Tuesday, October 28, 2014

2014 YCS Board Candidate: Meredith Schindler (2-Year Term)

Read more about Meredith Schindler at:

Aside from the budget, what are your two top priorities for the Ypsilanti schools?

My top two priorities are to a) get systems in place to fulfill the mission of the district on a fundamental level - accountability regarding delivery of services, supplies, etc., as well as a system designed to enable effective communication between the district and its constituents, and, b) to empower the teachers to develop and implement a curriculum and teaching and mentoring systems based on best practices. The administration's primary job is to support the teachers and students. 

What ideas do you have for reducing students' out-of-school days (unexcused absences)?

It's about student engagement, given that there are always going to be some factors that we can't control. Students who feel valued and who see a path forward, and who feel safe and respected, will come to school. 

Staff morale has been an issue in the school district. How do you think the board should monitor and respond to staff morale issues, if at all?  What ideas do you have for reducing staff turnover in the coming year?

This answer is the same for teachers as it is for students. Humans are social beings, and we need praise and to feel successful, and it really helps if we know we're an integral part of something larger than ourselves. Put this in place, and pay fair wages, and the staff turnover problem will improve. 

Are you satisfied with the district’s openness and transparency to parents, employees, and community members/taxpayers? If yes, why? If no, what changes would you propose?

I don't know whether the board has tried to be transparent or not. I strongly suspect that they have. However, it's a matter of stating what's going on and then following up on it in a manner that is able to be followed. Also, not having a curriculum or even class guide published at the secondary level means there's by definition no transparency on that level. 

Hindsight is perfect, but: whether you are an incumbent, or not: Name one decision that the YCS school board made in the last six months that you think was a very good decision; and name one decision that the school board made in the last six months that you wish had been decided differently.

All decisions will have their advocates and detractors. I'm interested in going forward, not looking back. 

Assuming that you are elected, name one other board candidate that you would like to see serve beside you, and explain why.

I'm running as part of a slate, and I'd really like to see us all elected.  [Ed. Note: The slate is Ellen Champagne, Meredith Schindler, Sharon Irvine, Bill Kurkjian, and K.J. Miller.]

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