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

Mount Pleasant School District

Derek Grasty

All children have the civil right to a high quality education in a safe learning environment. I will work diligently to support diversity, equity and inclusion with respect for all. I encourage community collaboration and involvement.

  1. Taking into consideration the profound impact of COVID-19 and the expanded movement for racial justice and equity, what do you think are the top three issues affecting our children and families and how do you propose to address them?

    The top three issues affecting our children and families are: 1) Having basic needs of food security and emotional stability during these pandemic times, 2) All students need laptops and Wifi Access for distance learning. 3) Securing more resources to support our educational efforts from city and county agencies.
    I will work with district, local and county agencies to ensure students have basic needs for food and access to Wifi for distance learning. I will also be a leader for more support services for our students, including social workers and mental health specialists. Staff will also be supported with resources and support systems in these unusual times.

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

    I will approach the budget using an equity lens. The Superintendent supports efforts for respecting all cultures and groups. I too, believe all people in our community should be treated with respect and dignity. Budgetary items that address issues of equity and distance learning will be given high priority.

  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?

    We will look at the strength of our city, county, community, and local neighbors of good will to support all of our children. More resources are needed, and I see this as a major issue to address inequities in our educational system. Through partnerships with community agencies we can develop ways to support our students with exceptional needs.

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

    All students should be included in the educational process. Students with special needs or disabilities, high-achievers, English Learners, etc. all need to be viewed as unique and valued. I will ensure we have policies in place that value each and every student, while providing a high level of education for all children. These efforts include meeting the social, emotional, aural, kinesthetic and visual needs of our diverse learners. Students will have a least restrictive learning environment with the opportunity to work along-side age appropriate peers.

  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?

    I am an educator with a long history of support for low-income children. and children of color. I believe in the philosophy of Maslow before Blooms. We must utilize all district, city, and county resources and grants to ensure basic needs are met. Then together, we can address the social-emotional needs of students while focusing on the four Cs of the Common Core curriculum of: creativity, communication, collaboration, critical-thinking and problem-solving. As a Board member, I will champion District efforts to partner with civic and community organizations to support our children.