Platform: Experience matters!


If you don't ask the right questions,
you can't get the right answers.

Experience Matters!

Arlington has a great schools. Arlington Public Schools (APS) are highly regarded within the state of Virginia. APS high schools are consistently ranked in the top 100 nationally. Most of our high school students will have taken at least one AP/IB course before graduation. Our on-time graduation rate exceeds the state’s year after year.*

But we have challenges. Our school population is growing. Many schools have reached or exceeded their capacity. Class sizes have grown. Support services, like special education, social services and medical support have not kept pace with the population growth. Testing and technology mandates have often distracted from instructional time and focus. And, while Arlington’s teacher pay scale is generally ranked among the very best in Virginia, deferred pay steps in the last decade have left valuable veteran teachers short of expected compensation.

These are complicated problems. We have plenty of vision on the School Board. But we lack the insights that emerge from a career of working every day with students, faculty and administration. 

It’s time we elect an experienced educator to the Arlington County School Board. 

Sandy has vision. I respect how she is able to break down a problem and help people see the connections between all the parts. This ability comes from her deep knowledge about education and how schools operate.
 -APS Colleague

POLICY BITES

All the candidates are running on the same platform, really  - equity, support for reading, good data for making the hard decisions, and retaining and recruiting the best teachers. We all recognize the pressures of increasing enrollment. We all have a vision for continued excellence in Arlington Public Schools that matches the values of our community.

Here’s what sets me apart:

Experience matters. Because when we propose to use the old Ed Center (White Building) to add 600 seats to W-L HS, I understand the questions in classroom scheduling, student movement, and even just the size of the existing cafeteria make that proposal more challenging than it sounds.

Experience matters. Because when a new teacher professional development initiative is introduced for EL or social-emotional strategies, I start doing the calculations on where that training will fit with existing professional development for shelter-in-place, CPR and Epi-pens...among others.

Experience matters. Because when I see data about how the population of school children will level off in 5 years (Really? A drop in the birth rate?!?), I remember the work I did on the Schools Committee of the Civic Federation five years ago, where we accurately projected our school capacity requirements, contradicting the system’s data at that time.

Experience matters. Because when capacity challenges arise, I know that there are solutions other than just construction. If W-L HS had looked at floating teachers to optimize utilization of its classrooms, APS might have saved at least some of the $5M spent in renovations to create more space.

Hey, experience isn’t everything. Vision, imagination and innovation matter, too. I was doing multimedia and hypermedia in my classroom before the web brought such things to everyone’s attention. I was lead teacher on the project to bring a fiber optic network and ethernet to Woodbridge HS down in Prince William County. And when iPads/tablets were first introduced in Arlington, I ran a two year pilot program with my W-L teachers to develop an implementation plan for integration into the classroom. I may be pragmatic, but I love to dream, play and invent just like my students.

After forty years as an educator, I have a perspective on our schools that is unique from that of my fellow candidates. Priorities established by the School Board impact our students, faculty and staff. As a School Board member, I want to use my experience to shape those priorities and achieve our goals.


    *For Class 2019

  • On-Time Graduation rate is 92.5% 
  • On-time rate for the three comprehensive high schools is 96% 
  • English Learners show the greatest growth in the On-Time graduation from75% to 77%
  • Students with Disabilities earning an advanced diploma increased from 24% to 25%

School Board Docs: E-1 Graduation Taskforce Update.pdf
Presented by Dr. Laura Newton, Director of Student Services, November 19, 2019

 

 

This website is authorized and paid for by the Sandy for Schools Campaign Committee.






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