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Sun Sailor Letter Jan 2016

Beneke outlines his priorities for school board

Thank you for your support in the last St. Louis Park School Board election. I am excited to be starting my term. Many of my priorities involve the achievement gap and facilities.

New energy and ideas surround closing the achievement gap. Three noteworthy examples come to mind. First, the recent addition of “equity coaches” has been credited by many teachers as a wonderful aid to improving teaching.

Second, though in general I think focusing in on the relationship between teacher and student is more important than any particular curriculum, the district’s efforts to better align curriculum between grades and teachers should prove beneficial.

Lastly, increasing the use of community liaisons to connect better with families of various cultures is a valuable initiative. I like that the current strategic plan emphasizes racial and cultural consciousness.

While consideration of facilities is forced upon us due to an impending “bubble” of more students arriving at the middle school and high school, it also offers an opportunity to examine how our facilities might better support 21st century learning and how they might be more inviting to students. Also, are there innovative ways to better share facility use with the community?

I believe it is important to consider how to support the whole child outside of the normal traditional academic realm, e.g., examine nutrition, mental health, family support and after-hours academic help. SLP has a great tradition of partnerships to build on toward supporting the whole child.

All the goals can only be fully accomplished with community support and collaboration. Please contact any school board member if you have concerns seemingly not on anybody’s radar, have ideas on how to accomplish our goals or want to get involved in your area of interest.

Committee to Elect Jim Beneke
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