October 4, 2020

Joe Johnson

Pronouns:He/Him
School DistrictGrand Blanc Community Schools
City:Grand Blanc

How long have you lived in your district?

12 Years

Have you received any endorsements?

Chris Swanson- Genesee County Sheriff Jerry Ragsdale- Genesee Intermediate School District Secretary Casey Lester- Flint School Board President Tim Sneller- State Representative of the 50th District Ellen Ellenburg: County Commissioneroner

Are you an incumbent?

No

Why do you want to be a school board member?

I want to be a School Board Member to bring a student’s perspective to the board and further diversify the board.

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

Education justice, for me, means that every student is given a fair opportunity to succeed. This means helping and aiding students outside of the curriculum, whether that be cost free meal lunches, after school tutoring, and most importantly, creating an environment that all students feel comfortable. This is pivotal to our school district, as we educate over 8,000 students throughout the district. With that being said, our motto, “Tradition of Excellence” sets a precedence for not just the students, but as well for the staff and faculty.

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

If I could reimagine the entire school district after the health crisis, that image would be in a fixing mode. There will be students that are behind educationally and socially. We must find strong measures to bring these students ahead, whether that be cost-free after school tutoring, additional social interaction opportunities to help mitigate the damage of isolation.

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

When it comes to making a decision, I believe families should have an extensive say with the decision making within the district. That starts with outreach to the parents and involving them in every policy making process.

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

Myself

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

-Making Trades an option for all Students by establishing trade apprenticeships throughout the community, which will allow students to work in local businesses while acquiring skills under experts.
-Extensifying life-concept courses and updating the curriculum that is currently offered to focus on personal finance for all students to understand to prepare them for their adult lives.
-Increasing awareness of the dangers of drugs in the 21st century.

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

*not applicable to my race*

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?

I anticipate there to be many issues with many students who have fallen behind because of the lacking in person instruction. Young children have a difficult time learning virtually. I acknowledge we have been doing are best to accomadate those students, but they prevail with in person learning and demonstrations.

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

Grand Blanc’s spending priorities should be invested into innovative teaching methods and finding new ways to support our faculty if it cannot be reflected in their salaries. Grand Blanc’s current spending priorities into a new sports facilities should be lowered on the priority list.

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

I believe standarized tests shouldn’t define a students success after their tenure. It’s more important to help them find what their passionate about.

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?

An impact I find necessary is an improved life skill’s curriculum. That would include updating the curriculum that is currently offered to focus on personal finance for all students to understand to prepare them for their adult lives. Including but not limited to financial skills, such as balancing a check book, establishing and maintaining good credit, investing, etc. Likewise with job skills, which would entail things such as identifying strengths and values and how to pertain that to a job, Interviewing skills, resume writing and how to negotiate a contract.

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

I find that to be a pivotal role of the counseling staff to recognize and find the appropiate help for struggling students and faculty.

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

safety and disciplinary methods should be reviewed and updated regularly. In an everchanging world, there are many blindspots that can form. Disciplinary methods should be fair and just. Students with regular behavioral issues, mentorship and other methods should be available to help struggling students.

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

Integration and regular education where they can interact socially and not be isolated from the general student population.

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

Continuing to work with outreach pograms and supporting them to the best ability of the board and as a district.

Any other information you want to include or share?