answers to the SOMA Justice and Pares Report Card:
Do you believe the BOE and school district need to improve their communication and community engagement practices? Do you believe that it is important for the BOE to be responsive in creating policy that addresses community feedback on urgent issues while also accomplishing long-term district goals? Yes or No. Please explain your answer.
- In many of the debates, past and recent, the theme of communication played an integral part; our community expresses a lack thereof. Student voices should be heard, community voices should be heard and teacher voices should be heard. In the recent BOE decision to limit public speaks to what's on the agenda, the board has muffled the voice of the community--a decision I do not agree with. What I would like to see is a more community oriented approach in which any item a community member or student wants to address is heard and the allocation of time to others is therefore limited to no more than two times.
- It’s my belief that the BOE is responsible for providing feedback and updated information to the community on all issues, especially ones deemed urgent. However, creating a policy is a way of building in more layers of bureaucracy; we should instead evaluate any process that is in place and ensure that it meets the standards the community and parents expect
Do you support the SOMSD 2021 Intentional Integration plan? Yes or No. Please explain your answer.
- All the details of the Intentional Integration Plan have not been shared with the community. What I do know about it indicates we are likely to have a controlled choice approach. What I wholeheartedly support is integrated schools and integrated classrooms. It is vital that any decisions made will not impact the 750 students of color in K-5 negatively, not just to check a box that says we have integrated. I want integration with a great implementation plan that will ensure all children’s needs are met.
Do you support the Long Range Facilities Plan ? Yes or No. Please explain your answer.
- The Long Range Facilities plan will allow our children and teachers to attend schools where the buildings and classrooms are safe. I fully support this. It is critical that we have robust maintenance contracts to ensure we do not end up having the same issues down the road that we have today.
Do you believe the district’s access and equity policy introduced in 2016 goes far enough in addressing the issues of inequity in our district (particularly in regards to vulnerable populations, i.e., POC, queer, special needs, immigrant, second-language learners, etc)?What are the benefits of the plan ? What are the highest priority areas still needing improvement ? Yes or No. Please explain your answer
- The 2016 equity policy does not go far enough in addressing issues of inequity in our district. As a parent of color with five children who have gone through the high school, I can testify that I could tell the level of a classroom by a single glance through a classroom door. The plan, although comprehensive, does not provide an adequate support structure for the most vulnerable children. We took a bold step to delevel and I support the idea of leveling the playing field, but we needed to ensure there were proper and effective supports in place to ensure success. Achieve tutoring, student conference with a teacher during 9th period are examples of the support given and this just does not suffice. We have to ask these questions. 1) How many children of color who signed up for an AP class in September actually stayed in that class throughout the term and what was their grade? 2) How many dropped the AP class or didn’t do well? If that data isn’t required to be collected then we are fooling ourselves about whether Access and Equity and working together. We need to provide the community with the measures that indicate the success of implementing deleveling
Do you support a vision for a new approach to professional development including a holistic, culturally-informed, comprehensive, systematic and sustained equitable practices? Yes or No Please clarify your answer.
- Last year when I ran, I had the opportunity to sit down and talk with several teachers. Professional Development was a common subject brought up; as most teachers felt that they didn't have any input in the type of PD they receive. Some examples shared indicated that the PD was not very comprehensive. Given an opportunity to serve as an elected Board member; I would want to ensure we allocate PD funding for teachers and support staff of our students. I would also want PD to include culturally informed comprehensive best practices and I’m sure teachers want that too.
Have you had any training or professional development on addressing racism and inequality in education ? Yes or No Please clarify your answer.
- I have no formal training in inequality in education; however, I have had training in addressing diversity and inclusion.
Do you support the placement of any of the following in SOMSD schools: School Resource Officers, Armed Police Officers or Armed Correctional officers. Yes or No Please clarify your answer.
- We do not need police officers in our schools or any armed personnel. We need to continue to support initiatives that bring students and our local officers together.
Will you commit to creating policy that makes lockdown and red code drills safer and less traumatizing for children in our district, such as the recommendations community members have made to policy 8420 ?
- The state mandates that all school districts perform drills. I do not believe we should perform drills in any manner that traumatize our children. I will support policies that allow both the legal requirements to be met as well as keeping our children safe.
Are you open to the creation of a small, special/private fund that will ensure that all students get access to the same lunch and forgiveness for small fees that hamper the receipt of a high school diploma?Yes or No Please clarify your answer
- Our community has always come to the rescue of others with our generosity in fundraising or volunteering. The opportunity to ensure children can graduate by just covering minor costs is something I would love to see put in place.
What are your two top priorities if elected ?
- My top priority includes ensuring that the children of our community are heard and represented. The sentiment that children are not listened too is not one I adhere to. The decisions we make directly impact our children; we should find every opportunity to hear their voices. The other top priority is to ensure that our children get the education our tax dollars are paying for; allowing our teachers to teach and our students to learn and reach their highest potential.