Rod Ross – Independent

By September 24, 2018General

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Rod Ross for Township of Langley School Board Trustee

Langley School Board is in an enviable position as compared to many other school districts. During my term the Board has seen many improvements. Among those improvements are the;

  • New Willoughby Secondary School. 
  • Hiring of our passionate new Superintendent Mr. Gord Stewart 
  • Implementation of our new Mission and Vision Statements.
  • Supported and champion of the Langley School District Foundation with over $3.7 million in bank and flow through funding of $10-12 million since the we started it 13 years ago.
  • Financial house is in order. Continually live within our means. 
  • Audit Committee meetings strengthen our financial accountability.
  • Rainy day fund of $2M to fund uncontrollable emergent issues 
  • Regular meetings with all out Stakeholder groups (LTA, CUPE, LPVPA, DPAC and Excluded Staff), MLA’s and Liaison with Township and City of Langley 
  • Student Leadership opportunities in all our schools.
  • I.D.E.A. Summit.  Student showcase for entrepreneurial ventures and social enterprises.
  • Growth of our International Program which expanded its revenues to $14 million.  This extra revenue allows us to support technology in our schools.

That being said it looks as though we are in a very good space. This is the truth. The Board is functioning well. The District is healthy financially, its leadership is passionate and committed to excellence and it has a new vision to be an “innovative, inspiring and unified learning community.”

Why am I running for another term?

Growing District Needs New Schools
I am concerned about our future. I can see a future need for facilities in particular in the Willoughby area where growth is going through the roof.  This is of paramount concern for us and one that will command much of the new Board’s attention.  Where we have set the task for our teachers to create an environment where “learners are knowledgeable, skilled and innovative”…we will have to model this at the Board table even more so.  It is time for us to look for innovative ways to design, build and fund our buildings.  The current paradigm of the government funding our every building need must be challenged.

Student and Community Safety
Earthquake Preparedness.
Langley Schools have appropriate emergency preparedness protocols in place and yet they have not been tested.  I am concerned that we are ill-prepared for the “Big One”.  My belief is that schools will be expected to support the broader community that it lives within.  Therefore our level of preparedness needs to be elevated to go beyond our school walls.
At present we have initiated a district committee.  This committee has made improvements and I am proud to say we have an emergency kit in every classroom in the district.  This important work must continue and expand.
Cyber Security Risk
Warren Buffett says, “We have a pretty good idea of the probabilities of a quake in California or the probability of a 3 or 4 hurricane hitting Florida or wherever it may be. But we don’t know what we’re doing in cyber. I think anybody who tells you now that they think they know in some actuarial way what the general experience is likely to be in the future or what the worst case would be, is getting ahead of themselves, and that’s one of the reasons I say a $400 billion event has a roughly 2% probability per year of happening. Cyber is unchartered territory and it’s going to get worse not better.”
I regularly ask for updates on our cyber-security status in our audit/finance committee.  As the world struggles through this we need to ensure the safety of our computer information systems to protect sensitive personal information.

We are all in this together!
I have always used this tagline in all my campaigns…it is still foundational for me in everything I do.  Langley Schools and community is a great place to learn, work and live but we must never forget that it is a team we play on and no one succeeds when someone loses.  Life is not meant to be a zero-sum game.  We must ensure that every student is successful…our society cannot afford to to lose even one.  It may seem quaint…but I do believe…we can do great things together!