In the age of information, it is essential for students in our communities to have access to digital resources and internet connectivity. The need for these services has been
further highlighted by the recent public health pandemic. More and more services are being moved online and more and more students are being left behind due accessibility issues caused by socio-economic circumstances or rural locations/lack of services in specific locations.
If elected I will be making it one of my main focuses to address this need for our students and our community. Our community is being left behind due to lack of proper information technology and this is exhibited in our community's test scores and retention/success rates. As a community we need to identify areas with low access and direct resources to those areas as well as ensure all students in our area are being provided the necessary infrastructure to be able to utilize these services adequately.
Students in our community have historically, not been adequately prepared for an environment in higher education. Although our community’s graduation rates have improved, the level of college preparedness has not increased with them. Our community needs to address the lack of preparation and readiness our students receive due to fundamental and systemic issues within the K-12 System.
As a lead counselor for the First Year Experience Program at San Bernardino Valley College, I am uniquely situated to observe the readiness of our students exiting the K-12 system. I have seen firsthand the lack of readiness and the challenges our students face because of this. We need to ensure all students graduating from our k-12 system have been adequately prepared for an environment in Higher education. Identifying areas within the K-12 system which need to be improved and either locating or allocating resources to improve success rates and college readiness will be a focus of mine if elected. One of the first things our community can do is design and implement a bridge program to better ensure graduates are prepared to enter a college environment.
Our community has consistently wrestled with students who may be at-risk or in trauma. A lot of work has gone into identifying these issues but very little has gone in to beginning to address some of the fundamental challenges to our student’s success. As community leaders it is imperative that we face these challenges head on and address the root causes of these issues for our student’s futures.
If elected, it is my hope to be able to begin some of the work needed to address these issues in a sensitive, inclusive and appropriate way. We need to examine current policies which try to address these issues but may have fundamental failings in the ways that they are designed or implemented. We need to take a closer look at funding for support programs and resources aimed at addressing these issues and ensure students have adequate access to these avenues of assistance. If elected I will work to make sure our K-12 systems are doing everything we can to provide a positive and safe learning environment for all students, and ensure that those students who are facing additional challenges are centered and have their needs met.
Many students graduate from our K-12 System, but few are truly prepared for what lies in store for them after they exit the system. Many have little knowledge of viable alternative paths to success available to them in higher education. Many are assessing well below the national and state median in test scores and success rates. As leaders of
this community your elected officials need to do more to address this climate of under preparedness.
If elected I will continue to advocate for both bridge programs to help address the levels of college prep work needed to be successful in the digital age as well as include
programs and information which highlights technical programs available to graduates immediately following their K-12 experience. Technical, career and trade programs have
proven to be not only additional pathways to success but also serve as introductions to the high education environment and could provide students with the necessary exposure to want to further their academic careers.
In the divisive political and social climate, we find ourselves in, it is essential that we as a community do the work needed to ensure an inclusive, diverse and equitable working and learning environment. This not only promises to serve both staff and faculty working within the K-12 system, but also the students and parents learning in and graduating from our K-12 system. Recent events further highlight the need for this essential work and the need for spaces which are safe and welcoming to all community populations.
In a global society we must do better in making sure we provide as inclusive of an environment for all involved. Our community, which is made up of individuals who experience many intersections of underserved groups must address and then do the hard work essential to providing this environment. It is no longer acceptable to exclude through intent, inadvertence or negligence any member of an underserved, marginalized or disenfranchised population. I commit to continue my work in advocating for these populations as your elected official. We must also look at our existing practices and policies to determine which need to be changed, which needs to be highlighted and which must be abolished.
Educators and Child Development professionals all agree about the importance of early childhood education. Pre-school and kindergarten programs provide not only essential services in the way of child-care for working families, but also helps bolster the engagement levels of children in their own education. Children who have been participants in these types of programs or programs within the K-12 system which address early childhood developmental needs show increased rates of retention, success and social development. As a community we need to prioritize these programs is we hope to address student success rates in higher educational environments and beyond.
If elected I will advocate for further resource allocation and/or accessibility to early childhood educational programs for all students. We need to provide parents and guardians with resources to ensure children’s early developmental needs are not only being met but student/parent engagement is being supported by those working within the K-12 system. Only by recognizing the unique needs of early learners can we begin to address issues they face as they move through the k-12 system and beyond.
San Bernardino has made a lot of progress in the last few years in addressing the need for transparency from its elected and local officials, however much more work needs to be done in order to make sure that decisions which affect all community members are being made collectively and inclusively.
I pledge, if elected to ensure that proper oversight of governance decisions is being followed as mandated by both state and local policies. Additionally, more Town-Halls and open forums need to be held in order to properly address community concerns and adequately plan for everyone’s needs. We cannot hope to earn the trust and respect of those we are elected to lead if we can’t first commit to listening to all voices and stakeholders. In the divisive political climate, we increasingly find ourselves in, it is imperative that we conduct ourselves appropriately, that decisions are being made transparently and that avenues of public discourse remain open and accessible to all.
San Bernardino School Board encompasses these neighborhoods.