October 7, 2020

Caitlin Galer

Pronouns:she/her
School District:Sault Area Schools
City:Sault Ste. Marie

How long have you lived in your district?

29 years

Have you received any endorsements?

No

Are you an incumbent?

No

Why do you want to be a school board member?

Both my husband and I are lifelong residents of Sault Ste. Marie and surrounding areas , I am enthusiastic about serving my community , specifically on our local school board. I take pride in my hometown , and I feel incredibly grateful that my husband and I are able to raise our family here. I am dedicated to working hard and putting in time well spent for our quality local education system. It is important to me to be highly involved in our children’s education and supporting those that work hard in our educational system.

What does education justice mean to you? What does it mean specifically in the context of your school district?

That all children , regardless of situation have access to a quality public education. That the community come together to support students in education , health , and well being. That student outcomes are at the level of highest achievement for each individual and unique situation.

If you could completely reimagine the way schools look after this public health crisis, what would they look like?

I think that our district has done a wonderful job responding to this crisis , so it is hard to reimagine what that might look like. Something I would like to see a continuation of the option of virtual learning if financially feasible. Also our district has worked hard to bring internet access to our families that are unable to obtain it for themselves , one of the big reasons being a rural location. I would like for all students to be able to access the internet when needed. This would take support from multiple agencies and from the state level.

Describe how you think parents, students, and families should be involved in making decisions within your school district?

Community involvement is key , there should always multiple levels of engagement from the board members and the district to the families. That the school be transparent with information regarding decisions and be diligent in spreading that information on multiple platforms. Likewise , parents need to come to the district with questions and information so that the school can come to the best decisions regarding their students. We need parents to attending board meetings and discussing issues when they arise.

Who (if any) are your top financial supporters for your campaign?

N/A

What are your top 3 educational priorities/goals within your school district?

1. Health safety during Covid-19
2. Student support
3. Funding

What are your top 3 educational priorities/goals at a state level?

1. Rural access to broadband internet
2. Increase public preschool for all families
3. Increased support for carrier technical education

What challenges do you anticipate this school year to COVID and what do you think your school district must do to keep students & staff safe?

This is a multi faceted question and I think our school district has been doing a great job tackling Covid-19. Some of those challenges would be staff support , increased sanitation , physical distancing , quarantines , health screenings , masks , working with the local health department , and state guidelines. Student’s health and safety , along with staff are of the upmost importance. I think they are currently making good decisions to prioritize our schools staying open without compromising the health of our children.

What should be your school district’s top spending priorities in their budget? Alternatively, what should not be prioritized your district’s budget?

The highest priorities should be resources to ensure quality educational supports , including staff , technology , facilities , and transportation.

What role do you think standardized tests should play in your school district?

Standardized testing does not always provide the best glimpse into our student’s overall knowledge or student outcomes. They add a lot of pressure/stress for teachers and students. Although , I do understand the importance of the state to be able to have a system to track learning and achievement.

If you could have an impact on your school district’s curriculum , what changes would you make? What, if anything, would you keep the same?

I would not push for a change in curriculum. I think our district is flexible with our students and their different needs.

What responsibility do you believe your school district has in supporting students’ and staffs’ mental and emotional health/wellbeing?

Districts need to be proactive with staff and students’ wellbeing. Our educators play such a vast role in our students’ lives. Making sure we provide services they need to live well and be happy carries over into the happiness of our children.

How do you think your school district should handle student discipline/and make schools a safe place for students and staff?

It is important for all students to have a safe place to learn. Student discipline should be handled in a case by case situation. It is in the districts best interest to watch for early signs when a student may need intervention.

What are your top priorities around special education in your district?

Special education is there to bridge the gap for students that need services to obtain their individual goals. As a special education parent myself I realize first hand what some of these families go through on a day to day basis. Prioritizing IEPs and 504 plans , where multiple services through the school come together to support each student’s need. Involving the parents and families in the plan for their student.

What is your perspective on working towards achieving equity within your school district?

All students are important. Acknowledging not all students come to school with the same background and even some with vast disadvantages. Making sure each student’s education is handled with fairness and inclusion.

Any other information you want to include or share?