Sarah Roy: 2021 candidate for Fremont Elementary District 79 school board
Eight candidates are running for four 4-year terms.
Occupation: Real estate
Civic involvement: Cub Scout den leader, volunteer at Fremont regularly (prior to pandemic), HOA board president and secretary, fraternity board collegiate and alumnae, teach art awareness at Fremont
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: Providing parents and children with the option of 5 full days a week of school. Be more transparent for taxpayers. Children with IEP/504's or those who need them.
Q: How would you grade the current school board on its response to the pandemic? Why?
A: Poor. Within two days there was a switch from hybrid to complete eLearning for the first trimester without revisiting it. Kids could have been in school with numbers trending lower. By the time the trimester was over, numbers were rising again so hybrid was not an option. They seemed to hand over the reins to the superintendent without requiring much oversight of any plan. Parent concerns were ignored regardless of who spoke at meetings. It was not until recently a couple members started speaking up and pushing the Superintendent to find ways to increase in person learning. The board should have been more on top of this situation and the Superintendent. This was an extraordinary circumstance where it should have been all hands on deck.
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: Like any situation I'm confronted with, I find all the stake holders to get input, I gather as much information as I can and then I make an informed decision. I have no problem providing leadership and making the hard decision. If that decision was determined with the process I described above. I also believe if people are aware of the decision process and can logically see how you came to the decision it is taken better.
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: I do not believe the children with IEP were provided with the services they needed. There should have been a better plan in place to have some or all these children in person from the beginning of the school year if that is what the parents wanted. The most severely affected children who are in the IEP small classrooms already have a low number of students to promote social distancing. Even the children who have IEPs but in regular classrooms should have had an option for in person sooner. These children are already behind educationally every day it gets worse if not addresses properly.
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: In the fall our district did not have an option to be in person. As for the Spring, it seems the biggest hurdle to allow more students is the 6ft recommendation. I have read that if 6ft is unobtainable than 3ft is recommended. We need to look at how schools either within our own area or around the country have successfully opened or have kept open for 5 full days of in person. Then we incorporate some of those strategies.
Q: What is your position on allowing high school sports to continue during the pandemic? Be specific.
A: Sports at any level should be allowed. Our children have lost so much through this pandemic. Sports are an optional thing and if the parent and child want to participate, they should have that choice. If you do not want to or do not feel comfortable in participating no one is making you. I am about letting parents choose what they think is best for their child/children.