Letter to the Editor | I’m running for a seat on the School Board

Kelley, at far left, with his family

I’m running for a seat on the Board of Education in the November election.

Schools that work for every student should be our common goal. From advanced placement to special education, students from all backgrounds should be nurtured and challenged across a broad spectrum of subjects and activities, and they should graduate ready to succeed in any path they choose.

I have a deep and wide understanding of Piedmont schools from serving as a board member of the Beach Parents Organization, PMS Parents Club and PRAISE (the special education organization). I was a long-time producer of Beach Revue and a member of the Piedmont Appreciating Diversity Committee. I have kids who have attended Havens, Beach, PMS, PHS and Millennium, and I’m a PHS graduate.

My years as a labor and employment attorney have taught me that fairness and good faith between the District and teachers leads to outstanding educational results.

I want Piedmont’s amazing educators to have the facilities, materials, and support to continue to succeed. Parent and teacher input are essential to PUSD decision making as we continue to work to find ways to provide quality learning that keeps students, families, educators, and the entire Piedmont community safe.

Please join me in supporting all Piedmont students.

2 thoughts on “Letter to the Editor | I’m running for a seat on the School Board

  1. You pose an interesting question: why are elementary school students being penalized for a situation completely out of their control? On that note, why have adults who lost their job been penalized for a situation completely out of their control? The answer may lie somewhere in the textbook that describes how societies work. But interesting questions to ponder nonetheless. Some people may just read it as another Piedmonter complaining that life isn’t fair rather than understanding how much more fortunate they are then others or looking for ways to solve problems — but not me. As for your public health claims around summer camps and other institutions where unions are not in the way… well, you may lose some more people who are in the midst of trying to solve complex problems. But I agree Canada seems like a good option. Hang in there.

  2. Hello Mr. Kelley, thank you for all your amazing contributions to our community to date. Your introduction here makes it sound like every other election year but even one short viewing of a recent school board meeting would make it painfully evident that we need an extraordinary effort in the coming years due to the current pandemic. I would like school leaders to address why elementary aged children are being penalized for a situation that is completely out of their control? In theory we only need to be collectively well behaved for 14 days so that the county’s positivity and infection rates drop to acceptable levels, yet minors are not meaningful contributors to the current death, hospitalization, positivity, and infection rates. They, and in turn their parents, perhaps like the residents of Modoc, are quite likely being shut down with no real benefit to themselves or to the society at large. We need school leadership at local, county, and state levels to reorganize their thinking. Instead of working one teacher union at a time, schools need to be addressed uniquely at the elementary level vs the secondary level vs the post secondary level. Lumping frat party infection numbers with nursing home numbers with field worker numbers is shutting down more of our infrastructure than necessary. I think the relative success of safely operating childcare centers and summer camps for months now, where unions were not at play because these are mostly private industries, speak to how much elementary learning time we stand to lose this Fall for no good reason if elementary schools don’t reopen. Even more concerning, elementary students learn almost exclusively via micro lessons. Teachers cannot pack a day’s worth of curriculum into 2.25 hours of live synchronous interaction. That would represent at most an hour of actual instruction. Should distance learning persists for any amount of time, it will be impossible to complete a year’s worth of school curriculum at the elementary level. It is not just an issue of quality, which a stay at home parent might remedy, but also a question of quantity for every single member of our elementary student population, regardless of socioeconomic background. I would like all school board candidates to explain how this amount of learning loss can be justified or avoided. We will be falling behind our friends and neighbors overseas and in Canada who have found a different balance between impacted innocent bystanders (kids and parents) and concern for their vulnerable populations.

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