The following questionnaire was sent to all New Westminster school trustee candidates a little over a week ago. Questions were selected based primarily on comments from readers of Tenth to the Fraser collected via Twitter and Facebook, with a few of my own questions added in. Responses are published in the order they were received. Spelling/grammar are not corrected and candidates’ responses are published unedited.
1. First, let’s hear a little about you:
- What’s your name? – James Janzen
- Do you have kids in our school system? – no
- What do our schools do well? – too many things to number – offer choices to children and parents
- What is the biggest area (aside from building schools) that needs improvement? – Engaging kids in educationally sound ways with new technology
- What education-related idea or issue is most important to you personally as a candidate? – Making sure that children and parents have choices in public education.
2. How do you think schools could improve engagement and communication with parents and the broader community? Select all that apply.
- Identify a dedicated communications resource for the district (employee or shared services) to improve communications protocols and materials
- Use social media to reach out to parents and the broader community
- Expand public consultation beyond parents of school aged kids to include those with preschool kids and concerned community members
- Improve collaboration/trustee involvement with parent advisory councils
3. Why should residents who don’t have children care about school board issues?
Because we are all going to be relying on these kids to be the citizens of the future.
4. Which of the following statements most closely represents your views on bottled water in schools? We need to educate and encourage staff, students and parents to use re-usable water bottles
5. Assuming it is possible within our district’s budget, should New Westminster expand programs of choice to include sports academies (hockey school, for instance)?
Definitely – choice is good.
6. What will you do to expedite building the new schools?
Continue to work closely with our partners, the City of New Westminster and the Ministry of Education.
7. Would you support prioritizing the construction of the new high school before the other new schools planned for the district?
8. What should be done with tiny Hume school?
We have a commuinty based group looking to see if it is realistic to keep the school open. We should wait unti we have that report before we decide
9. What more do you think schools could do to improve the health of children? (physical activity, healthy eating habits, etc.)
Do more to educate children about the value of good nutrition and physical activity.
10. What do you think of the idea of expanding the use of school facilities to act as satellite community centres in neighbourhoods that lack such amenities? (For example, offering recreational programming outside of school hours or offering free space for nonprofit groups to meet, such as residents’ associations)
Great idea, I support it.
We already do this much more than folks know!