Inside Our Schools: Vision of a school board mom

Every morning, as I watch my kids pull away on the bus, I find myself thinking about their day ahead.  Enamored by their emerging independence, (and their cuteness), I can’t help but wonder: Will they be safe? Will they make a new friend? Will they be kind?  Will they learn something new?

I’m certain that my fellow moms — and dads — can relate. The education and success of our children is something that binds us as school parents. We are connected by our shared ideals that our children should have good teachers, effective support services, a safe environment, access to adequate supplies and technology, innovative learning programs and equitable opportunity. It’s these common values that make us a community and bind us together around a shared purpose and vision for our children’s future.

There has been a lot of noise in our community recently. Issues like uncertainty about bus transportation, or the unexpected cost of Pay to Participate, have understandably caused a great deal of frustration for moms and dads like us. Social media has been ablaze with varied arguments and opinions on all matters school-related. Tired arguments and old assumptions about our schools or City leadership still fester, and tensions between the City and the BoE are as high as they’ve ever been. But rising above the noise, if you listen closely, there is also the undeniable growth of a movement of parents, spurred into advocacy, determined to fight for these common values and the vision of a successful education for our children.

As a mom who also serves on the Board of Education, I’ve been afforded a peek behind the curtain at all the moving parts that have to be in place in order to ensure that our kids receive a quality education in a safe and supportive environment. I can tell you that, as just one person, it feels like an insurmountable task. It’s filled with often unpredictable challenges and (sometimes unnecessary) obstacles. But, as I look out into our community, success begins to look like a much more attainable proposition.

I have a boss who likes to say, “Give up all hope of a better past," meaning that hoping for a better past can never change the past—it is what it will always be. As a community, we can work together to be part of a brighter future, in part, by giving up hope of a better past. Forging into the year ahead, and the many years to come, it is my vision-and hope- that we will continue to rally together as a community, to petition our leaders with an insistence that we hold true to these values we share, and to BE the kind of village that it takes to raise healthy, successful (and, of course, cute) adults.