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

Mountain View Whisman School District

Tamara Patterson

I will bring a fresh voice to the Mountain View Whisman School Board. I believe in Diversity, Excellence, and Community. I want our children to love learning and learn to work hard. I would be honored to have your vote.

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

    COMMUNITY. With trust and transparency we can be honest about both the needs and aspirations of our community and partner together to address them.
    DIVERSITY. Mountain View has an untapped resource in our diversity. Together, we can ensure our children embrace our rich cultures, a breadth of knowledge, and resilience.
    EXCELLENCE. I accept nothing less than academic excellence for all including closing the achievement gap. Our district has made good strides with this hard work but we can and must do more.

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

    Professionally, as a product manager, I am responsible for listening and understanding the needs of my community and delivering solutions that solve their true needs. I am not an education expert and am looking at these hard problems from the lens of someone that stays laser focused on priorities and makes decisions based on results and data.

  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?

    Just this past year, Mountain View has expanded its award-winning preschool program to be longer hours and support more children. While more can always be done, such as extending care to the end of the business day, we really need to understand why parents in low-income and English Language learning communities are not signing up. In addition to advertising the program, we should research the deeper reasons parents have not selected the district-provided preschool. Once we understand common reasons children are not attending, we can have our educational experts on staff propose how to best address them.

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

    First, we must ensure we have a strong measurement system to track progress regularly. In addition to evaluating programs across the district, there are critical steps that benefit not just students with disabilities, but all students. For instance:

    Ensuring that leaders at every level of the system and school team believe in the potential of all students
    Have school teams and families work together to understand the needs of every student from the first day and track the student’s progress over time
    Engage students in decisions about their own learning as well as parents as equal and important partners

  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?

    We need to value all parents, including parents that aren’t present. We need to make it a safe environment for them. We need to ensure there’s a sense of ownership and provide resources so that parents can be engaged. Bring parents in so they are proud of the school and feel like they are active partners in their child’s education. Our community has strength in our diversity and I believe this is an asset many families value about Mountain View.