I served this community as a firefighter/EMT for 11 years. I retired as a Lieutenant after being injured. During that time, we supported our schools through different events to ensure the safety of all kids. We also had fire prevention weeks where we spoke directly to kids/teachers/parents.
The most pressing challenge that I see in D-38 is a need to re-build trust where it has been fractured in the community. That is my number one priority in working with the board to re-build trust where it has been lost.
As a member of the board we will listen to the superintendent/administrators/teachers to identify what is working and what is not working for the varying needs of students and families. We will make sure that we have the materials, resources and systems in place (personalized learning) to ensure that every child has an opportunity for success. Regarding budgeting we will look at our monetary resources and decide how to direct resources where needed based on the varying needs of students and families.
The approval of a charter school first starts with the standardized criteria established by the district (if applicable) followed by a board review of the application. District 38 is the chartering authority to Monument Academy. The charter application would define the educational, operational and financial information of the school as well as the ability and capacity to implement the program. I am an adamant supporter of charter schools as an additional option for parents to choose the best education mode for their children.
Every student should be treated equally regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, gender and sexual orientation. Lewis Palmer District 38 adopted and passed a resolution on 8/26/2019 regarding local control as it relates to HB 19-1032. Per the district resolution – “The Lewis Palmer School District Board of Education does not intend to approve a course of instruction that would be required to follow the contents of HB 19-1032 as that would constitute a violation of the Board’s control of instruction and, thus, be unconstitutional.” I am in full support of this resolution.
They should be a part of the educational system and be collaborative with the other areas of education. There are many students that may need unique personalized learning approaches and each of these offers a role in a student’s life to help give them a foundation upon which to build. Students learn focus, collaboration, accountability, perseverance and decision making. As a board member we would work together with the administrators/teachers that oversee these programs and balance the funding based on need and interest from students.
As a board we need to continually review the existing programs for efficacy and look at ways of improving. Currently D-38 has “Sources of Strength” with student leaders, Phil Donahue from Value Up and Safe to Tell which all provide avenues of support for our students emotional/social/safety needs. As a board member I would also encourage bringing the parents, student and teachers into the conversation for greater success overcoming some of the emotional/social/safety needs of our kids.
Education: Bachelors Degree, Univ. of California at Davis,
Stanford Graduate School of Business… Continuing executive education
Occupation: Technology executive (retired), Veterans non-profit executive and Business Consulting principal
I have been a volunteer in our local schools for over 20 years in a multitude of areas from guest speaking, hosting foreign exchange students, fund raising and advising. I intend to solve the most pressing challenges of our district by unifying the board, administration and community towards the common goal of student success that is good for our community and country.
In order to achieve equity, I would first study the current spending methodology and the results it has delivered. Then, I would map these results to what the law requires a school district (in Colorado) to do. Once this analysis is complete we can then determine how equitable the budget allocation’s results have been, what our options are, and move forward on delivering equity and lasting quality. Our Declaration of Independence says “all men (and women) are created equal”… hence, each child deserves a “fair shot”.
Our public education system is nearly a century old. Given the maturity of our society, some level of educational choice is healthy. Any alternative forms of public education should provide our children the opportunity to flourish, uncover their passion(s) and become a contributor to their community and country. The biggest challenge we face is to ensure that all public schools are held to some minimum standard of achievement that is commensurate with their per-pupil funding. This would ensure that each school has an equal opportunity for success and they do so without sacrificing the success of their peers.
Given that District 38 is small compared to several of its peers, it provides a unique opportunity for students to experience a multitude of activities on the path to discovering their talents and passions. The arts and athletics teach practical, valuable life lessons and skills. STEM expertise is a core driver of economic activity in this century. All are critical components to providing a strong foundation for our next generation of contributors to our community and our country. Funding should be based on community interest, state/national mandate, and an eye towards occupational needs.
I am not a professional in the area of psychology. There are a few common areas that a school system, in partnership with families, can impact. Unfortunately, this is a national challenge involving dynamics such as screen time, family values and social pressures (at and away from school), to name a few. Each scenario is unique, hence the staff(s) must be armed with several tools to ensure they can move quickly and have a lasting impact. Student/faculty safety and physical security of our schools are non-negotiable, “must-haves” for each facility.
The reality of an open society, religious choice and access to the Internet, is the exposure to new paradigms. One golden rule, however, transcends both time and new ways of thinking,
“Do onto others as you wish others to do onto you”. Treat your fellow student with the same respect you would like to receive.
Education: Matthew graduated from Brigham Young University and obtained his Juris Doctorate from the University of Denver Strum College of Law. Matthew then went on to earn his Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Colorado.
Occupation: Small Business Owner/Civil Attorney
In 2015, I was elected to the LPSD38 School Board and have served as secretary, vice president, and currently serve as board president. Three of my children attend Lewis-Palmer schools. One challenge is to provide a top-notch education for every student with the scarce resources available and to ensure the best educators are rewarded for their success in supplementing the parental responsibility of nurturing children to become local, national and global stewards. I strive to provide complete transparency in the board of education’s deliberative process of creating policy to provide direction to district administration in achieving its goals.
One challenge is to provide a top-notch education for every student with the scarce resources available to a growing LPSD 38. However, because our district is smaller, we frequently review school needs and judiciously appropriate the necessary funds for each school, all while striving to maintain complete transparency. We also consistently and conscientiously review our budget and monetary expenditures in the district, providing this information on a routine basis to our stakeholders.
Colorado Department of Education provides the criteria for accepting a charter school. I support and believe every student in LPSD, Monument Academy, or home-schooled should receive a top-notch education. Parents should be permitted to choose the school and educational path that best fits their child. We are also fortunate to have an award-winning District and charter school. D38 currently does not allow out-of-district choice-in for elementary and middle schools and Monument Academy has a waiting list because of our large enrollment numbers relative to school capacity. Monument continues to be one of the fastest-growing suburbs in the state of Colorado.
I believe in the rule of law. The Colorado Constitution clearly states local school boards, “shall have control of instruction in the public schools of their respective districts;” a constitutional principle known as “local control”. The values of the community should determine what is taught to our children. HB19-1032 really has little effect on D38 as our current sexual education curriculum was developed by our parents, teachers and administrators and addresses the needs of our students.
The arts and sciences are vital in a balanced public education. However, each child has unique inclinations geared for varied aspects of what can be offered in public education. While it is important that every child has exposure to a broad array of educational opportunities, there should also be enough depth of choice to focus on certain areas of greater interest by every child. Utilizing the feedback of our stakeholders, including teachers, administrators, parents & students, we tailor our school offerings/budget per each school community and their needs/desires.
Counselors and mental health professionals may not be a student’s initial confident in that crucial first revelation of critical stress, thus we should equip educators on how to make a positive impact, foster an environment in which students have access to privately express their feelings, and nurture collaboration with parents. Our in-school counselors/administrators have received extensive training on identifying and helping at-risk teens. Our district is making great strides in promoting programs such as Sources of Strength, Safe-To-Tell, Kiwanis, RAD teen activities and community activities.
Being an involved parent of five children for over nine years, I believe LPSD 38 does an excellent job of understanding and practicing the separation of church and state. Further, based on my experience the district recognizes and is sensitive to the backgrounds and beliefs of its diverse population of nearly 6,800 students.
I’ve been a resident of this district for the last 10 years. I have followed school board activities for years, as I wanted to have an impact in the community for my children’s benefit. I believe I have a unique skillset as an engineer in long-term planning, project management, and cybersecurity to steer the district toward effective solutions, particularly in the area of balancing management of existing resources with growth in the community.
Partnering with parents and promoting open communication is the most effective way to ensure that schools meet the unique needs of students. Educating parents on available resources encourages families to express concerns or needs and to gain support. A school board relies on principals to communicate their school’s specific needs; it’s important to allow principals to continue to develop their school’s budget and allow the district to collaborate for an outcome that is optimal for that neighborhood school.
Public charters schools are one option among many in our district. Currently, the district also includes traditional neighborhood school options, private school, online public school, district-sponsored online school, home school, district supported home school enrichment, and concurrent college enrollment for high school students. I would support continuing the district’s existing efforts to afford families an education experience that meet their child’s learning needs best. Such “choices”, as listed above, create a natural balance for enrollment. A public charter school must follow state accreditation requirements and are accountable for their assessment results.
The district currently promotes a positive learning environment for all students. I concur that all students, regardless of their race, religion, ethnicity, gender, special need, ability, or sexual orientation are owed the same right to a safe school where a culture of respect and dignity prevail. I support the board’s recent effort to retain their jurisdiction over curriculum content, regardless of topic.
The district’s primary directive is to afford every student access to an excellent core education. This includes assuring academics are prioritized, including paying teachers what they’re worth and working toward attracting and retaining talented educators. D38 is fortunate to partner with active community supporters (booster clubs) and businesses to fund and sponsor specialty programming and collects fees as necessary from participants. Offering programs such as the arts, STEM, and athletics enhance a student’s overall experience and allow them opportunities to find unique social connections that enhance their sense of pride and belonging. I encourage funding for such programs wherever possible.
Promoting a culture of kindness and treating each other with respect is central to creating a positive environment for students and staff alike. The district must maintain open communication with families to identify students at risk. Adults must set an example for their students by examining their own conduct and communicating through action the importance of civil relationship building both in person and online. I support strong measures to deter mistreatment of staff or students and take appropriate measures to maintain building security.
It is the school’s obligation to treat all students with respect and dignity. The district does not promote any particular religion. Teaching students how to reason and engage in civil dialogue will allow students the ability to study various religions to better understand the world in which they live.
Citizens Project is a fearless, bold advocate and an engaging voice that empowers and challenges our entire community to embrace equality, diversity, and separation of church and state.
Citizens Project is the watchdog that ensures a robust and transparent public process in local government for our community. - Gary Fornander, Community Advocate