Candidates fielded questions like, “What makes you the best candidate?,” and “What are the most pressing issues facing the board?”
One of the questions posed what, “How do you plan to preserve arts education?”
Dunlevy said arts education is close to her heart because she is a singer and musician.
“It hurts to see those cuts,” she said. “I would like to see us create ways to combine arts education with other subjects. We need to be creative.”
Flood said, “We have a strong arts programming and have made a commitment to devote time to the arts.”
“The Red Pride marching band is heading to state this weekend,” he said. “You can see that we have continued to focus on the arts.”
Johnson said fine arts is a necessary part of the curriculum because students would just “check out” if all they did was academics.
“And you can see those students who have success with academics are also excelling at the fine arts like music,” she said. “You have to be able to exercise that part of your brain.”
Mansfield said the district’s fine arts program leaders work hard at keeping their curriculum integral to the student body.
“The arts are an important part for the overall education of students,” he said.
The subject of the district’s calendar was also discussed. This year the Plainfield Community School Corporation deviated from popular practice to go to a balanced schedule. They chose to go to a modified schedule but didn’t change to two weeks for fall or spring breaks.
“We decided to go one week in the fall because testing dates do not change,” Mansfield said. “We felt that we would lose too much instruction time before testing.”
Johnson said the board looked at what benefit the “balanced” calendar would have for the district. And they found after asking teachers, employees, and parents that they would do the modified schedule.