State Superintendent Anne Fox spent Monday sitting in classrooms, chatting with teachers and touring six Bonner County Schools.
The visit is part of a program Fox started to stay in touch with those in education. Before the fall, she hopes to have toured every one of the state’s 112 districts.
“I want to look at the needs in each district and review their facilities,” Fox said. “I would like to visit every school too, but I don’t know if that will be possible this year.”
Fox has already been in the Lakeland School District and will be in Boundary County today.
She started her whirlwind tour Monday at Sandpoint’s Lake Pend Oreille Alternative High School. Most of her time there was in the student-run day-care program. Fox then went to Washington Elementary and sat in with a first-grader enrolled in the reading recovery program.
The class has teachers work oneon-one with young students struggling with reading.
“It’s been a positive visit. Teachers and administrators are getting a chance to get acquainted with her and show off some of their programs,” said Bonner County Superintendent Leonard Parenteau.
Fox also went to Sandpoint’s high school, middle school and FarminStidwell Elementary. Parenteau said she paid particular attention to class sizes and building maintenance, problems that plague districts statewide.
“I always hear a lot of concern about large class sizes and the condition of facilities,” Fox said. “Those are important parts of education. When you have a stressed environment and stressed teachers, it’s a lot harder to function in the classroom.”
Fox hopes her state tour will garner her some support from teachers and administrators. But she also plans to take her findings back to the state Legislature and help districts find solutions to their growth and money woes.