This letter is in response to "Concerned over school board candidate's 'no' vote for education pathways".
The quotes presented in the letter are snippets in a larger conversation that surrounded how Policy 2423 was developed and presented to the community.
No one in the district offices nor Mount Si leadership were consulted in the development of this very detailed, potentially course shifting policy which was perceived by some as exclusive. I still stand by my comments that the process was wrong—I did not say that clarity for student direction was wrong. My no vote was about lack of collaboration and bi-passing staff, not the promise that pathways or benchmarks might make possible. Unfortunately, poor process can potentially make ineffective policy—which no one wants.
I fully support clear student pathways and communications to parents. But, I also want to facilitate a patient, collaborative decision making process between the board and district professional staff. I want a board which oversees and initiates policy but does not micromanage. My comments also reflect a belief that there is only so much change that can be initiated at once. Right now, the school district is faced with: implementing a larger STEM initiative; establishing the Freshman Campus; transitioning to two middle schools; negotiating three union contracts; maintenance and operations/technology levies; and bond planning.
I am a careful planner. Snoqualmie Valley School District staff would need to bear the brunt of the full curriculum makeover proposed in this policy. Our cart was full and I knew it. In the end, our excellent staff prepared these pathways—but something else probably had to give (possibly just as important to another group of students/parents) to get there.
In the end, be assured, I have the integrity to support any decision we make as a body even if I vote otherwise. I voted no on the process and then moved forward on the policy. A simpler and more manageable policy was put forward. During the referenced presentation of the pathways at our July 11 meeting, I was encouraging and supportive of Mr. McConkey’s presentation.
Snoqualmie Valley School District board member