October 9, 2020

Angela Jackson-Irvine

Pronouns: she/her
School District: Wayne-Westland Community School District
City: Westland

How long have you lived in your district?

44 years

Have you received any endorsements?

None

Are you an incumbent?

No

Why do you want to be a school board member?

I know that the WW school district has great leaders in their staff and I believe we have the potential to work on restoring our district to what it was not that long ago. I have grown up in the district and I still choose to live in this district because I find the people who are invested in our children’s education to be kind , caring individuals. I am a mom , educator , an involved member of the community and I want to help the district rise up again. I don’t have a political agenda and I’m not looking to run for another office , I just want to help.

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

Education justice is having staff that are highly qualified dispersed across the district so that all students are given equal opportunity to learn and grow from instruction. Restorative justice practices are also a part of education justice and I believe that Wayne-Westland needs to provide the resources that allow the students to be productive members of society and help all student make necessary changes to become successful adults.

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

During these forced times of change I believe we have discovered new and imaginative ways to reach students. There are students who are more successful using online learning and it may be necessary that we look at providing an opportunity for these students to continue there virtual learning experience. Smaller class sizes would be a part of the reimagined plan so that the teacher could be allowed more time to reach all students and a greater number of small group activities could occur. I want all buildings to be looked at as an inviting environment and a place that students find comfort in knowing they are cared for.

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

The members of the community should definitely be included in decisions making. We need to work for continuous improvement with communication and keeping the families involved in what is happening in their children’s schools. The public should be aware of our successes and challenges and have an opportunity to share their thoughts and concerns.

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

I do not have any top financial supporters , unless of course , I include my supportive husband!

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

1) I want to see our students stand up and be proud that they are from our community. They should be strong competitors for college entry , scholarships upon graduation and be able to display their strengths as well educated people.
2) I would like to see continued support in college prep courses as well as programs for those who are not necessarily college bound and would thrive from hands on technical education classes.
3) I want to see all students provided with the necessary tools that will help them succeed regardless of their economic status , ethnicity , gender biases , etc.

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

1) Equitable funding for all schools
2) Discussion of standardized testing
3) Evaluation of special education and the support opportunities that are provided.

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?

There are many challenges in regards to COVID and this school year. Safety of students and staff must be a top priority. Proper social distancing , plans for cleaning protocols , scheduling of students , smaller classes created and much more have to be carefully planned out and evaluated before considering the return to school. I stand by the fact that the answers need to be thought out before the questions can even be asked and then we are ready to return to school.

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

As times have changed , this years spending should be directly focused on the return to school and providing safety measures for students and staff. Purchasing of cleaners , masks , plexiglass dividers , technology and more will be necessary to get our students back in class. Prioritizing other items such as curriculum development , staffing salaries , transportation are also important items. The budget should always be reevaluated and changes should be made according to necessity.

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

Standardized testing is not a fair measurement of every students ability. I would like to see changes made at the state level that would lesson the amount of testing that takes place.

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?

I believe a deeper dive into what is currently being offered in the districts curriculum is necessary. Looking over what is missing and giving the teacher’s opportunities to work together to create competitive opportunities is important. The Vocational programs should certainly continue and build to bring in students who may be looking for a path to a future career.

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

It is necessary to offer support to both students and staff in regards to mental and emotional health. There needs to be a safe place for student to go and talk or discuss social/emotional issues , such as a counselor or other support staff. Providing the resources for both students and staff and making sure that they are aware of what is available to them is very important.

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

Clear expectations need to be set and the guidelines need to be followed. Restorative practice promotes relationship building , conflict resolution and problem solving tactics but it is important that proper training is done for this to be successful.

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

A top priorities in special education is that the students are receiving the necessary accommodations to help them be successful. Support staff for these students is a must and training for all staff in meeting the needs of the students is important.

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

I want to work toward equity in funding from the state as well as equitable education for all students in regards to opportunities available , fairness and achievement.

Any other information you want to include or share?

I believe it is a responsibility of the board to check in and find out what is going on in the schools. We need to be informed and be present wherever possible. I would love for everyone who sends their children to Wayne-Westland Schools to find as much satisfaction in their child’s educational experiences as I did! With that being said , I hope that those I will represent as a member of the school board would know that I also have only the best intentions in seeing that the district grow and flourish as they once did , and that people are again proud to say that they have kids in the Wayne-Westland Schools.