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    2020 School Board Candidates

    Northville Public School District

October 6, 2020

Sarah Prescott

Pronouns:She/Her
School District:Northville Public School District
City:Northville

How long have you lived in your district?

14 years

Have you received any endorsements?

Yes, Northville’s teachers via the NEA and Northville Democrats

Are you an incumbent?

Yes

Why do you want to be a school board member?

I ran originally because my areas of legal specialty and professional practice (employment law and civil rights) substantially overlap with the areas in which School Districts most often make legal errors and are sued. If that happens, it is because someone asserts they were injured or treated unjustly, and it means that the District will spend time and money to resolve the matter. I had represented teachers, administrators, families/students in such suits repeatedly involving other Districts. I didn’t want our District to make the errors in the first place. I also saw other schools getting terrible legal advice, therefore prolonging the pain and cost of the suits. I wanted to insert myself as a sophisticated consumer of that sort of advice, to avoid waste and protect our people and budgets.

Now, 4 years later, with Covid-19 on the scene, these issues are even more pressing. We are re-building education from the ground up. That entails the possibility of many mistakes, errors of judgment or miscommunications that lead to legal problems. Again, under those legal problems are potential harms to kids, families or staff. I want to help us continue to focus on our core mission of educating our kids without falling prey to these sorts of issues.

What does education justice mean to you? What does it mean specifically in the context of your school district?

Education justice to me refers to the just and fair access to a quality education regardless of disability, race, ethnicity, religion, age, gender, gender identity, weight, height, exercise of fundamental civil rights or other legally protected category. It also refers to such access regardless of resources, as I believe socio-economic factors are or ought to be as compelling as these other categories.

Within our District, attention to education justice requires attention to issues such as equality of access to education (especially given Covid 19); proper training and enforcement of policies prohibiting discrimination and harassment; attention to discipline and disparities in discipline across gender or race; favoring restorative justice practices over suspension; ensuring Title IX, ADA and IDEA compliance; hiring and advancing diverse educators; promoting inclusion and celebrating diversity.

If you could completely reimagine the way schools look after this public health crisis, what would they look like?

If I had a magic wand, school would run year round. This would give time for more outdoor time and some attention to practical life skills, taught age appropriately. We would have fewer standardized tests. Teachers would make more and be regarded as professionals. Funding would be equal across Districts.

Describe how you think parents, students, and families should be involved in making decisions within your school district?

Parents should be Board of Education members, and they should attend Board of Education meetings. They should (and do) staff committees such as our curriculum review committee. They should advocate and be heard. They should be surveyed for hot button issues and solicited for input and feedback. In short, the community should have oversight over the education of our kids, both because we are taxpayers and we are guardians of our children.

Students can help us better understand the experience of education through feedback as well. Currently we host live student panels to talk with our Board and exit interviews of departing seniors. We also hear from students at many (perhaps most) School Board meetings.

Who (if any) are your top financial supporters for your campaign?

I decided to self-fund my campaign so I could answer questions like this by saying, no one.

What are your top 3 educational priorities/goals within your school district?

1. We need to get past Covid 19 and get kids returned to school safely. Judging and carrying out this transition will be a major challenge.

2. I’d like to see us re-examine our language education K-8. It is not best practice to teach young kids a language 1x/week for 45 minutes. If I could have my way, we would also look to developing an immersion program/offering.

3. We need to continue to improve differentiation in education — the opportunity for kids to work at their level of challenge, with teachers separating them into smaller units to tailor their lessons. Many kids “in the middle” especially need more attention and specific guidance at their correct level.

What are your top 3 educational priorities/goals at a state level?

1. Our educational funding system has not been revisited for decades. It is time to re-examine the system. There is no excuse for capping what Districts can receive (as Northville is capped) while other Districts receive and spend much more on their students. A student in Northville is not worth less than a student in Farmington Hills or Bloomfield.

2. The MEAP test was replaced by MSTEP, which has been a mess. We don’t get the scores fast enough to use them. Worse, it hasn’t had enough format stability to actually be useful as a year-to-year comparison (i.e. to assess student growth). The state mandates that students spend their time on a test that has basically not been perfected. I’d love to see this situation improved.

3. Without quality teachers, we cannot run quality schools. This state needs to really consider recent legal changes that have very arguably made it less attractive to become a teacher in Michigan. We face upcoming teacher shortages, and we need to be proactive in addressing why.

What challenges do you anticipate this school year to COVID and what do you think your school district must do to keep students & staff safe?

The number of challenges is seemingly infinite. As each “onion layer” is peeled back, the next issue presents itself. The issues touch operations, transportation, finance, curriculum, staffing/personnel management, community relations and many more categories. The issues around kids with special needs alone could fill up many paragraphs here.

Excellent, reliable, and timely communication is fundamental in any public health emergency. We certainly need to continue our mask mandate, continue to teach and lean on handwashing, continue to embrace, train and require at-home screening as our first line of defense. We should have a robust campaign for flu shots. We must continue our work to keep kids as distanced as possible, and faithfully use barriers in the classroom between students. Teachers need to be encouraged to stay home when sick and we need to work with them on leave policies. This is an infinitely difficult issue because leave creates the possibility of understaffing.

What should be your school district’s top spending priorities in their budget? Alternatively, what should not be prioritized your district’s budget?

Our budgets are built out for years to come, and I believe they are well done. 70%+ goes to salaries and benefits of our teachers. We have one of the lowest percentages of overhead for non-direct educational costs of any District in the State. But all that said, my priorities are:

1. Direct education costs (ex. teacher salaries, books, lights)
2. Maintenance of capital assets (ex. stitch-in-time expenditures)
3. Bus and education technology maintenance and scheduled upgrades
4. Social support costs (ex. social workers, nurse, counselling staff)
5. Administration costs (ex. principals, superintendent staff, training)
6. “Other” operations (ex. custodial, grounds, maintenance)

What role do you think standardized tests should play in your school district?

Our test schedule is state mandated. So if we assume that we must take all the tests the state requires, then the key is to put the test data to good use. That involves careful analysis kid-by-kid, as timely as possible — then pivoting to teaching what the kids need to know.

If you could have an impact on your school district’s curriculum, what changes would you make? What, if anything, would you keep the same?

As noted above, the greatest need is to re-examine our language education K-8. It is not best practice to teach young kids a language 1x/week for 45 minutes. If I could have my way, we would also look to developing an immersion program/offering.

There are many aspects of our curriculum to keep the same. We have a successful ALPS program and Academic Resources in the middle school. We recently added courses in Mandarin and Orchestra. We’ve added AP classes, such as AP Statistics. Our IB program sets our District apart from others. Our band program is award winning. Our AP scores in a large host of offerings are at the top in the State, as are our SAT scores.

What responsibility do you believe your school district has in supporting students’ and staffs’ mental and emotional health/wellbeing?

School is the place where many students spend most of their waking hours during the school year. As such, it needs to be a place of calm and mental balance for our kids. We have an obligation to support emotional wellbeing, just like we support kids who need help with food or health services.

A school district cannot act alone, however. Mental health is a subject that addresses the whole person, and a whole person has a wider community. For that reason, in this past year I have supported (and the District has adopted) a plan to work with community partners in this area. We have convened subcommittees of this panel to address public health and diversity equity and inclusion. Northville Youth Assistance (NYA) is another resource supported by our School District. It provides mentoring, counseling, and social and academic support. Finally, we have recently sought and partnered with organizations to win grants to address grief and train on trauma-informed care.

All of these programs require sustained support and dedication. These issues are too difficult and sensitive to be solved with fleeting attention.

How do you think your school district should handle student discipline/and make schools a safe place for students and staff?

The American Psychological Association convened a task force to analyze different forms of discipline and spent many years studying the issue, using peer reviewed data. It concluded that many schools’ policies failed to do what they were designed to do, i.e., making schools safer. In fact, the study found that some approaches, such as “zero-tolerance policies” potentially worsened student outcomes and safety. As reflected above, I support a transition to restorative justice practices in which students are held accountable for the harm they have done without generating cycles of further harm. I am not a pushover or a softy. I think, on the contrary, kids need to face consequences of their actions while they are kids — and before the stakes of the criminal justice system loom over them. But I think that peer pressure, counselling, and restorative community-building are in the long run the best way to achieve both corrective opportunity and educational opportunity.

What are your top priorities around special education in your district?

I think that we need to focus on our self-contained classrooms and ensure that Cooke School students have all the resources they need. But my greatest worry is for the high-functioning students with special needs, who are largely integrated into the general education environment. These students need extremely careful attention and guidance, to ensure that they are not left behind or socially isolated. This is especially true during the Covid-19 era.

What is your perspective on working towards achieving equity within your school district?

Probably no one is against equity. Probably everyone says “equity is good and important,” at least I hope so.

I guess what I would add to such sentiments is that I have a lifelong demonstrated dedication to issues of justice and equity. I went to Harvard Law School, where 99% of my classmates went to Wall Street or huge law firms to practice. I instead became a civil rights lawyer and started working for regular people who had few resources. I have worked for police officers, waitresses, mail carriers, court clerks, and teachers. I have worked repeatedly for students with special needs. I have worked for sexually abused youth prisoners. I have dedicated time pro bono to a State Bar committee whose mission is serving the poor. I have also staffed Michigan’s Advisory Committee to the US Civil Rights Commission for 7 years, another voluntary position. In 2020 I taught a course on discrimination at UM’s law school.

Equity and social justice are my demonstrated life values.

Any other information you want to include or share?

My website is at northvilleschoolboard.org. I ask you for your vote November 3.

October 4, 2020

Harihar Kulkarni

Pronouns:He/Him
School DistrictNorthville Public School District
City:Lansing

How long have you lived in your district?

12 years

Have you received any endorsements?

Not yet

Are you an incumbent?

No

Why do you want to be a school board member?

Use my educational and interpersonal skills for the benefits of community and to motivate students to build their successful future bright career
A. Retired Technical Manager with 44 years of exquisite service at Ford Motor Company. Teamed up with experts to design and implement cost effective processes in all plants
B. PhD in Mechanical Engineering from University of Knoxville, Tennessee & M.S. in Aeronautical Engineering.
C. Recipient of two Henry Ford Technology awards and two of USA patents

What does education justice mean to you? What does it mean specifically in the context of your school district?

Create friendly environment and assure quality education to all students irrespective of gender, color and origin. Encourage friendly, constructive and positive competitions among all students necessary to achieve future goals and be successful and proud citizens of USA.

If you could completely reimagine the way schools look after this public health crisis, what would they look like?

In-person teaching at all schools
Institute academic curriculum (K-12) complemented with hands-on technical programs.
Community attending students football, swimming practice and matches.

Describe how you think parents, students, and families should be involved in making decisions within your school district?

Northville community is rich with highly successful parents. Parents may volunteer to deliver quality seminars in their subjects of expertise, and guide students to focus on related subjects offered at all grade levels. Families may regularly attend various technical museums, show videos of astronomy, planets and space travels and human anatomical organs and functions, etc.

Who (if any) are your top financial supporters for your campaign?

I am a sole financial supporter of my campaign

What are your top 3 educational priorities/goals within your school district?

1. Update periodically academic curriculum and technical facility adhered to emerging technologies
2. Encourage students to participate in national competitions – First Robotic, Digital Innovations – to develop hands on skills necessary to optimize hardware and be a winner in competitions
3. To ingrain creativity in students, conduct seminars that highlights accomplishments of successful citizens like Mr. Bill Gate, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk

What are your top 3 educational priorities/goals at a state level?

1. Complement current academic curriculum with hands-on technical training programs to instill creativity.
2. Institute combination of experimental and academic pilot programs for teachers and students.
3. Request state representative and university officials to conduct webinars that highlights current status, future educational needs and emerging opportunities in the state.

What challenges do you anticipate this school year to COVID and what do you think your school district must do to keep students & staff safe?

Continue hybrid (Virtual and in person) teaching models with appropriate number of students in a classroom till COVID concerns are vanished and students and teachers are vaccinated properly. Recommend SCHOOLOGY programs (Combination of virtual and in-person Teaching) adopted at Northville Schools to other nearby school districts.

What should be your school district’s top spending priorities in their budget? Alternatively, what should not be prioritized your district’s budget?

Budget resources for teachers training to acquire skills in the emerging technologies.
Allocate resources to establish technical facility and equipment to bolster current hands- on technical programs at all schools
Retain and attract high quality teachers and staff by offering comparable benefits and workloads proposed in nearby school districts

What role do you think standardized tests should play in your school district?

Northville School students do get high marks in SAT and ACT tests. School may use previous test questions to reverse and train students to achieve high scores in standardized tests.

If you could have an impact on your school district’s curriculum , what changes would you make? What, if anything, would you keep the same?

Establish technical facility with proper equipment and technicians necessary to bolster current technical programs.

What responsibility do you believe your school district has in supporting students’ and staffs’ mental and emotional health/wellbeing?

School district and community must emphasize respect and benefits of diverse cultures. Conduct seminars to highlight uniqueness in various cultures. Encourage students and staff to listen to inspirational speeches of GRETA. her speeches will inspire all to meditate for 10 minutes to refresh and calm their minds, and focus on social skills necessary for well beings of all.

How do you think your school district should handle student discipline/and make schools a safe place for students and staff?

Make students and parents aware of expected good discipline and consequences of poor behaviors and habits.
Parents may take first step to emphasize good discipline and discuss consequences of poor behavior in and out of school buildings, approaches to protect from danger and maintain self-control. More=over good discipline instill values and sense of responsibilities.
Conduct dry-run drills once in six months to prepare and take care of each other in case of real emergencies of all natures

What are your top priorities around special education in your district?

The school may request community to volunteer to meet needs of special educations, and coach students steps and processes required.

What is your perspective on working towards achieving equity within your school district?

Provide good lunch and learning facilities for students. Encourage teachers and staff to join students during lunch, participate in games and extra curricular activities.

Any other information you want to include or share?

October 4, 2020

James Mazurek

Pronouns:He/Him
School DistrictNorthville Public School District
City:Novi

How long have you lived in your district?

29+ years

Have you received any endorsements?

Only from community members and past Board of Education members

Are you an incumbent?

No

Why do you want to be a school board member?

Our schools are a key part of why people come to Northville. We are a large district with a small-town feel. As a former Board member from 2010-2018 I worked through the District’s tough times in 2010 and participated in making the difficult decisions to help us become one of the strongest districts in the state. I have the experience and want to make sure we keep our Academic excellence strong for the next generation of students.

What does education justice mean to you? What does it mean specifically in the context of your school district?

We strive for equal opportunities for all students. This doesn’t mean equal support, we need to look at each student where they are at and what support they need. We then need to try our best to tailor the methods to best support that student.

If you could completely reimagine the way schools look after this public health crisis, what would they look like?

It is no secret the world is shifting to a digital environment. We need to shift our approach to methods and skills that can best help our student succeed in this new environment. Whether this means moving on to College, Entrepreneurial, Trades, or other. We also need to look at specifically what we are teaching, for example Todays technology area now focuses on Data or Data Science. (How we convert data to knowledge via Artificial Intelligence or Neural Networks) We need to relook at what we are teaching in the STEM area and decide how do we support education of students given this is where technology is heading. I also think we need to re-image a more blended approach to learning with Online become just one part of an overall spectrum of how we educate people.

Describe how you think parents, students, and families should be involved in making decisions within your school district?

Participation, participation, participation. Starting with understanding what your children are being taught, having parents asking about what is being taught in the classroom, attending parent/teacher conferences and school events. Volunteering when asked for support. Through this they can provide real time feedback to what is going on and impact how their children are doing. Look to see what is being discussed at your school boards, provide feedback either via email or in person. We as BOE members take very seriously what we hear from our community. Via the interactive dialogue we then make appropriate changes to try to meet the needs of students and family members.

Who (if any) are your top financial supporters for your campaign?

Family and individual parents in the district.

What are your top 3 educational priorities/goals within your school district?

1) Enhancing SEL (Social & Emotional Learning) in district. Specifically dealing with Student stress at High School and secondly dealing with the growing diversity in District (25% students come from families that English is not the native language as well as dealing with Social EQUITY)
2) Identifying best practices and providing tools and training for Online/Virtual learning. While we have improved from June, we have a long way to go before it provides equivalent outcomes versus in person learning.
3) Financial Health – despite some small increase from the state $65/student, the costs of Covid are increasing at a much faster rate leaving most districts in a financial bind which will become worse next year.

What are your top 3 educational priorities/goals at a state level?

1) Revising Prop A – It has help reduce the inequities between the rural districts and cities. However after 25+ years it needs a major rewrite. A district like Northville should not be getting $4000/student less than Birmingham/Bloomfield, $3000 less that Farmington and $300 less than Novi.
2) Reducing the mandatory tests required and allotting more time to actual education. Reducing some of the unfunded mandates that also come from State
3) Relooking at some of the curriculum such as math. Today the major focus in technology is Big Data and Machine Learning/AI. Unfortunately what we are teaching aligns better with where technology and math skills were at in 2000.

What challenges do you anticipate this school year to COVID and what do you think your school district must do to keep students & staff safe?

The problem is we don’t know what we don’t know. Much progress has been made on the medical side, however a lot still depends on individual behaviors of community/families/students. Being somewhat confined for 6+ months has led to new terms such as Pandemic Fatigue. Our school has put in may precautions to protect both Students and Teachers(Staff). At the end of the day there will be situations where it will show up in schools. How well we all do depends on Families monitoring themselves for signs, following reasonable social distancing and washing protocols. There are already articles in news about known Positive Covid people still going to classes. We as a community need to take this seriously. If we do, we will get through the next 6-12 months when hopefully a proven vaccines and treatments are available..

What should be your school district’s top spending priorities in their budget? Alternatively, what should not be prioritized your district’s budget?

There are many priorities: 1) PPE and Shields, air purification, cleaning of classrooms on a regular basis, 2) Understanding and implementing best practices and tools for Online(Virtual) Learning, 3) Finding and securing teachers and substitutes to handle in-person and virtual learning, 4) the most important may be Mental Health support. We all have been quarantined for 6+ months. Our school already has a high degree of stress due to “need to succeed”. We have had 2 suicides in last 4 years from stress/depression. We need to put in place staff to help support our students who I anticipate are having increased pressures and signs of depression. We need to take stigma away from depression, it is a real disease. If identified can be treated very successfully.

What role do you think standardized tests should play in your school district?

Standardized tests are only 1 data point in understanding where a child is along the learning spectrum. They don’t always reflect the learning style or the true knowledge that kids have. They are very useful but only as 1 set of data in understanding what a students needs are.

If you could have an impact on your school district’s curriculum , what changes would you make? What, if anything, would you keep the same?

As noted above right now we must understand and implement Best Practices, tools, and training to support Online/virtual learning methods. We are doing the best we can to react in a short time. However, we all know and can see that virtual learning is not the same or a substitute for in person teaching. I believe we will be in this mode much longer than we want to believe. We can’t sacrifice our student learning. So we need to improve in this area ASAP.

What responsibility do you believe your school district has in supporting students’ and staffs’ mental and emotional health/wellbeing?

Northville has already taken significant steps in this area. We implemented an SEL program some time ago, recently we entered into partnerships with U of M Health, New Hope Center for Grief, and Hegira Health to enhance our program. We are pulling this together with our Northville Cares for Youth Council. We are also taking a proactive role to set up a 5 series workshop starting Nov 9 with community members to also include the EQUITY piece since we have 25%+ students who come from families where English isn’t native language. As well as start to understand some of the racial EQUITY areas we don’t know fully understand.

How do you think your school district should handle student discipline/and make schools a safe place for students and staff?

We implemented a Restorative Practices approach 3+ years ago as part of pour Student Code of Conduct. While there are times when suspensions and other actions maybe required. We have found that keeping kids in school may have the best long term results. “Restorative practices should be the first consideration to remediate offenses such as interpersonal conflicts, bullying, verbal and physical conflicts, theft, damage to property, class disruption and harassment, bullying
and cyberbullying.”

What are your top priorities around special education in your district?

Special Education is a Broad topic. Northville already provides the full spectrum from our Wayne County wide support program for the Severely Cognitively Impaired at our Cooke School. Act 18 classrooms for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder at Thornton Creek Elementary, Hillside Middle School, and Northville High School. An ESL (English as a Second Language) that support hundreds of students. Our ALPS (Alternative Learning Program) at Amerman elementary for Academically talented students. Lastly, we offer a full suite of AP (Advanced Placement) course for college bound students as well as a FULL IB (International Baccalaureate) that starts in Middle School to a full IB diploma program at High School.

What is your perspective on working towards achieving equity within your school district?

Our community is ever changing, today we have 25% of the student population that come from families where English may not be the language at home. We have 50+ languages spoken by our students. This change as happened over last 10 years and I expect it to continue. Our district has re-emphasized SEL (Social and Emotional Learning) as a Key Goal in our 5-year plan via the newly named Northville CARES youth Council. We recently established a partnership with U of M and Higera Health. All good steps. The next and maybe most important is a 5-part workshop beginning Nov 9 to begin listening to our community and start the work on further changes to improve EQUITY for ALL Students.

Any other information you want to include or share?

October 4, 2020

Kimberly Campbell-Voytal, PhD,

Pronouns:She/Her
School DistrictNorthville Public School District
City:Northville

How long have you lived in your district?

33 years

Have you received any endorsements?

Northville Democratic Club

Are you an incumbent?

No

Why do you want to be a school board member?

This is an era of remarkable opportunity and challenge in education. Schools are being reimagined and the role of teachers transformed. Districts are faced with simultaneous public health and public education obligations to ensure safe learning environments. Ongoing social and environmental challenges require a responsive curriculum. Now is the time for public health expertise on the school board. My teaching and professional practice in disease prevention will make an important contribution to navigating these forces.

I am a teacher and educational leader, recently retired as an Associate Professor of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences at Wayne State University. In this capacity I directed graduate and undergraduate programs in public health. I am a Clinical Nurse Specialist working to prevent chronic disease, obesity, diabetes, and asthma, in school-aged children. I also have quality improvement experience in complex health systems. My thirty-three years teaching experience prepares me to make an important contribution to meeting the challenges my school district faces today. Now more than ever we need public health expertise and experienced educators on the School Board. I think I can help.

What does education justice mean to you? What does it mean specifically in the context of your school district?

Educational justice recognizes that every child has the right to access to excellent academic opportunity. It presumes that each child’s unique strengths and learning needs should be assessed and then provided access to necessary resources and support. All children should be able to learn in an environment where every child has an opportunity to succeed.

If you could completely reimagine the way schools look after this public health crisis, what would they look like?

My vision is that schools are no longer defined by bricks and mortar but are open places branching out across the community, connecting students and teachers with learning resources locally, nationally, and globally. Teachers will accelerate excellence in hybrid, blended, and online methodologies and advocate for equitable access to digital resources a matter of birthright. Individualization of instruction will accommodate the unique strengths and needs of each learners. The value of diversity, equity and inclusion will be integral and unquestioned as we prepare students for global citizenship.

Describe how you think parents, students, and families should be involved in making decisions within your school district?

The best answers to the educational challenges we face now and anticipate as we move forward are best developed by a collaboration of parents, students, families standing along side teachers, administrators, and the school board. We are stronger together.

Who (if any) are your top financial supporters for your campaign?

I am running a grassroots funded campaign. I am the largest donor to my campaign.

What are your top 3 educational priorities/goals within your school district?

My top three immediate priorities are:
1. Ensuring that school environment is safe and that the physical, emotional, social needs of teachers, staff, families and students are fully addressed
2. Assessing and remediating learning losses due to emergency school closures in the spring
3. Stabilize school funding and district fund balances to protect educational programs and retain excellent teachers

What are your top 3 educational priorities/goals at a state level?

1.Increase mental health services and professionals in schools and provide adequate state resources to allow schools to both educate and keep students and staff safe.
2.Review and implement recommendations of the School Finance Research Collaborative
3.Support legislation that will put public school academies and management companies on equal footing with traditional public schools on issues related to transparency, reporting and treatment of employees. Also support reinstating a cap on charters and cyber schools.

What challenges do you anticipate this school year to COVID and what do you think your school district must do to keep students & staff safe?

The major challenge before us is the effective implementation of our Back to School Plan. In any major transformation of a complex system, there will be unexpected contingencies that interfere with achieving our intended outcomes. People, places, material, and processes will need to be closely monitored and adjusted when performance falls short. When health and safety is concerned, improvements must be made quickly. When monitoring reveals a shortfall, improvement could involve personnel re-training, repositioning necessary resources (PPE), building facilities (sanitizing, air filtration) improved, and social/emotional support services provided.

The district is also accountable for assessing academic progress and providing a rigorous curriculum to ensure that students meet established learning benchmarks in a safe and effective manner.

Finally, If community levels of virus increase or if building-wide outbreaks occur, learning will shift to remote methods .Parents, children, teachers should be prepared to respond to the need to transition learning into and out of the school building. It will be important that intensive outreach to families with complex needs continue regardless of the model of instruction. These times are unprecedented. It will require trust, patience, willingness to contribute to solutions, and a steady eye on the vision and goals of the district.

What should be your school district’s top spending priorities in their budget? Alternatively, what should not be prioritized your district’s budget?

Spending priorities should focus on hiring support personnel, such as academic counselors, social workers, and nurses to broaden access to psycho-emotional support programs for students. Secondarily, it should be a priority to hire additional classroom support personnel to provide support to online and in-class teachers.

What role do you think standardized tests should play in your school district?

The priority obligation of the school board is to ensure there are the necessary resources to ensure the academic achievement of our children. Standardized testing contributes to the assessment of student performance. It is one indicator, in a portfolio of additional evidence, of teacher performance. Therefore, standardized testing plays an important role in helping keep the district on track.

If you could have an impact on your school district’s curriculum , what changes would you make? What, if anything, would you keep the same?

One of my priorities is to enhance and grow vocational/technical educational opportunities that prepare students as entrepreneurs, inventors, technicians, and skilled tradespeople. The success of our country requires that we develop the talent of our students and citizens and prepare them to move us forward into 21st century economies.

What responsibility do you believe your school district has in supporting students’ and staffs’ mental and emotional health/wellbeing?

I believe that the district has a overarching obligation to support student and staff mental and emotional health/wellbeing in this unprecedented time of uncertainty and fear. Trust and emotional safety is necessary before learning can commence.

How do you think your school district should handle student discipline/and make schools a safe place for students and staff?

I lean toward a Restorative Practice philosophy where first, all students are understood within the context in which they live, that their first right is to be protected. If involved in a disciplinary action, they are offered a supportive opportunity to admit wrongdoing, to repair harms, and to be welcomed back into community. This recognizes the learning value over the punitive intent of disciplinary action.

What are your top priorities around special education in your district?

1. Ensure sufficient PPE for teachers and support personnel providing direct care to children with special needs.
2. Provide all necessary accommodations (vision, hearing, motor, behavioral) for students with complex learning needs to ensure effective online and in-person learning.
3. Empower parents to partner with teacher and support staff to manage tailored learning plans to meet their child’s needs.

What is your perspective on working towards achieving equity within your school district?

Equity and inclusion are major priorities in the Northville School District with ongoing interventions being implemented district-wide involving students, families, teachers, staff, and leadership. I fully support these initiatives and will be an active participant regardless of the outcome of my school board candidacy.

Any other information you want to include or share?