Why are you running for school board?
I want to make Milwaukee Public Schools’ a tier one educational destination for our students and families. I believe that our educational system can do better for our children and families. I want to be part of an educational body that strives to
- Improve educational opportunities for our students/youth
- Recruit, retain, and fairly compensate world class educators
- Guarantee high quality early childhood education (K3&K4) with emphasis on pre-reading, pre-mathematical, and pre-writing writing skills
- Student governance
- Improve parental and community input and engagement
- Pragmatic professionalism towards keeping our communities, students and staff healthy, and parents informed as we deal with the effects of COVID
- Strength our neighborhoods and city
- Improve the number of students that attend neighborhood schools
- Increase the opportunities for youth to engage in youth advocacy
- Better engagement/inclusion with families, communities and educational stakeholders
- Install a mindset that moves Milwaukee Public Schools System toward being a tier one educational provider
What in your background or make up especially qualifies you for this seat?
I am a retired special education teacher and administrator with over 30 years of experience in the Racine Unified and Milwaukee Public School Districts. As a first generation immigrant, my parents and community installed in me the belief in being a life-long learner, and a servant leader in my community. I have worked and engaged in the Urban Educational framework in the classroom, on the playground, in the community and political areas through my work as a parent, union representative, and community advocate.
I have committed my life to education, developing youth, and building a stronger Milwaukee community. In 2000, I founded Positive Images, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and empowering Milwaukee’s teenagers to reach their full potential and become tomorrow’s leaders. Running for the school board District 4 seat allows me an opportunity to engage the citizens of my community in the educational process, create youth advocacy, and help our future citizens envision future possibilities.
I want to work towards
- Improving youth and community advocacy
- Enhancing or bettering educational decisions and outcomes
- Improve accountability and visibility of the board and district leadership
What are the most important issues facing the board — and your district in particular? What do you think should be done about these issues?
The most important issues facing the board and District Four:
- The perception or belief that students coming out of the Milwaukee Public School system are under prepared to become productive citizens in our community.
- The need for youth/students to attend their neighborhood schools.
- Increase the number of quality educators in our district recruiting and retaining these educators
- Ensure that our school district offers and competitive compensation and benefits
- That Milwaukee Public Schools does not engage or interact well with its educational constituents.
- A school board that is visible and engaging with families, community and educational stakeholders
- Moving forward with educational and health practices and policies that ensure the health, mental and emotional well-being of our students, staff and community
Are you satisfied with the district’s efforts to address disproportionate disciplining of Black male students as described in the Office of Civil Rights report? Would you want to change the district’s approach to this issue if elected?
I would advocate for transparency as district moves forward towards
- Recruitment and retention of Black and Latino staff
- Addressing issues as it relates to culture and climate
- Developing mentorship programs
- Increasing support staff resources
- Collaborating with internal and external stakeholders
Do you agree with MPS’ decision to keep most students in all-virtual instruction until April? If not, how would your plan be different?
No, I do not agree with Milwaukee Public Schools’ decision to keep most students in all virtual instruction until April.
Due to the logistical concerns facing the current delivery service we provide our students I would recommend the following.
As a parent, educator and administrator, I know how painful this pandemic has been for families. We are witnessing our most vulnerable students suffer from the current uncompromising remote learning regimen. Students with special needs, English language learners, and economically disadvantaged students are falling behind. Many students are dealing with pandemic induced trauma. For these reasons, we need a pragmatic, professional science-informed response to reopening.
As we move through this era of COVID, we need to offer parents and families the option to send their children to school in person. With that in mind I would support the following plan/guidelines
- Instructional Days will be held Monday, Wednesday and Friday, with Tuesday and Thursday being allocated towards providing cleaning protocols.
- Union support
- Students would be required to attend their nearest school building.
- Students, educational staff, parents and educational stakeholders would receive medical protocol before and after the school day
- Medical rooms for students who have been identified as have COVID concerns • The district would align with neighborhood health providers as first points of contact • Parent would receive communications from mass media i.e., television, radio, cell phones and emails regarding school openings
- Parents would be given an opportunity to remain virtual through the school year • Parents would be provided online and email communication access to schools and district representatives, i.e. central office, school administration, teachers and school board representatives • The number of school openings would start off small based on registration from parents and caregivers
- Schools would be staffed by appropriate medical and health personnel; with additional support staff, i.e. psychologists, social workers, nurses and needed educational personnel to care for the needs of students. Toward balancing the physical safety of our students with the social emotional needs of our students, that would be met best in an in-person setting
- Teaching staff would be allocated to schools of need
- School would have five-hour educational days with breakfast, lunch and dinner offers. • School would offer supplemental services in addition to the school days for students and families in need.
- Virtual educational opportunities would be offered for enrichment, supplemental and advancement
- Parents, families, community leaders and educational stakeholders would receive the following:
o Daily school reports the first month of in-person instruction mandate
o Weekly school reports after the first month if in-person is working
o Monthly school reports after the first two months have been successful
- Teachers and educational staff would receive daily updates
o On school assignments
o Building health conditions
o Who and where they should report issues and concerns
o Access to report regarding concerns or issues
- The district and local school officials would field and address daily concerns within a 12/24 hour response framework