October 4, 2020

Annika Christiani

Pronouns:She/Her
School DistrictClintondale Community Schools
City:Clinton Township

How long have you lived in your district?

about 11 years

Have you received any endorsements?

Clintondale Education Association, Michigan Education Association, Association of Federal, State and Municipal Employees We appreciate your consideration

Are you an incumbent?

No

Why do you want to be a school board member?

I was a Clintondale student and even then there was change I wanted. When I was counteracted by an old teacher asking for help and found out that most after school programs where taken from our students that is where i drew my line.

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

Education justice mean that all our students get the high quality education they deserve, regardless of race, gender, disability, socioeconomic status, or anything else. For our district that is ensuring all our students have access to the resources they need to succeed.

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

I believe ensuring smaller class sizes and more accessibility for online work are two major ways schools should better them selves after this. Not only do these help during a health crisis but also help the students by giving them better access to their teachers and more ways to access education.

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

I think everyone who can be involved should be. I believe our community should know whats going on and feel safe and empowered to get involved. whether it just be addressing the board or something greater.

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

Most of my funding comes less from money but more from donated resources. I work closely with CEA who help with finding and sharing those resources with my slate members on the “Clintondale Winning Ticket”

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

Bring back after school programming, provide our students with more resources, and help build a more involved community.

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

Though I have little power with the state I believe that schools should not be funded through property taxes as it causes poor committees to suffer, ensure our state required curriculum has all the information our students need and should know, and for the state to pay more attention to schools in need.

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?

Our district has in person and online availability for students which is amazing because some students may not be able to stay home. However with some in person classes comes risk of spread which is why we need to ensure cleaning staff is able to regularly clean each room, ensure our students who may not be able to afford PPE have access to it, ensure our teacher have access to cleaning supplies and PPE, and so much more.

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

Student resources should always be first and for-most then ensuring our staffs needs (as a great staff leads to a great education). Something I feel should be less in the for front are administrative wants, the student should be everyone top priority and administrative staff should feel that way as well and always prioritize student needs over administrative wants.

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

Though standardized tests have their useful qualities i feel they do not do enough to warrant how commonly they are used. I believe projects that test the student skills and give them a chance to make their education their own is a much better method for testing. Though I understand we can’t get rid of standardized tests all together (at least not any time soon) I believe implementing more project based testing that let the students express themselves through education should be implemented more often.

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 we need more life skills classes. Parents in modern america often work a lot and don’t have the time to teach many life skills and that is something I feel our school could help with. Giving students the tools they need to move on and be our worlds future is the job of education. As for keeping things the same I believe that our teachers passion is what makes the curriculum. The classes content is not what stick in students minds, the teachers method of teach is what sticks. Read a book and take a test doesn’t stay but read a book, watch a show, play games, and then make a website about it makes the information stick far better. So many of Clintondale’s teachers have been trying new ways to help students learn and that is the best part of Cinondale’s curriculum

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

I believe that if our students and staffs mental and emotional health needs are not met they can not do there best. As school and a community we should be doing all we can to ensure these are met and everyone can be their best self. Not just for school but for life.

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

Even student who cause problems deserve education and I believe our discipline should NEVER get in the way of education. So if a student is unsafe to have in a class room environment they should be removed however they still need access to their work, teacher help, and any other resource needed. Also if someone has a tendency to cause problems don’t JUST punish them, try to figure out why they act out, and then try to help. They may have other issues causing their behavior that could be fixed.

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

Students with disabilities all have different needs which need to be addressed accordingly. I am friends with a lot of disabled people and they have told me horror stories from every kind of school, rich to poor, privet to public, about why often disabled students are lumped together and there needs are ignored. I don’t want a single Clintondale graduate to have story like that. I want them leaving saying that Clintondale gave them all the resources they needed without any hassle.

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

Every student has different needs and wants form there education, I believe it is the school job to do everything in there power to help them blossom into amazing adults. For some students it is more one on one time with the teacher. For others it is after school programs. For yet more students it is special resources. For students that are like me it’s creative outlets. And on and on it goes. We need diverse resources for our diverse students. Instead of fitting kids into a molds we should be planting a garden and helping it flourish.

Any other information you want to include or share?

I loved clintondale while i was a student there and now I hope I can help even more students love our school.