The top priority of our schools should be ensuring all students, regardless of ZIP code, reach their full potential through a high quality education in a safe and welcoming environment.
The next school board needs to focus on bolstering academic rigor to prepare students for a challenging world, while at the same time placing special emphasis on making up for COVID learning loss.
Safe schools are of paramount importance. In that vein, discipline and behavior standards will be clearly communicated to parents and students, and uniformly enforced across the school system.
In addition to academics and safety, we must prioritize mental health to address the unique challenges it presents. Parents, students, teachers, staff, and outside partners all have an important role to play in ensuring a brighter future for all students.
*These issues are in no particular order.
Parents, teachers, and students face a world where safety and security are under constant threat. Keeping kids safe has never been more challenging. We can settle for active shooter drills, bullies, and illegal substances as a way of everyday life. Or we can fight for a world where our kids’ biggest fear is bedtime.
As a child who was bullied in school, I understand all too well the trauma caused by schoolyard bullies. Bullying of any kind will not be tolerated, and victims of bullying will be protected and supported. Schools must be proactive to ensure safety, and swift to react in order to deter negative behavior. We will do this by:
No child should go hungry, and no parent should have to choose between keeping a roof over their head, or reloading their kid’s lunch account. Eliminating lunch fees ensures every child has access to a hot, nutritious meal during the school day. We can make school lunch debt a thing of the past. We can save families $600 annually per child by:
Our buildings serve multipurpose roles and play host to a variety of non-school activities. We have an opportunity to construct the best and most efficient buildings, doing our part to reduce our carbon footprint. Building modern infrastructure to host our vibrant communities is key to the long term success of FCPS. We must:
Graduates today face an exciting and challenging world. The prospect of engaging in global commerce at the click of a button poses both opportunities and challenges. A curriculum rich in world languages, STEM pathways, career and technical education, the arts, and well-rounded, accurate humanities is vital to student success. We’ll be sure our graduates are prepared for 21st century careers by:
Teachers and staff play a vital role in FCPS. We know that an investment in teachers and staff is an investment in our childrens’ lives. It is important to build an open and transparent relationship with teachers, while welcoming their feedback on issues. Predictable pay raises and routine reviews of benefit packages are both key to recruitment and retention. I support:
Scholastic achievement, excellence, and competition are core tenets of any educational environment. Fairfax County Public Schools are routinely ranked as some of the best in the country. High standards, focused curriculum, and passionate teachers all play a vital role in helping students achieve academic success. Academic excellence is one of the foundational underpinnings that make our public schools the best in the country. We must strive to help every child reach their full potential, and that starts with high expectations. FCPS will:
In Fairfax County, we recognize our diversity as a strength. We also recognize the inherent challenge to ensuring great outcomes for all children. Equality is not antitheses to achievement – they complement and enhance each other. Our schools owe it to students to provide equal access to equitable programs, facilities, curriculum, and resources by:
A quality education depends on a welcoming and inclusive learning environment. Building trust through open communication is key to inclusivity, and we all have a role to play. In Fairfax County, we celebrate our diversity and the value it brings to our schools and communities. Our kids thrive when school leadership values:
Fully funding our schools is a top priority. We cannot cut our way to success, and every budget cut is a divestment in our childrens’ future. Teachers and staff deserve consistent and predictable pay raises, and our capital improvement program needs a dedicated revenue source. As a school board member, I will make revenue diversification a top priority through building relationships and collaborating with our partners in various levels of government through:
COVID wreaked havoc across the world and we were not immune. The emerging mental health challenges prior to COVID were exacerbated, and schools now face an even bigger crisis. The need for consistent mental health management does not stop when a child walks off school property. Addressing this challenge will require pulling together school, county, state, and federal resources and most critically: working together. Parents, teachers, and students will all be part of this team that:
Fairfax County residents are civic-minded, and highly engaged with their local government. Schools are an integral part of every neighborhood, and we have an opportunity to leverage schools to increase participation among residents and parents. Promoting transparency across the board, and within governance practices helps build trust and encourages all stakeholders to be more involved and give feedback. This involvement will inevitably lead to better schools across Fairfax County by:
Tens of thousands of service members choose to call Fairfax County home while serving our country at facilities throughout the region. And with them, come kids who become FCPS students. It is estimated that nearly 1 in 10 FCPS students is military connected. Additionally, many State Department and DOD civilian employees face similar challenges, and they need support. We have a responsibility and duty to do what we can to help ease these families into the community and our school system during the military move process (PCS). We can do this by: