2018 School Board Candidate Questionnaire Responses

Miracle Hurley


Candidate, School Board District 3

Responses submitted May 2, 2018 to UnifiEd via email. Responses are published here exactly as submitted without editing.

 

Question 1 – Racial & Socioeconomic Desegregation
As a school board member, I commit to working together with the Hamilton County Department of Education (HCDE) to develop a plan to end socioeconomic and racial segregation. Yes or No. If yes, how do you plan to accomplish this goal? If no, why not?

Yes. I do believe that socioeconomic and racial segregation can be proponents that impact a child’s mental health and their
education. We need further awareness across Hamilton County that this issue exists. I believe that the efforts we’re making
toward providing training on ACES & Trauma informed care throughout Hamilton County, in schools and the community are a first step toward ending socioeconomic and racial segregation.

Question 2 – Racial & Socioeconomic Desegregation
As a school board member, I commit to actively partnering with community members to demand the end of socioeconomic and racial segregation in our schools. Yes or No. If yes, how do you plan to accomplish this goal? If no, why not?

Although I agree that we need to develop a plan to end racial and socioeconomic segregation, I believe that we should not demand this change as it can potentially prohibit our progress as a community. We need a multi-modal, systemic approach that is inclusive of everyone. For instance, demanding to end racial and socioeconomic segregation in our schools will likely have a ripple effect that impacts many other areas within our community. It’s like completing one side of a rubik’s cube. You would have to disrupt what you’ve accomplished to address the other sides (justice system, housing, redlining, transportation, healthcare, community, etc…) which will have to be done for sustainable change to occur. Tackling root causes initially can alleviate the trauma of transition and provide greater impact without demanding, forcing, oppressing or isolating one
population over another. It takes us all working together to see that through. Yes, integration of schools and policy changes are needed, but it’s important to be mindful of the impact these changes will have on the lives of the children affected. We need protocols that support other areas of living and learning to limit negative outcomes in a child’s learning & environment.

Question 3 – Supporting the People in Our Schools
As a school board member, I commit to supporting better relationships and engagement by working together with the schools in my district to ensure students and teachers have a voice in issues that matter to them. Yes or No. If yes, how do you plan to accomplish this goal? If no, why not?

Yes. My desire is to see a school system where self-care is embraced and that includes making sure the voices of our teachers are heard. The definition of engagement is to be involved. For us to know what’s really happening in our schools, we must build, nurture and engage with teachers. Our voices should be a collaborative effort of the needs in the classroom, in the homes of every child and in the awareness and acceptance in our community as a whole. Teachers are in direct contact with our future leaders. What matters to them should matter to the school board.

Question 4 – Supporting the People in Our Schools
As a school board member, I commit to working with central office to ensure teaching and student programs provide personalized support, especially to those with special needs and minority identities (like English-language learners and LGBTQ+ students). Yes or No. If yes, how do you plan to accomplish this goal? If no, why not?

Yes. It’s important to support central office in identifying, implementing and sustaining student programs that address areas of special needs and minority identities. This includes individualistic approaches to learning that embrace varying learning styles as well as cultural differences of students. Another important component that would be crucial to any programs success is student and/or teacher voice in the implementation of programs.

Question 5 – Community Engagement & Empowerment
As a school board member, I commit to working with school leadership to provide creative, accessible avenues for parents and community members to support schools and children. Yes or No. If yes, how do you plan to accomplish this goal? If no, why not?

Yes. Parents are an important part of supporting their child’s education. I believe it takes an understanding, supportive and
nurturing environment to engage with parents and the community. We start by asking the right questions. Instead of “what is the need?” or “how can this need be filled?”, we should ask, “Why does the need exist?”

With this information, we can begin to look at root causes of the need and in turn, provide sustainable, easily attainable, and engaging support for parents and community members. However, success comes when we all do our part and this includes parents, teachers, students, & community members.

Question 6 – Community Engagement & Empowerment
As a school board member, I commit to partnering with local organizations and businesses to support and provide resources in our schools. Yes or No. If yes, how do you plan to accomplish this goal? If no, why not?

Yes. I’ve already started to do this in the community. I am the Executive Chair of the Community Advisory Board (CAB) and I’ve been working over the last year to break down silos of communication so that the work we do as a community can be more effective. In addition, we are actively working to fill gaps and needs in our community.

Question 7 – Supporting the Whole Child
As a school board member, I commit to working with schools to ensure students’ mental and emotional health needs are supported. Yes or No. If yes, how do you plan to accomplish this goal? If no, why not?

Yes. This can be achieved through providing trauma informed care and tools that allow teachers and students access to expressing emotions in a safe and nurturing environment. One way could be implementing child safety classroom activities like, for example, “Miss Kendra’s List”. This is a great tool for developing HCDE as more trauma informed schools.

Question 8 – Supporting the Whole Child
As a school board member, I commit to partnering with and supporting community organizations to ensure children can access mentoring, field trips, and early childhood education. Yes or No. If yes, how do you plan to accomplish this goal? If no, why not?

Yes. We know that a large part of mental health is supported through positive relationships and accessibility to resources that are well supported and provide outlets of creativity for learning. Also, early childhood education is an important building block for brain development.

Question 9 – Funding & Budgeting
As a school board member, I commit to prioritizing funds for capital expenses to make sure all school facilities are safe and healthy learning spaces, and ensuring there is a long-term plan to keep them that way. Yes or No. If yes, how do you plan to accomplish this goal? If no, why not?

Yes. A healthy, safe and nurturing environment greatly affects the way a child learns. Taking care to meet the needs of our children and the educational facilities that protect them is important and our budget should reflect our agreement of that.

Question 10 – Funding & Budgeting
As a school board member, I commit to prioritizing funding to recruit, support, and keep the best teachers. Yes or No. If yes, how do you plan to accomplish this goal? If no, why not?

Yes. Our future leaders are our children. The teachers we hire need to reflect the care we have for our children. It doesn’t stop there, providing adequate professional development and support on what matters most to our teachers can significantly impact the positive outcomes for children in the classroom. This entails making sure that our teachers have a platform to voice their concerns and they are well supported. This also helps with retention rates of our teachers.

Question 11- Supporting the Whole Child
As a school board member, I commit to ensuring all students have access to early childhood education programs so every child enters kindergarten ready to learn. Yes or No. If yes, how do you plan to accomplish this goal? If no, why not?

Yes. Prevention is key; however, access to services doesn’t ensure every child enters kindergarten ready to learn. We also need to engage with the parents and the community to ensure that awareness of early childhood programs exists, and then that the programs are easily acceptable, supportive and easily adaptable.

Question 12 – UnifiEd PACT for Public Education
As a school board member, I commit to working with community partners and HCDE to expand community schools throughout the county to provide holistic support to neighborhoods and communities. Yes or No. If yes, how do you plan to accomplish this goal? If no, why not?

Possibly. The Community school model is a great model that relies on the resources within a community and can be extremely successful with the appropriate buy-in from local businesses and organizations that meet the needs within a community. Questions that would need to be answered before committing to this would be where would the funding sources come from for the community schools as well the investment structure surrounding it? Also what are the safety protocols that would be put into place and where would the funding come from to support this type of school?

Question 13 – UnifiEd PACT for Public Education
As a school board member, I commit to setting standards for our board and actively participating in a transparent self-assessment process. Yes or No. If yes, how do you plan to accomplish this goal? If no, why not?

Yes. I plan to do this by staying authentic and intuitive while remaining open and being dedicated to continuous improvement. I’m not afraid to ask the hard questions that ensure we are doing what’s necessary to meet the needs of all HC children.

Question 14 – UnifiEd PACT for Public Education
As a school board member, I commit to ensuring current school system funds are efficiently spent. Yes or No. If yes, how do you plan to accomplish this goal? If no, why not?

Yes. My thoughts go toward the budgetary costs of these previous proposals/ideas/programs and I can think of additional alternative solutions that provide options for fulfilling the needs of our children, schools and teachers while working within the parameters of the budget.

Question 15 – UnifiEd PACT for Public Education
As a school board member, I commit to working with HCDE to create a 5-year budget and strategic plan connecting money to improved student outcomes. Yes or No. If yes, how do you plan to accomplish this goal? If no, why not?

Yes. My desire is to have schools where all children receive the best education and support they need to thrive. This can only be done when we think collectively as a community to create a budget that reflects our values.