LIST OF ISSUES
All of our students come from different backgrounds, cultures and starting places in life. In order for all students to belong and succeed, our educational curriculum, policies, practices, and interventions must reflect the diversity of our students and the individual needs and barriers they bring to the classroom.
Equity takes more than just a statement to achieve, it has to be the center of every question we ask and every decision we make.
- Kids need to see themselves reflected daily in their learning.
-We need to close the achievement gaps by addressing the systemic issues that lead to vastly different outcomes for our Students of Color than their white peers.
-Programming and staff at each of our elementary schools need to be equitable to the other schools so that every Heights student gets the same opportunities.
-Diversity in our staff needs to more closely mirror the diversity of our students.
-Our facilities, programming and policy must make space for all of our diverse students to express their religious, cultural, and gender identities - making sure that all belong here without discrimination or exclusion.
-Our curriculum and interventions need to be trauma informed, taking into account the effects that poverty, racism, violence, immigration status, language barriers, refugee experiences, LGBTQIA+ discrimination, and the pandemic have on the mental health of our students.
-Our Special Education students need a robust and healthy program with staff who are knowledgeable about their specific diagnosis and can provide the interventions that each of our students require to be successful.
In light of the many school shootings that we have suffered as a country, I know school safety is at the top of many parents' minds. School Safety is more than locked doors and armed officers, School safety means:
-Involved adults who spot the signs of mental illness in students and get them help
-Kids being safe from bullying and violence in our hallways and classrooms
-Students of Color being able to learn in an environment that doesn't target and traumatize them with police interactions and criminal charges
-Unity and a community of people looking out for each other
-Kindness and trust and respect
-All of us belonging and succeeding together.
I am committed to listening to the voices of our students, families and teachers as they express their needs and ideas, and I will respond to those needs with action and advocacy at the board table. I believe that power should be used to empower those around you and I believe that the representative power that the community bestows on the elected members of the school board should be used on behalf of those we represent.
Transparency is the other side of engagement. The board must not just listen and respond to the needs of our community, but we must also communicate clearly and openly with the public so that the power we hold is accountable to the people who gave it to us. There are laws that govern data privacy and open meetings that can make open communication difficult, but it is through relationship building, approachability and honest answers that we as board members can intentionally engage our community.
Power is not equitably distributed in our systems and so it is the job of those in positions of power to fight for the needs of those who are not at the table, the people that our systems were not created to serve and the people who our systems have actively oppressed.
I am committed to fighting for change even against stiff resistance, even when it makes conversations tense and awkward and even when it is not politically expedient. I will fight for you.
A message from Brenna about leading the charge to keep our LGBTQIA+ students Safe, Seen, and Valued in our schools.