"As a man who has high ownership in the success of our children and the executive leadership skills to support a school district that is the finest in the state, I am excited to announce my candidacy for school board. I am running because I care about our children, their future and our community. I want our schools to reflect the community and what we value and I want the greatest opportunities possible for our children. Being united as a community is critically important and I want our board to engage the community so every child can succeed."
Jason Levash, 11/30/2021
Family Fun Before the 4th Parade - Thiensville
Unity as a Community
Strong Communities Build Strong Schools. Raising the next generation is a shared responsibility that we all have ownership in. When families, communities and schools work together, students are more successful and the entire community benefits. Being united as a community is critically important if we want our children to succeed! Moving forward, I want our board to engage in new ways so every stakeholder can play a role in ensuring every child can succeed. While at times we may not always agree on the approach, we need to be respectful of each other, speak the truth and engage in the process. We cannot forget the common goal of providing the best opportunities for our children and their futures.
WE CAN DO THIS.
Learning Loss is Real
Learning Loss is Real - Most of our children have not been able to learn at the same rate as in normal, pre-pandemic years. This prolonged period of time has impacted students academically, socially and emotionally and has presented many challenges to students, educators, and parents. The district needs to ensure its academic recovery plan is being deployed with fidelity and supported with adequate resources. The plan needs to be studied frequently for effectiveness and actions need to be taken to adjust the plan to ensure ALL students are on a trajectory to close the gap. Equally important, we need to provide resources to support our children’s social-emotional health. As we emerge from the pandemic we cannot forget the impacts it has had on our children and we will need to adjust for years to come in order to position our children for future generations of success.
Learning During the Pandemic
In person learning is best for the majority of children and families for academic and social-emotional growth. The district must balance the need for in person learning with prudent mitigation practices. The benefits of having our students in classrooms is clear and as a community we should make the commitment to taking personal responsibility so our children can be at school with their peers and teachers! During this time we also need to provide grace, be empathic and provide support to our students, district staff and parents as it is a complex period of time we are living through and learning from.
We are all human, different and unique with strengths at varying degrees of readiness. All students need to have access to opportunities and supports unique to them so they can be successful today and to prepare them for college, careers and life regardless of their current ability, socioeconomic standing, race, gender or disability. I do not support practices of isolating children or taking away resources or opportunities from one to provide to another. We need to advocate and be empathic for all children; they are part of our community and our future!
The district has a responsibility to engage with parents and community members using various methods so everyone knows how the district and schools are performing, progressing strategically and operationally, how decisions are made and spending taxpayer resources. It is also the responsibility of the district and board to ensure the “voice of the customer” is included when making decisions; clear expectations on how input is going to be used also needs to be shared at the forefront. Ensuring transparency and having a “source of truth” will assist in building trust and fostering positive relationships in support of the district.
MY CORE BELIEFS
All students can learn and it is the district’s responsibility to ensure every student has the opportunity to succeed.
Educational opportunities need to be available to ALL students including those with disabilities and gifts.
All students have the right to learn in a safe and supportive school environment that provides for the whole child.
Academic excellence is built on rigor and relevance. Rigor ensures students are challenged to develop advanced skills and knowledge. Relevance helps students see the value of what they are learning.
In order to unlock academic excellence the social-emotional learning needs of students need to be incorporated into the learning community.
Instructional leadership should be the top priority of the district; systems need to be in place to ensure operational demands are not competing with teaching and learning.
Parents and Community
Engaging the whole community and developing rapport and respect is critical for elected officials.
Connecting with the community to ensure their input is being used during the decision making process.
Processes for parents and community members need to be accessible, easy to navigate and responsive to their ideas and concerns.
Need to be valued as they are critical in order to achieve success.
Employee Engagement Matters; benefits of employee engagement include lower absenteeism, decreased turnover, increased student engagement and increased student achievement.
Total Compensation; the district needs to ensure market competitiveness with salaries and benefits.
The role of a school board is governance in nature.
Transparency in the decision making process is critical to build trust.
Being an active listener and building consensus through collaboration.
Leading and making decisions with a strong moral and ethical compass.
QUESTIONS and ANSWERS
The following document contains all of the questions asked by various media outlets and organizations and my answers to each of them: