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Brookline's high quality education. Every Student. Every Year.
Experienced: Commitment, Leadership, Knowledge.
For 19 years in the Brookline schools, I have used my leadership skills in strategic thinking and collaborative problem solving as well as deep knowledge of education to tackle challenges. I am a parent of three students, a parent leader at BHS as well as across the K-8's, and a professional school policy consultant addressing economic and racial disparities.
I believe children thrive in school with nurturing inclusive communities who welcome all families and who focus on the whole child. Students do best in schools where all staff work together to nurture students.
If elected I'll be the only school committee member with experience at BHS beyond being a student or parent. Guidance is a big concern for families. More often than not, when I ask BHS parents (or grandparents) about the high school, they say something about needing more guidance. This is why a more robust guidance program at BHS is central to my platform.
From 2000-04, I was a member of a Harvard consulting team working with Brookline High to address its achievement gaps. Based on our team report, BHS started the African American Scholars program and developed institutional supports for students of color enrolled in honors or advanced courses.
As my own children have gone through Brookline high, I have been a member of the BHS School Council for five years as well as on the advisory board for Brookline Parent Education Network. In particular, I’ve worked to raise awareness of mental health and wellness issues.
I have been supportive of the BHS Mindfulness initiative and the new Health and Wellness class for 11th and 12th graders. We have worked hard to let families know the high school wants students to manage stress--to balance school, extracurriculars, family, and fun. And encourage all students and families to think beyond: 'Which college will accept me? " to "What will I do and learn in high school, in college, and beyond?"
Currently, our district's biggest challenges stem from years of continual enrollment growth. In the past 14 years, district enrollment has grown almost 40% to over 7,500 students. To truly address overcrowding, we need strategies for both running schools and building schools.
For running schools: pass the override.
We need these funds to keep our staffing and programs at their current level, especially to keep our class sizes reasonable and enough support staff — nurses, guidance counselors, occupational therapists, gym, art teachers — to serve our current student enrollment.
We must continue to build nurturing, inclusive school communities that focus on the whole child. With more diverse students in larger K-8 schools, our students need more extensive racial and economic justice programs. Teachers and staff need more resources and time so they can guide every student to become emotionally resilient, socially adept, and academically skilled.
As the high school grows, our teens need a more robust guidance guidance program to ensure every student is meaningfully connected to at least one adult in the building and to encourage students and families to think beyond "which college" to "what will I do and learn after high school, in college or beyond?"
For building schools: pass the debt exclusion & agree on K-8 solutions.
We need to expand the high school to welcome the 2,700 + teens that will soon be at its door.
Then, we must find solutions for our K-8 space needs. Our elementary and middle school students are in dire need of more classrooms and common spaces. It is a hard problem. We must think out of the box, work together, and hire construction crews.