Blue Valley schools have been one of the core features making living in Overland Park so desirable and the reason many families moved to the Blue Valley district in the first place. In recent years, we have seen concerning issues develop in our schools that parents are right to question, with student achievement levels falling significantly below where they were five years ago.
Mike will help bring a Back to Basics mindset that will lay a foundation that our students can build on to innovate. Mike will redirect our mission so our kids are inspired to not just be a part of our communities, but also to help those communities do great things.
As many families have felt shut out from the schools, Mike will help to involve families in our schools. He will redirect the school board to be better stewards of our children’s future and our patrons’ tax dollars. Mike will partner with our teachers and administrators to give them the tools to help get back to the basics of learning, create a better learning and teaching environment, and get Blue Valley Schools back on track for excellence.
The following are Mike’s Key Priorities:
Return Academic Rigor to Blue Valley
The pace of learning at Blue Valley has slowed down in recent years, which has shown through in our test score performance. We need to get Back to the Basics of learning, so our students can build a strong foundation that they can build off of to be innovators for our future.
No Politics or Social Engineering
Politics have infiltrated our schools and we are spending more and more time and resources on things best left to families. The lack of focus on basics by the current regime has not only impacted our students but has also impacted our teachers and administrators. Focusing on things like Social Emotional Learning have left students depressed, confused, unchallenged and bored, which has led to an increase in discipline issues in our schools. This has led to increased teacher attrition, as the teachers are not being given the tools to maintain orderly classrooms. We need our teachers to challenge our students academically and behaviorally, which will in turn provide a more positive work environment for our teachers and a more positive learning environment for our students.
Sound Financial Stewardship
Our Board stopped being stewards of our tax dollars and began rubber stamping projects that they felt would make them look good, while not having the financial capability to figure out how to provide bus service to the entire district in one of the most affluent school districts in the Midwest.
This has caused the aforementioned lack of focus on core academics, which has led to lower performance and has led many Blue Valley to take their children elsewhere. After years of consistently increasing enrollment, we now have flat to declining enrollment, which if left unchecked will lead to a spiral of decreasing enrollment which leads to lower funding which then leads to further decreasing enrollment. Mike will break this cycle by ensuring Blue Valley is spending our tax dollars in the classroom and not politics or other extraneous projects that do not add value to the core mission of our schools.
Focus on safety
With the increasing disorder in our schools, there are also increased safety concerns. Our daughters aren’t safe in bathrooms because of policies that allow boys to use the same bathrooms. And not all of our elementaries have School Resource Officers (SROs) because our Board has devoted its resources to putting politics into our schools instead of safety. Mike will reallocate funding and help to modify our policies to ensure the safety of all our children in schools.