I, John Bradford, am announcing my registration in the municipal election to be your voice as a Trustee on the public Grand Erie District School Board.
To understand my motivation for this new advocacy role, you can see the philosophical approach that I bring.
“What you have accomplished does not define you, it informs you. You are learning through every experience and sharing where possible.”
I have recently concentrated on two community initiatives, beyond my priority for family.
For over a decade now, I have served as the Chair of the Brantford Family Physician Recruitment Task Force bringing new Family Docs to Brantford to meet the explosive need of local residential growth. Working, as a Task Force, with the municipality of Brantford and our hired recruiter, we have competed with other regions and despite the competition been recognized for our tremendous success. It is a moving target and we strive to stay ahead of these challenges each year.
After several years on the Board of Directors for the Lansdowne Children’s Centre, it is humbling to accept my appointment as President of the Lansdowne Corporation and Chair of the Board. We meet the needs of about 2500 kids in our community being treated for: Autism; Cerebral Palsy; Speech and Physiotherapy concerns; behaviour and learning difficulties; as well as a number of critical medical diagnoses. Unfortunately, there is still a waiting list of about 1500 which we are addressing by planning a $70 million new facility locally.
Both opportunities give me an outlet to share my decades of governance, problem-solving and cooperative leadership experiences.
As my own children and grandchildren have come through the Brantford Public School system, I have seen the past Covid years especially catastrophic in the education system with untold long-term consequences to the kids and their families.
WHAT YOU HAVE TOLD ME SO FAR:
-It has been a different culture during the pandemic. Certainly, not one allowing for traditional event planning or peer gatherings. How will the absence of social interaction be rectified, offering inspiration for the students?
-In addition, information sharing was was less effective in zoom meetings or social internet platforms, leading to conflicting messaging to staff, parents and the kids themselves. Families are frustrated and many feel unheard.
-Much has been experimented during this crisis, including changes in institutional delivery and learning objectives. It will be years before the full analytical impact is fully understood. However, now is the time to implement strategies to effect positive change for the next generation.
-The local not-profit and public sectors require new eyes towards creating a flexible response to recognizing the new normal. Status quo is not the answer. My advocacy around healthcare, education and responding to the needs of our community brings a new perspective to finding solutions.
-Families seem disconnected with institutions and want to be heard how they struggled through decisions as landed on their kitchen tables, not board tables. The community moves forward and deserves to be heard. I want to be YOUR voice at the board table.
Special needs learners, for example, have lost connection with the diminishing support mechanisms as previously offered. By contrast, some have excelled because of their willingness to stay divorced from personal institutional learning, yet the fear comes from what’s next and at what cost.
Communication, whether by zoom or hybrid learning initiatives have suppressed social relationship building for the kids. I hear from teachers and parents that since returning to the live classroom, the students are largely feeling isolated and disconnected.
Clarity of strategic planning between teachers, elected officials and administration seems to have suffered and is at an all-time low point, leading to a drop in commitment and morale.
To top it off, it’s not over yet.
How do you handle the consequences, as new covid variants complicate intended efforts to move forward?
How will the paths to post-secondary training be affected by this period of uncertainty?
Will ‘Generation Z’ become the lost generation in the history of public education?
Despite a lifetime career in broadcasting and media: from Hilarious House of Frightenstein and Hockey Night In Canada; through freelance News Journalism with the Expositor and Brant News; to my own role as publisher of 4Brant.com, I see the opportunity to explore DIFFERENT communication strategies.
Despite political experience, I am NON-PARTISAN with no agenda.
Despite having been a college professor, I am FOCUSED ON THE FUTURE of education at all levels.
Most importantly, I LISTEN AND INFORM MYSELF on all aspects of issues, identifying solutions.
I want to be your voice for your educational needs.