Plan for the Future
I believe an effective School Board Member is forward-thinking and must support and set the direction to plan for the future. These are the initiatives I feel need to be addressed.
Succession Planning and Mentoring
PUSD needs a robust succession and mentoring strategy plan to ensure that key roles will be filled with the most qualified staff. The planning will help to save time and money in a recruitment process, training and provides continuity within the school district. “Growing our own” gives staff a path and opportunity for advancement. If there is a sudden departure, PUSD will have the ability to fill key positions quickly and efficiently.
PUSD has a long list of capital projects that were identified for Measure M. The Measure did not receive enough votes, but the list of projects still exists unfunded. We need to work together to figure out how to fund stadium bleachers, updated sports fields, weight rooms, the Amador gym, a performing arts theater at Foothill, to name a few.
Student Board Members
Many years ago, I suggested PUSD include students on the board and to have an official student board member. At the time, it was turned down by the other board members and superintendent. Then after a couple of years and raising the issue again, we had student board members that the staff selected. We need to move to a system where the students choose or elect their own student board member to represent them.
I would like to see a program where our junior student school board members learn about governance and the role. We need to give our junior board members the support and training to be able to be eligible and considered for an appointment to the California State Board of Education their senior year, which is appointed by the California State Governor.
Pleasanton Police Department
PUSD has had a long-time partnership with the City and The Police Department. It is time to re-imagine the DARE program and the role of the school resource officers and explore models that may or may not include law enforcement.
Leverage the Current Remote Learning Situation
We have a unique opportunity to learn from our current remote learning effort. What works? What doesn’t? What is needed to improve, and move forward, what do our teachers need to be supported so they can thrive, to ensure PUSD has an on-going top-notch virtual academy post-pandemic?
PUSD has many effective programs that need to scale up – more resources and staffing are necessary.
School districts receive limited funds, which in-turn makes starting or expanding programs and services very challenging. We need to build effective collaborative community partnerships that can support the initiatives of PUSD.
Our teachers and staff need the most up to date tools to support their professional role. We need to plan to keep our technology plan updated, relevant, and secure, which is not just equipment but sufficient staffing to support the design, maintenance, training, help-desk support, and business continuity.
Dual Immersion Mandarin School
We know that learning a foreign language can boost academic achievement, enrich a person’s life, provides professional and career advantages, encourages empathy, and makes life more interesting. We need to provide this opportunity for our students to become fluent and proficient in Mandarin, and to do this, we need a dual immersion school that starts with kindergarteners.
English is the largest language in the world, but Mandarin is the language with the most native speakers, which surpasses English language speakers. A dual immersion Mandarin school will be a complement to our Spanish dual immersion school and will offer another option for our students.