October 4, 2020

Craig Peterson

Pronouns:C-ray-g PEE” – “tuh” – “suhn
School DistrictWalled Lake Schools
City:Commerce

How long have you lived in your district?

41 years

Have you received any endorsements?

none

Are you an incumbent?

No

Why do you want to be a school board member?

I’m driven to advocate for improved preparedness of our district students that don’t choose college or unable to go directly 2-4 year college, increase disclosure/ transparency of our current school board, increased oversight of our current maintenance and operation bonds by voters, and work to create a collation of state schools to remove the political approach in the Michigan Legislature school funding from to Proposal A 1994 School Finance Reform Act, strengthen and update after 25 years.

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

Education justice to me is ensuring that all students have the same growth opportunities and access to programs that allow for the best chance to be successful upon graduation. In our district make sure the non-college bound students have the trainning and job awarenss to pursue professional and skilled trade jobs or programs.

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

I think kids, parents, teachers, administrators will see public health issues in a more personnel way.

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

I think individual schools and well as the district create more “School Parent Forums” and referendums that cover school operations.

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

Candidate only financed

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

1. Increase training and skill building for all non-college bound graduates
2. All teachers more flexibility in day to day class studies
3. Improvements in instruction for our wide range of special needs students

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

1. We need to either repeal 1994 School Finance Reform Act or create funding that does not put it discretionary by the state legislature.
2. The Michigan Department of Education needs to develop more balance and inclusion for development of profession and skilled trade development.
3. Are we still getting the best measurement and understanding in our current student core competency testing.

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?

Unfortunately, the winter will add the addition of influenzas into the Covid-19 containment efforts. We must be flexible, follow the science, be quick to react to outbreaks with our schools, provided all students and teachers with the PPE equipment necessary at all times, easy access testing for teachers with fast results, partner within the community health system to insure all parents and kids can be tested quickly. Proper cleaning and sanitizing of the facilities. And encourage all to speak with one voice, each day, each week.

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

Our educators are number one, follow by facilities fun to learn in. Excess exterior facilities management.

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

They serve as a general view of student level skill in a snapshot in time. And should be valued more from year to year measurement within the district and back off from the comparison on a state level.

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’m and advocate for the improvements for the non-college bound student, I would like to see us add more elective classes for professional trades, and skill building so that this group of our students are more prepared to meet the 21st century need areas like robotics, renewable energy, composites, environmental management technicians and the list is large as these skill requirements are at a premium today. I believe our college preparedness programs are solid.

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

That is a great question in that it goes to the core do we have the set aside able resources to be able to provide counseling and skill intervention. Even during Covid-19 the county has provide (3) nurses to assist for all our schools in practice and in school intervention, prior to that we had not regular health nurses in our district.

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

We have Title IX requirements and consideration along with our own local district guidelines and awareness, followed by OKtoSay awareness for our students but this system gets pressured even more when we have a world health pandemic. I think we support staff in student disciplinary matters. But it’s vital that we reinforce to our parents how we need their help every day to monitor their kids when they may be involved in a disciplinary action and that they need to follow up with their kids for a period going forward not just per a single incident.

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

Covid-19 has exposed how tough it is to provide an equal education experience for special needs students. Virtual learning is nearly impossible in many cases, and the loss of the daily experience to participate in the school process in person. So have enough teachers and qualified Para pros is mandatory, put enough new resources to provide the latest learning technologies is a must.

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

I believe if we produce a fair and unbiased assessment annually of our students needs so that in our district we truly meet our Every Child, Every Day commitment, that we create growth opportunities for all in our district We then find a equally fair outcome for all students.

Any other information you want to include or share?