Santa Clara County Voter's Guide On Children's Issues

Fremont Union High School District Governing Board

Naomi Nakano-Matsumoto

"Kodomo no tame ni" (For the sake of the children) is the phrase used by Japanese American parents to persevere as they faced adversity as immigrants and mass incarceration during WWII. "Kodomo no tame ni" is instilled in my commitment to equity, excellence, safety and belonging so that all students can thrive and achieve academic success.

  1. 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?

    Health, well-being & safety of students & staff: the pandemic and move to remote learning exacerbated the trend of stress, anxiety & depression amongst the students in our area. Advocate for increased health, behavioral health & academic support services, the oversight & enforcement of Title IX & implementation of prevention programs. High cost of living, affordable housing, food insecurity: 46% of children in Silicon Valley live in households that do not earn enough income to cover the family’s basic needs. Work in partnership with city & education leaders on housing options, free meal programs to continue for all. Equity & justice lens to ensure access, inclusion, belonging for students

  2. 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?

    Although we are a high school district, the lack of quality, affordable childcare impacts the entire community. If students whose parents have to work, sometimes more than one job, our high school students are forced to take on childcare responsibilities for younger siblings. This impacts their ability to study, participate in before/after school activities, etc. Working in partnership with city, county, nonprofit, faith organizations, County Office of Education, etc. to provide funding and programming to meet this critical need.

  3. 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?

    A student's zip code should not affect the resources that they can access or the successes they can achieve. Since being elected, I have committed to being the voice of our students in the northern part of our district where resources are not as accessible and achievement gap higher. Our school board has historically been under-represented by our northern communities. I have worked to understand the benefits of district elections to ensure representation, as well as identify future possible school board candidates who can provided situational awareness, lived experience and representation to ensure equity and justice so that all of our students can thrive and achieve.

  4. 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?

    With an equity and justice lens, ensure that students with special needs or with disabilities will continue to be served within our Educational Options programs and within their home schools. There is a higher achievement gap amongst these students and we need to ensure that assessments and individualized services are provided. Families who speak a second language need more support in translation, as well as cultural brokerage for understanding of the school system and their rights.

  5. 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 district and individual school safety plans need to integrate health, well-being and safety into the overall plan for student, staff and campus safety. These include intervention & treatment services, as well as prevention programs. These programs and services need to be accessible, available and culturally/language competent.