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I have formally announced my candidacy for the Chaffey Joint Unified High School District. It is time for the next generation to represent the communities of Fontana, Montclair, Ontario and Rancho Cuccamonga.

I am a resident of the area for over 35 years.

Graduate of Chaffey High School, Chaffey College and UC Riverside.

Passed the CBST test in 2006

I currently am an inventory processor for a warehouse in Upland. In my spare time I write political commentary for various blogs across Southern California.

My goals as board member are the following:

  1. Increased trades education and partnerships with organizations and schools to help get our students into these opportunities. Perhaps work with the carpenters union in Ontario, get more guest speakers at our high schools about other various fields such as computer networking, air conditioner repair and cooking to name some other fields. I want our young people successful and productive.
  2. Offer options for students to utilize a digital version of textbooks instead of taking home the book at home depending if the textbook vendors have digital versions available. Students could use the family PC or a tablet to view the books. This is also implemented in the Chino Unified district.
  3. Schools with high traffic congestion should consider staggering their start times so traffic would even out throughout the day. It is one way we can maximize our school sites and make it easier for parents and community members to navigate through the neighborhood. Medical studies have shown that middle and high school students should start school later in the day. Perhaps we could have juniors and seniors start their day at the second period and end with the seventh period as an example. Students who have activities such as marching band would still follow a conventional schedule as well.
  4. Over 60% of the Measure P bond money is still available. I want to make sure that the funds are spent in a timely matter where we do not have to come asking for more money for another 15 years.

Innovation Must Go Further

Our school district has done some very good things such as agreements with local colleges and our local online high school, but there are other ideas we can do to help make our high schools shine even more.

My first idea is delaying the start time of our schools. 1st period at 730am can be murder to a teenager. Even before the September 18th opinion piece in the Los Angeles Times this has been one of my policy proposals I would address to the board and the superintendent if given the opportunity to serve. This idea could also be blended together by splitting the start times of our schools so we can help control traffic around our campuses so we can make the surrounding communities better.

Leading medical groups such as the Centers for Disease Control and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that school start times start at 830am or later.  This is one thing we should trial at one of our school sites to see if it would work district wide. If our school kids were given the opportunity to use the later start time to pocket some more sleep, then attendance will improve which will help the district score Average Daily Attendance funds. More sleep will lead to better test scores where schools and the district rely to measure their performance for the year.

My second idea is to allow personalized parking spaces for students in our district as a way to reward Seniors for good academic performance and attendance. This would also be used to help fundraise for programs that help students in very low economic status in our district. We can help reduce senioritis, improve attendance and encourage good grades if we reserved a block of 25-40 spaces for students to decorate on campus.

If members of the community have good ideas, they should be submitted to the district office. Even if one is not a student, parent or staff member if it makes the school experience better or saves the district money it should be considered up for debate with the district or the individual school site.

Get Our Kids Reading

One thing I learned when I took some education classes in college is that when kids have low reading ability it decreases their enjoyment of school and they end up with low engagement in the classroom. I personally do not want to see our students with low reading skills end up being on the road to dropping out.

Even though we assume that our students in high school should be reading, there are some that have low reading ability and we should do our best to have an intervention before they enter our district as Freshmen or if they enter our school as a new student midway.

The intervention program would be designed to help our students develop skills to become good readers so they can be successful in the classroom and in life outside of school. Reading does not have to be textbooks, but it can also be books and other forms of media that interest the student such as comic books and young adult novels such as Harry Potter or the Hunger Games series.

I also believe that a special Reading course series should be implemented at the school sites just as how Chaffey College has them as well. This should be utilized so we can get the students who can barely read to those who are on their way to proficiency to succeed.

If we want our school sites to be successful in the new school accountability system proposed by our state Department of Education we are going to make sure that English language learners make progress in their proficiency. When our students are successful in their studies of the English language they will be more ready for the college or career vocation of their choice.

Unofficial Ballot Statement to Voters

It is unfortunate that ballot statements for the school district I am running for costs over five thousand dollars. If I had the money to have the statement published this is what I would have submitted to the voters.

Matthew Munson           Age 36                   Bookstore Worker

I am a 35 year plus resident of the district, graduated from Chaffey High School and UC Riverside.

Now is the time for the community to consider voting in the next generation to take a seat on the governing board of our school district. My vision is to promote better school to career outcomes for our students. We need more relationships with the businesses and industries that serve our region so we can get our students ready for the working world. It is noble that the district is making it easier for students to get into colleges and universities, but we need to make it easier for our students to get into trade schools and other vocational programs as well.

I want to make sure the Measure P funds last for the next generation and establish 8 year plans to figure out how the money will be spent for our students and staff in those schools. We borrowed almost a billion dollars and we need to make sure this investment is sustainable where we do not end up asking for more money for a very long time to respect the taxpayers who pay the bond off.

I advocate for having our district audited by an outside agency or firm so we can make sure district resources are not abused. It may not be evident here, but other districts in the region have had problems.

You can visit my site at munsoncampaign.org or email me at munson2014@outlook.com. Thank You for reading.

Apperances

I will be attending community events across the district. I would like to know your concerns as a parent, business owner, taxpayer, educator or whatever community you may be a part of. If I do not know what the people are wanting for their school district then how can we make it better?

On the right side of the website you can find a listing of my events and appearances.