A zip code or street name, in this district, should not have an impact on a student’s chances of success. This goes back to ensuring all district policies and procedures are reviewed with diverse voices at the table to address systemic racism and inequities and ensuring our schools of the greatest need have the adequate resources.
Our teachers have a tough job. While academics are at the core of their responsibilities, our students cannot escape or erase the realities of the world we live in. Schools need to be a safe place for all students and our teachers and school staff need be adequately equipped and trained to create an environment where all students are supported and learning. As a district we need to ensure adequate resources are supporting mental and emotional wellness – social workers, counselors, mentors, paraprofessionals, ongoing training, and innovative family engagement.
Standardized test scores cannot be our only or even primary method of measuring success just as attendance at a prestigious school is not our student’s only ticket to success. We need to create a system where each of kids leaves with a blueprint for their individual success whether that is postsecondary education, public service, a vocational skill or trade, or entrepreneurship. All of our children, each and every one of them, has the ability to achieve greatness. It is our job to support them in that journey.
In all of my public service work, I have made it a point to be a responsible steward of public money, to ensure the community as a whole, can be supportive of the budget. I want to continue this but acknowledge this is difficult when the needs of our kids vary so greatly across the district. We do know, some of our schools need more support at this exact moment than others. The greatness and success of our district can only be achieved when all of our students can access their chosen success.