October 4, 2020
School DistrictGrosse Pointe Public Schools
How long have you lived in your district?
Have you received any endorsements?
Grosse Pointe Democratic Club; Grosse Pointe Education Association (GPEA); Hon. Judy Gafa, GPPSS Board Member; Hon. Tim Killeen, Wayne County Commissioner; Hon. George McMullen, GPW City Councilman; Hon. Bennie Napoleon, Wayne County Sheriff; Hon. Vikas Relan, GPP City Councilman; Hon. Margaret Weertz, GPPS Board Member; Hon. Tenisha Yancey, Esq., State Representative;
Are you an incumbent?
Why do you want to be a school board member?
I want to be a catalyst of change to develop policy to support those who feel as though their voices are not heard.
What does education justice mean to you? What does it mean specifically in the context of your school district?
Educational justice means that hold each student to the same standards no matter, gender, race, ethnicity or socio-economic background. To provide leadership with the resources to guarantee that each student receives the support to obtain a quality education to reach and/or exceed those common standards that will prepare them for college and the ability to compete in an ever changing work force.
If you could completely reimagine the way schools look after this public health crisis, what would they look like?
This pandemic has caused teachers, students and parents to make many adjustments to their daily lives. Returning to schools where students interacting with others without social distancing and masks. Teachers returning to person to person to continue supporting students to accomplish educational goals.
Describe how you think parents, students, and families should be involved in making decisions within your school district?
Parents, students, families, teachers and administrators play an important role in decisions within the school district. Parents/families know their children and how they learn. Open dialogue is needed between all parties to understand what families are looking for within their school district to better benefit the educational development of their child. Policies are based on not only direct from state standards but also input from parents/community of children within the district.
Who (if any) are your top financial supporters for your campaign?
Grosse Pointe Democratic Club; Grosse Pointe Education Association (GPEA)
What are your top 3 educational priorities/goals within your school district?
Improving cultural competencies; supporting children with special needs and at risk; retaining and supporting our outstanding teachers.
What are your top 3 educational priorities/goals at a state level?
Improving funding for schools based on individual student needs; advocating for early warning and bench-marking systems that keep students on a path to college-ready high school graduation; advocating for reforms to include issues of discipline in Elementary and Secondary Education Act
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 challenges facing the district will be the affects on the budget although the state has made some adjustments the true affect will not be felt until fall 2020 or early 2021. The district needs to follow recommendations set by the CDC and the state, while providing the necessary protective equipment to staff and students.
What should be your school district’s top spending priorities in their budget? Alternatively, what should not be prioritized your district’s budget?
Priorities included but are not limited to teacher and staff salaries; maintaining current programming or investing in new programs; providing resources to staff and equity and inclusion training. Least prioritized list includes but not limited to district incurring cost associated with board training and, although needed, decreasing the cost associated with legal counsel.
What role do you think standardized tests should play in your school district?
The use of a single standardized test does not encourage equality or opportunity for students regardless of income, race or gender as the sole determinant for promotion, tracking, ability grouping and graduation is not fair.
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?
Encourage the district to institute a multilingual curriculum into their course of study for their student body.
What responsibility do you believe your school district has in supporting students’ and staffs’ mental and emotional health/wellbeing?
During this time of COVID and beyond that district has every responsibility to support students, parents and staffs’ mental and emotional health and well-being. The success of the district depends on the achievements of its students.
How do you think your school district should handle student discipline/and make schools a safe place for students and staff?
Research shows that suspensions are not appropriate for those students that have emotional and behavioral challenges. Allow the district to use a tiered approach which would allow proper services and consequences for those students .
What are your top priorities around special education in your district?
The top priority regarding special education is is return to face to face learning so that these students and receive their IEP’s in a safe environment.
What is your perspective on working towards achieving equity within your school district?
A major contributing factor to the disparities continues to be the lack of appropriate instructional materials. There needs to be an increase in targeted funds to neediest kids
Any other information you want to include or share?
My experiences working with three mayors, a current government employee and community leader has prepared me for this position. I have worked with multi million budgets and have worked with this school board and administration on various issues regarding this district. I am open minded and can work with anyone with varying views.