This Q&A is a part of a broader candidate survey by the Anchorage Daily News. View the complete survey right here.
Margo Bellamy | School Board Seat: A | Age: 60 | Occupation: Adjunct professor | Margobellamy.com
What’s the one most vital challenge going through the Anchorage School District? How would you handle it if elected?
Successful scholar outcomes. School programs exist to enhance scholar outcomes — what do college students know and what are they in a position to do. Each resolution I make begins and ends with what’s finest for our college students. Our information dashboard clearly exhibits some college students are doing nicely and benefiting greater than others. So, within the final three years, I engaged in a four-phase strategic planning course of, which translated into the board’s newly adopted objectives and guardrails which outline the course for schooling within the ASD for the following 5 years. I’ve supported insurance policies, packages, and practices that target profitable outcomes for all college students and foster environments the place college students, workers and oldsters need to belong. I voted for the apprenticeship coverage, adopted a brand new math curriculum, voted to re-charter 4 constitution colleges, and co-sponsored the anti-racism and tutorial fairness insurance policies. I’m dedicated to carrying out our neighborhood’s objectives, whereas working inside our guardrails.
Rate how the Anchorage School District has dealt with the pandemic, and why.
I feel the Anchorage School District, and the Anchorage neighborhood, did the very best it may to maintain our college students and workers secure and persevering with to be taught throughout an unprecedented time that shook the whole world. It can be troublesome, if not unattainable, to fee survival or loss throughout a pandemic.
Many college students are struggling attributable to pandemic-related challenges, each academically and behaviorally. What are some methods the college district ought to prioritize to assist college students recuperate from that interval?
The district ought to implement methods that elevate and strengthen scholar voice, that improve alternatives for scholar involvement in class and in the neighborhood, and techniques that straight take away boundaries to educational success. The district should additionally prioritize tutorial interventions and enhancements that assist college students the place they’re and supply a route to success.
Is the Anchorage School District doing a superb job of retaining high quality lecturers?
Yes, however there may be nonetheless work to be finished. School Board members should proceed advocate for ample state funding and for a retirement system that values the work of lecturers. In Anchorage, we do our half by funding our colleges by way of our property taxes, however we additionally depend on state and federal revenues to function vital parts of our native governments. The state funding for grades Ok-12 has not been elevated since 2017. In that interval, Alaska has skilled an increase in inflation of 11.6%. Prioritizing schooling, correctly funding our colleges, and fixing a damaged retirement system will permit ASD to retain educators by supply aggressive wages advantages, and a plan to retire with dignity.
If I may change one factor within the Anchorage School District, it might be _. Explain.
Move in direction of necessary and systemic implementation of restorative justice practices, buildings, and techniques all through the ASD. I might evaluation our present self-discipline insurance policies, practices and buildings and require that every one colleges, Ok-12, implement age-appropriate restorative justice practices in our colleges. This transition will take time and sources however will enhance scholar achievement, faculty local weather and handle present disparities in self-discipline. This can even transfer us away from the standard zero-tolerance and punitive self-discipline mannequin to a conduct intervention mannequin that may nonetheless maintain college students accountable, construct significant relationships, permit college students to make restitution when attainable, and permit college students to stay linked to the college neighborhood. Many colleges are already utilizing restorative practices and plenty of others are usually not.