What’s your issue? Class size? School budget? Overcrowding at Roosevelt? Redistricting? Rising taxes yet a lower district rating? Technology? Facilities?

As a candidate for the Board of Education, ALL of these are my issues. And as residents of Westfield, I am confident we can use our collective resources and intelligence to address these issues, while providing our children with the excellence in schools they deserve.  In order to do that, our conversations must shift to put teaching and learning at the center.  We must ask and address head-on the following questions: Are we being innovative enough to utilize the resources already existing in our schools?  How are we ensuring that classroom instruction and the school environment are meeting the needs of all of our children- children with special needs, gifted children, and children who thrive in the regular classroom setting?  And are we supporting our teachers with the right kind of professional development and materials so that they may meet our children’s needs despite the ever-increasing challenges? When the conversation focuses on teaching and learning, decisions about class size, budgets, technology, and capital improvement are brought into perspective.  It’s a collective conversation that needs to involve us all.

Yes, class size should be smaller. But, if we can’t afford another teacher, the conversation needs to be about how we can best support teachers so all students’ have the opportunity to reach their potential. Yes, the technology needs of our district schools vary greatly. But if we can’t afford new computers or SmartBoards, the conversation needs to focus on coming together around a shared vision.  What do we want the technology to look like and how do we want the technology to improve our students’ learning experiences? Then we can confidently and collectively initiate partnerships with companies and industry in order to support our district-wide technology needs and vision.  These are the conversations I want to have and the questions I will address head on. And although the issues are big, seemingly bigger than what goes on in the classroom, each conversation needs to begin with what is truly best for our children.  My professional background in teaching, curriculum design, and administration makes me well poised to meet these challenges. If elected, I will focus the discussion around teaching, learning and what are best practices for our schools in this economy.  Please contact me at KurstedtforSchoolBoard@gmail.com or visit me on Facebook at “Rosanne Kurstedt for the Westfield School Board” for up-to-date information regarding my campaign.

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Rosanne Kurstedt, PhD

Candidate for Westfield School Board