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April 10, 1998     Jewish News
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April 10, 1998
 

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April 10, 1998 Southeastern Virginia Jewish News 11 Schoolboard candidates CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2 like to know more about them before making final judgment. Jerri Tata 1. Student discipline problems should be addressed by removing a student who disrupts the learning process and placing him/her in an alternative school where intense behavior modification and character/citizenship training can take place. After re-evaluation of behavior change, consideration be given to placing the student back in the regular ,school setting, if warranted. Employee morale is low. This major problem should be addressed by the foregoing, efforts to improve and overcome discipline problems, and, also, through positive reinforcement. Teachers and administrators hear many complaints and few compliments. They need all the positive help they can get. 2. Decency, dignity, respect, and tolerance, e.g., can be taught in the schools, K-12, without interfering with First Amendment fights. I would support great respect given the Pledge of Allegiance and the Moment of Silence, where student may pay homage to their God. 3. I don't favor school vouchers being used to pay a portion of private school tuition as this takes away from funding public education. I believe Charter Schools could become a reality; however, there have to be strict guidelines established so all students who wished to attend a Charter School could do so. It is the belief of some that we would need additional financial support from the state to promote this initiative. Perhaps corporate sponsorship could help underwrite the additional cost. I would support one or two Charter Schools in Virginia Beach on a trial basis. If we don't try anything new, we will never know whether or not it would have helped our children. Jane Brooks 1. Our greatest challenge is to ensure we meet the needs of all of our children. We must monitor the special education program, the pilot program for our gifted students and the new Alternative Education Plan. We must develop better methods to support the majority of our children who don't fit in those categories. We must offer opportunities for children to take the courses of study they desire while abiding by and succeeding at the SOLs. Every student needs to learn about good citizenship, conflict resolution, diversity awareness, respecting others and goal setting. Children and parents need more assistance helping students reach their potential. Our schools must be adequate centers of learning. We must reduce class size to afford more opportunities for individual attention. This translates into increasing the number of classrooms and teachers. It is our responsibility to have safe and decent schools so our children have a safe, optimal learning environment. Our children are anxious to welcome technology into their education. We must provide the equipment and teachers and make certain that there is equity in all schools. Parent and community involvement is vital to a thriving school community. We must find new ways to welcome everyone into our schools. We need to provide parenting programs and to seek venues to reach all parents and community members. Our school system is developing evaluation programs for all employees. We must recognize our administrators', teachers' and staff's dedication and will continue to be an issue and we must be frugal. We must make the most with the funds available and work with city council in seeking other sources. 2. I believe all children need faith in their lives which should be instilled and nurtured by their parents and places of worship. I feel it is the responsibility of the schools to teach good citizenship and to respect all others. 3. I am leery of charter schools. I have read and heard of successes and failures in other states. Charter schools may become a reality in Virginia. Our school board would have to carefully scrutinize any proposal to ensure that it would prove exceptional to what our schools have in place and is truly accessible to all children. Dan Edwards 1. Biggest issues facing our schools is the need to ensure all students receive an academically sound education while providing challenging courses for the gifted and remedial help for the at-risk. Implementation of the new Standards of Learning should help in this regard and the need to ensure all schools remain accredited will provide a stimulus to balance the resources available to the schools to address those in need. 2. No, I do not think that the U.S. Supreme Court has gone too far. Morality and honesty can be included in the curriculum without a religious basis for it. It can best be taught, not as a specific subject, but included in the way the schools, activities, clubs and teams are operated. Administrators should ensure that ethics are paramount in all these. 3. I do not support adoption of a voucher system; this is well beyond the authority of the School Board. Charter schools are now within the purview of the School Board and I am hopeful that good proposals meeting the state criteria will be received by the Virginia Beach School Board. Daniel J. Arris 1. The biggest challenge facing our schools is improving academic achievement. This means hiring the best and brightest teachers, working to improve marginal teachers, and eliminating poor teachers. We must develop a more comprehensive parental involvement process. 2. I believe the Supreme Court has gone too far, but these are the rules by which we must currently abide. I support a set-aside lime for personal silent prayer. I also believe we must strive to make Virginia Beach curriculum, Principles of American Citizenship, a meaningful offering stressing character, community involvement, and respect. 3. I'm opposed to school vouchers and charter schools. I think they will be a distraction to our Board effort. The General Assembly has enacted. Charter School legislation so I will do my best to comply. I will scrutinize applications very closely. Robert Mandigo 1, We have come to rely on our schools to assume many of responsibilities that rightly belong to parents; we must bring them back into public education, Both our at,risk student population and high school dropout rates arc increasing. Other challenges include achieving student performance standards, school accreditation, continuing shortage of classrooms, and inadequate, obsolete school buildings. participation in religious activities in our schools. Individual's rights end when their speech or behavior impinges on the rights of others. Our students' parents must remain responsible for providing religious education to their own children. Honor codes can promote the values of honesty and citizenship. "I will not lie, cheat, or steal, nor tolerate anyone who does" is one time-tested example. 3. I believe in public education. I oppose the use of vouchers for use as tuition in private schools. I don't know how we can fund this when we are experiencing increases in our at- risk student population, and have a salary structure that is too low to attract the best newly graduated teachers. I am willing to try charter schools under the pending legislation; limiting each division to two, with local school board responsibility and approval, per capita funding at parity with other division schools, and that enrollment is open to all, based on division demographics. Robert C. Spadaccini, St'. 1. There are many challenges - quality education, safe schools, adequate funding and a nurturing environment. Some of these, schools can address, but others are the primary responsibility of the family. On quality education, students should attain standards that are set through the Standards of Accreditation. Regarding the schools, administrators should ensure that proper policies and practices are in place and students should be held accountable for their actions and there must be support for the educators in the classroom and administration for discipline as outlined in the School Board policy. Adequate funding m me would mean that you need to examine the needs of the school system i.e. increases in population, refurbishment of older schools (as examples) and seek to attain funding for these needs. Which is being done through referendum for technology issues in November, 1998. Also as part of this, should there be waste in duplicated services, they should be combined where possible. A nurturing environment in the school system is one where students are safe and there are opportunities to learn. 2. The first amendment as you point out separates church and state; the Supreme Court ruling is law as you have noted. While I personally believe in creationisra, the law states that it is not a mandatory subject in a public school system. I would promom the values of religion through opportunities such as voltmtm'y prayer during the start of the day and religious clubs in the school. 3. Vouchers for private schools or a "home" public school would create an imbalance in the funding for education as a whole and am therefore opposed to the possibility. Regarding charter schools, I am not opposed should there be adequate fimding. (I would first begin on a trial basis with the funding to see how this worked in our area.) AI Wallace 1. The biggest challenges are class size, disruptive students and limited financial resources. To reverse the trend, Dr. Jermey has ini to save money and mandate smaller classes. Remove disruptive students to a special program, i.e. expand CEL. Pursue more partnerships with local businesses and fund various gogams. 2. No. We still have silent pyer giving the ty for students to pray in their own de. 3, If public schools pexformanoe would be less state and federal mandates. Charter schools may give a school division the needed flexibility for troubled students. Public schools should work together with private schools on sharing buses. I'm not quite in favor of vouchers for that is money away from public schools. t00,m o. Qm, 1. Our biggest challenge is meeting the needs of an increasingly diverse student population that must be taught an increasingly complex curriculum to prepare them for the world market. We have made significant progress in the last two years including the alignment of the curriculum with the new state Standards of Learning and Standards of Accreditation, the new Alternative Education plan for students that cannot or will not succeed in a regular classroom, and the new Technology Plan which will fully integrate computer literacy into our schools. We need to fully implement all these plans and hold the administration accountable for their success. For the past two years our principal challenge has been restoring fiscal integrity and addressing the many problems caused by the loss of public trust. Having dealt successfully with these problems, we must focus relentlessly on improving teaching and learning, by improving teacher reenfitment and staff development, and strengthening our curriculum and making it consistent throughout the division. 2. The Strategic Plan adopted last year by the School Board calls for the curriculum to be "undergirded by principles of American citizenship." Nine specific values were identified by a broad based community: Responsibility, Diligence, Respect, Kindness, Fairness, Honesty, Cooperation, Self-Control and Trustworthiness. A plan has been developed to implement a division- wide program focusing on one value each month starting if the fall of 1998. The focus is on modeling and acknowledging these values in both students and employees, not teaching them in a curricular sense. I fully support implementation of the "Principles of American Citizenship" plan. On the board level, I have tried and will continue to try to model my personal behavior on these values as well. 3. I oppose vouchers because I believe they will weaken public education, Charter schools legislation passed the General Assembly this year. l did oppose the legislation. Fortunately the legislation did build in some important limitations: charters are limited to two a division, they must be unrelated to racial, ethnic, or religious criteria, they cannot be existing private schools and control is local. If the issue is raised in Virginia Beach it will have to be addressed in accordance with the law. It is not something that I currently see a need for in Virginia Beach. I U.S. Military ready for Passover I Jewish U.S. military personnel stationed throughout the world will have the opportunity to celebrate Passover due to the efforts of the JWB Jewish Chaplains Council, a division of Jewish Community Centers Association of North America. The JWB Jewish Chaplains Council shipped Solo Seder kits and various Passover staples, including matzah- ball soup, matzahs, gefilte fish, tuna fish, and macaroons to Jewish servicemen and women stationed abroad. The Solo Sexier kits consist of a basic Passover meal and ritual supplies, enabling individuals in locations who are unable to attend a sealer, the ability to participate in Passover observam'e, JWB Jewish Chaplains Council Chairman, Rab[ai Matthew H. CONTINUED ON PAGE 23 The Board o[ Directors of Beth %o/ore Home of Central Virginia Beth %o/ore Home of Eastern Virginia Beth Shoiom 00,Voocis Beth Sholom Sands cordially invite you to a Brunch in honor o[ f Albert 5. Katz F_xecute Vice Presi&nt upon his retirement and the establishraent o[ the Doris and Albert Katz Philanthropic Fund [or the Jewish elderly Sunday, April I9, Eleven o'clock in the morning Williamsburg Marriott Hotel Williamsburg Virginia hard work and assist them in their 2. The church and ,state should stay do not imlxove, then charter aclmois is Rcqld to (2NIT) 4a- ssional growth. Funding is and separate..I oppose compulsory a likely option considering there , .....