CAMPAIGN CONCLUSION: Becoming a Board of Education Member (Part 3)
Updated: Jun 14, 2019
On July 1, at 4:00 p.m., I will be sworn in as a Board of Education At-Large Member for Buffalo Public Schools, in City Hall Common Council Chambers. At this annual reorganization meeting of the BOE, we will vote on a new BOE President. With current President, Dr. Barbara Seals-Nevergold retiring from the BOE, this is a significant first order of business for the new BOE. Dr. Seals-Nevergold has provided remarkable leadership accompanied with grace, thoughtfulness, and perseverance. We need a President who will continue to lead with collaboration and integrity, and, as I said throughout my campaign, we need a BOE, which is focused on schools and student outcomes, not personalities and personal agendas. Our BOE needs a leader who will best aspire to this.
We have a lot of work to do and I have a lot to learn and much to orient myself on. On August 23 and 24, I will be attending a two-day mandated training, hosted by the New York State School Boards Association, to learn about the laws, regulations, and policies relevant to being a BOE Member, as well as, a BOE Member’s role and responsibilities with district finances and annual budget.
I will be one of nine BOE Members, one of four who will be new to the BOE. Building working relationships and collaboration with other BOE Members and the Superintendent will be a primary priority of mine as I began serving. As a parent leader, I have led by building coalitions and working together with others, and I intend to continue on this course to compel positive change in our schools and communities.
As a BOE of nine members, we cannot be fully effective alone. Democracy does not end on Election Day. A thriving public education system requires public participation and involvement. We need parents, families, and caregivers to be engaged and invested in this important work. As a BOE Member, I intend to foster spaces and opportunities for public participation and engagement.
A BOE member has the important role of representing the values of the community, acting as a conduit between the community and district, hiring and evaluating the Superintendent, developing and overseeing the implementation of goals with the Superintendent and community, adopting and overseeing an annual budget which aligns with goals, and monitoring compliance with laws, regulations, and policies. The BOE governs, while the District and its staff and other relevant stakeholders are responsible for implementation. We must remain cognizant of this distinction.
One of my campaign commitments has been to reform Central Registration. I am happy to share that the District has committed to convening a task force, this summer, to make necessary changes to Central Registration. I will also be hosting an open meeting for a direct dialogue between parents and District staff on this matter. A Central Registration Center that is accessible, timely, informative, and responsive to parents and families, will remain a priority of mine as I begin serving on the BOE.
The City of Buffalo continues to underfund public education. I intend to improve collaboration with the City to change this. At the very least, we need the City to improve on services which impact our students and families. I will be following up on Common Council action to improve street safety for our walking students- crossing guards, painted crosswalks, signage, and enforceable lower speed limits.
Trauma and grief are very real for our students and families and also very real for many of our teachers and staff. We not only need supports and services for our students, but also for our staff. I will advocate for a universal resource which staff can easily access to address trauma and the emotional well-being of our staff. If we want our students to be whole, we need our staff to be whole.
Bus transportation, true alternatives to suspension, and adequately addressing our students mental health needs will also remain top priorities as I begin serving.
Lastly, my campaign website, Larry Scott for Buffalo Schools, will remain up and running, as well as, my campaign Facebook Page. Please follow my Facebook Page or Twitter to stay informed on matters pertaining to Buffalo Public Schools. Please note, it will be a personal policy to refrain from addressing policies and concerns related to Buffalo Public Schools in Facebook posts, comments, instant messages, and on Twitter. I will soon have a District cell phone and email address which can be used to contact me directly. In the meantime, I can be reached by email at email@example.com
I can’t wait to be a part of this work as a Board of Education Member. As I said throughout the campaign, TOGETHER, let’s move Buffalo Schools Forward!