Chris Schor, District D candidate for Douglas County School Board

District D

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Chris Schor moved to Castle Rock with her family 23 years ago. She was hired as a first-grade teacher in 1977 at Acres Green Elementary in Douglas County. She was a kindergarten teacher at Rock Ridge Elementary, where she also taught a multi-inclusionary classroom of kindergarten, first- and second-grade students. She was the assistant principal at Pine Lane Intermediate and the principal at Castle Rock Elementary. Schor currently trains directors, assistant directors and teachers in Mapleton Public Schools. She is also the acting director for an initiative to engage middle school students. She has a bachelor’s degree and a master of arts in education.

Contact: Chris Schor, PO Box 951, Sedalia, 80135 or Chris4DCSD@gmail.com

Campaign website: Chris4DCSD.com

Why do you want to serve on the board of education?

Because I value our students and educators; and I want the district to be the district our children deserve. I will use my leadership experiences to work with other board members to prioritize student needs and academic achievement, restructure budget expenditures and retain and recruit high quality teachers and principals.

Following years of dissension, what can be done to bring a sense of unity to the Douglas County School District community?

As a former principal, I have experience in effectively listening to and engaging teachers, students and parents. I have found that when communication breaks down divisiveness grows. I believe that these divisions can be bridged when the board of education is willing to listen to the community. I will work with and encourage my fellow board members to help restore trust and bridge the division in our community. I will also foster transparency and assist in solution based conversations and problem solving.

What are the most important traits to look for in the next superintendent?

A leader who has capacity for: leadership and authenticity; building strong relationships; effective communication skills to convey solutions to current needs and problems; implementing an effective strategic plan to improve academic needs; understanding and providing for teacher retention, recruitment and training

Should interim Superintendent Erin Kane be considered for the job on a permanent basis?

DCSD is a large and complex school district. We need a leader who has deep capacity for understanding the complexities of our communities’ needs. We have an obligation to find the very best person to serve in this role in a national search. Erin Kane is a viable candidate.

Is the increasing number of charter schools in Douglas County good for the school district?

There is an amazing offering of charter schools in DCSD. I would encourage our district to continue to strive to support quality public schools, whether public charter or public neighborhood schools. I would support extensive communication emphasizing the choices we have developed and consider the fiscal responsibility of proposing more. I support public school choice and my goal is to ensure that all our public schools are quality choices. The focus needs to be on guaranteeing that all students have access to high-quality schools.

Do you support the use of taxpayer-funded vouchers to pay for students to get an education at a private school?

I believe in public funds supporting public schools. Therefore, I would not support tax-payer funded vouchers. As a member of a public-school board I would do my best to oppose any program that takes dollars away from our public schools and put them towards private schools. I adamantly support public school choice using pubic tax dollars. This would include public charter, neighborhood, magnet, alternative and online schools. Public dollars supporting private schools creates inequity and lack of accountability and oversight. I do not support vouchers or educational savings accounts, which are another form of vouchers.

Would you be in favor of a larger influence by the teachers’ union?

Attracting and retaining high-quality teachers for students is my priority and the most responsible, respectful consideration we can aspire to. Therefore, as to whether or not the teachers’ union should have a larger influence, it would be premature and irresponsible to make a statement without first hearing from the teachers, community, and understanding how that influence would affect our students. Students will always be at the forefront of my decisions.

What can be done to allow the district to keep its best and most experienced teachers at a higher rate?

With extensive experience working with teachers for many years in several roles, I can say with certainty that teachers commit to their students and their schools. I have confidence that with training and an emphasis on a positive culture, Douglas County Schools will keep the best and most experienced teachers because they will be respected and honored as professionals. Decisions based on student needs would facilitate the tone for this to continue to occur. Reconsidering teacher pay bands and using a growth model evaluation system will go a long way in securing our teaching staff long term.

Would you support a ballot measure to help the district pay for capital improvements?

DCSD currently has $120.5 million in current urgent Tier 1 capital needs. These are the highest needs of the district and could potentially shut down a school building. Total capital needs according to the last Master Capital Plan are $366 million including $84 million for new construction over the next five years. (Appendix 6, pg. 266 Master Capital Plan) There are not enough ways to cut the current central department budgets to cover the growing replacement and building needs. With these needs, I would ask the community to support a bond.

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