Beliefs

As a parent of a Richland Two student and as a former educator, James pledges to support the following:

Richland Two is a leader in offering comprehensive educational programs for all of its students and is a model for school choice throughout the nation. James supports the development and implementation of diverse educational programs which encourage innovation and creativity with the ultimate goal to improve school, student and teacher performance.

Students learn best and achieve their full potential in safe orderly classrooms. Richland Two has an excellent history of coordinating education and recreation programs and creating partnerships with law enforcement and social-service agencies thus creating a positive academic environment. James feels it is critical to routinely evaluate current policies and practices in order to ensure the physical safety of our students, faculty and staff while preserving an optimal learning environment.

With the state and the country in the midst of a financial crisis, James is committed to make sure that each tax dollar is spent appropriately and in the best interest of children. Richland Two has an excellent track record at managing the fiscal affairs of the district. The focus should be to continue to maintain an annual balanced budget in the operational funds while keeping the focus on long-term stability. We must continue to identify and align district resources for schools to support student learning.

Not only is Richland Two an award winning district with regards to academic integration but it also has garnered acclaim for its technology infrastructure which supports teaching and learning on a daily basis. Recent reports suggest that technology used in education yields a broad array of meaningful results. Technology makes a difference in improving test scores and helping students reach performance goals. It engages students in learning; improves attendance, decreases dropout rates, increases graduation rates and facilitates parent involvement. It allows for the effective and efficient use of data within the schools. It also provides a convenient vehicle for professional development and distance learning opportunities. Students who use technology develop the technical and learning skills, academic knowledge and work habits that are necessary for success in higher education and the workplace.

Richland Two is growing by leaps and bounds. Over 1,000 new students enter the district each year. Explosive growth results in pressures and strains on our schools and impacts the quality of the educational experience. In order to preserve our students’ maximum academic potential, it is critical to maintain the coordination and linkage between the district and development planners in our county. Strategic plans must be maintained and revised regularly for the acquisition of facility space and to preserve optimal student/teacher ratios.

Achieving and maintaining excellence isn’t easy in any school district but, Richland Two’s sustained reputation for excellence has drawn families for generations. The challenge is to find ways to continuously improve teaching and learning for all students. The success of this endeavor is based on the availability of: strong leadership within the schools, resources to support improvement, instructional strategies based on individual students’ needs, positive learning environments, and incentives to attract and retain highly qualified personnel and steadfast parent and community involvement. These actions, working together, provide the necessary framework for sustained academic improvement.

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