District 5 School Committee candidate Noval Alexander
District 5 is Precincts 8 and 12
Occupation: Special Needs Teacher’s Aide
Years lived in Framingham: Born here but off/on 14 yrs
Family (optional): 2 children
Volunteerism: Mentoring & Tutoring
Website or Facebook page link: https://www.facebook.com/alexanderforschoolcommittee/?pnref=lhc
Editor’s Note: Candidates were asked to provide one-word answers only. If there is no answer the candidate did not submit a response.
- Framingham Public Schools are Dynamic
- Have you ever been elected to a leadership role with a PTO? No
- If yes, which school and role (you may use more than one-word):
- Have you ever served on a Framingham School Council? No
- If yes, which school?
- What was your favorite subject in school? History
- Will you vote yes for a debt exclusion override for a new Fuller Middle School? Yes
- At this time, what letter grade would you give Superintendent of Schools Bob Tremblay? B
- What was the last Framingham Public School event you attended: McCarthy Elementary Open House
- Favorite children’s book: The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
- Should Framingham Public Schools Provide free universal preschool? Yes
- Wi-Fi access at the middle school and Framingham High is #Mediocre
- Should the $100 athletic fee be eliminated? Yes
- Do you support starting Framingham High School later? Yes
- Do you support leveling at the middle school level? No
- Would you support a longer day for school in Framingham? Perhaps
- Should school start after Labor Day? Yes
- Should February vacation be eliminated? Yes
- I would bring ACCOUNTABILITY to the School Committee. (just one word).
- What is your favorite place in Framingham? (just one): The hiking trails at Nobscot Scout Reservation
Editor’s Note: As there have been no forums for School Committee candidates, thus far, Source decided to ask far more questions of these candidates than of the mayor and city council candidates so voters could understand where they stand on issues. Candidates were given up to 350 words to answer each question. If the candidates went over 400 words, they were cut at the closest sentence to 400. Answers to the questions are copied and pasted below.
I believe the biggest issue facing our schools currently are the 3 underperforming schools according to DESE (Dept of Education & Secondary Education) I single handedly will not be able to fix this since there are so many components out of my or the SC control, however from my understanding the District in cooperation with DESE is in a recovery and monitoring plan for the targeted schools.
If elected I will lobby our elected State rep and Senator to change some of the metrics on how DESE classifies school districts and schools. I believe the current policies on how DESE classifies our underperforming schools are seriously flawed.
Well one of the cornerstones of my campaign is fiscal responsibility and I want to assure our taxpayers that I will do my best to reign in non academic wasteful expenditures.
Ideally we would like to provide a level service budget from year to year but from my understanding that may not be sustainable.
In regards to an increase in the budget for next school year I would like to see projections and recommendations from the administration, enrollment numbers and the like before making further comments on any proposed increases.
Level funding would be the sweet spot so to speak but that’s not the reality, as I mentioned before I would need to hear what the administration is proposing versus the projected revenues and grants. I don’t have one particular program that would fall under a “no cut list” but I will say that I will support programs that are fiscally sound and advances student achievement and or student mental and physical wellness.
I do not have any direct experience in dealing with union negotiations but being aware of this situation I have done some reading about Labor contract negotiations.
If elected I would be in favor of interest-based bargaining because I believe that it initially creates a better atmosphere for all parties.
Secondly; it can reduce the time hammering out an agreement and lastly but most importantly Interest- Based bargaining increases the chances of a better outcome for all parties.
In regards to transparency my intention and hope is that we as a committee will be as transparent as we can during the process.
I believe most people in Framingham or anywhere else want good schools. However, I’m very cognizant of the fact that homeowners in Framingham are at their limit as far as property tax. We’re facing a confluence of not so ideal situations; rising student enrollments, replacing a 60 year old building and asking taxpayers to increase their tax bill. The best way to enlist support for this is educating the public on the overall benefits of maintaining and sustaining a great school district. We have to convince most voters that the costs of building a new school will outweigh the negative aspects over time and it’s an investment that will pay dividends for the community.
It’s interesting this question has come up because this issue has come up at least a dozen times since I’ve been speaking to people during my campaign.
The problem seems to be at certain schools communicating information to parents. This is unacceptable especially in this information age with all the technology at our disposal.
One approach to solving this would be to ask the superintendent to investigate this to see how wide spread the problem is and if necessary propose to strengthen the mechanisms already in place or create a system of tracking communications.
I have mixed feeling about this very important topic. There are academic, social and financial components to this issue. I completely understand the sentiments on either side for or against school choice.
If elected I would like to review the efficacy of school choice because my main concerns are rising transportation costs and the equity of our schools which all leads to our main objective … academic achievement and creating opportunities for all students to succeed.
We are incredibly fortunate to have these great institutions of higher learning in our District. The cost of college is a concern for most families and I believe we can find ways to help reduce that financial burden and stress.
While I was living in Texas there was a pilot program where eligible High School Juniors and Seniors may take up to 15 credits of college level courses sponsored by the local community college in partnership with the school district for a fraction of the cost. My daughter took advantage of this and she entered her freshman year of college with 12 credits. The best part of it was she received a state grant for the fees and because I was a veteran her tuition was waived.
I understand there is an existing partnership between FSU, MassBay with Framingham Schools as far as STEM courses during the summer and other enrichment programs.
If elected I would like to explore the opportunity to expand college level academic courses & opportunities to our High School students at reduced cost. This could be done in the evening, on Saturdays or during the summer held at a newly built Fuller Middle School.
Special needs education is very near and dear to my heart, as many people out there may already know my son happens to be autistic and he is truly a gem and a gift. He in part has been instrumental in me becoming an educator, transitioning from a military occupation to civilian life wasn’t always easy but when I started working with small groups of students or one on one I found my calling. My philosophy is crystal clear and I will always be at the vanguard of protecting and advancing special needs causes.
This is an ongoing and difficult issue, in part its reflected in the turnaround plan for our 3 underperforming schools. In recent years the Commonwealth has required all academic educators to be qualified in teaching content to ELL students. I believe we will start to see the benefits of that effort in the near future.
My role on the School Committee will be to ensure we are on target and making progress reducing the achievement gap within that population and we are lobbying our State reps and Senators to increase funding to districts like Framingham so we can provide better curriculum and professional development.
I believe I should be evaluated on these areas; my commitment to overall student achievement, oversight of the Superintendent and stewardship of taxpayer dollars. I believe these are the most important factors in creating a healthy, viable and fiscally sound school community which is successful in meeting its mission.