October 14, 2020

Melissa J. Evans

Pronouns: she/her
School District:Cheboygan Area Schools
City: Cheboygan

How long have you lived in your district?

17 years

Have you received any endorsements?

no

Are you an incumbent?

No

Why do you want to be a school board member?

I want to help the children in Cheboygan Area Schools more successful in their life endeavors.

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

I want all kids to have the chance to learn creatively, and explore any and all avenues to help them in becoming successful in their dreams.

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

Schools need to be a safe zone for those who enter the hallways. They need to be comprised of a more positive place for students and staff alike. In order for this to happen, I feel that students, staff, administration , community and families all need to have a part in the schools rules, regulations and all other aspects that govern a school system so everyone can work towards a positive experience for anyone entering a given schools campus.

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

I think all the various groups should have input in making decisions regarding the school district. How can a school district serve the students, families and parents if they have no serious input into the continued effectiveness of the school district.

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

My husband and myself.

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

Safety first
All inclusive system: community, families, students, faculty, administration, etc.
A system where all students can learn to function successfully in the world after graduation, regardless of any issues he/she may have.

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

On the state level, the main goals should be:
1) Changing the current school structure to a more hands on learning, and changing to a system that could accommodate those students who aren’t planning on attending college by providing a variety of Vocational Education classes.
2) Making provisions for those students who plan on attending college to work with local business people to investigate where their interests lie so they can choose a course of study in college that best suits them.
3) Less standardized 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?

There are many challenges to this school year, as there are any year. The biggest challenge this year will be keeping everyone COVID free. I feel the best way to do this is to keep a close monitor on symptoms and taking the needed steps to help keep everyone healthy. The best way to do this is to wear masks and to disinfect whenever possible. Of course the majority of this action will be on the shoulders of the custodial staff, but maybe having the students help by keeping their desks and other items they use on a daily basis disinfected themselves.

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

Safety should be the biggest budget priority. Not only in relation to COVID, but in all other aspects of safety as well.
Another spending priority is for the best tools available to successfully teach the students.

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

I feel there is too much weight placed on these tests. There is also too much testing throughout the school year and not enough time for the kids to learn the essentials they need to develop successfully.

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 the district implement more vocational educational for all students so they can learn some trade to help them when the graduate from high school. All students should be given the opportunity to explore as many voc. ed. avenues from a young age (grade 4-5) so they can develop their interests fully. Then we as parents, educators. students and community members need to work together so the students can be successful in their post secondary education and work endeavors.

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

This is a key factor in how well a school system can thrive. If a school district doesn’t support the student and staff in promoting mental and emotional well-being then there is a good chance there could be dire consequences as a result.

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

There needs to be a multi-tiered discipline structure that needs to be followed regardless of the person being disciplined. There also should be some involvement on the student body part when developing a discipline structure. This will ultimately give the student body the feeling of helping keep the school safe for everyone as they enter any school building within the district.

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

We need to help those with special needs reach for and catch their dreams, just as we try to do with all other students in a given school.

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

Equity for all is what all school districts need to work toward.

Any other information you want to include or share?