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As a mom of a DC public school graduate, Lisa believes that schools should not be detached institutions but should instead function as pivotal cornerstones in the health and vitality of our children, families, and communities.

 

Our children, their parents, and our dedicated educators all deserve a school system that is responsive, attentive, and equipped to address their individual needs. Our children deserve a system that provides robust support and resources, ensuring every child is afforded the opportunity to flourish and succeed. It is our shared responsibility, our sacred obligation, to foster a public and charter school environment that enables our children to secure a quality education, unrestrained by the limitations of their residential areas or the schools they attend.

 

Lisa’s vision is to provide a comprehensive, coordinated support network for children and their families to promote better educational outcomes. To this end, Lisa is committed to:

 

  • Reinstating the Council's Education Committee. Our children's education warrants diligent and focused attention that only a dedicated oversight committee can deliver. 

  • Championing integrated educational support for young learners. We should fully fund continued tutoring and academic support to learners who need extra assistance, especially as we continue to negotiate the impacts of COVID-19.      

  • Enhancing the resources provided to parents about how to support their children's education, including workshops, online resources, and regular web-based updates about their children's progress.

  • Addressing Ward 4’s school truancy rates. Lisa is deeply troubled, as a mom of a DCPS graduate, that young learners are chronically truant from school. Recent data from the Office of the State Superintendent of Schools indicates that students attending Ward 4 high schools are 63.1%, 72.8%, and 78.6% chronically truant (see citation 1). Lisa supports urgently convening a task force of educators and administrators, community-based organizations, and parents to work towards the goal of reducing truancy through a comprehensive support system for both students and parents. She will address this with the urgency it deserves.

  • Addressing the “preventative intervention service gap” for at-risk youth. Lisa supports providing comprehensive socio-emotional and behavioral health services before Ward 4 youth find themselves in the criminal justice system. This proactive approach can help mitigate the risk of criminal behavior by addressing root causes, such as mental health issues or socio-emotional instability. 

  • Revitalizing DC's dedicated vocational education campuses. Lisa’s dad was the owner of a small business that specialized in the construction trades. She recognizes that not all young learners are destined for college, and we must provide alternative routes to prosperity. Our vocational campuses should be reimagined to offer a diverse spectrum of skill development opportunities, an entrepreneurial curriculum, and a direct pathway to career certifications and business start-ups starting as early as middle school.

  • Bringing a Service Year Option program to Ward 4 and DC. This aligns with Lisa’s vision for providing young learners with alternative pathways to prosperity. A Service Year program can provide graduating DC seniors who have not enrolled in college or who are not otherwise career-ready an opportunity to serve a year in public service in exchange for job training, mentorship, support, and a stipend. We can leverage existing programs like Serve DC and our network of non-profits, businesses, and universities to make this program work.

  • Equipping both public and charter school students with the necessary resources to excel and lay the foundation for a successful future.

  • Advancing an educational financing model that aims to close the funding gap between communities.

  • Funding Out-of-School Time opportunities for all learners and funding critical services such as school psychologists, nurses, and counselors.

  • Creating in-school food pantries to address childhood hunger. Lisa’s vision is that schools should provide for youth beyond learning. We have high rates of childhood food insecurity, and re-imaging schools to include a dedicated food pantry where young learners can receive basic necessities is crucial to de-stigmatizing food insecurity and holistically providing for their basic needs. 

  • Championing school buildings that prioritize an environmentally and physically healthy educational environment.

  • Advocating for transportation policies that ensure our children's journey to school and throughout our communities is safe, reliable, and punctual.

Citation: (1)  DC attendance report: 2022-23 school year. DC Attendance Report: 2022-23 School Year. (2023, November 30). https://osse.dc.gov/publication/dc-attendance-report-2022-23-school-year

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