As a parent… I spent much of my older children’s childhood working full time at a demanding job that did not allow me the time to invest in their schooling. With my youngest daughter, however, I was fortunate enough to retire early and have the time to invest in that part of her life. Teaching your child is a great commission, I would argue it is the most important and rewarding role you have in your life.
My youngest daughter is on the Autism spectrum as high functioning. She had an IEP (Individual Education Program/Plan) and was attending Endeavour Elementary when the pandemic hit. The pandemic, for good or bad, opened up the world of public education to parents. Suddenly, we were no longer in the dark as to the curriculum, teaching methods or classroom behavior (or lack of). After the worst of the pandemic and schools opened back up to in-person teaching my wife and I decided to opt for Home Choice Academy.
This option allows the student to stay at home and use a parent as a teacher utilizing the school’s curriculum via a chrome book. My daughter thrived with Home Choice. The Evergreen teacher assigned to her would meet weekly via zoom with my wife and I for fifteen minutes to review my daughter’s progress. He was amazed at her performance and praised us for the level of commitment saying very few of his students were completing assignments to the degree she was. I have to admit my wife was the driving force that year.
At the end of the 2021-22 school year we were informed that because my daughter was not at the same grade level academically as her age grade level (due to her Autism she never has been and never will) she would not be able to continue with Home Choice Academy. It was a board decision and although he confirmed she was excelling in the program, it was no longer an option and we would have to return her to in-person classes starting in the fall of 2022. After much discussion, my wife and I decided it was in the best interests of our daughter that we take her out of Evergreen and home school her. For us and her, it was the best decision we could have made. Having a college degree, I took over as the primary teacher and I’m enjoying being invested in this part of her life. Of course, with autism (even high functioning) there are tough days, but the good far outweigh the others.
As parents we want to have faith and trust in those educating our children. There are many good and valuable teachers in our Evergreen School District. Many of them are concerned about the quality of education your children are receiving. I have heard from many of them and they need some tools to perform their job better and one of them is more respect from the students and discipline. If a teacher can’t maintain control and order in their class room the chances of the students in the class succeeding at learning will be greatly diminished.
When elected, I will do everything in my power to empower teachers to do the incredibly hard job they are tasked to do. They need every tool possible to raise the academic scores of all our students. I will not rest until I see our students averaging 70% meeting standards in the 3 academics as the Camas School District has achieved.