Santa Clara County Voter's Guide On Children's Issues

East Side Union High School District

Derek Grasty

http://derekgrasty.com

My mission is ensure our students have a world class educational experience second to none. Our students are the future leaders of our community, state and nation. We have an obligation and duty to provide students and families with the resources they need to thrive in an ever-changing.

  1. What do you think are the top three issues affecting our children and families and how do you propose to address them?

    Students are our future and 1) need to be college, career and life ready; 2) We should provide counseling services for families in need for their mental, emotional health and well-being, and 3) make schools a safe haven for learning and community space. Housing is an issue for our families. We need to make sure families are connected to local agencies for food, shelter and housing, as well as supporting the free/reduced lunch programs at our schools.

  2. How will the priorities you addressed in the first question be reflected in the way that you approach the budget process?

    I will ensure we have quality staff at all levels: teachers, secretaries, custodians, administrators, and maintenance workers all have a vital role in creating a safe, healthy learning environment for our students. We will support counselors on our school campuses for emotional support and with guidance for post graduation education and career options. Schools must be viewed by the public as safe havens and resources for families. I will champion and promote activities and programs that support families and meet their social, emotional, academic and health/physical needs.

  3. What steps will you take to address the high cost and lack of availability of quality child care and preschool programs in our communities, especially for low-income children and English language learners?

    I always support and advocate for programs that meet the needs of the community. This includes quality child care and preschool programs. I have been principal at schools that provide preschool programs for students, including special education pre-school. Childcare is always an issue for working families. I will continue to lobby Sacramento for child care programs that are affordable, low-cost or no cost for all families, particularly low income and English language learners.

  4. What steps will you take to improve inclusion and outcomes for children with special needs or with disabilities?

    Students of special needs or disabilities should be treated with dignity and respect. They are entitled to a quality education, and access to programs available to general education students. Special education students should been in a least restrictive environment, so they may thrive. Special education students should be included in all programs and activities as much as possible, such as: music, physical education, and art are activities that allow special education students to "shine." I have as always included special education students in school functions and activities as a teacher and principal. I will continue to advocate as a B-Member.

  5. Much of the student achievement gap has been linked to the "opportunity gap" that low-income children and children of color experience, including lack of access to healthy food, preschool, tutors and enrichment activities. If elected, what steps will you take to address this issue?

    Schools should budget for before and after school programs so students have opportunities to catch-up and close gaps in learning. Continuing access to AP courses and advanced math courses will also provide opportunities for access to college. Our schools should continue with the federal programs that support healthy eating habits with workshops for parents. Enrichment activities such as field trips and assembly programs should be promoted for students, including students of color. I will continue to advocate for preschool for students as we connect with our feeder school districts and provide a seamless transition from middle school to high school.