• PTOC's Candidates Forum: October 17, 2022

    On Monday October 17th, the PTO Council hosted a forum for the candidates for the 2022 AAPS Board of Education election. Nine (9) candidates were in attendance: Alex Wood, Jacinda Townsend Gides, Jamila James, Kai Cortina, Leslie Wilkins, Lena Kauffman, Rima Mohammed, Susan Baskett, and Susan Ward Schmidt. One candidate, Andy Spencer, was unable to attend due to work travel. Two (2) additional candidates, Barry Schumer and Paulette Metoyer, did not respond to our invitation.

    The day prior to the forum, candidates were given topics and sample questions gathered from our member PTOs. At the forum, each candidate in attendance was given two (2) minutes to introduce themselves and answer the question about prior PTO involvement. Next, the candidates were each given one (1) minute to answer six (6) questions the moderators selected and collated from the previously shared list. PTOC Executive Board Co-Vice Chair Ashley Robinson and Member at Large Sonia Chawla served as moderators.

    The Forum was recorded with an option for subtitles.  The questions and the minute markers were as follows:

    0:01:31 - Welcome and Explanation on Format

    0:03:30 - Candidate Introductions: Are you or have you been involved in a PTO and in what capacity?

    0:23:35 - 1. EquityIn the wake of budget cuts to public schools, PTOs often fill in the gaps. In elementary schools, the PTOs might fund field trips, extracurriculars, teacher grants, and playground equipment. In high schools, booster clubs fund uniforms, equipment, and supplemental training. As such, the educational experiences of students in one school might greatly differ from another. How should the school board and district address these disparities?

    0:36:11 - 2. SafetyDo you feel that AAPS is currently doing everything it can to keep our students and staff safe from violence such as Interpersonal Violence and Gun Violence? Some families do not feel comfortable with a police presence in their school. With that in mind, what changes would you advocate for to make AAPS safer?

    0:49:04 - 3. Students with Disabilities: Some parents with students with an IEP or 504 struggle to get their children the services they need. What solutions would you promote to ensure students with disabilities have an equitable educational experience?

    1:01:10 - 4. Before/After Care: How would you use your position on the school board to ensure that before and after care are available in all schools for the 2023/24 school year?

    1:12:12 - 5. Curriculum Development: What role do you think parents and the community should have in oversight of learning materials that students have access to in schools. (Ex. Textbooks, Library Books)

    1:22:24 - 6. Closing Question: What do you think is the biggest challenge facing public schools right now and what is your plan to address it?