The Medford School Committee consists of
six elected individuals serving two-year terms whose job
is to represent every constituent in Medford.
Medford Public schools have approximately 4,500 students with a per-pupil expenditure of $16,000, totaling a $63 million dollar budget. Nearly 50% of Medford public schools students fall into the high needs categories of economically disadvantaged, English language learners, or students with disabilities. For a variety of reasons, these students experience large gaps in academic achievement and outcomes. Medford Public schools must be prepared to educate every child to ensure positive outcomes for our school district and community to thrive.
Key achievements in FIRST TERM:
I am proud of the initiatives I have helped put in place during my two-year term including:
During my first campaign, I promised to work on helping to identify, clarify and communicate a strategic plan for our district, exploring improved professional development and increasing family and community engagement. During my term, our School Committee worked with the Superintendent in the creation of a shared and clear strategic plan based on our mutual values of student achievement, consistency, equity and safety
Universal Safety Committee
I helped establish and sustain a Universal Safety Committee that meets monthly with annual goals to improve safety in our schools, including the distribution of safety kits to teachers as well as professional development for emergency preparedness. This committee also meets quarterly with principals and central administration to ensure cross-district communication and collaboration
Family and Community Engagement
I initiated Medford’s participation in a state-wide family and community engagement audit in collaboration with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Medford was one of only six districts across the state to pilot this program. The outcome of the audit includes the identification of areas of need and the implementation of strategic planning for improved communication between families and our school district. I also worked with students to produce a monthly talk show on education as part of our cable access program. As a member of our Rules, Policy and Equity Subcommittee I worked to establish a more inclusive school calendar recognizing religious holidays across our diverse student body.
I presented on civil rights and disability rights to our staff and students as professional development. I worked with administration and our special ed parent advisory council, SEPAC, to ensure professional development points for staff as part of ongoing monthly community programming. I also requested annual reports on professional development being offered to our staff at the commencement of school and at the end of the year so that the community and the School Committee can better understand the level of professional development being offered and what opportunities exist to consider local and community expertise in professional development.
Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
As the chair of the Behavioral Health and Special Education Subcommittee, equity, diversity and inclusion are my top priority. I have presented to staff and students on human and civil rights as well as the history of the disability rights movement. I’ve worked with the student-run CCSR group in supporting LGBTQI rights and building friendships. I’ve advocated for a disability awareness curriculum, teacher and family access to shared adapted materials and accessibility for all learners. I have worked with the English Learner (EL) department in their ongoing development of a Parent Advisory Council. I advocated for an inclusive name change for the Missituk Elementary School. I have had campaign material translated, have advocated for translation of school documents and initiated closed-captioning as part of our regular Zoom meetings. I have also hosted listening sessions and office hours both independently and with colleagues.
I believe this is an exciting time for Medford Public Schools.
For the first time in decades, we have an entirely new central administration team.
We have additional federal funding to address long-term needs, such as investments in professional development, co-teaching models for improved inclusive practice and strategies aimed at embedding equity in operational and systemic practices. We have moved the needle forward in addressing achievement gaps, disproportionality in discipline, equitable access to transportation and school lunch and improved diversity among our middle schools. And there is a lot more work to do. Here are a few initiatives I am committed to:
Strategic Plan for Medford High School
Working with colleagues and the community I want to see a clear plan for the future of the Medford High School / Medford Technical Vocational High School building. Prior to the pandemic, there was the initiation of a Vision Committee to review options and costs for repairing, restoring or replacing our current high school. I will ensure there is diverse representation on the re-established MHS/MVTHS Vision Committee to include family, staff, student and community input on a clear plan, identification of funding for the plan and a timeline of the plan’s execution.
I am committed to ensuring a high-quality and challenging curriculum for every child that is accessible and differentiated for all learners with continued professional development for staff on universal design for learning and best practices in inclusive education
Social / Emotional Needs
I am committed to ensuring a continued focus on the social/emotional needs of our students and families especially as we return to school post-pandemic. Anxiety and depression are significant concerns for our returning students. I will work on equitable access to before and after school programing and clubs, access to sports and recreation, best practices for trauma-informed schools and building friendships between diverse student groups.
Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
All aspects of my work will focus on the importance of equity, diversity and inclusion in our schools. I will actively outreach to our diverse communities to ensure culturally responsive schools and increased access to public meetings. I will work to ensure equitable access to resources between our schools and address disproportionality among our schools. I will support and reinforce the Superintendent’s initiative to hire and support diverse staff members across all schools