Mary Loveland says that if she's elected to a second term on the Lawrence school board, she would continue to advocate innovative programs that benefit both students and teachers.
Loveland, 42, said one exciting development in curriculum during her first term was the adoption of the Transition Math program. Taught at the seventh-grade level, Transition Math integrates mathematics, pre-geometry and pre-algebra, making it easier for students to move on to courses focusing on algebra or geometry, she said.
Loveland said the board also has examined the possibilities of developing a districtwide preschool program.
"ONE OF the most important issues in the next several years will be school readiness and what measures we can take to improve that," Loveland said.
During Loveland's term, the board has established school improvement teams at each school building. And though each team is fairly autonomous, Loveland said, "there are some common threads that run throughout these school improvement efforts." She said many of the elementary schools are working to encourage students to read and to get parents more involved in education.
Loveland said another board priority, staff development, is just one of many reasons the board decided to purchase the former Elks Lodge to be used for offices and storage space.
"Staff development is offered on Wednesdays. There is no place in the district to have an instructive session for the group of teachers who are taking the course, so it's conducted in the basement of a church," Loveland said. "One of the advantages of the Elks building is we hope to have the space in there for these kinds of conferences."
Loveland said the building also would free up classrooms presently being used for storage or staff offices.
"NEW YORK SCHOOL got a lot of serious attention from the fire marshal this year because of where they had to store some of their equipment. We have kids taking instrumental music in hallways," she said.
Loveland said people also might not understand why district property taxes sometimes increase more than city or county taxes.
"The district only has one source of taxation. The city and county have multiple sources of taxation," she said. "The district has responded in very specific ways to growth. When we get new students in here and we exceed the class-size standard which is district policy then we add a teacher."
Loveland, 3108 Campfire Ct., has been active with youth sports programs. She and her husband, Chuck, have four children, all of whom attend Lawrence schools.