Let’s keep building the future together!
Vote for Bill Wood on Nov 2 (or by mail-in ballot)
Avon Grove is set to rise to a whole new level of excellence
. . . but only if we have school board members with the vision, dedication and leadership necessary to make that happen.
We need board members who are dedicated to students. As we emerge from the pandemic, our students our counting on the board to provide the supports needed to thrive and succeed.
We need experienced board members.
There are numerous on-going projects and challenges facing the board. It is critical to have people on the board with the background knowledge and understanding of the details surrounding these issues, including:
- A facilities project that has been in the works for 5 years is about to enter its next phase with the start of the HS to MS conversion. The project is currently on time and under total budget cost. We can’t afford to lose our focus now.
- AG Charter School is up for it’s 5 year renewal. Bill was on the board of AGCS and has worked closely with AGCS leadership seeking to reform charter school legislation in a fair and balanced way. Following the last 5 year renewal, Bill led the way to implement a policy laying out the timeline and details of the renewal process to ensure it would happen smoothly.
- A complex budget made more complex by federal Covid relief money coming to us with specific restrictions as to how it can be spent. A solid grasp of the details of our budget is a must.
- Education funding is at risk at the state level, and there are other legislative issues that could jeopardize our programs. Board members who have spent years cultivating networks and relationships with lawmakers and community groups are uniquely positioned to influence action in Harrisburg related to education.
We need board members with a vision for the future. “Unprecedented” challenges create unprecedented opportunities for those that are quick to learn and change. This is the “growth mindset” that AG works to instill in our students. Over the past year and a half, AG has been incredibly innovative in re-imagining and redesigning what teaching and learning can look like. Our staff has risen to the challenge. They’ve taken on new tasks, learned new skills and created an Online Academy that became a model for other districts. No one wants remote learning to become the default or even primary mode of learning. We know that learning is social. But we have a unique opportunity to harness the best of what we’ve discovered and developed with new technology and new teaching platforms and use it to provide our students with expanded opportunities that will prepare them for an inter-connected global job market. This is especially true as the new HS prepares to open its doors in Sept. 2022.
With the right vision, dedication and leadership, AG is poised to become a top innovator in the region!
VOTE on November 2 and let’s keep building the future together!
A non-partisan voting record
School board members should be non-partisan. They should always act and vote without regards to political party affiliation or loyalty to a particular party or special interest group. A school board member’s sole focus should always be on student opportunities and achievement. Bill’s voting record clearly demonstrates that he is an independent voice on the board. (Go into The Weeds to see Bill’s voting record.)
Careful and prudent planning yields positive results for facilities!
Plans for the new HS were about to go out to bid when the pandemic hit sending financial markets and construction schedules into turmoil. Despite this, the project is still on schedule to open in Fall of 2022, and is currently under budget. This led to lower taxes this year than originally projected. Successfully navigating the uncertainties of the past year didn’t just happen by luck. It was the result of 5 years of prudent planning and countless hours of attention to detail by board members and administrators. Experience on the board matters! (The numbers can be found in The Weeds)
Leading by working beyond the district boundaries!
School districts do not operate in a bubble. Bill contacted other board presidents for help securing a competitive sports season in Fall 2020; introduced a county wide resolution calling for quicker vaccinations for school employees; helped ensure timely approvals for building permits from Penn Twp; and is currently working with officials from the state, the district and the AG Charter School seeking fair and equitable charter school funding reform. Actions at all levels of government impact our students. School board members are in a unique position to network and collaborate with other elected officials to advocate for the needs of the district.
AGSD delivers top return for tax dollars invested!
Avon Grove provides the best educational value for your tax dollar of any district in the county! AGSD has the lowest per pupil spending in the county, the lowest administrative costs per pupil and delivers achievement scores well above county average. (Go into The Weeds to see the data.)
What's all this about Critical Race Theory (CRT) . . .
. . . and is AG teaching it? The term CRT is being used to refer to so many different programs and ideas that the best answer to that question is, “tell us what you think CRT is, and we’ll tell you if we’re teaching it”. However, the “No CRT!” concerns seems mostly over how we teach/talk about discrimination in America. Bill supports a full, factual and age appropriate accounting of systemic discrimination in our history, as well as discussions of it’s effects. He does not support teachers telling students that they are either “oppressors” or “oppressed” because of who they were born. Bill also does not support banning books, censoring classroom discussions and putting cameras on teachers to police what they say, which has been suggested by supporters of his opponent.
What is DEI and why is it controversial?
DEI stands for “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion”. DEI initiatives seek to ensure that every student has the right resources they need at the right time in order to learn and thrive (equity), and that the school environment is one where every student is respected for who they are (Diversity) and feels connected, accepted and valued (Inclusion). Bill’s opponent and his supporters are trying to keep DEI initiatives out of our schools by connecting them to CRT (see above). They seem to want to define “equity” to mean “equal outcomes” as opposed to equitable access to resources and opportunities, and some have suggested that respecting diversity inherently leads to racial or ethnic segregation, and that an equitable distribution of resources is inherently discriminatory. This is patently false.
What is SEL and why is it controversial?
SEL stands for Social and Emotional Learning. All learning is social, and every social interaction has an emotional component. In recent years, educators have become increasingly aware of the research that demonstrates that social/emotional skills, academic achievement and future success are inextricably linked. Educators are also becoming aware that as automation and AI take over more and more jobs, the ability to work on a team, collaborate and collectively problem solve (skills acquired through SEL) will be essential. SEL initiatives seek to address this reality. My opponent and his supporters are trying to connect these essential skills to CRT (see above).
The video below is of the speech Bill Wood gave at the groundbreaking of the new high school. It sums up many of the reasons why he volunteers to serve on the school board, and his commitment to public schools.
(Use of this publicly available video is not meant to imply endorsement by the Avon Grove School District.)
Quality public schools increase the quality of life in the community.
The focus of the board should always be on the needs of all students.
All members of the community are both the owners and customers of the district.
The district should be a good neighbor in the community.
“The worker of the future will need refined skills in managing their work, a broader range of communication styles, and the ability to manage a fragmented suite of collaboration tools and technologies. While many students in K-12 are getting learning opportunities in these skills with remote/hybrid learning, students need help developing a growth mindset, becoming more self-directed and disciplined, learning to prioritize, and overall more digital fluency.”
Article from EdWeek, “Top US Companies: These are the Skills Students Need in a Post-pandemic World.” (3/2/2021)
Unprecedented challenges lead to unprecedented opportunity for those with the vision to see it. The process of developing our Online Academy has given AG the skills, tools and technology platforms to build whole new ways for our students to collaborate, connect and learn so they will be prepared for a diverse, global job market. Now is the time to bring Avon Grove to the next level of excellence in preparing our students for a changing future.
“If you think education is expensive, don’t try ignorance! Support your local public schools.”
Quote on a plaque seen by Bill every day growing up.
When the pandemic hit, there were countless extra hours required by all district leaders, including board members. Bill spent additional hours outside his role as board member working with community groups, churches and local food banks to help ensure that all of our students were fed, had a device and were supervised by a responsible adult during the school day so that they were ready to learn. The focus of Bill’s adult life has been helping young people grow, thrive and pursue their dreams. Especially those young people who lack the means, resources and access to opportunities.
“Asking the right questions takes as much skill as giving the right answers.”
Robert Half – Founder of Robert Half International, Inc.
At the start of the year there was a heated and divisive debate both in the community and amongst board members as to whether and when our students should be required to wear masks. Nearly all of that debate centered around the efficacy of masks and how much risk the delta variant poses. Of course, the health and safety of students and staff is paramount, but the role of a school board member is education. To provide the best education, our students need to be in school. So, Bill moved beyond the health and safety question and focused on the question, “how do we keep kids in school?” The answer was straightforward. Masks keep kids in school because if all students are masked no one needs to quarantine. In the first week of school with masks, 74 students were quarantined. Bill’s leadership brought about a change in our masking policy which likely prevented over 100 students from going into quarantine during week 2. (***A mask mandate from the governor now supersedes any local board decision.)