Trustee candidate Lewis seeks to solve low literacy scores

Stacey Lewis.

The following is a submission from a trustee candidate in the 2022 election, answering the queries of the Gazette-mainly who the candidate is, why they chose to run and what issues facing Prince Edward County are important to them.

What do you see are issues students face in our local schools? There are many issues students are facing in our local schools today.  The transition back to In-Person learning at school is still taking place with many students feeling some social anxiety around lifted COVID protocols, academic performance and engagement and being away from their school environments for so long.  On-line learning has left students with some significant learning gaps. Teachers and students now need to work hard to acquire knowledge and skills to get on track with grade level curriculum expectations.  Lower than preferred literacy skills, academic achievement, mental health and poverty are identified as issues faced by some of our local students.

What are your priorities for education in Prince Edward County? My priorities for education in Prince Edward County include being available to students, schools, education staff, families and municipal council to hear successes and current challenges students, schools and families are experiencing.  This position allows me to represent the needs of South Prince Edward County at the HPEDSB and help problem-solve, create solutions and guide policies that will support the needs of our County schools, families and communities.

What is your position on equity in public education? Conversations and school board policies around equity are necessary and important to the future of education and well- being of our students. Trustees help guide and revise education policies and procedures to allow for equity, inclusion, diversity and accessibility to be at the forefront of excellent education standards.  Students deserve to have what programs are right for them.  We all have a role to play to strengthen our community through equity and social justice conversations, initiatives and outcomes.

What work have you done or want to do to support local youth and their families? Being a fairly new resident to Prince Edward County (May, 2021), I am eager to be an active participant, mentor and support person to our local youth groups. I founded and incorporated a business Nurture Your Nature Mental Health and Educational Counselling Ltd. in 2016 and have many qualifications and skill sets to offer struggling youth and families (nurtureyournature.ca). As well, I have taught in the Ontario education system for 34 years. My last teaching position was as a Special Education Resource Teacher which allowed me to problem solve on many levels, support challenging behaviours and provide programming support to classroom teachers.

What is your position on privatization and two-tiered education? I support secondary schools moving away from a two-tiered system.  Students having equal access to courses will improve the well-being for all students.The challenge will be for teachers who will need to differentiate for learning and provide high quality programming to meet all levels of student needs within their one streamed classroom setting.  Schools will build their classes in a balanced and thoughtful way to ensure the greatest success for all students.. I believe in privatization for students.  I believe in public education first and foremost.

We would not need private schools and services if school boards had an endless supply of finances and specialized teacher training and educational programs available to offer our students.  We have students with additional talents and also additional challenges that our public school cannot service due to lack of funding.  I also believe parents have the right to select what type of schooling is in their child’s best interest.