Increase communication and transparency by utilizing modern technology to reach all citizens
In recent years, Akron Public Schools needed to make some seriously tough decisions to move the district forward. As I have talked to many citizens within the city, there are real concerns and feelings of being left out of the process. The real issue is that people are concerned with transparency. For our communities, our schools are at the center of our hopes and dreams for the future. The citizens of Akron want to be involved in the how the future is shaped. In 2017, we must leverage modern day technology to reach all citizens and allow more people the opportunity to engage in the process. One way to help solve this is Live Streaming our School Board meetings and using social media, like Facebook Live, to allow citizens an experience to ask questions and become involved when their busy lives do not allow them to attend the meetings.
Develop the whole student and champion student success.
Every student deserves to have their uniqueness and individuality valued and nurtured. Students have different strengths in a variety of different areas. These areas include the visual and creative arts, athletics, logic and academic challenges, sciences, self discovery and many other things. We must champion each student’s success in the area that best nurtures their growth and development.
Celebrate and reward our teachers and school administrators for the amazing job that they do.
Our teachers and school administrators have incredibly difficult jobs. Our teachers specifically are tasked with engaging our students in the learning process regardless of what else is going on in their lives. We must find creative ways to reward our teachers for the amazing jobs that they do in an ever more difficult environment. This must be done without continuously asking them to consider making more sacrifices than they are already making.
Promote a strategic and intentional financial oversight plan that is future focused while prioritizing direct student services.
One of the most critical roles of the Akron School Board is to be good stewards of the finances and resources of the district. With the decline of school age children in the district and estimated $615 Million budget shortfall, there is a potential for a reduction in our budget. Knowing this, we will be a need to prioritize many services and expenditures to meet those changes.
We need to create a strategic and intentional financial plan that prioritizes teachers and other direct services that students receive. This would go beyond the 5 Year Forecast that each district is required to submit, it would strategically look for efficiencies in spending and provide some long-term strategies for supporting our students.