Matthew Sinde Jr.

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Below are candidate-submitted answers to a biographical survey Riverside-Brookfield Landmark sent out to all candidates running in this year's elections.

Age: 59 years old

Previous political experience:

  • Member, Riverside Brookfield High School Board of Education (2009-present)
  • President (2011-2015)
  • Vice-President (2015-2017)

Previous community experience:

  • Chairman, Zoning Board of Appeals Village of Brookfield
  • Planning Commission Village of Brookfield
  • Chairman, Brookfield 2020 Master Plan 

Occupation: Retail Sales Manager 

Education: DePaul University B.S., DePaul University MBA 

RBHS has completed or is completing a number of physical improvements to the school, particularly its athletic facilities. Now that the work is complete, on what other long-term projects – either physical, curricular or both -- should the Board focus its attention?

The Board is currently finishing up projects related to our 2013 life safety study and facility assessment. The District needs to focus on a preventative maintenance program which will ensure that the facilities provide a safe learning environment for our students and staff.

Focus on the implementation of the 1-to-1 program for our students.  This provides our students and teachers with innovative ways to support the instruction taking place in the classroom.

The administration utilization of the student data provided by ECRA to ensure that the classes and programs that we are offering will help to position them for success when they graduate from our high school.

What is the long-term financial outlook of the school district? Will there be a need to seek new revenues via a referendum, and would you support seeking such a referendum?

The current financial outlook for the high school is solid given the uncertainty of the State. We have been given a great bond rating which has helped us to secure a low interest rate when we refinanced our construction bonds which lowered the impact to our tax payers.

The fiscal problems that the State is facing is a cause for concern and, that as a school board member, we must keep these items on our radar. Such things like cost shift of the pension and property tax freeze will cost the school more money with no funding to offset these costs.

We need to be responsible on managing our finances without sacrificing the educational progress available to students.  

Are there programs or areas of the curriculum on which RBHS needs to focus more attention or less attention? How would you rate the education being provided to students of all abilities at RBHS?

The education provided by our staff is excellent, and you can see that by our test scores. The student data will show we are helping our children to succeed. We have to put focus on helping transfer students and at-risk students. Additionally, we must be flexible with our students to make sure that we are meeting their individual learning needs.

Continue to work with the feeder schools to help the incoming freshman be prepared to meet the course work that they will experience at RB. By working with the feeder schools, we can collaborate to develop a K-12 path to "college-ready" education for our students. 

RBHS is becoming a more diverse place in terms of student demographics. What is RBHS doing to address those changes? What more can be done?

Our administration and staff has embraced the challenge of educating a diverse student body. They have fostered an environment which embraces diversity and shows the advantage of diversity in the classroom within school activities. 

The district instituted a Chromebooks program a couple of years back. How do you feel that is working out and are there other ways technology can be integrated into the curriculum?

This program is a success at our school. When developing the program, it was thoroughly vetted with other schools that have implemented a 1-to-1 program. I have seen teachers and students embracing this program to help foster student success. This is a useful tool for our RB staff and students. 

Explain your views on the relative advantage of assessments and using them to measure proficiency or growth.

No one assessment can summarize a student's learning or educational growth. However, we can use these large assessments with our teachers' assessments to predict and support student learning. I am also a big supporter of the use of ECRA to use student data to help increase the direction of programming and learning at RB.

Reader Comments

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Jake Rechrent  

Posted: March 17th, 2017 8:29 PM

Mr. Sinde is part of the 7 person board who voted to dismiss teacher Jillian Musil, despite the countless testimonials from students, parents, and community members demonstrating her importance to the District. Please keep this in mind when you vote on April 4, 2017.

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