Monday, 27 June 2022

Gonzales: Real facts versus Hear-say in the LUSD School Board election

As I sit here, just a few days away from the Lakeport Unified School Board election, I am extremely concerned with the divide in our community that is being caused and at times seemingly promoted by the candidates running as a “three-member team” in this election.

This “team” approach sounds favorable in theory, but do we really want decisions that directly impact our schools and students to be made as a “team”?

It is obvious to me that this three-member team has a set agenda that does not take into account any of the services or actions that our existing board members are currently addressing. I know that I want members of a board that weigh the facts and aren’t afraid to independently do what they feel is best for the district and our students.

This three-member team has not only made their action plan public by Web site, social media, newspaper and campaign propaganda, but they have even resorted to delivering numerous evening robo calls. The one thing that is surprisingly missing from the basic three-point action plan is OUR STUDENTS!

In all of the articles, phone calls and propaganda distributed, they have failed to make any mention of our students and what they are going to do to directly help them.

This same three-member team also states that they have talked to teachers, staff, volunteers and parents, but what about talking to the administrators at each site and the superintendent?

I have made it a point to attend several board meetings, PTO meetings and both Lakeport Elementary School “Conversations with the Principal” events, and most recently a Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee meeting. What I have found to be consistent with our current leadership is the transparency of information and the willingness to openly discuss difficult topics, and opening up conversations on how they can improve. The one thing that is clear in every meeting that I have attended, is that the students best interests are at the forefront of decisions.

In addition, this three-member team who openly blames the new superintendent for the downfall of this district has obviously had blinders on for the past several years and isn’t aware of the problematic indicators that the California Department of Education notified LUSD about from data prior to the 2016-17 school year.

It surprises me to read or hear statements made from individuals who have never been on campus, have not taken the initiative to research the real facts or to physically show up to these events to ask questions. It appears from recent articles that the desire of this three-member team and their supporters is to go back to the system that was in place 20 years ago that is no longer legal and is not best for the diversity of our current students.

I attended the latest Conversations with the Principal event at Lakeport Elementary, where the topic was the discipline policy and the discipline matrix that were both developed by the PBIS Team and the teaching staff over the last three years.

I was surprised by the level of detail and the focus of teaching to the whole child (academics, behavior and social-emotional). It also dispelled the comments that I have been hearing in regards to this school not suspending students and having no real consequences for poor behavior. It starts in the classroom where teachers have a clear expectation of the desired behaviors and level of consequences that are expected within the classroom environment.

It seems logical that as the behaviors increased on the matrix, the students would be referred to the office by the classroom teacher for further consequences.

If you are really questioning how things are handled, you should call and ask questions and not just assume that because changes have been made in recent years that they are negatively impacting student learning. Like anything that is new, it takes time and acceptance to make it fully functionable.

The effort and energy that was evident from the last Lakeport Elementary PTO meeting and the Conversations with the Principal that I attended, it became apparent that the staff and leadership are working together to continue to refine a system that supports all students.

I would encourage you to ask questions, do some of your own research and not fall into the trap of basing your viewpoints from hearsay that is being angled towards an already predetermined agenda endorsed by the three-member team.

Remember that our school district board should be driving their decisions around what is best for all kids and not always what is easy for the adults.

Kathy Gonzales lives in Lakeport, Calif.

Upcoming Calendar

27Jun
06.27.2022 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Scotts Valley Advisory Council
28Jun
06.28.2022 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Board of Supervisors
28Jun
06.28.2022 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
28Jun
06.28.2022 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Rotary Club of Clear Lake
30Jun
06.30.2022 7:30 am - 8:30 am
Rotary Club of Middletown
2Jul
2Jul
07.02.2022 9:00 am - 11:00 am
Junior Ranger Program: Lake ecology
2Jul
07.02.2022 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
2Jul
07.02.2022 11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Weekly writing workshop
2Jul
07.02.2022 11:00 am - 11:00 pm
64th annual Redbud Parade and Festival

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