“Each of us must come to care about everyone else’s children. The good life for our own children can be secured only if a good life is also secured for all other people’s children.” —Lillian Katz, international leader in Early Childhood Education
It’s hard to believe that I’m in my fourth year as an elected board member for the Sequoia Union High School District, and it’s now time to run a re-election campaign for my seat at the governing table. When people ask me what I’ve thought about serving on the high school district board, I tell them it has been the most challenging community volunteer job I have ever had. I also tell them my experience has made me even more committed to public education and working to create a community where all kids succeed. It has been a great honor to serve as a trustee, and I’m deeply grateful to the many people who helped elect me. I’m also humbled by the experiences I have had in which teachers and community members have spent time with me to help me understand where we need to focus to ensure students reach their full potential as academic learners. I’ve learned so much from many of you.
My hard work has paid off, and I’m pleased to tell you that I’ve accomplished many goals from my campaign platform of 2011. My accomplishments follow:
- I promised to work on problems that I thought had not been solved, with a focus on transitioning and supporting the students of the Ravenswood City School District. I’m so pleased that the district made this a major initiative, and many changes have been made in this area. Five years ago, eighth-grade students from Ravenswood probably couldn’t tell you where they would attend high school because of the convoluted attendance assignments. This circumstance has now changed with a huge effort underway to make the transition to high school easier. I was honored to serve on the district’s ninth-grade transition board subcommittee.
- During my campaign, I talked about how boards make better governing decisions when they include the community in strategic direction decisions. At my insistence, the District just completed the first phase of a strategic plan. I served on the board subcommittee to review best practices and make a consultant recommendation to the board. We’ve made great progress in the area of including the voice of the broad community, teachers, district staff and students.
- During my campaign, I spoke about the need to provide more support to teachers. The Sequoia District has made some progress in this area, but there is still more work to do. The District’s professional development work has been changed to include more staff collaboration time and more teacher choice in trainings. Staff members also appear at board meetings to help inform the board about instructional needs and accomplishments.
In addition to my campaign promises, I quickly became aware of District issues that needed to be addressed. I’m extremely pleased with my advocacy and success in the following areas:
- Expulsions in the district are now carefully reviewed by the board rather than rubber stamped on the consent agenda.
- The District’s continuation school, Redwood High School, will transition from a part-time to a full-time program. Redwood serves the most academically at-risk youth, and they must be prepared for college or a career. I served on the board subcommittee for the redesign of Redwood, and I’m thrilled about this accomplishment.
- I’ve become passionate about restorative practices within our public schools. Two district programs that had high suspension and expulsion rates were closed, and better support is now offered to students who do not do well at large, comprehensive high schools. I also organized a countywide conference on this topic.
- Through my work on the San Mateo County School Boards Association, I advocated for school leader training on the topic of academic stress. I will be leading a county subcommittee on this topic this year.
- I’ve been successful in building community connections for the District’s most vulnerable students. This includes community fund-raising, volunteer time and securing partnerships for Redwood and the comprehensive high schools. Examples include Carlmont’s Sojourn to the Past scholarships, teen parenting support, Woodside’s Academy Program, Ravenswood School District transition work, Sequoia’s Unali Group, Redwood City 2020 and much more.
These things are only a small sampling of the work I’ve done during my first term. More information can be found on this website. I’m energized and excited to continue with my commitment to work hard for kids and the high schools. I also welcome your feedback and thoughts. Please do not hesitate to contact me.
Carrie Du Bois
Trustee, Sequoia Union High School District
Delegate Region 5, California School Boards Association
President, San Mateo County School Boards Association
FPPC Number 1375054