

suggested changes.

B. Provide for involvement of community representatives and staff members at appropriate

times. Selection and Adoption of Instructional Materials

The primary objective in selecting instructional materials is to implement, enrich and support the educational program of the schools. All instructional materials will be selected in conformance with:

A. Applicable state and federal laws.

B. Goals and/or learning standards of the district and state.

C. Intent of course.

D. Cost of materials and implementation.

E. Procedures established by the instructional materials committee

The board is responsible for the adoption of all core materials used in the district.

The superintendent will ensure that a listing of all core instructional materials used within the school curriculum is maintained in the district and is available for public review either in-person or online.

It shall be the policy of the Bainbridge Island School District:

A. To provide to each student, free of charge, core instructional materials which may include hardcopy or online text access. Each student shall be required to exercise reasonable care in the use of such materials. The district may establish reasonable charges for supplemental and/or consumable instructional materials as long as procedures are followed to ensure that no student’s learning opportunities are limited due to their lack of access to instructional materials.

 B. To select materials which support and enrich the curriculum for use at all grade levels and in all subject areas; to provide an effective basic education for all students; and insure flexibility sufficient to meet the special needs of individuals and groups.

C. To assure that procedures are available for the consideration and adoption of text, library materials, digital resources, guest speakers, pilot programs and free and/or sponsored materials.

D. To establish an Instructional Materials Committee to review and recommend instructional materials in accordance with district policy.

E. To provide parents and guardians an opportunity to review instructional materials which are being used in their children’s instruction.

F. To provide an orderly procedure for challenging texts, library materials, or other instructional materials.

The superintendent, or designee, will establish procedures for instructional materials selection and adoption. The intent of the board is that the superintendent delegate responsibility for examining, evaluating, and selecting all supplemental materials to the professional staff of the district. This includes preparing all student reading lists. Staff will rely on reason and professional judgment in the selection of high quality supplemental materials that align to state learning standards and are appropriate for the instructional program and developmental level and interests of their students.

 Responsibilities for the Selection

Core instructional materials will be reviewed by the Instructional Materials Committee (IMC) and adopted by the board prior to their use in schools. Trial use of text and/or materials of a pilot nature may be authorized by the Assistant Superintendent for use for a period of no more than one school year prior to board adoption. Materials approved for trial use shall be restricted to specified classes. The professional staff will be responsible for preparing student reading lists and examining, evaluating, and selecting supplementary instructional materials.

Instructional Materials Committee (IMC) is the body that makes core instructional materials adoption recommendations to the School Board based on superintendent-established procedures. The Instructional Materials Committee, composed of certificated staff, administrators, parents and community members, shall be appointed by the superintendent and approved by the Board of Directors. IMC responsibilities include:

A. Establishing and monitoring the procedure for selecting and adopting core instructional materials.

B. Insuring that core materials are selected in conformance to stated criteria.

C. Acting upon requests for approval of core instructional materials.

D. Reviewing, upon staff request, supplementary instructional or library resource materials.

E. Acting upon requests for reconsideration of instructional materials.

Criteria for Selection

Staff members will use the following criteria for selection of materials to assure a comprehensive collection appropriate for the instructional program: Instructional materials shall enrich and support the curriculum taking into consideration:

1) Learning standards and intent of course.

2) Varied instructional needs, abilities, interests, and maturity levels of the students.

3) Cost of materials and implementation.

A. Instructional materials shall stimulate growth in conceptual thinking, factual knowledge, physical fitness, and literary and ethical standards.

B. Instructional materials shall reflect a high standard of scholarship and writing consistent with the instructional goals/objectives for the district’s approved course of study.

C. Instructional materials shall be of sufficient variety to present different points of view, encouraging the development of critical analysis and decision making skills.

D. Instructional materials hereafter developed or purchased shall contribute to the development of an understanding of the ethnic, cultural, and occupational diversity of life.

E. Instructional materials shall objectively present the contribution and concerns, current and historical, of each sex and members of diverse religious, ethnic, and cultural groups. The district recognizes, however, that under certain conditions, biased materials may represent appropriate resources in presenting contrasting and differing points of view.

Elimination of Discrimination and Bias in Instructional Materials

The instructional materials selection process will include a mandatory process for evaluating resources to eliminate discrimination and bias in instructional materials based on sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, disability, or the use of service animals. PROVIDED, that this subsection shall not be construed to prohibit the introduction of materials deemed appropriate for educational purposes.

 Definitions

For the purpose of policy and procedure 2020, the following definitions will apply:

Instructional Materials are all materials designed for use by students and their teachers as learning resources to help students to acquire facts, skills, and/or to develop cognitive processes. These instructional materials, used to help students meet state learning standards, may be printed or digital, and may include textbooks, technology-based materials, other educational media, and assessments. They may carry different licensing types from open to all rights reserved. For the purposes of this policy the following are the categories of instructional materials:

A. Core Instructional Materials (print or non-print) are the primary instructional resources for a given course and are district-approved and provided to all students to help meet learning standards and provide instruction towards course requirements. Core instructional materials support the instructional focus of a curriculum area and are selected through a process as the primary teaching and learning resources used in working to meet state and district standards. When a course is developed through the use of a collection of novels, pamphlets, periodicals, etc., rather than a single text, the collection shall be considered as core instructional materials that will be used repeatedly from year to year.

B. Digital Resources (software and online resources) meet the criteria above and must be supportable by the Bainbridge Island Instructional Technology department in order to be considered for review by the IMC.

C. Alternative Core Materials are the primary instructional materials for a given course that are used with a subset of students. These materials are intended to replace approved core materials and may be used for specialized course offerings or flexible learning environments.

D. Intervention Materials are designed to support strategic or intensive intervention for students who are at risk of not meeting established learning standards. Intervention materials are used with students to accelerate progress toward particular learning goals based on systematic assessment, decision-making, and progress monitoring.

E. Library Resource Materials are categorized as a collection of instructional materials processed through the library resource center for use by either students or faculty. Library resource material is selected to implement, enrich and support the instructional program of the district schools by providing for student and faculty use as a comprehensive collection of resource material.

F. Supplemental Materials are used in conjunction with the core instructional materials of a course. These items extend and support instruction. They include, but are not limited to, books, periodicals, visual aids, video, sound recordings, computer software and other digital content.

G. Student Reading Lists are categorized as lists of resource instructional materials used by students in a given course in addition to the core instructional materials and other approved supplementary instructional material. Student reading lists may be required or optional and are developed to enrich and support the core requirements of a given course.

 Sensitive or Controversial Materials in a classroom are instructional materials that give rise to perspectives on a subject which are in conflict with the interest, economic, social, or religious beliefs, group affiliations, or political expectations of a segment of the community. Controversial issues provide stimulation to learning by stirring intellectual excitement and are thus an integral part of the normal classroom environment. Free inquiry in a democratic society requires that controversial issues arising in the normal classroom situation be handled as a regular aspect of instruction and learning in such a way as to not inhibit the dignity, the personality, or the intellectuality of either the teachers or the students. (BISD policy and procedure 2331 and 2331P.) It is highly recommended that staff make every reasonable effort to notify parents in advance of the use of potentially sensitive or controversial material.

If parents request alternative assignments or ask that their student be allowed to refrain from viewing or participating in the presentation of a sensitive or controversial material staff shall make every reasonable effort to accommodate them. Only core instructional materials are subject to this accommodation.

Legal References: RCW 28A.150.230 District school directors responsibilities

Adopted: March 31, 2016 Bainbridge Island School District

Bainbridge Island School District

RCW 28A.320.230 RCW 28A.405.060

Chapter 28A.640 WAC 180-44-010 WAC 392-190-055

Adopted: March 31, 2016 Bainbridge Island School District

Instructional materials — Instructional materials committee

Course of study and regulations Enforcement — Withholding salary warrant for failure

RCW Sexual Equality Responsibilities related to instruction

Textbooks and instructional materials — Scope — Elimination of bias

 Here is a link to the policy if that makes more sense to post. https://www.bisd303.org/site/handlers/filedownload.ashx?moduleinstanceid=535&dataid=20558&FileName=Policy%202020%20Course%20Design%20and%20Instructional%20Materials%20%203%2031%202016.pdf

 

 5. What is your approach to alternative educational pathways in our School District? 
I am thrilled with all of the pathways available to our students. I feel the more pathways the better. I am always on the lookout for opportunities for the district to help our kids succeed. Working with staff, talking through ideas, and chatting with kids are great ways to see what needs there are and get things started.

 Here are some examples of what we have.

 •   CTE (Career Technical Education) is designed to prepare our students for careers either directly out of high school or to go to trade school or tech school. Students can choose their path while making sure they are getting the necessary credits to graduate.

•   Mosaic Homeschool Partnership allows families to have more say in what their child’s education looks like. Mosaic is a program that gives kids an opportunity to be in school for art, music, language etc., while exploring guided curriculum to ensure they will graduate and be prepared for college, work, and life.

•   Odyssey Multiage Program: A K-8 program that groups kids into 2-year cohorts. Kids are encouraged to learn where they are, explore, self-select their learning, and have an entire K-8 community that works together.

•   Spanish Immersion - For kids who want to learn Spanish in an immersion environment. At this point the program is K-4 with a zero period immersion at Sakai. As the students in this relatively new program move up through the district we are working to find the best way to serve them. It’s a work in progress.

•   Eagle Harbor High School/Contract Studies -  An alternative high school for kids that prefer a smaller school environment. One of the advantages is the ability to to contract studies where kids design their own courses and curriculum in areas that interest them. Contracts are overseen by a teacher and designed to fit into core curriculum credits.

•   Running Start/West Sound Tech - allows juniors and seniors to take college courses at Olympic College or Seattle Central. It’s great for kids who know what they want to do and are ready to move past high school.

 

6. What is the district’s responsibility to educate young people about critical social and environmental issues that affect their communities and lives, such as the climate crisis? What does educating young people about such issues look like at the school district?

The district’s responsibility lies in creating critical thinkers who have the best interests of our world at heart. Critical issues are embedded in our science, social studies, and language arts curriculum naturally and enhanced with supplemental materials that can be structured around current events. Allowing frank discussions about current events and social issues teach our students how to engage with others in a thoughtful manner and really listen to them. Knowing the difference between facts and opinions is an important lesson for all of us to learn and practice. Finally, allowing our students the opportunity to ask questions, wonder and see the value in knowledge is the best gift we can give them as they move forward into the world.

 

7. Are there any additional strategies the School Board would support an environment in which all students and staff feel both physically and emotionally safe?

We are constantly working on improving our learning environment with the filter of equity and equality. As a school board director I support any and all strategies, within reason, that help students and staff feel safe. I am especially proud of the resolution we passed after the Parkland school shooting. Here is what it said:

 

Board Resolution No. 03-17-18

A RESOLUTION of the board of directors of Bainbridge Island School District No. 303, Kitsap County, Bainbridge Island, Washington to declare support for sensible gun safety legislation, and declare opposition to efforts to arm educators in our schools.

WHEREAS, Bainbridge Island School District Board Policy No.1005, Board Accountability and Responsibilities, affirms that "On behalf of students, parents and staff, the board shall serve as education’s key advocate within the community and represent the needs of the district outside the community”; and

WHEREAS, gun violence presents a clear and present danger to the students, parents and staff of the Bainbridge Island School District; and

WHEREAS, Washington state law (RCW 28A.600.420 and RCW 9.41.280) and Bainbridge Island School District School Board policies (3240, 3241 and 4210) already prohibit weapons and firearms on school properties; and

 

WHEREAS, since the Columbine High School massacre in 1999, 150,000 students attending at least 170 primary or secondary schools have experienced a shooting on campus;1 and

 

WHEREAS, Since 2014 in Washington state, there have been six school shootings that have taken place during the school day and resulted in seven injuries and five fatalities;2 and

 

WHEREAS, in Washington state, an 18-year-old can buy an assault weapon with no background check or waiting period;3 and

 

WHEREAS, gun violence, and threats of gun violence, in schools undermine the sense of security that all students should have in their learning environments; and

 

WHEREAS, students have seized the conscience of the nation with their demand for strong action to reduce preventable gun violence and on March 24, 2018, a National March for Our Lives will be held by student leaders seeking to deliver an unmistakable message that now is the time to pass common sense gun safety laws; and

 

WHEREAS, sensible gun safety legislation will strengthen protections for our schools and students by preventing dangerous individuals from attaining firearms; and

 

WHEREAS, it is the belief of the board of directors that Bainbridge Island School District and Washington state must be national leaders in innovative and meaningful policy to confront gun violence;

 

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED,

that the Bainbridge Island School District Board of Directors supports the following sensible gun safety legislation to protect students and staff:

• raising the age to purchase assault weapons to 21,

• implementing Enhanced Background Checks for assault weapons,

• establishing safety programs in schools that do NOT include arming educators or staff,

• eliminating private gun sale loopholes,

• providing funding for thorough gun violence research, including removing the prohibition on research and data collection by the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC),

•   increased funding for programs and school staffing (i.e. counselors, nurses, and psychologists) that support student mental health, social and emotional learning, and anti-bullying; and therefore be it further RESOLVED, that the board of directors of the Bainbridge Island School District supports legislation currently under consideration by the Washington State Legislature that would enact some of the above measures, including Senate Bill 6620 and House Bill 3004; and therefore be it further RESOLVED, that the board of directors of the Bainbridge Island School District wholly rejects the misguided suggestion that it is either desirable or appropriate to arm teachers in schools for any purpose, and will maintain existing prohibition of firearms at school and will NOT support any effort to arm educators and staff.

ADOPTED this 8th day of March, 2018

Director Sheila Jakubik, President

Director Tim Kinkead

Director Mike Spence

Director Mev Hoberg

Director Lynn Smith

1 Cox, John Woodrow, and Steven Rich. “No, There Haven’t Been 18 School Shootings in 2018. That Number Is Flat Wrong.” The Washington Post, The Washington Post Company, 15 Feb. 2018, www.washingtonpost.com/local/no-there-havent-been-18-school-shooting-in-2018-that-number-is-flat-wrong/2018/02/15/65b6cf72-1264-11e8-8ea1-c1d 91fcec3fe_story.html?utm_term=.c331fd8d4858

2 “The Long, Shameful List of School Shootings in America.” EverytownResearch.org, 15 Feb. 2018, everytownresearch.org/school-shootings/5560/#2960.

3Ferguson, Bob. “Washington Lawmakers Should Take Vote on Assault-Weapons Limits.” The Seattle Times, The Seattle Times Company, 23 Feb. 2018, www.seattletimes.com/opinion/washington-lawmakers-should-take-vote-on-assault-weapons-limits/.

Here is a link to the resolution. https://go.boarddocs.com/wa/bisd/Board.nsf/files/AWNW5F83BEAE/$file/Board%20Resolution%20No.%2003-17-18%20School%20Violence.pdf

 Otherwise here are some examples of what we are doing now that people may not be aware of.

•   Social Emotional Learning integrated into the curriculum in grades K-12.

•   Gender neutral bathrooms provide safety for all students and with their specific design of communal sinks in the center of the room opens up line of site for teachers to make sure kids are behaving and not vaping in the bathrooms. Also, teachers can go into the bathroom to check on kids regardless of their gender.

•   Building Security: Our buildings single point now have a single point of entry where it’s possible, which was achieved thoughtfully without creating a prison-like atmosphere.

•   Empowering kids to support their peers and lift them up.

•   Safe Schools alert system on the BISD website and their mobile app. This system allows students to quickly, easily, and anonymously report safety concerns to school officials 24/7/365.

•   Practicing Levels of Relationships with students where building staff evaluate their relationship with each student to ensure that all kids have at least one Level 2 relationship with one adult meaning they are on a first name basis and know something about each other.