Sandra Garcia: 2021 candidate for West Chicago District 33 School Board
Five candidates are running for four seats on the West Chicago District 33 School Board in the April 6, 2021, election.
City: West Chicago
Occupation: Administrative Assistant, Kane County Public Defender's Office
Civic Involvement: I am an active member of my church. I participate in many community events and was a volunteer for my son's swim team. I look forward to being elected to the board of education and giving back to my community in a more significant role.
Q: Why are you running for this office, whether for reelection or election the first time? Is there a particular issue that motivates you, and if so, what is it?
A: This is the first time I am running for a position on the Board of Education. One reason I am motivated to run this year is because I have children in the district schools. The quality of education that the community's youth receive is very important to me.
Quality education is essential for a great community. I also want to advocate for better school support of students & their families during these difficult times.
Q: How would you grade the current school board on its response to the pandemic? Why?
A: I would give the board a "B." I feel the board along with the schools have made improvements by increasing parent involvement. For example, sending out surveys, more emails as well as Zoom meetings that we, as parents, can attend. However, we can be improve parental and community involvement.
Q: How do you view your role in confronting the pandemic: provide leadership even if unpopular, give a voice to constituents -- even ones with whom you disagree, or defer to state authorities?
A: I believe we should continue to follow the state guidelines in order to lower the number of COVID cases in our schools and in our community. Personally, I have loved ones that are at a higher risk, which is why my family and I do our best to follow the COVID guidelines.
Our community was greatly impacted by the virus so it is important to focus on preventive measures. We need to follow state and federal guidelines. We need to work together with teachers, administration and staff to implement best practices, and continue to use common sense to keep everyone as safe as possible.
Q: Did your district continue to adequately serve students during the disruptions caused by the pandemic? If so, please cite an example of how it successfully adjusted to continue providing services. If not, please cite a specific example of what could have been done better.
A: Lunches were given to the students in the district on & off, during the pandemic. I felt that this was great for families that were struggling during these times. The community is continually learning how to deal more effectively with the pandemic. I feel we could have improved on how we did online learning. For example, requiring the students to have their cameras on during each zoom classroom time. I feel students would have benefited from this as well as have been a way to increase socialization with classmates.
Q: Do you have a plan on how to safely and effectively conduct classes in the spring? What have you learned from the fall semester that you would change in the spring?
A: It is important to keep following the state guidelines, and to involve administrators, teachers, and parents in the decision making process. Making sure there are plenty of hand sanitizing stations, extra masks & social distancing (whenever possible) will help control the spread.
Q: What is your position on allowing high school sports to continue during the pandemic? Be specific.
A: Although the high school is not part of district 33, I believe it should really be up to the families to decide. In our town there are many families that live in multigenerational homes. The residents 65 & over and people with certain health conditions are more at risk, so what works for some does not work for all. There are also some sports that are easier to have social distancing than others.