BOE Elections SOMA JUSTICE and P.A.R.E.S. questionnaire response from Narda
Response was submitted on October 15th
Email sent :
I missed the opportunity to respond to your questions. The black parents workshop had several questions that were similar and also with a due date of 10/12. This is a result of inexperience in running in a campaign. While I understand and take ownership of not getting my responses in on time; I have added below what I would have shared. .
Do you believe the district’s access and equity policy introduced in 2016 goes far enough in addressing the issues of inequity in our district (particularly in regards to vulnerable populations, i.e., POC, queer, special needs, immigrant, second-language learners, etc)?What are the benefits of the plan ? What are the highest priority areas still needing improvement ?
While I support the action taken to develop and define a policy that will allow all children access; I have concerns that it cannot meet the needs fully of our children. In order to serve our students in all academic areas we need to have resources. Our teachers also need professional development that focuses on differentiation.
What are your thoughts and/or plans to move SOMSD forward in dismantling the segregation and racial achievement gap that exist in our schools ? ( i.e. teacher education,policy review etc)
We need to provide our teachers more professional development focused on implicit bias and unconscious bias. That includes partnerships with nonprofits such as the Pacific Education Group.We need to explore magnet schools, starting with two themed magnets. Seth Boyden and Tuscan are ideal candidates for this idea where their demographics show over 68% White on one end and over 60% Black or African American on the other.To tackle the achievement gap we need to provide more reading intervention programs starting in the elementary schools. By the time our children reach the middle school the gap will have increased exponentially.
Do you think that SOMSD should take steps to address the racially disproportionate discipline of students in regards to suspensions and expulsions, and the disproportionate number of students of color placed in special education? If yes, please explain how.
One hundred percent in agreement we should take steps with regards to how we discipline our children. Again I believe that starts with the training and development of our teachers focused on implicit bias. Restorative circles should be used and can be successful if training and professional development is provided and done well. I know that is used in the high school, but based on feedback it was not done well, no proper training. Recently, I watched a news report on a school in Baltimore where a former student brought in a yoga class to the school allowing students to have a quiet and peaceful way to medicate during the day; we too can explore these methods.
What are the most important safety and security issues facing the district ? How do you believe SOMSD schools can be a safe environment for ALL students ?Do you support the placement of School Resource Officers in SOMSD schools?
AMENDED 10/25/18 : There seem to be some confusion with our response at the CCR debate and our response to the SOMA Justice questionnaire. We are 100% opposed to any SRO or Security Guard carrying firearms at any of our schools.
We would like to see the district re-consider the outsourcing of the security guards and make them employees of the district.
We have submitted our amended response to Dr. Jane Bleasdale who was our contact for the questionnaire, In addition we responded to a question by the Village Green asking for a statement and would we like to amend our questionnaire response.
We appreciate everyone concerns regarding these and all issues being discussed as these are all important to our children.
Do you support the redistricting component of the capital improvement plan approved by the BOE ? What do you see as the potential strengths and weaknesses of the plan?
While I support the integrating the schools, I have serious concerns about the additional transitions the redistricting will impose on our children. Again, if we can provide the support our children need then we can propose changes and manage the results of those changes effectively. As a district I do not think we can and I believe that this too will put our children at a disadvantage. We must find a solution that not only will close the racial divide but allows academic success for all.
If you are an incumbent, please explain how you have worked to address racism and inequality in SOMSD during your previous tenure.
Regards, Narda Chisholm-Greene