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    Community Questions for Board Director Appointment

    The form to collect community questions for the District 7 candidates received 41 responses.

    Feedback from the community will assist the board in its appointment decision. Questions that were collected will also assist in drafting a short common, written questionnaire that all interested applicants must submit. Answers to the questionnaire will be publicly posted on each candidate's Seattle Public Schools webpage and shared at the Public Candidate District VII Forum at Rainier Beach High School.

    Survey Respondents Demographics

    In which School Board District is your primary address located? View a map of all Seattle Public Schools' districts.

    District I 4.88%
    District II 2.44%
    District III 7.32%
    District IIII 0%
    District V 9.76%
    District VI 4.88%
    District VII 70.73%

    Please select your affiliation with Seattle Public Schools.

    Parent or guardian of a student(s) 85.37%
    Student 0%
    Community member 29.27%
    Seattle Public Schools employee 4.88%
    Other 9.76%

    Race or ethnicity (How do you identify?)

    American Indian or Alaska Native 0%
    African American 9.76%
    African or Black 7.32%
    Asian or Asian American 19.51%
    Caucasian, European American, or White 36.59%
    Hispanic or Latino 2.44%
    Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander 0%
    Two or more 9.76%
    I prefer not to answer 14.63%

    Gender (How do you identify?)

    Female 75.61%
    Male 7.32%
    Other 7.32%
    I prefer not to answer 9.76%

    Questions for the District VII Candidates

    What do you believe is the cause of the opportunity gap and what are the solutions we should be working on to solve it?

     

    How many Board meetings have you attended in the last two years? Board committee meetings? Work sessions?

     

    What qualifies you to oversee a $1.5 billion budget on behalf of the public?

     

    What will you do to bring SPS practices in line with SB Policy 0030? What will you do to protect schools and students from the harmful effects of culturally biased and poorly designed Smarter Balanced Assessments? What will you do to engage marginalized families and address their needs? How Will you improve the food and eating experience for students? How Will you recruit and retain talented teachers of color? Will you support an overhaul of the racially discriminatory Advanced Learning program? How Will you guarantee all schools have adequate modern-day technology? How Will you address the PTA funding gap between schools?

     

    Will you support creative curriculum schools keep curricular choice and options to create whole child education programs? If yes, how will you do this?

     

    What is your experience and engagement with the District VII community? And what is your experience and engagement related to education and schools in the District VII community? What is your experience and knowledge of the SPS Board of Directors and how it works? How do you plan to use your time on the board to advocate and work on behalf of District VII and SPS students overall? If elected (or before) how do you plan to engage deeper with the community to understand the issues, challenges, strengths, hopes, needs, etc. of schools and children in District VII?

     

    What are some effective changes you have in mind to make for our schools. How are you planning on bringing more culturally responsive programs like CTE access for our students to benefit from?

     

    By what means and with what expediency will you work to dramatically reduce the number of instances and number of days of punitive school exclusions in District VII schools, especially for African-American students, other students of color, and students with disabilities?

     

    What is your knowledge of the history of the neighborhoods in our district? How will you be a learner in better understanding our East African, Black, Asian, and Latinx families in particular? What is your motivation for applying? What was a formative experience in your own early education?

     

    What will you ve doing to support foster care kids/families getting in-school supports? This is a racial equity issue and our schools are not built to aupport the unique needs of our kiddos. I had a hard time enrolling my kid in Franklin because the school didn't want tot take her- citing they didn't have the resources in place. They pointed out that they only have one special education teacher and since my kid only needed help in one subject I can't even imagine how hard it is for kids who need more support. I hope thebdistrict will partner with Treehouse more- would you support public school partnerships with nonprofits? How would you keep the pressure for more funding and support for our schools while also navigating partnerships?

     

    If you are appointed, what will be your commitment and process for hearing from traditionally underrepresented constituents in district 7 who you will represent? Hosting regular forums? Visiting youth serving community-based organizations and schools?

     

    How will you ensure communities within your district, especially limited English speaking communities, are able to engage with you and the school board?

     

    How will you engage our community, with all our different home languages, to ensure that our needs and issues are represented on the Board? What steps do you plan to take to keep your actions and interests transparent and available for residents of district 7 to give input if you were to be elected as a Board Director? How has your past experience prepares you to be an advocate for academic, social and financial equality for SE Seattle schools and families?

     

    As a representative for district 7, will you work to draw and maintain boundaries that keep kids in their neighborhood schools whenever possible? What is your opinion on the importance of walkability in school assignments?

     

    Have you served on any district task forces, when and which ones? How you attended any district committee meetings, how many and which ones? If appointed, which school board committees would you choose (select 2)? What is your experience managing large budgets? What do you see as the role of a school board director? On the superintendent’s strategic plan, which strategy for you is the top priority, and is there a priority you would like to add? Given the new WA State pathway for graduation, what are the biggest challenges for SPS in providing those pathways? IEP meetings can be overwhelming for parents given the huge amount of information provided, Would you support having parents/guardians being able to record the audio to help parents understand all the information presented and hold the district accountable? What is your superpower? Would you support stopping PTA/PTOs from paying for staff? What if any, changes would you like to see in the student assignment plan?

     

    What is your position on accepting PTA/PTSA/PTO funding to subsidize budgets at specific schools, especially for the purpose of supplementing staffing? Do you consider this practice to be consistent with Board Policy 6114 (Gifts Grants and Donations) and/or Board Policy 0030 (Racial Equity)? If not, what do you see as the School Board’s role in regulating, restricting or abolishing this practice?

     

    What do you see the roles and responsibilities of serving on the school board? Please cite past examples of how you carried out these roles and responsibilities in other settings.

     

    Did you attend public schools? Did/do your children attend public schools? What will you do to advocate for and support public education? How will you support SPS teachers and schools in meeting the needs of students? What makes you different than the other candidates and bestsuited to the job? Please share your knowledge of and experience with public education. Why should our community trust you? How long have you lived in Seattle? In which neighborhood do you currently live or have you lived in the past? What are your ties to our community? What has been your engagement in SPS up until now? Why do you want this position?

     

    What is your understanding of the unique needs of students and families in Southeast Seattle? How will you ensure that student and family voices are represented in vote as a school board member? What’s your connection to Southeast Seattle? Why do the inequities in education persist and heavily impact Southeast Seattle families? How do you understand your role to work within a system to create new solutions for Southeast Seattle students and families? How will you impact the culture of the Seattle School Board?

     

    What are your thoughts on closing the school to prison black boys in the district? Our black and brown children are failing at alarming rates. The district has made a commitment to changing that with the current strategic plan. How will you engage the black community to enforce this plan and close these detrimental and alarming gaps in achievement for black and brown students? Do you have plans, thoughts or ideas on how to partner with the business community (namely the tech and construction industry) to help prepare our kids for the jobs of the future? Our kids are not provided all opportunities to them with the removal of vocational options from our curriculum. Any thoughts on how to introduce youth to vocational programs? How do you propose increasing parent engagement in the success of our youth?

     

    How will you ensure racial and income equity in your decisions as a school board ember?

     

    Who is the student that is "furthest from educational justice?" What do you know about the state of special education in our district? Do you know what the term "twice exceptional" or "2E" means? Do you believe children can be twice exceptional? Do you believe that giftedness exists? How will you ensure that all schools embrace a curriculum that infuses diversity of culture, thought, and experience into all subjects and accepts, understands, and embraces cultural difference? How will you ensure that Rainier Beach HS continues to be able to offer IB? What are your thoughts on Teach for America? What kind of work have you done around equity in Seattle Public Schools? How much time have you spent in Seattle Public Schools? What do you know about what went on at Washington Middle School this school year? How do you think it could have been managed better?

     

    How will you ensure that advanced learning opportunities are consistently and robustly available at every school to every student?

     

    I feel that we have a crisis with principals! I feel that we could be hiring better principals with more experience and strong leadership skills. will you help families have better principals at poor schools?

     

    The District is considering revamping eligibility criteria and services for students who need more academic challenge than provided by standard grade level work. What are your ideas on this? As you answer, please demonstrate your knowledge of the existing SPS policies and services, as well as the concerns that have been raised about them.

     

    schools are about as racially and economically segregated now as when Brown v. Board was decided in 1954. Do you believe the School Board has a role to play in promoting integration? If so, how?

     

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

     

    Southeast Seattle has the largest concentration of diverse (ethnic and linguistic) learners in the district. How will you ensure their unique needs are prioritized at the district level?

     

    Muchos estudiantes del distrito 7 asisten a Washington Middle school porque es ahí dónde está el programa de aprendizaje avanzado, aunque esa escuela no está en distrito 7. Son estudiantes de color sin mejores opciones para trabajos avanzados en el sureste de Seattle. Estoy escuchando que muchas personas le quieren deshacer del trabajo avanzado a mi hijo y dejar de ofrecer el programa avanzado. Esto le robaría a mi hijo el trabajo avanzado que necesita. En el sureste de Seattle, ¿qué otras opciones tienen los estudiantes de color para trabajo avanzado? Lo que me gustaría, en cambio, es que mi hijo esté en un grupo diverso que esté haciendo trabajo avanzado como parte de ese programa. No quiero eliminarlo. ¿Qué piensa Usted sobre esto?

    Spanish to English translation by district ELL and International Programs staff: Many students from District 7 attend Washington Middle School because they have the Advanced Learning program, even when this school does not belong to District 7.  Many are students of color without better options for advanced academic work in Southeast Seattle. I have heard many people who want to terminate my son’s advanced work and stop offering the advanced program. This would remove the option for advanced academic work for my son, which is something he needs. What other options do students have for advanced academic work in Southeast Seattle? What I would like is that my son is in a diverse group doing advanced work as part of that program. I do not want it to be eliminated. What do you think about that?

     

    is your 30-60-90 plan (what do you plan to do for your first 30, 60, 90 days on the job)? Seattle is the largest school district in the state. What is one thing you could do as a board director to help alleviate the challenges faced by a district this size? Boundaries for schools in the Southeast region are historically inequitable and do not support the sustainability of the schools here. What are your priorities in the conversation around boundary changes in District 7?

     

    You need to work with staff but also against them (collaborate but also stand up for kids against what staff may want to do). Give examples from your past where you've had a role that forced you to balance those considerations.

     

    (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 Distirct 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 would like to know what concrete/specific experience you have effectively working together with and partnering with families, board members, and district staff? 2. I would like to hear specific examples of real-world solutions you have carried out to resolve issues and problems in the Seattle Public Schools? 3. Advanced Learning will be a hot topic for the next board director. I would like to know how familiar you are with OSPI guidelines and state law for highly capable programs, and I would also like to know what you think about WSPTA Resolution 18.36 and WEA Continuing Resolution CR B-24 (RA17). 4. Do you know how "highly capable" is defined by district policy and state law? Given that, how would you define 2e and how do you understand 2e children's needs? 5. I would like to know what your stance is on option schools (including alternative education programs and K-8 schools), as well as school choice.

     

    What will you do to promote increased effectiveness for the HCC program, while at the same time addressing equity issues in the program?

     

    How will you work with other School Board directors?

     

    African American students are at the bottom of the achievement gap. Many policies and practices have failed to bring significant closure. What different should be done?

     

    will you support SE schools? How will you ensure there are equitibale budgets that will benefit SE schools?

     

    How will you support families and children who are being impacted by gentrification, displacement, and homelessness? Do you support free public transit for all youth in King County?

     

    Do you intend to serve your full term? Will you vow to do so? How do you plan to engage the community in the board's decision-making process and promote transparency? What is your plan to close the opportunity gap within SPS? How can the board ensure that schools are both adequately funded and that taxpayer dollars are being used effectively to benefit all students? Will you attend all scheduled school board meetings and create opportunities for members of the community to meet with you regularly?

     

    How will you represent all students in Seattle? Not just in one district. How will you work to change SPS when the decisions or recommendations are not what your base supports? How will you represent all sides and make decisions when all sides have valid points - what will be your deciding factors?

     

    There has been pass decisions made by the board that were not executed by the district. How would you ensure that decisions coming from the board are implemented?