District 2 Board Candidates Address Questions

Article excerpt

Four candidates are vying for three four-year seats on the Bensenville Elementary District 2 school board Nov. 4. The Daily Herald asked the candidates questions on various issues. Here are their written responses to some of those questions.

Question: What changes are needed in the district and what would you do to help bring those about?

Lucinda (Cindy) S. Banaszynski: We need to continue to strive for academic excellence and develop high performing schools that will promote continuous improvement of student achievement. I will encourage school improvement teams to create a plan that will improve the combined performance of District 2 students.

Continue to explore any and all financial means to improve on programs in the district. Continue to provide timely and meaningful in service and staff development for our staff. Continue to provide students and staff with the technology needed to perform in the year 2000 and beyond.

Kathleen (Kathie) M. Bossier: Listed below are areas of focus that continue to be top priorities for the board in District 2. My involvement will be supportive of initiatives to improve the following areas of need.

A. Improvement in reading achievement. Staff development in the area of reading and writing began more than five years ago to develop best practices in our teaching staff. Two years ago, the district made one of our teachers on special assignment a reading teacher. Last year a community mentoring program, called Helping One Student to Succeed, began full implementation with 86 volunteers reading with children one-half hour or more per week. Last year primary teachers in grades one through three participated in an early literacy course. This year new primary teachers will receive the same training.

This 1997-98 school year the district allocated three teachers on special assignment in the area of reading. These three teachers are receiving Reading Recovery Training to address the lowest readers in the first grade. The other part of the job includes working with classroom teachers to maximize the delivery of reading instruction.

B. Continue to stabilize/maximize district resources and seek alternative sources of revenue, such as the capital development grant.

Continue to build revenue in the working cash fund. Continue to look for the best financial alternatives when developing sources of funding including a decision to lease or finance an expenditure in order to retain the principle in the bank. Operate grant programs within the dollar limits provided by the state/federal government.

Sandra J. Kleppe: 1. Improving communication. Initiate a newsletter that is available through the schools, library, etc. Solicit input from the people on their desires and concerns within the district. Request a more open forum during board meetings.

2. Technology. We need the business parks to donate their outdated computers. Bargain shop. The children do not require the state-of-the-art computers to run the educational software.

3. Curriculum consistency. From the Johnson School Action Plan meetings I have attended, it appears the guidelines on what should be taught is very broad and needs to be reviewed so each teacher is covering the same information within the broad topics.

4. Teamwork. Implement programs that encourage team playing amongst the staff, teachers etc. I have called some other districts and have inquired what they have done successfully.

5. Parent and community involvement. I am in the process of researching how churches and other districts have rallied for volunteer help and have succeeded. Hope to share with PTA and top administrators.

6. Classroom comfort. Request an investigation per the Gordon Black survey on the comfort level of the classrooms (room temperature, circulation of fresh air, cleanliness).

Russ Rodriguez: Did not respond.

Question: What do you think of the working relationship between the board and top administrators? …