District 8 School Committee candidate Gloria Pascual
District 8 is Precincts 15 & 18
Editor’s Note: If an answer is blank, the candidate chose not to answer the question. If full transparency, Source’s editor lives in Precinct 15.
Years lived in Framingham: 8
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 intricate
- Have you ever been elected to a leadership role with a PTO? Yes.
- If yes, which school and role (you may use more than one-word): Vice President of Framingham High School PTO
- Have you ever served on a Framingham School Council? Yes
- If yes, which school? FHS Principal’s Community Council
- What was your favorite subject in school? Math
- 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? A
- What was the last Framingham Public School event you attended: Financial Aid Night
- Favorite children’s book: (you may use more than one word): Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin, Jr.
- Do you support free universal preschool in Framingham? Yes
- Wi-Fi access at the middle school and Framingham High is free
- 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?
- Would you support a longer day for school in Framingham? No
- Should school start after Labor Day? Yes
- Should February vacation be eliminated? N0
- I would bring EXPERIENCE to the School Committee. (just one word).
- What is your favorite place in Framingham? Cushing Park
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.
QUESTION #1 – Why should voters in District 8 elect you to the new Framingham School Committee?
I ask for your vote to have a seat at the table because I believe that the entire community benefits from excellent schools. I will ensure that every student receives the resources and support he or she needs to learn, grow and be successful.
As a member of this community, I hear the concerns of many parents and community members about our schools, and I look forward to addressing their concerns as a member of the school committee.
In order to help every student succeed, I will advocate for evidence-based programming, strategic planning, equity of policies and services, and smaller class sizes.
e must develop a strategic plan for all our schools that examines what is working in order to understand the needs of the population to create programming that promotes success and academic achievement for all our students.
We can begin by evaluating all of our current programs across the district on whether they are evidenced-based and/or working for us. This is imperative to being an innovative school system.
At the same time, I will advocate for a transparent and collaborative budget process, and careful and effective use of all funds.
I would be extremely honored to represent District 8 and to work together with other school committee members, parents, teachers and staff to make the Framingham Public School system one of the best!
I ask for your vote on November 7th VOTE GLORIA PASCUAL FOR SCHOOL COMMITTEE DISTRICT 8
QUESTION #2 – In your opinion, what is the biggest issue facing the Framingham Public Schools? How will you work to fix it?
The inequity and inconsistency of resources and academic achievement amongst our schools. I plan to work with the superintendent to develop a strategic plan for each school that incorporates measurable goals that will track the progress.
QUESTION #3 – Do you support a level funded, level service, or an increase in the Framingham Public Schools budget for the 2018-19 school year? Why? What one program would be on your no cut list? Why?
I will support an increase.
Most budgets increase annually due to cost of living and needed resources. I am not exactly sure what program would be on my no cut list because I am interested in evaluating all our programs to ensure they are making progress, using evidenced based practices and have measurable goals.
QUESTION #4 – Framingham has four level 3 schools. Even some of its level 2 school have significant achievement gaps. What can you do as a School Committee member to close that achievement gap?
I plan to work closely with the superintendent on his strategic plan that must address these issues.
QUESTION #5 – One of the complaints about the district is that there is inequity among the three middle schools. There is a reason that more than 50% of the students at the McAuliffe Charter School hail from Framingham. Superintendent Tremblay said he noticed the differences first hand during his residence program. How as a School Committee member can you do to make sure all students received an equal education in grades 6-7- 8? Be specific.
Again, I plan to work with Dr. Tremblay on these items given his observation. I will expect that the plan to address these inequities will be
in the districts strategic plan including a timeline and programming recommendations.
QUESTION #6 – The district has been criticized for not communicating to staff, parents, and students. What can the School Committee
do to improve communication to all stakeholders? What specific steps would you take to improve communication?
I plan to propose that we have a communication system that is district wide, user friendly and accessible to all. We currently have too many isolated systems that do not speak to each other.
QUESTION #7 – Should Framingham Public Schools return to neighborhoods schools? Why or why not?
Keep in mind there is no neighborhood school in District 8. Due to the inequities of resources, underperforming schools and
inconsistencies across our district this would not be a good idea at this time.
QUESTION #8 – Would you support the construction of a school on the Bethany Hill property? Why or Why not? If yes, what type of school?
Yes, I would support this. As our school system continues to grow we will need another school in Framingham. I would advocate that
the new school be built on the south side preferably in district 8 because we have no schools in our district. The type of school we
decide will need to be evaluated based on our numbers and projections of enrollment.
QUESTION #9 – Framingham is dealing with a significant increase in student enrollment over the last decade. As soon as November 2018, voters may be asked to spend between $30 and $50 million for a new Fuller Middle School, which is located in your district. How will you enlist support for this project from conservative voters or taxpayers with no children in the public schools in your district?
I plan to explain the project in great detail from the current condition of the building to the financial support we plan on receiving. I then would present the cost difference if we had to pay for everything on our own how it would cost us all much more as taxpayers.
QUESTION #10 – The contracts with almost all of the Framingham Public School unions expire in 2018. Why is your experience in dealing with union negotiations? Do you support Interest-Based bargaining? Would you support a 1-year or a multi-year contract? How transparent should the School Committee be in its negotiations?
As a school committee member I would receive union negotiation training to prepare me for this. I do support interest based bargaining. This is essential to working together. It is most common to have a multiyear contract; however I would have to know all the terms of the contract before making this decision. The school committee should be as transparent as they legally can be without violating anyone’s rights.
QUESTION #11 – One of the major roles of the School Committee is to set policy. If elected to be the School Committee member from District 8, what policy change would you recommend? Why?
1. I would propose that we have an improved process for public comments at our school committee meetings. Where we actually address the communities comments, questions and or concerns. Currently people give public comments but there is no process for follow up.
2. School Communication district wide needs to be uniform so that every school uses the same system.
3. PTO’s—If the district is going to accept funds from PTO’s and provide them with an in kind meeting space and resources we as a district should ensure that these PTO’s by-laws are inclusive of all our students and parents.
I am sure there are many more policies we could update, enhance or remove as we begin to review them all.
QUESTION #12 – What is your philosophy on special education?
Special education is complex and every student is unique to their own needs. It is extremely important that we provide the least restrictive environment all while our special education students receive all the services needed to make progress in all areas of their lives.
QUESTION #13 – There are more than 75 languages spoken by the students in the Framingham Public School district. Some students enter our district with gaps in their education, with limited English skills, and with serious deficiencies in academic subjects. How can you support the bilingual department when it comes to the budget? Be specific.
It’s important that our bi-lingual department understand the cultural needs of the students and families entering our district. This will allow for the district to identify and provide the appropriate educational needs of each student.
QUESTION #14 – The most recently health study said Framingham middle and high school students are stressed. Students are getting less sleep, are more depressed, and considering suicide more than in previous years. How can you support socio-emotional and mental health issues in the district when it comes to preparing the 2018-19 school budget? Be specific.
Having a relationship with our local mental health providers in the community is essential in ensuring we can support the social emotional needs of our students.
QUESTION #15 – One out of every three students in the Framingham Public Schools district is economically disadvantaged according to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts 2016-17 data. How can you ensure that all students are given the same opportunities to extracurricular activities, after-school programming, sports, trips abroad, etc?
If we made all these programs accessible for free then students no matter their economic status could participate.
QUESTION #16 – School bus rides are over crowed. I would fix it by creating safe walking and biking paths for middle and high school students and have all our high school students use public transportation.
QUESTION #17 – There is criteria to measure a Superintendent. Criteria to evaluate a teacher. How should you as a School Committee member be evaluated? What three things should voters hold you accountable for? Why?
1. Ensuring that we hold the superintendent accountable to improving our schools and meeting the district’s strategic plan
2. Ensuring we have our policies updated and are being followed
3. Being an active and present member of the school committee