Soquel Union Elementary School Board: Amanda Jackson Miller

Party/Affiliation: nonpartisan office
Current Job: stay at home parent/nonprofit attorney
Family: husband Andy, two daughters in the district, and a preschool-aged son

Top 3 Priorities if Elected:

1. Facilitate a smooth transition to Common Core Curriculum
2. Ensure a Quality Education for Every Child & Narrow the Achievement Gap
3. Build Support & Strengthen Collaborations Between the Schools & Greater Community

How will you implement those goals?

1) Transition to Common Core Curriculum: I would address our district's transition to common core by supporting staff needs for resources (materials, time for planning, training) to ensure successful implementation. As the daughter and granddaughter of public school teachers, I have seen the amount of work that goes into lesson planning. A shift this large in the curriculum requires a huge amount of support. I would also advocate for outreach, community conversations and education nights about the new curriculum. Parents and caregivers must be informed about the changes, and be involved in implementation plans.

2) Ensure a Quality Education for Every Child & Narrow the Achievement Gap: As a classroom volunteer at Santa Cruz Gardens Elementary for the past six
years, I have seen firsthand the importance of being able to work with students
who are struggling one-on-one or in small groups. To improve academic
performance we need to ensure smaller class sizes, increase the availability of
instructional aides, improve parent/caregiver involvement in students' academic
careers, create homework clubs at every campus, and work toward fostering a
"growth mindset" in our community, where lifelong learning is expected,
respected, and celebrated.

3) Relationship Between the School District and the Surrounding Community: As a member of the 2013 Measure S (parcel tax) committee, I saw an outpouring
of support for our district from many members of the community. However, I also
learned of ongoing challenges presented by past disputes. As someone who has
children in the district, and is also a community member who loves the local
parks, services, and amenities that the city provides to our local families, I will
bring a level head and a fresh perspective to improving relationships between the
district and the wider community.

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