Elevate Student Voice
Students have the most at stake when it comes to education policy decisions. They should have a seat at the decision making table. I will elevate student voices to make TTSD a model for meaningful student engagement on critical issues including student mental health, safety, curriculum, elective offerings, and more. That’s why I’m proud to have a campaign organized by over 25 high school students who are passionate about making TTSD even better.
21st Century Education
Our schools need to prepare every student to succeed in a rapidly changing world. Some of our students will pursue higher education, others will enlist in the military, and some will go directly into the workforce. That means school needs to be about more than just core academic subjects. We need to invest in CTE, STEM/STEAM, college credit classes, internships, civics, and social and emotional learning opportunities to help students develop relevant skills and knowledge.
Student Health and Safety
Students face serious social, emotional, and mental health challenges at all age levels. Our elementary school classrooms are regularly evacuated because of disruptive behavior, and teachers report feeling increasingly unsafe. Alarmingly high levels of middle and high school students deal with anxiety, depression, and even suicidal ideations. All students and staff should feel safe and comfortable at school. We need to build inclusive school cultures staffed with support professionals, like counselors, nurses, and social workers, to help students and their families.
Every student in our community deserves a world class education that prepares them for success after school. Yet, opportunity and achievement gaps still persist in our schools, and we need to do something about it. Additional supports and resources for underrepresented students and equitable access to academic and extracurricular opportunities can help us move the dial. We also need to ensure our education workforce matches the diversity of the students in our classrooms. Supporting “grow your own” educator pipeline programs can improve academic outcomes and make sure all students feel like they belong.
Smaller Class Sizes
Smaller class sizes, especially for our youngest learners, empower educators to offer individualized attention and instruction to each student. When students develop strong relationships with educators, they are more likely to succeed academically and socially. Smaller, more manageable class sizes can also promote teacher retention, so we can keep our great teachers in the classroom.
Electives and extracurricular activities (including the arts, music, athletics, and P.E.) motivate students to come to school and work hard academically. These opportunities should be accessible to every single student, regardless of socioeconomic status. The research is clear that extracurricular engagement can improve students’ wellbeing and academic outcomes. We should make it easier to play a sport, participate in the arts, or join a club.