October 6, 2020
School District:Sparta Area Schools
How long have you lived in your district?
Have you received any endorsements?
Andy Jensen, Sparta School Board President
Are you an incumbent?
Why do you want to be a school board member?
I have valued my time on the school board over the past 7 years and feel that my individual contributions have made a positive difference. I would like to continue on that path.
What does education justice mean to you? What does it mean specifically in the context of your school district?
Providing educational options that meet the needs for each individual child.
If you could completely reimagine the way schools look after this public health crisis, what would they look like?
Stronger for what they have had to deal with and the way handled it
Describe how you think parents, students, and families should be involved in making decisions within your school district?
I believe that all stakeholders opinions and input should be strongly considered and discussed.
Who (if any) are your top financial supporters for your campaign?
What are your top 3 educational priorities/goals within your school district?
Safety, additional post secondary programs, providing a quality education with educators that deeply care about each individual child
What are your top 3 educational priorities/goals at a state level?
Proper funding per school should be the top priority
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?
Maneuvering through this challenging situation and tough decisions that need to be made respecting parent, student and staff concerns.
What should be your school district’s top spending priorities in their budget? Alternatively, what should not be prioritized your district’s budget?
Quality teaching and administration staff, safe and well-kept facilities.
What role do you think standardized tests should play in your school district?
I believe we need to provide benchmark testing providing the results are timely so the teaching staff can make any necessary changes while the students are still in their class.
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 like to see more dual enrollment and college credit offerings
What responsibility do you believe your school district has in supporting students’ and staffs’ mental and emotional health/wellbeing?
This is very important. If support is needed it should be provided by the school. Families should get the assistance they need to support their mental and emotional health.
How do you think your school district should handle student discipline/and make schools a safe place for students and staff?
We have a very good foundation for discipline. When necessary certain cases are escalated to the Board of Education for decisions on what would be the best next step to support the student and for the safety of the other students and staff.
What are your top priorities around special education in your district?
We have a top notch special education program that supports Sparta area students as well as students from surrounding school districts. Maintaining the high standard for providing quality education for each individual student.
What is your perspective on working towards achieving equity within your school district?
We need to welcome every student into our district and treat them equally. Welcome diversity and learn from it.
Any other information you want to include or share?
I have served on the school board or nearly 8 years. In that time we have hired two superintendents, passed a $56 M bond, built a new middle school to name a few. It takes time to learn what you need to know in order to be an effective board member. I feel my previous experience would be valuable especially during this unprecedented time.