I am running for the Sparta BOE with Kurt Morris and Niamh Grano. Please vote #3, #4, & #5 on November 5th.

As soon as I start talking BOE policy, people around me drop like flies. Yes, I admit, policy can be pretty dry stuff. However, policy is what governs our district. To be a fully informed board member you must know the district’s policies even if you do not serve on the policy committee.

I see policy as a collection of documents that needs to be constantly reviewed and updated. Policy review is crucial so that the district stays current.

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For example, in 2017 Sparta rolled out the 1:1 initiative giving every student in the district a Chromebook. 

Shortly thereafter in December 2017, a policy was adopted about Chromebook usage. In that policy, it states that if a student forgets his/her Chromebook no loaner will be given out.  That policy also states "a technology device made available to students will be considered a textbook or supply, as defined in NJSA 18A:34-1."

Knowing what I now know, I would not support that policy as it is currently written. I think it’s time we take a second look at that policy.

If a student forgets his/her lunch, instrument, homework, pencil, etc., we allow those items to be dropped off at school or to borrow one.

However, we do not allow Chromebooks to be dropped off nor do we allow students to take a loaner out if the Chromebook is forgotten at home.

The Chromebook is the primary learning tool for grades 6-12 students. Yet, when it is forgotten, we punish our students. What’s a student to do all day if they forget their Chromebook? Will detention after the fact help a student during the school day when the device is forgotten?

Other districts have a loaner system, why can’t Sparta?

I also understand and support teaching our students responsibility. There’s got to be a way to marry not punishing students and cultivating responsibility.

If re-elected, I’d suggest reviewing that policy to make sure it is appropriate, reasonable and in line with the goal we hope to achieve, not simply punitive.

I am running for the Sparta BOE with Kurt Morris and Niamh Grano. Please vote #3, #4, & #5 on November 5th.