Samantha MacLeod has a passion for education. She draws on her experience as a parent that has children at every stage of schooling: High school, middle school and elementary school. Dealing with Individual Learning Plans and advocating for her own children have given her crucial insight to the issues facing schools regarding children with special needs, as well as the roadblocks parents face in advocating for their children. She is also keenly aware of the concerns facing children of all ranges of ability in a diverse learning environment. As an integral member of her community she listens to the parents around her. Families are worried. They want to know that the changes of the last few years will not have lasting negative effects on their children.
Deeply involved in education and parenting based communities and organizations, including the First 2000 Days, she is an engaged member of the community working hard for you. Her contributions, insight, and compassion have been sincerely appreciated. With over a decade of experience in accounting she also has a keen eye for budgeting concerns.
Samantha is very empathetic, and will aim to meet the needs and concerns of all stakeholders. There are no easy answers. But through hard work, listening to stakeholders, along with an eye to the bottom line, she will strive for improvement.
Samantha will be a powerful source of new ideas, and a great resource for helping the Calgary Board of Education serve the needs of Calgarians.
Wards 12 and 14 are home to diverse families, each with their own needs. In Silverado a new school is opening in November. How well will children transition? In Cranston we are worried about whether the school will ever be finished. Families everywhere are concerned about the new curriculum. What will this bode for their children in the future? How will it affect departmental exams for the children who switch curricula in high school?
I listen to parents. Key frustrations involve transportation concerns, worries regarding math scores, and concerns regarding meeting the educational needs of their special needs children. People are very concerned with the obscure new report cards that read like Newspeak from a George Orwell novel.
CBE takes pride in its diverse programs theoretically offered to all publicly schooled families. However, congregated bus stops specifically omit families without access to an adult escorting their child to a distant bus stop. Congregated stops have been tried before, and each time, it hurts students in “optional” programs such as immersion, and traditional learning programs. This creates a two tier educational system out of step with the mandate of CBE. This is a complex issue, and there are no easy answers. I will fight for the rights of all parents to have access for their children to ALL aspects of education offered by CBE.
Can we learn from other school boards in Alberta how to streamline our spending? Can we look at spending in other countries like Finland, which ranks in the top 3 in the world for educational achievement on a tight budget?
Our math scores have been falling consistently since the introduction of Discovery math. What is going on in our schools? Parents need to supplement their children with tutors at significant cost. This also creates a two tier system that is at odds with the CBE mandate of school for everyone.
Parents of special needs children are frustrated. Individual Learning Plans are not working. Parents are required to become experts on educating their child and then pass that on to teachers. 1 in 5 children has a language based learning disability, such as dyslexia. 1 in 20 children has ADHD. 1 in 68 children have autism. Teachers are frustrated because, for many, their education on teaching special needs children is learned on the fly, in the classroom. In every classroom, on average 5 children are likely to need intensive interventions.
If elected I will advocate for a central hub of information teachers can access to help navigate the needs of students. A cheap intervention that allows teachers to share resources, so no teacher has to reinvent the wheel. The more practical information they have access to, already successfully implemented by other teachers, the better off they are. Teachers work hard. They deserve autonomy, trust, and a toolkit for doing the job that they signed on for.
I am listening. And I want to help you get the Board of Education you deserve.
I recently shared a post entitled The Elephant in the Room which discussed a topic I rarely see when we mention mental health in schools: the mental health of the teacher. In addressing the mental and emotional well being of a child at school, I truly believe we need to address teacher mental health. Teachers …
There has been a lot of concern expressed to me regarding math in CBE. Our scores on the PISA exam have not kept pace with our other achievements, and families are concerned about their children’s futures. We all know that math is essential to our children’s future, and we want to know that CBE is …
Contact Samantha MacLeod at (403) 874-1360
If you wish to donate to Samantha’s campaign for school trustee