Public schools are critical to the health and growth of our community. I have seen this over my 30 years as a professional educator.
Over this time, I have seen classrooms and buildings change to keep pace with what works in education. The classrooms of the 1980s which were appropriate for student success then are not what works in 2017. The classrooms of today need space for collaborative learning, sizing to reflect teaching activity and teacher/student interactions, and a safe and comfortable physical environment to keep the focus on student learning.
As I have visited school districts that have recently built new facilities, I have been impressed how their bond issues have improved excellence in teaching and learning. One of the most exciting elements of the school improvements in the proposed Hays USD 489 bond issue is moving beyond “fix the schools” to a focus on engineering the learning space to enhance student learning in academics and work-force skills.
The proposed changes reflect not just replacements and physical improvements; the plan for our district carry Hays’ public schools to the future. The changes in how our teachers prepare students will assure graduates of our schools and our community have that experience that sets us apart for effective teaching, workforce ready students, and recruiting new employers and employees to the community.
The buildings and learning environment in our district are at best 30 years out of date; this is our opportunity to make our community an educational leader for students who will create the new ideas and drive the economy for our future. The bond issue to be voted on Tuesday is an investment in our community, one that will serve our community for decades to come.
For full disclosure: I am a professor at FHSU and also a USD 489 school board member.