Rychter wants more communication, cohesion, in the school district

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Subway wire staff

The Stevens Point area public school board has nine candidates in the Feb. 15 primary.

Nine candidates will compete for four vacant seats on the board. Incumbents Jeff Ebel, Barb Portzen and Rob Manzke are challenged by newcomers Jennifer Bushman, Miguel Campos, Alex Sommers, Kari Prokop, Dennis Raabe and Lisa Rychter. The first eight voters will go through the April ballot.

Questions from Brandi Makuski. Lisa Rychter’s verbatim responses follow:

What prompted you to run for the school board?

“Because I am a former district employee and continue to have these working relationships, the things I heard from teachers and the community, and what I personally witnessed while working there Below are several concerns with how the district operates. Things haven’t changed. I feel like it’s not a cohesive unity, it’s not a collaborative nature. My daughter was enrolled in the district last year and I was just unhappy to see that this lack of community was still there. This is a concern we have had for a long time. I am a problem solver by nature; we have a lot of dissatisfaction in the community with the way the district operates. I like working in the community. I love working with children, they are adults in progress. And I think I can make a difference.

Do you think some of these issues have been exaggerated by social media?

“Yes.”

So what do you think of some of these controversial issues, e-learning, for example?

“There was a lack of planning, not so much this year but last year. The lack of planning for all the virtual learning and the in-person learning, the cohorts. There was a lack of planning and a lack of listening to the opinions of employees who were in class about what they could accomplish. I think that was a huge problem. And now, I think we’ve had this achievement gap that has continued to grow.

Don’t we do that now?

“We need to start looking deeply at how we can fix this, and it’s important to hear from everyone. I really think we need to improve mental health in our district as well. One way to do this would be to improve social-emotional learning; I am convinced that consistent language is important from an early age, so it is something students can count on.

What do you mean by “coherent language?”

“At all 4K sites in the district, they use what’s called the ‘pyramid model’ for social-emotional learning. They teach the same language, how to use interpersonal skills at this young age. As they move through school buildings, they don’t necessarily use the same language for this positive behavior intervention. Moving on to secondary school, their language is also different. I work in the Waupaca School District; they use the same language from 4K all the way through high school that teaches kids to be responsible and respectful. We even have community involvement, and I’d like to see that in Point, so we can help bridge that and teach kids on a daily basis how to deal with mental health issues. Also, we don’t have guidance counselors at the elementary level. We kind of lost them along the way. Would love to see them brought back, there are a lot of kids struggling with mental health issues. »

Is there anything I didn’t ask for that you think is important to include?

“I am ready to get to work and help create a more cohesive school district that welcomes involvement that welcomes the involvement of our community, welcomes the contribution of our educational staff who work with our children and who welcomes ideas news from all stakeholders so that we can improve our neighborhood as a whole. I am convinced that it is time to restore a single and complete right to vote to the school board; there’s a reason community members vote for school board members: they’re there to help govern school policy and to have the best interest in student success. We need to get those votes back. We need to increase advocacy for student success, close achievement gaps, and advocate for the retention of our education staff. I want to make sure our educators feel valued and heard.

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