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    Candidate Julie van Arcken

    The Seattle School Board selected Julie van Arcken as one of the three finalist candidates for the District VII School Board Director position on August 21.

    Please note: because we are committed to publishing a website that is accessible to all our readers including those who need ADA accommodations and language translations, we have not published PDF documents such as resumes the candidates may have submitted during the application process or links to non-Seattle Public Schools' PDF documents submitted with their questionnaire responses.

    Letter of Interest

    A photo of Julie van ArckenDear School Board Directors, Southeast Neighbors, and District Families:

    As a mother, longtime Southeast neighbor and education advocate, I am proud to apply for the District 7 School Board seat.

    I bring a valuable perspective as a multiracial daughter of immigrants, Mercer parent, former Southeast director of Seattle Council PTSA, and as a woman in tech, in a district heavily investing in STEM. For six years, I've collaborated with district officials and neighbors to increase equity for BIPOC, English language learners, and Special Education students, too often underserved in our district.

    As Board director, I will continue to work for EQUITY, ENGAGEMENT, and EXCELLENCE.

    EQUITY.

    Like many parents, I became a district advocate during the last school boundary overhaul. My Southeast neighbors and I were concerned to see the unfair displacement of students of color, students receiving special education, and English language learners. I gathered and reviewed equity data, and worked with staff and neighbors to produce a more equitable boundary proposal for our students. As a result of our efforts, the district organized a coalition of neighbors to find equitable solutions for our families.

    As Board director, I will leverage our success to make sure policies are equitable from the start, and use data that centers the families most impacted by district decisions.

    ENGAGEMENT.

    As an advocate, I have brought more families of color into district decision-making. In addition to organizing door-to-door outreach, I analyzed district data to prove the district needs to prioritize engagement of these neighbors to ensure their viewpoints are included. Based on our actions, the former superintendent acknowledged that the district "missed the boat" on engagement, and vowed to improve.

    As District 7 representative, I will partner with the administration, neighbors, and community coalitions to authentically engage our families and amplify their voices. I will also hold meetings throughout South Seattle to talk with neighbors about the issues they care about so I can better represent our collective vision for our kids.

    EXCELLENCE.

    In my task force work, I have promoted the need for excellence in our schools. I have insisted that classes such as world language be offered in all our schools, not just wealthy ones. I have also proposed that Advanced Learning commit to eliminating all racial disparities and serving the needs of neurodiverse children. As Board director, I will continue to collaborate with neighbors to ensure excellence at local schools. I will work to stabilize funding for transformative programs like International Baccalaureate at Rainier Beach, STEM at Cleveland, and language immersion at Dearborn Park.

    I am an excellent candidate for this position because it's a progression of the work I have been doing for six years. I have experience collaborating with Board directors and staff, and with challenging them when something needs to be changed.

    On a Board with mostly new faces, I will bring a continuity of knowledge and the experience to bring lasting change. I would be honored to serve, and appreciate your consideration.

    Respectfully, Julie van Arcken
    julieforschoolboard.com

    Resume or Related Experience

    COMMUNITY ADVOCATE * COMMITTED COLLABORATOR * DATA-DRIVEN DECISION-MAKER

    I am a solutions-oriented systems thinker, with extensive experience in both community organizing and private enterprise. I approach problem-solving with a collaborative spirit and a practical lens, supporting decisions with research and data. With a background in journalism and business, I blend engaging narratives with robust analysis to drive meaningful outcomes.

    AREAS OF EXPERTISE

    • Product/Program Management
    • Community Organizing
    • Strategic Planning
    • Data Analysis
    • Cross-team Collaboration

    PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

    Seattle Public Schools Advanced Learning Task Force Member (2018-present)

    The Task Force explores solutions to address the lack of diverse student representation in Advanced Learning.

    • Serve on Mission and Vision Subcommittee
    • Proposed unequivocal commitment to eliminate racial disparities in all advanced learning services

    Southeast Director, Seattle Council PTSA (2014)

    The Seattle Council PTSA supports, informs, and advocates for and with school communities across Seattle.

    • Liased with Southeast schools on issues such as principal transfer at Graham Hill and immersion program at Dearborn Park
    • Innovated online-based postcard project to send Seattle schools' legislative priorities to Olympia

    Southeast Seattle Public Schools Advocate (2013-present)

    As an advocate, I have spent hundreds of hours collaborating with families and district officials to improve outcomes for Southeast students.

    • Cowrote a unanimously passed Board resolution committing the district to engage with diverse communities of Southeast Seattle before changing boundaries
    • Persuaded district to propose a Southeast boundary proposal that is more equitable for students of color, students receiving Special Education services, and students receiving English Language Learner services
    • Successfully lobbied district to disaggregate data for Asian students in funding allocation, increasing both capital and staffing funding for Southeast schools
    • Collaborated with neighbors of color to advocate for equitable boundary changes at Board meetings

    Senior Product, Program, and Editorial roles, Amazon.com (2000-present)

    At Amazon.com I have worked in a progression of roles with increasing responsibility and business ownership. My speciality is cross-team collaboration across functional roles and international cultures.

    • Develop advertising products for streaming video services
    • Owned the book advertising business on Amazon devices
    • Launched the first self-serve advertising product for book publishers on e-readers and tablets
    • Served as a leading editorial/merchandising authority, writing text for the company's most prominent user interfaces

    Journalist, Kyiv Post (1998-1999)

    The Kyiv Post is Ukraine's English-language newspaper, and a consistent voice for democracy in Ukraine.

    • Wrote feature stories
    • Copyedited all sections of the newspaper

    EDUCATION

    University of Washington, Bachelor of Arts, Anthropology, Honors Program

    SEATTLE PUBLIC SCHOOLS ANALYSES

    • Comparative analysis of racial disproportionality of two Southeast boundary change proposals (2018)
    • Analysis of racial disproportionality in survey data (2013)
    • Analysis of racial and socio-economic disproportionality of children being displaced from walk zones (2013)

    SOUTHEAST COMMUNITY EFFORTS

    • Collaborated with Georgetown neighbors to protest a second dump, a red-light district, and the opening of Boeing Field to commercial flights
    • Contributed to the Black and Tan Hall, a performing arts center that seeks to maintain Rainier Valley as a destination for cross-cultural arts and education events
    • Successfully lobbied City Council to protect the view from Beacon Hill's Jefferson Park

    Candidate van Archen Questionnaire Responses

    On July 16, candidates were asked to provide responses to five School Board-selected questions and asked to select three questions submitted by community members in a recent survey. Read the submitted questions from the community.

     

    Board-selected questions and candidate responses:

    1. What is your connection to the Southeast Seattle District VII community, schools, families, and students? How do you foresee growing or expanding on those connections and relationships in your role as a school board director?

    I have lived in Southeast Seattle for 14 years and my daughter is a rising sixth grader at Mercer Middle School. I'm a multiracial woman, and the daughter of working-class immigrants, living in one of the most racially and socio-economically diverse districts in Seattle. I'm a longtime public schools advocate, and I have served as Southeast Area Director for the Seattle Council PTSA, working with families across the Southeast on school issues that are important to them. I have collaborated with neighbors of color at Maple to fix a boundary change proposal, helped communicate concerns on a principal transfer at Graham Hill, helped advise a small but growing PTSA at Dearborn Park, donated supplies to Emerson Elementary, corrected district officials on misperceptions about funding at Rainier Beach High School, identified and helped publicize waitlist policy changes at Cleveland High School, and advocated for a feeder pattern correction for Kimball Elementary. I've been endorsed by immediate past District 7 School Board Director Betty Patu and former Seattle City Councilmember and Hawthorne Elementary mom Kirsten Harris-Talley, as well as by past and present parents and educators across Southeast Seattle (julieforschoolboard.com/endorsements).

    Apart from my schools advocacy, I have been deeply involved in the Southeast community for many years. Though I live on Beacon Hill, I banded together with Georgetown neighbors so many times that a prior president of the Georgetown Community Council named me an honorary resident of Georgetown. I was instrumental in efforts to help that community successfully fight a transfer station, a red light district, commercial flights out of Boeing Field, and the destruction of the facade of a historic building. In Rainier Valley, where my child attended a BIPOC-owned preschool, I have been a key seed funder for the Black and Tan Hall, a cooperatively-owned performing arts and restaurant venue that seeks to maintain Rainier Valley as a destination for cross-cultural arts and education events. On Beacon Hill, I have helped stabilize the hillside with native plants, establish view protection laws at Jefferson Park, fight the replacement of grass with artificial turf, paint out graffiti on neighbors' homes, and participated in many other community efforts.

    Most of my advocacy to date has been as the mother of a young child working in roles of increasing responsibility at Amazon.com. During that time I was also often working around the clock with global teams, and traveling both across the country and internationally. My work as a senior product manager at one of the world's most demanding companies has limited my opportunity to engage with the community as deeply as I would like. However, since resigning from my job four days ago, I have started to engage in the manner I would as a School Board director. In the last three days, I have attended two task force subcommittee meetings; corresponded with the district's Chief Operations Officer about security policy; met with the Special Education PTSA; met with school community leaders at an event sponsored by the Center for Ethical Leadership at the Somali Community Services Center, and discussed the history of racism in Washington state, restorative practices, the school-to-prison pipeline, and other topics; talked to a Cleveland High School senior about his role as a City Council campaign organizer; talked to a new Garfield High School graduate about her work with the Rainier Beach Farm Stand, which sources food from POC farmers; and talked to new Rainier Beach High School graduates about their work with the Corner Greeters group that goes to "crime hotspots" to deter crime using a non-police presence.

    As District 7 School Board director, I will meet frequently with students, families, and community leaders about their concerns. I will hold rotating community meetings across the Southeast, from South Park to Rainier Beach to Beacon Hill to Georgetown to Columbia City. I will also regularly attend community events organized by groups like the Southeast Seattle Education Coalition, the Somali Family Safety Task Force, 206 Rising, El Centro de la Raza, the Rainier Beach Action Coalition, the Ethiopian Community in Seattle (ECS), the Filipino Community of Seattle, Integrated Schools, the Somali Parents Education Board, and others. I will work to gauge interest in whether groups of parents who speak a common language other than English would want to meet with me with an interpreter, and I would set up such meetings.

    2. What is your understanding of the role of school board director? How do you foresee working with your fellow directors, the superintendent, staff, and the public?

    Based on my years of district advocacy, I am familiar with how the Board of Directors and its committees work. I have experience working with most of the current members of the Seattle School Board, as well as with past members Michael DeBell, Sharon Peaslee, Marty McLaren, Harium Martin-Morris, Sherry Carr, Sue Peters, Stephan Blanford, and Kay Smith-Blum. In addition to being a Seattle Council PTSA board member, I have testified at countless School Board meetings, met with superintendents and senior staff, worked for over a year on a district task force, served on five task force subcommittees, attended the community meetings of a dozen School Board members, and attended Board work sessions and committee meetings, including live-Tweeting one for the public. I'm a constant visitor at district headquarters, and while I don't yet know where the bodies are buried, I do know where the secret raspberry bush is.

    On paper, the role of Seattle School Board director is simple. It is to approve policy and budget for the district, to hire and evaluate the superintendent and the internal auditor, to adopt curriculum materials, to represent the district to the community and the community to the district, and to have legal and fiduciary authority for the district. The School Board members meet biweekly as a whole, and also serve on committees and attend working sessions.

    In reality, the role is complex. The School Board does not have its own staff, and must rely on district staff to provide them with the information they need to make sound decisions. They must know what questions to ask, understanding that every data request that the staff needs to follow up on represents time staff doesn't spent doing other necessary work for the district. As a director, I will try not overburden staff with requests, while ensuring I have the information I need to exercise my fiduciary and legal authority responsibly. Also, I will also confer not just with district headquarters staff, but with educators themselves on decisions affecting teachers and paraeducators in schools.

    In a state where public education is not fully funded, I will also consider funding advocacy to the Legislature as part of my role. While following guidelines for this advocacy, I will volunteer to accompany the legislative representative on trips to Olympia as often as needed to ensure the state follows through on its constitutional paramount duty. I will also work to ensure our schools receive funds from the city's own education levy.

    I will approach my work on the Board as a team sport. I will collaborate with other directors on policy work in committee, and on amendments to Board Action Reports. I will attend their community meetings, ensuring in advance no quorum will be reached. When I disagree with the Superintendent or other directors, I will be extremely respectful and will always value their perspectives.

    As noted above, I will spend a great deal of time engaging with the community, and I will collaborate with my neighbors on a collective vision for our kids. Community engagement will inform every aspect of my work and decision-making, and I will continually look for opportunities for the district to keep our students and families better informed and more authentically engaged. When there is disagreement in the community, such as over boundaries for a school, I will be guided by higher principles, such as alignment to the Strategic Plan and equity for our most underserved students. And I will be prepared to respectfully listen to members of the public, both in community meetings and from the dais, even if they speak disrespectfully.

    3. How do you think Seattle Public Schools is doing? Do you support the district’s recently adopted strategic plan — why or why not? What does focusing on students that are the furthest from educational justice mean to you? Read the district's strategic plan.

    Seattle Public Schools is doing very well by some students, delivering them to elite colleges, and it is failing other students, putting them in the school-to-prison pipeline. I'm encouraged by recent positive developments, such as the passage of a more equitable dress code policy, but concerned about the overall picture. In Seattle Public Schools, 53% of students are students of color, but only 19% of teachers are teachers of color, while black children who get a black teacher in the elementary grades are 39% less likely to drop out of high school and 19% more likely to go on to college.

    Despite this disproportionality between students and teachers of color, we do not require training in implicit bias, restorative practices, de-escalation, and culturally responsive pedagogy. This is not just damaging, but dangerous to our children. As recently as this May, an SPS teacher called the police on a 10- or 11-year-old child after a verbal conflict over a request to leave the classroom, despite the well-known danger of needless interactions between police and black youth. Though the student was not physically injured in that particular interaction, that student will always carry the trauma of having his grade school teacher call the police on him, and may never again feel safe in school. When discussing the why there's a critical lack of black educators in U.S. schools, Rodney Robinson, the National Education Association's 2019 Teacher of the Year, said: "It's no coincidence... No one wants to return to the scene of their trauma as a career field."

    The district's recently adopted Strategic Plan is a bold step in the right direction for Seattle Public Schools. It rightfully places black male students as the intentional focus of district efforts, and it lists a culturally responsive workforce as one of its four priorities. The Strategic Plan is not just valuable for what it says and commits the district to doing, but also for inspiring others to follow its lead. In my own work on the Advanced Learning Task Force, I proposed a commitment that the district will eliminate racial disparities in all facets of Advanced Learning, from identification to participation to outcomes. I got pushback from multiple white people on the task force that the commitment was perhaps too aspirational and unrealistic, but I insisted that we include it, citing the Strategic Plan as justification for its boldness. In the end, the Task Force unanimously agreed to approve the commitment.

    Focusing on students who are the furthest from educational justice to me means focusing on students who we are systematically failing, as evidenced by outcomes such as school dropout rates. Though I appreciate the intentional focus on African American males in the Strategic Plan, the students furthest from education justice are those who are in double, triple, or quadruple jeopardy due to the intersectionality of institutional discrimination. An African American transgender student with autism might be the furthest from educational justice in SPS.

    4. How does racism affect education in Seattle? What are your ideas for implementing School Board Policy No. 0030, Ensuring Educational and Racial Equity? Read Policy 0030.

    Racism affects every facet of education in Seattle, as I explained in Question 3, and creates a vicious cycle of trauma for students. As we have discussed in the Advanced Learning Task Force, white supremacy can attach itself to any framework, and only through extremely intentional, focused effort can we hope to undo its harm. In my work on the task force, I have repeatedly warned that we cannot expect any "colorblind" approaches to result in racially equitable outcomes. In particular, I have stressed that we cannot rely on an 80% white educator workforce without mandatory implicit bias training to reliably identify children of color for Advanced Learning services.

    I have been encouraging Seattle Public Schools to follow Policy 0030 for six years. Former Executive Director of Race and Equity Bernardo Ruiz once invited me to call him as often as I liked to discuss the district's implementation of Policy 0030, saying that my persistence helped him get get his job done. I took him at his word, and for a while called him every day to ask how we were going to ensure that the district followed its own policy in making boundary decisions. (I cannot say whether my persistent calling is the reason he left the district.)

    My ideas for implementing Policy 0030 include requiring educator professional development training in implicit bias, restorative practices, de-escalation, and culturally responsive pedagogy, and requiring implicit bias training for all district staff and volunteers who interact with students or families. We also need to devote sufficient staffing to develop and roll out ethnic studies curriculum throughout the district.

    We need to intentionally focus on efforts to recruit and retain educators of color. As Rodney Robinson astutely put it, "No one wants to return to the scene of their trauma as a career field," so we need to recognize that success may require intense effort. In addition to creating more welcoming school environments through implicit bias training and culturally responsive pedagogy, we should investigate how to expand programs like the Academy for Rising Educators and the Seattle Teacher Residency, to increase the number of teachers of color.

    We also need to analyze every decision though a racial equity lens, and equity should be non-negotiable. In my years of work on the boundary work, I watched dozens if not hundreds of parents, including myself, spend hours fighting the district on the placement of a single line. It was frustrating to witness all of that effort, when racial equity should never have been considered negotiable in the first place. If the district had started the boundary process with very clear principles, including racial equity, and had steadfastly insisted on them, then a great deal of effort -- from both parents and staff -- would have been saved.

    5. What do you want to focus on as a school board director and why? How do you foresee doing that work within the constraints of the role (law, existing policy, budget, staff, and public expectations)?

    As a School Board director, a primary concern of mine will be the equitable and predictable distribution of funding across schools, because nothing harms underserved schools as much as unexpected shortfalls in funding (except, perhaps, unexpected changes in leadership). The issue of funding affects everything else at a school, including racial equity and outcomes for students receiving Special Education services. I do not pretend to have all the answers on how to accomplish this, but I know areas I want to consider, such as:

    1. The district recently introduced a racial equity index to the Weighted Staffing Standard -- one that now includes the disaggregated racial data that I previously I advocated for. How much weight is given to that index and why, and should it be adjusted?
    2. Staff funding for the following year is based on attendance predictions that are made prior to Open Enrollment. Is that timing appropriate?
    3. How exactly is staff funding reallocated to schools if they have more students than anticipated in the fall? Is the district only returning half the funding to the schools, as staff originally proposed? If so, that is unfair and that policy needs to be updated.
    4. If staff funding is based on projected attendance, and the district controls school attendance by drawing boundaries and freezing waitlists, are we unfairly starving some schools of funding?
    5. Staff at some schools spend time pursuing outside grants, and the district subjects those grants to an indirect fee for costs related to compliance. Does this unfairly affect underserved schools' funding?

    In addition to working to ensure that the funding pie is divided equitably and predictably, I will also work to expand the pie, advocating for increased funding from the state in Olympia and opposing any expansion of sharing of taxpayer funding with charter schools. As the Board has previously stated, "Charter schools draw students and funding away from already underfunded public schools; and ... the District’s three Southeast Seattle High Schools, Franklin, Cleveland and Rainier Beach International High School will be disproportionately affected by siphoning of students and funds should they lose more funding and students."

    I understand the role of the School Board director, and its constraints, well enough to not make grandiose promises about what I can do as one director on a board with six others, in a district that has no dedicated Board staff, in a state that underfunds its schools.

     

    Community questions and candidate responses:

    Why do you want to serve on the school board? What is your personal and professional motivation?

    I want to serve on the School Board because I can think of no greater purpose than to help educate the people in charge of the future. Public schools are an integral part of the great American experiment, providing students with exposure to people of different backgrounds and perspectives. My interest in serving on the Board is a very natural progression of my intense involvement in the district for the last six years. And after a professional career in journalism followed by a number of demanding business roles in the private sector, and I am excited to apply my investigative and analytic skills to help the children of Seattle. I am applying for this role for the role itself, and not for any other reason. If appointed, I will plan to serve on the School Board as my primary job, not as a side pursuit.

    My greatest motivation to apply is that I believe I would bring an extremely valuable perspective to the role:

    --As a multiracial woman, I will insist on a racial equity lens in all decision-making, as I have already done with my boundary and Advanced Learning work.

    --As a committed advocate for the neurodiverse community, I will work with the Special Education PTSA to understand their priorities and represent the needs of children with learning and developmental disabilities. I will continually look out for opportunities to increase inclusion, such as advocating for the elimination of uniform policies at grandfathered uniform schools.

    --As a woman who worked at the world's second most valuable company for many years and had to make a solid business case for every significant resource expenditure, I will bring cost-benefit analysis and a spirit of frugality to budget decisions, understanding that a dollar spent in one area is a dollar that will ultimately be taken from another worthy area.

    --As the proud daughter of a union electrician, I recognize the value of Career and Technical Education and will promote community partnerships that allow us to expand CTE programs.

    --As a woman who has worked in tech, I understand the importance of personal data and will work to protect our children's privacy.

    --As a former Southeast Area Director for Seattle Council PTSA and committed Southeast activist, I will continue to work with students and families across the Southeast.

    What is your 30-60-90 plan (what do you plan to do for your first 30, 60, 90 days on the job)?

    In addition to attending regularly scheduled meetings and responding to emergent issues, I will do the following. (Note: The purpose of meetings would be to establish or strengthen contacts, understand concerns, set follow-up actions, and/or identify areas where I need to learn more. All meetings are dependent on the availability of the other participants and their willingness to meet with me. This plan will evolve in response to learnings.)

    ===By Day 30===

    1) Review this 30 / 60 / 90 day plan with School Board president, ask for feedback, and revise plan accordingly

    2) Review the following:

    --Strategic Plan
    --School Board Policy Book
    --WSSDA publications, including Open Public Meetings, Conflict of Interest, Governing Through Policy, Parliamentary Procedure
    --Collective bargaining agreement
    --Big Sheet
    --Org chart
    --Senior staff member job descriptions.

    3) Meet individually with all School Board members 

    4) Meet with Superintendent and senior staff members

    5) Attend a meeting of each of the Board committees

    6) Start twice-monthly rotation of community meetings in different locations

    7) Start monthly rotation of touring at least 1 SE school per month

    8) Start attending monthly public meetings of Southeast Seattle Education Coalition

    9) Meet with Seattle Council PTSA

    10) Review calendars for community groups to register for community events they're holding (e.g., Somali Family Safety Task Force, 206 Rising, El Centro de la Raza, the Rainier Beach Action Coalition, the Ethiopian Community in Seattle (ECS), the Filipino Community of Seattle, Integrated Schools, the Somali Parents Education Board, and others).

    11) Determine what task forces are scheduled to be created in the coming year, learn how to apply to review the applicant pools

    12) Learn about what professional development is current required of teachers, and consult with others on how training in implicit bias, restorative practices, de-escalation, and culturally responsive pedagogy might be added

    13) Attend Rainier Beach / Garfield football game

    ===By Day 60===

    1) Participate in trainings regarding: 1) the Open Public Meetings Act; 2) the Public Records Act; and 3) Public Records Retention

    2) Review documentation about Superintendent Juneau’s Listening and Learning Tour and the Strategic Plan Community Engagement Tour to learn the district’s best practices to “authentic community engagement”

    3) Work with administration to understand process for requesting an interpreter to meet with community groups

    4) Review the following:

    --Minutes from the last year of Board meetings
    --Board Resolution 2015-15-35 (Eliminating School-to-Prison Pipeline)
    --House Bill 1541 (Closing the opportunity gap)
    --Senate Bill 5433 (Providing postsecondary education opportunities to enhance public safety)
    --Student Assignment Plan
    --Recommendations from Boundaries Task Force
    --CSIPs for all Southeast schools

    --RCW and WAC on Transitional Bilingual Instructional Program, federal guidance on Title III, OSPI training on Equity and Civil Rights

    5) Attend any scheduled community events of groups identified during first 30 days

    6) Attend each director's community meeting, after checking for quorum issues

    7) Attend meeting of Special Education PTSA

    8) Meet with the SE region family support specialist from the McKinney-Vento team

    9) Meet with a representative from SEA

    10) Meet with Ethnic Studies Program Director

    11) Meet with Native Education Program Manager

    ===By Day 90===

    1) Read the following:
    --Gold Book
    --Purple Book

    2) Identify experts and meet about the Seattle Teacher Residency Program and Academy for Rising Educators (funding model, efficacy, what more can be done)

    3) Meet with Aaron Smith, SPS food services director

    4) Learn more about Title 1 funding restrictions

    5) Learn more about indirect fees on grants (e.g., IB grants at RBHS) for compliance

    6) Learn about how school staff pursue grants

    7) Learn more about plans for transportation improvements

    8) Meet with the new City Education manager in charge of middle and high schools

    9) Start meetings with principals from all SE high schools and middle schools and the Interagency Academy

    10) Reach out to advisors for SE high school student groups (e.g., Vietnamese Student Union, Black Student Union, Filipino Club, Student Council, Gay Straight Alliance, Feminist Union, Muslim Student Association, and others) and find out if they are sponsoring any public events I could attend, or if I would be welcome at a meeting, or if there are other ways I could hear directly from the students

    11) Attend a Native Education Parent Advisory Committee meeting

    12) Attend a Franklin varsity girls basketball game

    (1) Can you give specific examples of stuff you've achieved to solve school problems? (2) What kind of a collaborator are you? Can you engage families as well as staff? (3) Some district staffers will try pull the wool over the eyes of board members, or hide things from them, and Betty was good at calling BS when she saw it. What are you going to do to play hard ball with the district and look out for District 7 kids? (4) HCC needs work. Can you give ideas of what you'd like to see changed? Do your ideas follow what the law says about highly capable?

    (1) I've helped solve many school problems, from helping feeder patterns remain within neighborhood district lines to successfully advocating for children to not to have to get picked last in gym class, but I'll detail two bigger-impact items:

    EQUITABLE BOUNDARIES. During the last school boundary overhaul in 2013, I was very concerned to see the unfair displacement of students of color, students receiving special education, and English language learners. So I gathered and reviewed equity data, organized door-to-door outreach within the community, and partnered with neighbors of color to voice concerns at School Board meetings. I then collaborated with outgoing District 7 School Board Director Betty Patu and a Kimball parent on a unanimously passed amendment requiring the district to engage with the diverse communities of Southeast Seattle before making any boundary changes. In 2018, I successfully advocated for the district to propose a more equitable Southeast boundary change, which is now being considered by a special Southeast boundary task force.

    EQUITABLE FUNDING. While wonky things like equity tier scoring methodologies are not usually the stuff of headlines and viral social media stories, they directly impact all of our kids' everyday lives. Last fall, when I learned that the Research and Evaluation Department was introducing an equity index to determine prioritization of projects in the BEX capital levy, I wrote to ask for details before I even got out of bed. The department director initially tried to brush aside my concerns that the methodology did not disaggregate data for Filipino students, who are historicially underserved. However, I respectfully persisted, pointing out that this flaw in the methodology would result in decreased funding for Southeast schools. He admitted that the data should be disaggregated to include historically underserved students, and the department changed its methodology to better fund Southeast schools. (My respectful exchange with district staff on this topic can be found here: https://julieforschoolboard.com/disaggregate-racial-data)

    (2) Collaboration is my favorite part of any work project. In my early district advocacy, I mostly collaborated with my Maple neighbors, joining with people of color to coordinate testimony and speak at School Board meetings. I also coordinated with Kimball families to help advocate for their boundary concerns. Then as Southeast Area Director for Seattle Council PTSA, I collaborated not just with families in my neighborhood, but across the Southeast, helping Dearborn Park expand its PTSA and working with Graham Hill families to engage their executive director Kelly Aramaki and other district officials about their concerns with a principal transfer. More recently I have collaborated with Washington Middle School families on Board testimony, met with Van Asselt parents as part of Integrated Schools, extensively discussed International Baccalaureate with staff at Rainier Beach High School, and brainstormed ways to improve schools with educators of color at a Center for Ethical Leadership event at Somali Community Services. Due to my wide-ranging collaboration with families, my endorsement list includes parents from schools across the Southeast: https://julieforschoolboard.com/endorsements.

    (3) I deeply admire Betty Patu, and I am honored to have received her endorsement because she knows that I care about our kids and that I will fearlessly advocate for them. Though I know I could never replace her (no one could), she has generously offered to mentor me. In this mentorship, I will focus on learning how she can always identify BS through any amount of bluster. Having come from a career full of roles with increasing responsibility at Amazon, I will not need any help on challenging district officials on any identified BS. This year I have respectfully challenged the highest-ranking staff, including our Chief of Schools (on the value of course offerings that exist in theory but do not make it onto the Master Schedule) and our Deputy Superintendent (on his mischaracterizations of Rainier Beach High School funding in his defense of a gift to a much wealthier school). As a Board director, I will continue to respectfully, persistently challenge district staff and officials on behalf of District 7 kids, just as I have always done as a citizen.

    (4) I have devoted much of my free time in the last year of my life to collaborating with the district on improving Advanced Learning, serving on the Advanced Learning Task Force, as well as five of its subcommittees. My focus on the Task Force has been ensuring that Advanced Learning services become racially equitable and properly serve neurodiverse students. I wrote, and successfully advocated for the adoption of, the Task Force commitment that Advanced Learning eliminate racial disparities in all facets of its services, from identification to participation to outcomes. Besides serving BIPOC and neurodiverse students, Advanced Learning also needs to provide advancement in single domains, different levels of advancement based on student need (not just 1 or 2 years advanced), and whole-child social and emotional support. These ideas are congruent with state and federal law, depending on how the students are identified. We are tackling these issues as a group, and I am currently spending about six hours a week working on this.