Kim Shively for BASD Board of Directors, Region 3
- An educator from a family of educators
- A Bethlehem parent to four children in the BASD schools
- Mother of 2 children on the autism spectrum – familiar with special education programs provided by BASD and the Colonial Intermediate Unit
As a member of the BASD Board of Directors, I plan to work with professionals and school stakeholders to ensure that every child in our district is a priority.
- Every child is provided a full range of courses that are Engages the Whole Student. I will always support efforts to adopt best practices in ensuring literacy and grade-appropriate math skills. BASD has invested in an intensive curriculum to assure that students read by third grade, and results so far has been positive. We also need further curriculum development in elementary school math, an effort I will support. Middle- and high-school students should have access to a variety of courses that will prepare them for college or for vocational-technological careers. For all students K through 12, the schools need to provide courses in English, math, social studies, as well as in languages, music, and the arts. And most of all – I will always remember that our students aren’t reducible to test scores. School should be a place for children to both learn and explore.
- Every child should also have access to trained professionals to assist students with academic, personal, and career Development. I will support the school district as it searches for ways to invest more in school counselors, school psychologists, social workers, nurses, behavioral specialists, and other professionals to deal with the various issues confronting the district’s students and affecting their ability to learn. We always have the need for counselors to support our students as they chart their academic paths and prepare for college or work after graduation. But one message I’ve consistently heard from different school stakeholders is that some students at all grade levels are facing life challenges that require intervention in the school setting. To meet this growing need, we must increase the numbers of specialists trained in dealing with student behavioral and mental health issues. In sum, the school district is responsible for both the academic advancement and well-being of each student, and we need the professionals to deal with both these aspects of our students’ lives.
- Every child deserves to be taught and supported by Well-Trained and Well-Qualified Teachers and other professionals. There is currently a nationwide shortage of teachers, and the teachers in the school district are trying to do too much with too little, while trying to teach an intense curriculum to 20-30 children in their classrooms. BASD needs to support our teachers and provide them with the tools and training so they can provide optimum learning experiences for students of all ages. The environment in which teachers work is the environment in which children learn.
- Every child should feel safe at school (Safe Schools). I will work with schools and local law enforcement and Northampton/Lehigh county officials to establish a system for assessing threats to schools and dealing with crises. This may include an increase in the number of safety audits at schools to make sure that schools have the resources to protect students and teachers. The whole state needs to streamline resource sharing around school safety by establishing a central location in which best practices can be shared
- We need more money for active shooter training, preferably from the state. (PA provides $8.2 million to the whole state)
Funding our schools: I will assist BASD stakeholders in advocating for some non-property-tax sources of income for the district, such as federal and state programs established to support public education (for example Title I, II, and IV funding). BASD also depends on financial and service support from various agencies, such as St. Luke’s, to assist it with its academic and health missions. More such partnerships are welcome, as long as they genuinely improve the experience of students and staff at our schools.
Public schools are the heart of the community.
Strong schools mean strong families and strong communities.
- Title I funding – for schools with a significant (40%) population of low-income students to assist disadvantaged students in achieving academic success (Trump wants to freeze).
- Title II funding – provides resources for educator training and professional development, including in emergency preparedness (Trump wants to eliminate all Title II funding).
- Title IV funding – federal grants that support schools in developing needed services, including those directed toward school safety (Trump wants to eliminate most of this).