League of Women Voters
- What qualifications and experience do you that qualify you for a position on the Board of Education?
Analyst and editor in the energy and environmental policy & finance sectors. Serving on community boards of directors: Friends of the Library, Arts Council. Volunteer judge for MESA, Battle of the Books, STEM Fair, Middle School Debate, and the 5th Grade – We the People program. 30+ years advocating for education on budget, curriculum & policy as part of PTA and CAC. Mother of four AHS graduates.
- What do you feel are the most important issues the Board will face in the next 2-3 years?
Secure adequate funding – Diversify and grow our workforce – Develop relevant curriculum to prepare students to build their futures – Close the achievement gap – Repair public trust and increase community engagement – Improve access to public information and increase transparency – Expand student opportunities for experience-based learning – Add classrooms to meet continued enrollment growth
- What will need to change in Howard County Schools to comply with the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) that was signed into law in December 2015 to guarantee all low income and minority students are taught by qualified teachers?
Currently HCPSS meets this ESSA standard. Our responsibility is to ensure that we support teachers with professional development and classroom resources – current and relevant for 21st Century learners – so they remain at the top of their profession. The ultimate objective, however, is to ensure that these students have access to all classes – Honors, GT & AP – in each school and at each level.
- As a Board of Education member, how would you ensure that the public has access to accurate data about the number and reasons for suspensions by race, gender, disability, and sexual identity?
All Maryland school systems collect and report suspension data annually to the MD Dept of Education for publication on the MSDE website. HCPSS staff also issues a public report to the Board. Unfortunately, the Board cannot authorize individual reporting of data in some of the areas requested, since these categories are protected under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
- What policies or procedures would you support to respond to citizens’ concerns and complaints?
Redefine Ombudsman position to better connect the community with information and support. Revise Family Involvement Policy 10000 to include procedures to improve system response to concerns. Promote a simplified process for request and delivery of public information. Expand current Coffee & Conversations to provide additional opportunities for communities to speak directly with the Board.
- In an increasingly digital world, how do we provide resources for students who may not have access to computers at home?
Student access is supported by loaned technology in school. Outreach by the BOE’s Bright Minds Foundation delivers refurbished computers along with basic instruction to families lacking computer access. Software options to convert surplus HCPSS computers to cloud-based systems would make more hardware available for distribution: partnering with the county to provide WiFi completes the package.
- What should be the role of the School Board members when environmental issues on school property could cause health issues for our students and staff? For example, the recent mold problem at Glenwood Middle School.
In response to recent environmental concerns, new Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) Procedures, developed with the community are now in place. These cover monitoring, reporting, investigating and remediating any issues and communicating the action steps to the public. When informed of any such issue, a Board member should refer the matter to the new HCPSS IEQ Coordinator for investigation.