Sunday, February 19, 2012

::Every Child and the Whole Child

Parents expect schools to prepare children for success in life beyond high school, whatever they choose to do. They want schools to educate the whole child and achieve beyond success on high-stake tests in a few academic subjects. In many communities, budget shortfalls, combined with a narrowed focus on the MCAS, are causing other areas of children's learning to be neglected or eliminated.

Our schools can and should provide a well-rounded education that meets the needs of the whole child. This is accomplished with a rich, varied and engaging program for all children; schools that succeed by meeting students' individual needs. Attention to a child's social and emotional development is as important as academics, enhancing complementary learning skills, things not  currently measured, like creativity, problem-solving, critical thinking, and diligence. 

I am proud to have played a part in moving these ideas forward for students in our schools. I feel we do this better than most, but we can improve, too. 

We could embrace a broader vision and definition of accountability.  District report cards could include indicators of quality that expand upon standardized test scores.  These report cards would be tools for promoting greater involvement of parents and community agencies and would assess school leadership, learning environment, school climate, parent and community involvement, and staff development.

I welcome your input for keeping our schools on track.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

::A Champion for Our Schools

Every child and the whole child. Now more than ever our schools need champions. I am one of those champions. Our community has faced one of the worst economic crises in recent times. As a School Committee member, I have used a child-centered lens to constantly ask: How does this decision affect the children in our classrooms? How can we protect what we do best? How can we continuously improve?

Sunday, February 5, 2012

::School Matters

I will continue to engage residents on topics of concern and interest at Panera Bread in Lexington Center (1684 Mass Av) and at other dates and times as noted below:

Friday, February 10, 8-9 AM.  Special Education.
Monday, February 13, 8-9 AM. Technology K-12: Where are we going?
Wednesday, February 15, 8-9 AM. Our Community: What's the long view?
Thursday, February 16, 7:00 PM. League of Women Voters' Candidates Night
Friday, February 17, 8-9 AM. Our Schools: What's missing?
Saturday, February 18, 2:00 PM. Chinese American Association of Lexington Candidates' Forum.

For updates to this list, visit and visit my campaign facebook page: Mary Ann Stewart for Lexington School Committee