How do you plan to address the overpopulation issue at Navarre Schools?
“Overpopulation is an issue that will be ever recurring in our area. Due to the surge of new home construction within the last few years coupled with the availability of land for future development, we will be facing this challenge for years to come. Fortunately, the county had the foresight to set aside a ½ cent sales tax for new construction. The school board does own land off of Edgewood Drive that could be used as a possible future school site. In addition, Pensacola State College has an area that could be developed in cooperation with the county. One example of the county’s track record on future population increase was the construction of Woodlawn Beach Middle School. Another possible short-term solution for over capacity would be adjusting the boundary lines between schools. The solutions are complicated due to the forecast for future growth.” -Jim Taylor
“Long-term planning that includes continually updating the data to account for increases in population. If this is done successfully, the school district can begin to construct schools that will meet future demands, not just the demands at the time of school completion. Also, forming collaborative partnerships with the County Commission, and Zoning and Development Services, to ensure adequate infrastructure is in place to provide the level of services required in the long term is also imperative.” -Carol Boston
While Santa Rosa County schools are among the best in the state, where can the district improve?
It’s true that our district consistently ranks in the top 4 or 5 in the state. This is a testament to the quality of the teachers and administrators in our county as well as the parents’ interest in their children’s success. We must continue to keep parents informed and involved in their child’s education. It’s our duty to prepare our students for a more global society; therefore, we must continue to find ways to broaden course offerings in science, math and technology to increase their competiveness. If it is economically feasible a school could be constructed solely for the purpose of the STEM program. Additionally, we need to expand the number of schools similar to Locklin Tech in order to provide our non-college-bound students with a certified skill that will prepare them to enter the work force as productive citizens. The future of our country depends on this. -Jim Taylor
We can improve our education system by forging relationships with business leaders to ascertain their needs; we can then use that information to improve our vocational schools for students who want to learn a trade, rather than attend college. We can partner with neighboring counties in implementing a STEMM program in SRC, thus improving our students’ knowledge in the science, technology, engineering, math and medical fields. We can track our students in their endeavors beyond graduation to evaluate any areas of opportunity for improvement in preparing them for higher education, the workforce and military service. -Carol Boston
Do you have plans to address parents’ frustration over Common Core?
I have been listening to our parents’ concerns and frustrations regarding Common Core (Florida State Standards) since this campaign began. I can empathize with them. Their children are being challenged in many ways and often at an inappropriate age level. What I hear most often from parents is “the math makes no sense, there seems to be more than one right answer.” Although I agree that children should become more analytical thinkers, I feel it should be introduced after they have mastered a sound knowledge of the basic skills. To that end I will continue to have dialogue with parents and teachers alike and take this information to the school board. Parents need to know that their concerns are being heard and satisfied. I can assure the parents as a member of the board, I will address these issues and work diligently to solve the problems. -Jim Taylor
Yes. The first step is to build a solid working relationship with State Representatives Mike Hill, Doug Broxson and Clay Ingram in order to eliminate federal oversight of a state and local issue. The second step is to replace Common Core with curricula developed by teachers and school board members that meet the needs of our children. The final step is to create methods of measuring educational progress that are objective and provide usable data. This is an issue that will take students, parents, teachers, school board members and state legislatures working together to repeal and replace Common Core. -Carol Boston