The covid disruption was hard on everyone and we must work together to rebuild trust and collaboration. I will advocate for improved communication and for building a stronger and more respectful partnership between the board, teachers, administrators, parents, and students. I will listen to and respect the viewpoints of stakeholders, and will make certain they feel included and valued in the process. I will be accessible, available, and responsive to community feedback.
Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
We must innovatively apply resources to close the Achievement Gap, which was exacerbated by the pandemic. Early intervention is crucial. Excellent reading, writing, and math support programs are needed at every school, in every grade, as not all students have the privilege of receiving enrichment and tutoring outside of school.
Every student - especially students in marginalized groups - should feel safe, seen, respected, and supported, and teachers should have high quality and on-going teacher-led professional development in diversity, equity, and inclusion. I support PAUSD's Comprehensive Sexual Health Education Program.
Using data to inform instruction and decision-making is paramount to promoting equity and building back trust. Decision making should be transparent and based on evidence and established data - not on politics or expediency.
As a career educator in public schools, I am not easily dazzled by flashy brand-name curricula or the education buzzword of the moment. I am an empathetic listener and seasoned team player whose decisions are framed by the lens of what the data and evidence demonstrate is in the best interests of students.
Mental Health and Wellness
If students are not ready to learn, they will be unable to learn. We must invest wisely in mental health and wellness, at all levels, and help students build stronger connections at school. We must understand the issues our students may be facing in today's environment, be empathetic, and assist them in finding balance. We are uniquely a TK-12 district with the opportunity to positively affect a child through important transitions. I will advocate for programs that ensure students are supported by caring adults and district policies that are made through the lens of student mental health.
Every child is an individual. Differentiation is a teaching philosophy that promotes equity and is rooted in respect for students as individuals with different needs, backgrounds, strengths, and learning styles. A "one size fits all" model does not work well for students.
At its core, differentiation is about supporting students -- all students including within a single classroom -- where they are and taking them further. This is as important emotionally as it is academically.
As a public school district, we must allocate resources toward effective, research-based differentiated instruction, and the appropriate personnel (e.g., paraeducators, subject matter specialists, and Teachers on Special Assignment) needed to facilitate implementation. We must equip our teachers with training and time for collaboration and preparation.
With appropriate support and responsive teaching methods that fit the evolving needs of students, differentiation is an equitable teaching method that lifts all students.