All students deserve access to high-quality education
Fairfax County Public Schools should be the leader in innovation to help all students reach their maximum potential. Students should have access to a variety of programs to meet their needs. College and career readiness through the expansion of STEM, advanced placement, and vocational training options. We need to partner with institutions of higher education and companies to create programs that prepare our students with the skills to succeed in today’s workforce.
An investment in our teachers is an investment in all students
We must invest in our teachers in order to recruit & retain the best! Teachers need reasonable class sizes and resources to provide quality instruction to students.
Maximize the investment in our children’s futures
Property taxes fund 53% of the school district’s budget, and taxpayers have a right to know how $3 Billion of their money is being spent. I will push for transparency and to eliminate waste and maximize the investment in our children’s futures.
Give our students clean and modern schools
FCPS’ 38-year renovation plan is unacceptable. Students should not have to learn in outdated and even unsafe learning environments. Today, 20,000 students are being taught in trailers. I will work to allocate more of the budget to getting rid of the trailers and repairing, modernizing, and expanding our schools as needed – not once every 38 years. FCPS must institute a more rigorous maintenance plan to address the backlog as well as cost-saving preventative measures. I will fight to get McLean High School immediate relief of their overcrowding, 18 trailers is unacceptable and unsafe!
Keep our communities together and engaged
I will work to keep neighborhoods together! Students thrive when they have pride in their school and are supported by their parents and community. The current school board should not be allowed to use One Fairfax as an excuse to force students into long bus rides and tear communities apart. FCPS already owns more buses than Greyhound! Instead of masking the achievement gap by shuffling students around, FCPS should focus on providing an equal quality of education for every student. I strongly believe Great Falls should stay in the Langley pyramid.
Bring new learning opportunities into the community
We have amazing resources in our community and need to work on expanding our partnerships. I strongly believe in partnering with community organizations to provide after-school programs – to ensure our students have activities to enrich their minds and bodies through tutoring, sports and the arts! Mentoring is a key element to student success. A caring adult and/or peer to peer mentoring help foster positive relationships and self-confidence in students. Access to internships is also very important to introduce our youth to the various career opportunities that exist in our local community.
Leadership means listening
I am actively meeting with Principals, Teachers, Students, Parents and Community Groups. I love learning first hand what they are most proud of as well as their concerns and brainstorming ideas on how we can improve. I will host rotating monthly meetings throughout Dranesville to ensure the voices of the people are ALWAYS heard and engaged in the decision making process. Student input is also very important to me and will be creating a student task force that primarily meets virtually allowing students throughout Dranesville to participate.
Create safe learning environments
School safety and security is an immediate priority! How can our students learn and our teachers teach if they don’t feel safe? We cannot wait for the 38-year renovation cycle to upgrade school safety. Every school should have the proper access control equipment, closed circuit tvs and a single ID badge throughout FCPS as well as incident response training for staff. We must equip each school with the necessary tools to provide a safe learning environment. Parents need to feel comfortable sending their children to school.
I strongly believe every elementary school should have an armed security guard through a School Resource Officer or by employing recently retired law enforcement officers. The police department should also routinely monitor all schools by patrol car throughout the day. Additionally, schools should be allocated additional security resources to protect students and teachers in trailers. FCPS should provide McLean High School additional security to protect the over 500 students and teachers in the 18 trailers.
Invest in mental health resources
Mental health is also a key component to school safety. We must invest in more school psychologists, guidance counselors and social workers beginning with our elementary schools. We need to be PROACTIVE instead of reactive! The social pressures facing our youth are mounting and we must offer resources to help address these issues. Students are turning to prescription drugs and vaping for stress relief. Both faculty and students agree that vaping is truly an epidemic in our high schools and growing rapidly in our middle schools too. I will continue to meet with mental health professionals, students and teachers to create a plan on how to effectively address the mental health needs of students and faculty.