It's easy to make promises. It's harder to keep them. As your elected trustee, I’m committed to every student, in every classroom, every day. During the past 9 years, I visited every school in the district on a regular basis. I walk the classrooms and I speak to the administration as well as the certificated and classified staff. I pride myself on being accessible to our parents and our community. These points are essential to moving our community forward. Over the next 4 years I am committed to the following:
Encouraging Increased Parent and Community Engagement
Every parent or guardian has the right to be engaged in their child’s education. We need to be more inviting and transparent with our families, granting them greater access and control of their child’s education. Making it easier and more accessible for parents to be involved in ther kids education will give our children more opportunities for success.
Increasing Arts Funding in Our Schools
Although art funding has not decreased since I joined the Board in 2011, I feel it is imperative that we increase the funding for arts programs in our schools. I am happy that we now have a Conga Kids dance program in most of our elementary schools and a choir program district-wide. However, I am hopeful that we can create more programs, including a robust drama program at both the elementary and middle school levels. I also feel that increasing our partnerships with community partners such as the dA Center for the Arts would have a positive impact on our community. In addition, I would love to see the district create or repurpose one or more of our schools with a solid focus on the arts.
Middle College Education Program
We have made great progress offering dual enrollment in our high schools, allowing our students to earn college credit while in high school. I am confident we can create a Middle College Education Program at the Village Academy of Film and Technology and other sites as well. This program would allow our students to earn their Associates degree alongside their high school diploma. This would give our students a tremendous head start as they begin their college experience.
Ethnic Studies for All PUSD Students
This has been a movement for years, but we need to make this a reality! We must incorporate Ethnic Studies into the curriculum for all PUSD students. In addition, we must make Ethnic Studies a graduation requirement for all high school students. Ethnic Studies will allow our students to learn more about their race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and themselves. I want to see additional courses offered that allow our students to further embrace their culture and identities.
Ensuring Student Safety as a Top Priority
With the COVID-19 pandemic in full effect, families are worried that PUSD will move quickly to bring our kids back to school. I will ensure that we will always prioritize student safety over all else. Our children will not return to in-person instruction until it is safe to do so. When that time comes, I will ensure PUSD takes all necessary precautions to ensure student safety! As COVID-19 has forced us to deliver education differently, I am committed to creating new flexibility for our high school curriculum. One way to offer new flexibility is through creating college-style high school campuses that offer courses from 7am to 7pm Monday through Saturday. Although the typical 8am to 3pm school day is still the standard, our students and employees would stand to benefit from this added flexibility.