Recently-elected school board member Jesse Ladomirak discusses her short-term plans for the Palo Alto Unified School District school board, specifically reopening secondary schools and getting students back into the classroom.
When asked about her views for reopening school, she shared that she was in full support.
“PAUSD exists to educate students,” Ladomirak said. “Right now there are a lot of students that distance learning is working fine for but there are thousands of students that it’s not working fine for and those students cut across all income brackets, all abilities, all racial demographics… I’m glad we are giving families a choice.”
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[00:16:00] What are your current plans for the school board?
Jesse Ladomirak: Well, I think right now, We’re sort of fully focused on the plan for secondary schools in January. So next week, fourth and fifth graders will start back in elementary schools. That gets kind of all of the elementary hybrid kids back in action. You know, January is coming quick, right? Cause we have Thanksgiving break and Christmas break.
So. And parents I think, have to vote. So once we have those numbers, then it’s going to be literally, I think just like a puzzle, it sounds like maybe possibly with every single secondary school. So that’s going to be a lot of work. Most of the safety work has already been done, like the ventilation in the classrooms and stuff, plugging kids in and getting that started. So I think until January, I can’t imagine we’re doing much else.
How do you feel about the reopening plan?
JL: So my personal stance, and I’ve said this repeatedly is I am in support of reopening schools. And my reason behind that is because, you know, PAUSD exists to educate students. And right now there are lots of students who distance learning is working fine for, but there are thousands of students who it is not working fine for and those students cut across all income brackets. Yeah. All abilities, all racial demographics. It’s not something that we can solve. Adding supports, where we need to. There’s a broad swath of students and families who need their kids to go back to school. I’m glad that we are giving families a choice to continue with distance learning or to go back in person. But I think we really need to prioritize making sure that families and students have that choice.
What makes you qualified for the position?
JL: I have a unique perspective and skillset. Because I am a graduate of PAUSD myself. I have four kids in the district. I am a small business owner. So I have dealt with actually the decisions on sending employees back to work during the pandemic.
And I also have experience as a public agency attorney. So I was a lawyer to a bunch of quasi-governmental entities. So I have a complex understanding and I would say of the interplay between budget and personnel and mission and risk analysis that faces organizations in both the public and private sectors.
And then as a general manager of my company, a huge part of my job is forging consensus and working on complex problems with a management team. So I have, I think just a lot of experience working in group settings like this and sort of a pragmatic, analytical brain that I bring to problem-solving. So that’s sort of what I’m going to try to apply to, to the really complex issues that we’re facing as a district.