We are always interested in knowing what your goals, ideas or concerns are. As a community organization, we want to make sure we are speaking fully and productively to the needs and desires of the community. So please do read through, feel free to comment, and keep an eye out for a survey to follow in which we hope you will share your specific thoughts with us.
1. We want to make sure that the district’s commitment to a renewed communication plan is implemented in a timely way and is of value to students and caregivers in the district. We will continue to advocate for the Communication Plan suggestions proposed by Rhodes Mason on behalf of the group, in February 2017.
- We are looking for greater transparency on BOE decisions. We want to know individual BOE member’s voting records so we can make informed decisions at the ballot box.
- We want to hear reasons for rejecting community suggestions and we want clear timeframes that stipulate when we will hear back from the BOE about proposed ideas.
- We would like to see consistency throughout the district in terms of means of communication and frequency of communication.
2. We want to see the district as a whole, all seven schools, actively enrolled in the Sustainable Jersey for Schools programs so all students and staff can have access to the initiatives covered. This includes gardening but goes beyond it as well, to address a host of promising actions, from green cleaning products to sustainable food waste management to yoga and meditation in schools.
- Many of our community members are interested in carbon-free routes to schools and we support that cause. Sustainable Jersey for Schools participation could allow use to move on that idea in an organized and safe way.
- It would also afford us the opportunity to discuss school lunch, not just who is receiving it and how but also how might lunch choices be made healthier and greener.
3. We are committed to speaking up for services and innovations that will yield greater equity and inclusion in our schools. Religion should not be part of our public schools as it can ostracize those of minority faith traditions. Inclusive language should be used for events, so all families feel welcome and included.
- We want to continue to explore ways our schools might be bolstered by full-time nursing, additional counselors, librarians or grant writers.
- We want to advocate for equity of resources as well as for closing the achievement gap for children of color. It is vital that we improve representation and inclusion of all the cultures that make up our district school community.
4. We will advocate for the full spectrum of special needs that students may bring with them to our school communities. Whether these needs are learning/intellectual issues, physiological concerns or mental health needs we want to support these students and their families and do all we can as a community advocacy group to make sure all students’ needs are met.