Los Gatos-Saratoga Union High School District Governing Board
I will work to maintain the high quality of education the families of Los Gatos and Saratoga have come to expect, while at the same time looking for new opportunities to improve the quality of the educational experiences that our students receive. Working together, we can continue to provide the best education possible for our students.
In a recent poll by Choose Children 2022 of likely general election voters, more than half of parents with children under age 18 say they are likely to move out of the Bay Area in the next few years. What do you think are the top three issues affecting our children and families and how will you make our region a place where all families can thrive?
The top three issues affecting children and families include: high cost of housing and living, mental health challenges, and social and emotional issues. I will advocate for greater affordable housing, including for teachers, as well as for mental heath services. Finally, I believe positive community norms can be very helpful in changing perceptions of high-risk activities such as underage drinking.
As we have learned over the past three years, without quality, affordable, childcare, parents can’t go to work. What will you do to address challenges accessing childcare and preschool programs in our diverse communities?
As a candidate for a high school district, preschool programs are not included in the district in which I am running. However, the Los Gatos-Saratoga Union High School District has the ability to provide quality after school programs, especially its partnership with the Los Gatos Saratoga Recreation Department, of which the superintendent sits on the governing board. I will work to support programs for youth that allow parents to be able to go to work without worrying about the quality of the after school program.
Much of the student achievement gap has been linked to the opportunity gap that children in low-income families and children of color confront (e.g., lack of access to healthy food, preschool, tutors, and enrichment activities). If elected, what will you do to increase equity of opportunity?
It is important to ensure that all families have access to healthy food, tutors, and enrichment activities. If elected, I will advocate for partnership opportunities with organizations that support all families, including those that are low-resourced. Some partner organizations include the Los Gatos Saratoga Recreation Department and the YMCA, via Project Cornerstone, of which I have been a part of for many years. While serving as an elected official from 2003-2012, I advocated for low-income families in relation to access to technology.
What steps will you take to support inclusion and outcomes for children with special needs or with disabilities and their families to be fully included in our community?
Young people of all abilities deserve to feel included in their school and local community. I will strive to support inclusion of students with special needs and disabilities into the community, which includes providing adequate funding and training for educators and administrators.
There is a mental health crisis among children, youth, and those who care for and educate them. If elected, how will you use the resources of your new role to improve access to mental and behavioral health services?
The mental wellness of students, staff, and faculty within the Los Gatos-Saratoga Union High School District is of upmost importance. Unfortunately, approximately 40% of students at both LGHS and SHS in the 2020 California Healthy Kids Survey reported that they experienced chronic sadness/hopelessness in the past 12 months. It is difficult for students to learn when they are not mentally, emotionally, or socially well. As a board member, I will advocate for greater services and instruction on student wellbeing. I am honored to have been the primary author of a senate bill, 224, that mandates mental health instruction in CA public schools. https://steinberginstitute.org/champion/chris-miller/