How will you engage the community to improve public schools in the district?
During my time on the board, our district has made progress to improve parent and community involvement. I also think we have done a better job of communicating with parents as to what is going on in our neighborhood schools.
One of the realities in our district is that parents are busy and often don’t have the time or ability to attend school board or community meetings. I have found that visiting school sites, especially during morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up periods, is the best time to engage with parents and get feedback from them in relation to the performance of our schools, teachers, and administrators.
As a Board Member, I will engage all stakeholders in the decision-making process through monthly town hall meetings at different school sites. I will make sure that professional translators are present during all public meetings. I will push to restructure the space to be more inclusive. I will push for board meeting to be spent discussing district matters and move that we have separate public events to congratulate success. There is no need to have residents wait 1-2 hours to begin addressing district related business. We can engage the community by including the community through alternative avenues.
By creating a commission made of parents and student to represent each school, one staff appointed by board members, they will meet monthly and bring concern of and solution to board meeting.
My plan to better engage the community with regard to the school district would be to hold regular community forums where the community can bring their suggestions on the types of expertise they may possess that will help enhance the work happening within the district. I would also like to reach out to the community via paper/electronic surveys surrounding what the district can do to better engage with the community. I believe it is important to create a safe space where the community feels welcomed and heard is a significant component in the school district’s success.
Engaging the community is not simply blaming them for not doing it. It begins by showing we care. Today, if your child is late, absent, or truant, then you get a half-assed typed letter, folded incorrectly in a bland envelope. If it persists, then you get a robo-call that is often inaudible –this show’s the district is not investing in making sure you know about your child attending class.
Another example, if you have a complaint about the way you felt disrespected at a school cite, then the district makes it equally as impossible to give you resolution.
Again – I could go on.
But if we promote people by merit and not by cronyism, then we have the right people in leadership roles. There must be a sense of responsibility to the community from our public administrators. And if elected, we pledge just that.