Plan to Improve Our District
21st Century Learning Environments
Learning happens everywhere and it is our job to make our schools a part of the foundation that helps students develop into world class citizens who will be a part of making Greenburgh a world class town!
In order to do this we must provide students with safe 21st learning environments. We must work to repair and/or update our aging facilities. Kicking the can down the road is no longer an option.
Artificial Intelligence, 3D Printing, VR/AR, Blockchain/ Cryptocurrencies and other emerging technologies are creating the future. Our students must have access to the types of tools that will allow them to be leaders in these fields.
Student Voice & Choice
It is past time we take a more student centered approach to school. The biggest thing that I learned while traveling and talking to students is that far too many of them are simply bored and do not see the benefits associated with learning the traditional curriculum. They're tired of the sit back and listen approach to learning. Students must be given autonomy and have a much bigger role in deciding what they learn and how they learn it. Helping students feel like they are invested in their learning increases academic achievement and helps students recognize the true value of education.
One of my priorities as a member of the board will be to involve youth in board governance. Students are affected by every board decision and should therefore have a say in the policies that will affect them.
Invest in Human Capital
The word education comes from the latin root words educare which means to train or mold and educere which means to bring out and lead forth. Most schools focus all their attention on the former but not enough on the later.
Each and every one of our students is filled with intellectual treasure just waiting to be tapped into. It is our responsibility to nurture this treasure and bring out the best versions of students. This means learning each of our students unique strengths and interest. This means focusing our students social and emotional well-being. It will be my aim as a board member to promote policies aimed to meet these ends.
Partner with Parents & Families
As I've gone on my listening tour throughout the district and seen very clearly on board meetings when parents and families are allowed to speak many parents and families believe that are not being listened to by the current iteration of the board.
The Greenburgh Central School Board must be more responsive to the thoughts and desires of our parent community. Engaging with them ask stakeholders and being much more transparent around how and why decisions are made is a must.
Parents and families can be a tremendous help when it comes to having an engaged and excited student body. We must give them the opportunity to do so.
Project & Problem Based Learning
Many of the most innovative schools in the country are shifting learning models to focus on interdisciplinary learning via Project & Problem Based Learning. These learning models allow students to engage in real-world problems that are meaningful to them which significantly enhances learning outcomes while also helping students develop collaboration, critical thinking, creativity and communication skills. While we no longer know exactly what content students will need in the future we do know these are the skills students that will best prepare them to be the most well rounded citizens possible. Our district must take advantage of these learning models to best serve our student population and community at large!
Partner with Community & Local Business
The school board should be a bridge between our schools and the community at large. The best districts I visited had a very strong bond between their communities and schools. Our communities challenges should be challenges that get addressed in our schools. When young people wrap their innovative minds around problems we can co-create the future of our town!
Local business understand that they thrive when the community thrives. We should connect with them to help students engage in internships and apprenticeship programs. When our students see opportunities right in their own neighborhood they will do what they need to do in school to seize upon those opportunities!