My philosophy of education can best be described as “living one’s life while learning to earn a living.”
I believe today’s learning and teaching environment is a challenge. The students face economic and personal challenges with demands increasing yearly. As a college instructor who taught students enrolled in both high school and college, I dealt with students dealing with increasing costs of education, demands of home life such as the single mom juggling her education and home life with three children, the returning Iraq War veteran, the mid-life career changer, a student trying to adapt to the learning environment with his ADHD, as well as the suddenly homeless student whose family just lost their home to the foreclosure crisis.
The idea is the school district to connect to the varied student population all from varied ages and backgrounds, some carrying more personal baggage than others.
Another challenge is piloting the district as our governor phases out the much despised Common Core curriculum. We need A-rated schools in this district! We have to keep in mind we want American Focused Education — with emphasis on our Constitution — with parent input. We require increased attention to vocational education in the construction and maritime Trades. We can have dual enrollment like other districts with high school students attending the College of Central Florida and earning an Associate of Arts degree upon graduation of high school paid entirely by the state including books and expenses. They can also attend the district Vo Tech College emphasizing the construction and maritime trades. My father graduated from Bronx Vocational High School in 1943. We need a return of vocational concentrations. President Trump in his State of The Union insisted we have vocational education in every high school throughout the nation. We also need a return of shop and home economics classes in middle and high school levels.
I want to introduce to Citrus County the high school flex schedule currently proven successful throughout Florida, Latin America, Michigan and Ohio. A high school student can choose to work, take college courses or attend vocational training in the trades in the morning and attend his regular high school classes in the afternoon and early evening; hence the term flex schedule. This is an option to a regular high school schedule.
We need to properly utilize the village of home schooling, internet-
based education as well as inclusion and support of charter schools — public and private— and parochial education. We need release time for students to attend religion classes at parochial schools or churches. Prayer must return in public schools. We must properly support special education. Our district is too top heavy with unnecessary administrative staff while funding for realistic special education suffers due to cut backs.
I want embrace a tutoring program that utilizes logic, critical thinking skills, and systematic approaches to great study habits called the Gateway Method so our students can maximize their learning experience.
Teachers need to be respected. I want to broker arrangements with large corporations for tuition free masters degree scholarships for Citrus County teachers so they can advance in the teaching profession.
I want honest and fair hiring, retention and advancement opportunities. This is the statutory authority of the superintendent of schools.
We require discipline in our schools. One way to set the mindset is having inexpensive, required school uniforms, where all children dress uniformly. Bullying is still a problem. Paddling is still on the books. With parent’s permission, such discipline can be administered by a districtwide dean of discipline.
We need safe schools with better technology with better use of cameras, locks and inexpensive wand metal detectors for our school resource officers. We cannot deny those teachers wanting to be armed with proper training. Some teachers do have military/law enforcement backgrounds. Others have extensive backgrounds which qualify them in the use of firearms. We can make use of unarmed security guards in certain circumstances as well. We should require “see-through” backpacks for all students to enhance visibility of possible weapons.
One simple step in preventing an outbreak of COVID-19 or any infectious disease in our schools is when a child is displaying flu like symptoms the child should stay home. The CDC School COVID-19 decision making tree clearly states that absences should be monitored. We had in past years, four positions in the Citrus County Schools titled School Attendance Officer. It was a great position where these officers monitored absent students somewhat like the old time truancy officer. I would bring these positions back rather than depend on school counselors. We need boots on the ground to monitor the causes of absenteeism rather than make harsh judgement calls and brash assumptions. I have experience in preventive medicine, public health, infectious disease, and epidemiology. I am the logical choice to interact with our public health officials should the need arise.
With our increased population projected with Citrus County becoming a bedroom community of our cities, we need a superintendent who will hold our school taxes down. School taxes are by far the largest part of our property taxes. Many people moved here for our low school taxes.
We must restore patriotism to our schools. I want “God Bless America” sung in every classroom.
I want mandatory course content in civics and our federal and state constitutions.
I want the students to learn how to interact as patriotic Americans with their municipal, county, state and federal governments.
Lastly, I wish to return half my salary to the school breakfast and lunch program/Citrus Blessings.
I am asking for your vote for superintendent of schools in the Universal Open Primary on Aug. 18.
Follow me on Facebook: Dr. Paul John Reinhardt for Citrus County Superintendent of Schools.
Dr. Paul Reinhardt is a candidate for Citrus County Superintendent of Schools.