Restorative Support for Students with High Needs & Ending Criminalization of Students
Students with special needs, and who exhibit diverse behaviors need proper resources, support, and educators who recognize early signs. In addition, we are overdue to putting an end to the school-to-prison pipeline. Truancy protocols, school resource officers, and prison-like school environments exist and are being developed within PPS. Hash school conduct policies that funnel young students into the criminal justice system is part of a larger legacy that disproportionately impacts students of color in the United States. Restorative student conduct practices repair harm and help students learn from their mistakes. The Portland Public School Board is accountable to the decisions that shape our approaches to conduct within the school system.
Community-Centered Decision Making
No more decisions should be made at the board table without input from students and the greater community. Parents, teachers, administrators, and staff of PPS can expect to have their voices and insight involved in how I would engage with other board members, and shape policy for the district. I want to build a collective of community members who have their voices and opinions weaved into decision-making processes.
Parent, Family, and Guardian Support
The support systems for students are pivotal to their success in the classroom, but we know working-class families need more access to community resources. That means investing in the work of parent advocacy groups and nonprofits that provide inclusive social services.
With current efforts to address curriculum and sustainability throughout the district, we must infuse learning material that reflects the lived experiences of students. All students need to see themselves reflected in classroom curriculum, so they have equal access to learning. Culturally-responsive pedagogy is a best practice that involves a student-centered approach to learning. This will also improve the literacy rates of early learners.
Retention of Teachers, Administrators, and Staff
Retaining our teachers and staff is pivotal, and that means providing them with the adequate professional development, on-boarding support upon hire, and access to resource groups that address their professional needs. Teacher training initiatives need to disrupt school climates that encourage the school-to-prison pipeline. We need more of an effort to utilize culturally-responsive teaching pedagogy to encourage matriculation through the pipeline from K-12, to higher education.
Trauma-Informed Practice & Wraparound Services
Food insecurity, housing insecurity, gender violence, and systems of oppression create trauma in the lives of some students, and their families. School environments should not re-trigger the traumas of students and victimize them because they’ve experienced trauma. Rigid school environments only facilitate new events of trauma. With trauma-informed practice, educational professionals are more equipped to recognize and respond to the needs of students who’ve experienced trauma.
Sustainable Fiscal Management