A family is a caring and protective support system which can be biological, blended or extended. It’s a safe place. Members are people you can confide in and trust. They will put you before themselves in times of need. They will support you in your failures and celebrate your successes.
What do you think are the top three issues affecting our children and families and how do you propose to address them?
1) Stress and Wellbeing - This ongoing effort addresses the homework policy, tutorial center, extended library, 3-tier wellness plan, etc. I am on the District Wellness Task Force, which studies additional solutions. 2) Social Media (Reddit, Instagram, Facebook, etc.) - Students can be exposed to online bullying, racism, inappropriate sexual content, threats and violence. The District provides training to help students and parents recognize and combat the threats. 3) The Achievement Gap – The District supports AVID programs, offering classes to fit the needs of all students, recognizing family background issues, and providing family support within our means.
How will the priorities you addressed in the first question be reflected in the way that you approach the budget process?
1) Stress and Wellbeing: Continue to support budget for therapists/psychologists and contracts with Community Health Awareness Council, CHAC. Support the Healthy Kids Survey to help identify areas of need. 2) Social Media: Continue to provide training for parents and students in digital awareness with regards to cyberbullying, digital footprints, identity theft and more. 3) Achievement gap: Continue to support and grow AVID classes which are designed to help students develop the skills they need to be successful in college. Provide support groups and programs for parent to support students (PIQE) and add classes for all readiness levels of students.
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?
The need for high school family day care is limited. I do support Young Parents Program through our Adult Education program, which helps teens and young adult parents finish their high school diploma or prepare for the GED test. The program includes on-site childcare, transportation, and parenting education. Additionally, it’s important to me that parents with young kids who need daycare have the opportunity to attend district programs and training. Day care is offered for the younger siblings so parents can attend.
What steps will you take to improve inclusion and outcomes for children with special needs or with disabilities?
The MVLA District strives to do everything we can to support students with special needs and disabilities and will continue to enhance the program as needed. Current offerings include: Basic Life Skills program, 5th year program for students to stay in school, Post Senior Program for students who do not receive a high school diploma and have moderate to severe disabilities. Students receive instruction in Employment Skills, Continuing Education and Independent Living Skills until they are 22. A Work-ability program is available to all students who receive special education services to explore vocational opportunities.
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?
I will continue to support efforts to reduce the opportunity gap. Currently the district provides : Extend library hours, loaner Chromebooks, funding for Wi-Fi at home, Tutorial center, college and career center, scholarships for sports, testing fees, fees to participate in school functions (prom,grad night,etc.), and more. Counselors and staff continue to work to identify students who qualifying for free and reduced-cost lunches and encourage them to participate in the programs available to them.