October 4, 2020

Dionne Falconer

Pronouns:She/Her
School DistrictVan Buren Public School District
City:Van Buren Township

How long have you lived in your district?

8 years

Have you received any endorsements?

Accountability Voters, Side Kick Images, Women for Good Government, Keri’s Korner and Women of Wayne

Are you an incumbent?

No

Why do you want to be a school board member?

Growing up in Detroit Public Schools system, my parents were examples of involved parents in our schools. I have been an active and engaged parent serving on Tyler Elementary School PTO because my sons are attending the school. I believe that it is important for me to be an activity team player of my children’s education. As a School Board Member, I can assist in the parents, families, increase services and maintaining high educational services in our school district. I want to continue striving for high educational goals, academic performance, academical accomplishments, equality and democracy of education.

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

Education Justice for me is a process of promoting a positive and successful culture of achieving success through education at all levels. In my school district it means providing avenues to achieving success for Administrators, School Teachers, Support Staff, All Other Staff and certainly, students, and families.

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

In re-imaging the new look of our schools after this public health crisis, I see our schools looking different, safer, more social distancing, daily usage of wearing protective face mask, more precautions to prevent germs and infections disease, including cleaner building. Classes will be divided into smaller groups. Daily entrance temperature screening stations will be the norm. Other norms, will be new safety rules, large banner, posters and other signage, reminding all the new rules. Teachers will teach differently; many plastic partitions will be in usage. Computers and more software applications will be a much larger norm than ever, along with meeting and conference among other change.

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

In my School District we are a family engaged District. The District can not be successful without involvement of Parents, students and families. I have always believed in parents, families and students having input in the decision making in my district. I am open to students, families and parents quality an active voice at the table. When we work together, we be come more efficient and effective in the betterment of our school system.

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

Keri’s Korner Community Group, Accountability Voters and Women for Good Government

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

1. Safe and healthy environment for students and staff both in-person and virtual.
2. To maintain high-quality standard of education whether students are attending virtually or in-person.
3. Meaningful support services for students, staff and parents navigating education in this COVID environment.

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

Same priorities stated above.

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?

A challenge that might occur due to COVID would be parent and student adjustments to more blended learning. In keeping students and staff safe the district should continue with the administering the new guidelines, which demonstrates our school are safe and clean.

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

Our district top spending priorities in their budget should be on student academic needs, fiscal responsibility should first be on students.
Monies for personal needs and activities should not be prioritized in the school’s budget.

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

To date standardized testing play a large role in our school district. I believe we needs to use them to measure our students’ level of learner which will give the district the ability to see where improvement is need, what is going well and what needs to be changed.

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?

Continue updating and adding curriculums as technology and job training improves and changes.

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

I believe the school district should have a large interest in supporting students’ and staffs’ mental and emotional health/wellbeing. If the staff is not mental and emotional health/wellbeing, then they will be unable to work with the students’ if they are not mental and emotional health and well. During this pandemic in order to have a successful school year, we must make sure everyone is mentally, emotionally and healthy

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

The discipline standards and rules must be followed. Our focus is to make sure students and staff and mentally and emotionally good. The schools can bring in different safety and behavior programs that is age appropriate.

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

My top priorities around special education in our district is to make sure those students and families are getting the needed support during COVID-19.

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

In order to achieve equity within our school district, it is important to ensure a diverse staff in our schools so our students can picture themselves as professionals because they see people who looks like them

Any other information you want to include or share?

As an active parent and PTO member, I have seen first-hand the reward of giving back and engaging with students, staff, educators and administrators. I am ready to take on this challenge at a higher level to increase the positive impact I can make in my own community. I feel that it is important for the school board to be representative of the diverse landscape that makes our district such a wonderful place for our children to learn and grow. We need active parents on the board with students currently enrolled in the Van Buren school system. The real time engagement of parents who see first-hand the needs of students, faculty and staff will help me as an asset to the board. I can give a perspective that is relevant and current to the immediate needs of the district based on first-hand knowledge. As a parent I am my children’s first teacher. When they started school, I became a part of a larger team of educators to assist them in reaching their maximum potential as individuals and students.