Lauren's Top Priorities
Mentor Public Schools have always been known for their quality, but that doesn't mean we can't improve. Especially since the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mentor school district faces serious challenges that can only be solved through collaboration and dialogue. Here are the ones I will focus on first if I'm elected to serve.
School Safety + Security
If our kids aren't safe, our kids can't learn. Every aspect of our school buildings—from our doors to our hallways, classrooms, and bathrooms—must be safe and secure. I will make it my highest priority to push for continued upgrades and improvements in security that will protect our students, staff, and teachers—while being mindful that every space in our district should still feel as welcoming as a school should.
Transportation headaches and bussing delays continue to be a challenge for our district. The entire state of Ohio is experiencing a school bus driver shortage. From exploring targeted recruiting to driver incentives, I will work with our superintendent and transportation department to find ways to alleviate the bussing burdens felt by students and their families.
Some kids are falling behind, and they need our help. Some students are still struggling to catch up after the COVID-19 pandemic. Some seem light years ahead and need extra challenges. Yet others are getting lost in the middle or struggling with state test scores. As a member of the Mentor Board of Education, I will work with my peers, administration, teachers and staff to find the best solutions—including any necessary mental health support—that will empower every student to meet their highest academic potential.
The best way to help our students is to support our teachers. There's no question that our hardworking teachers and staff are overwhelmed. As a board member, I will work to ensure teachers have the resources they need to do their jobs. I will also make it a priority to work with the superintendent and administration to strategically recruit and retain the best talent we can find.
Manageable Class Sizes
Our district has several classrooms with 25 or more students, which is unmanageable and detrimental to their success. This school year, my daughter has been in one of the largest class in the district with 27 children. With this large class size, teachers are unable to sufficiently meet students' needs, and students and parents are feeling lost in the shuffle. What's more—such a large number of students in a class makes emergency drills unsafe. The superintendent and administration have a plan to right-size these classes over the next year, and if I am elected to the board, I will hold us accountable to that plan, ensuring healthier class sizes across the district.
Our community members need a space for dialogue. Over the last few years, I've attended our school board meetings and watched the tension between the community and the board worsen. It's time for dialogue. As a member of the board, I will pursue a plan to engage our community members in a mediated dialogue that will engender trust and help us turn the page to a more positive relationship—with our community, and with one another.