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Patch Blog: Issues Facing the St. Louis Park Public Schools

­­­I want to hear from you about your thoughts and concerns for the school district. Here are some issues I have already heard discussed that will need to be on the school board’s agenda. I will address several of these in depth in future blogs.

We need to stay on top of and address space concerns in a timely fashionPeter Hobart is slated for a lunchroom expansion and the addition of two classrooms.

Expansion at Susan Lindgren and Aquila will hopefully be made possible by the passage of a levy this fall. Some people are concerned that the additional space will not be sufficient, and the addition of free all-day Kindergarten for all that desire it in fall, 2014, while generally appreciated, could complicate space issues.

We need to embrace the mission of life-long learning to our entire community.

More than 75% of our households in St. Louis Park do not have school-age children. The school board needs to embrace as its mission the life-long learning of all the residents of the school-district. If a new community center in St. Louis Park is built, there would be opportunity for new community education facilities.

We need to ensure equitable success for all students.

While there have many laudable initiatives in this district, the achievement gap still remains unacceptable. We must ensure our programs benefit all students.

We need to say no to train re-routes that affect the learning and safety of our students.

Having trains that pass right next to the PSI playground, and having greatly increased train traffic past the High School and Peter Hobart, is just totally unacceptable.

We need math and science education that fits each student's ability and learning style.

We must ensure that the technical curriculum is not only tailored to the upper tier of students. There may also be specific additions to the technical curriculum that should be considered, e.g. classes in computer programming or in graphics design.

We need to maintain a balanced curriculum.

This should include a broad exposure to the arts for every child and more opportunities in the arts for older students.

We must continue our efforts to ensure that every child that could benefit is enrolled in preschool classes.

We must embrace our mission of providing the highest quality early learning and development for every child.


Committee to Elect Jim Beneke
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