Liveblog: School board member Camille Townsend speaks to Paly students
by Amanda Carlsson and Parker Devine
Published October 2, 2012
Palo Alto School Board member Camille Townsend addressed Palo Alto High School journalism students today in the English Resource Center as part of her reelection campaign. Below is a transcript of her discussion.
Townsend has three main goals: “Creating an environment where teachers thrive, where students thrive, and parents thrive”
“We have two properties, decide if we should open in North or South Palo Alto. It depends where the biggest growth is.”
“We have increased class sizes in elementary, enrollment is up. We are in the twenties. We are at our max, we are using our reserve to carry us through a bad period”
“There is always room for growth but there has been a huge growth already”
“Transparency has increased in the district while I have been at the school board”
Townsend says she wasn’t planning on another term, but popular support and another board member stepping down convinced her to run.
“One thing about growth is that it’s an exciting time. There are challenges [with construction],but it brings an energy to the campus.”
“We have a brand new performing arts center that has been approved.” Townsend believes that construction should begin in about two years.
“we are going to get new bleachers, resurfacing the tracks and iron fencing around it.”
“We are working on voting to raise funds for school and are hoping to get it passed.”
“Looking ahead in terms of cuts, I am hopeful to try and use the budget cuts conservatively”
“400 teachers applied for 80 positions available this year in the district”
“My number one priority is to protect teachers from getting cut.”
“We need to evaluate the effectiveness of the calendar.”
“Did you know there was a new homework policy? We adapted the new homework policy and we wanted to help the students and have homework that is less intense. In freshman year homework should be close to 7 hours, seniors more than that.”
“I am committed to give our students new opportunities.”
“Parents are continuously moving to Palo Alto because of it’s outstanding academics.”
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