Q&A With District 1 School Committee Candidate Beverly Hugo

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Editor’s Note: Where the question is left blank, the candidate did not answer the question.

Beverly Hugo

Occupation:  

Do You have child(ren) in the Framingham Public Schools: 

Why did you decide to run for re-election School Committee: 

Website or Facebook page link: 


The best thing about the Framingham Public School District is its diversity.

What letter grade would you give Superintendent of Schools Bob Tremblay?
Please see my most recent Superintendent Evaluation on file at the school
department.

What letter grade would you give the new busing system for Framingham Public
Schools? C-

What was the last Framingham Public School event you attended: Dedication of Fuller Middle School Chris Walsh Auditorium

What was the last Framingham High athletic event you attended: Framingham Football vs. Newton North

Should there be more recess time? (yes or no) This may be the subject of school committee deliberations, cannot answer without violating Open Meeting Law, as we will be deliberating and/or voting on this.

Do you support free pre-school for all 4 year olds? (yes or no) I support access to quality universal Pre-K for all 4 year-olds.

Should police officers be at Framingham High? (yes or no) In the event of an emergency, they certainly should be there.

Should the school year start after Labor Day every year? (yes or no) Depends on the calendar and when Labor Day occurs as it can be anywhere from the 1st day of the month to the 7th

Should February vacation be eliminated from the calendar? (yes or no) This may be the subject of school committee deliberations, cannot answer without violating Open Meeting Law, as we will be deliberating and/or voting on this. I would reserve my opinion until being fully informed and after debate of the committee.

Would you support virtual classes at Framingham High on snow days? (yes or no) This may be the subject of school committee deliberations, cannot answer without violating Open Meeting Law, as we will be deliberating and/or voting on this. I would reserve my opinion until being fully informed and after debate of the committee.

Framingham teachers are highly dedicated and caring professionals.

I would never cut money from (this school department) in the budget. This is a School Committee decision that must be deliberated in an Open Meeting.

School cafeteria food is awesome, okay, needs improvement (pick one) School cafeteria food is variable.

Should Framingham High students complete 25 hours of community service before
graduation? Subject to deliberations, cannot respond because of Open Meeting Law.

I would bring experience to the School Committee.

Should teachers and staff be mandated to have the COVID vaccine? (yes or no) Subject to deliberations, cannot respond because of Open Meeting Law.

Should students be mandated to have the COVID vaccine like they are mandated for
measles, mumps etc. vaccines? Subject to deliberations, cannot respond because of Open Meeting Law.

When elected, I would want to serve on the Teaching and Learning subcommittee.

If I was asked to read to elementary students, I would want to read: Depends on the grade and literacy level

Question #1) Specific criteria is (SIC) used to measure a Superintendent. Criteria is used to evaluate a teacher. How should you as a School Committee member be evaluated? 

I should be evaluated by my accomplishments, my contributions to our work and my votes, which are always gauged by what will move the needle forward for student achievement and our district.

Question #2) Even with a new contract and a new bus company, the transportation system is not working at an A+ level. Some students are consistently late for school due to buses, and some children have hour-plus bus rides home. It is a complicated issue, but in the end the School Committee is responsible for the busing contract. Tell readers 1-2 ways you would work to fix the problem.

As the sole vote against privatizing the bus contract several years ago, I foresaw exactly where we are today. Because of the high likelihood of further deliberative action on the bus issue, and because it is possible that all members of this or the next School Committee will be reading this, I will reserve all my comment on this until such time as the full Committee takes this issue up, so as to avoid any appearance of impropriety or violation of the Massachusetts Open Meeting Law, which provides in its relevant part, “The Open Meeting Law defines deliberation
as “an oral or written communication through any medium, including electronic mail, between or among a quorum of a public body on any public business within its jurisdiction.”

Question #3) There are significant achievement gaps in the Framingham Public Schools. Name three things you can do as a School Committee member to help close those gaps by 2024.

As School Committee members, we can provide adequate funding and supports to the district to help mitigate learning loss, develop policies that ensure equitable practices and work with the Superintendent by adding to the conversation in asking the right questions, analyzing the data and providing judgement and insight.

Question #4) Prior to the pandemic, many Framingham middle and high school students were stressed. The MetroWest Health Foundation studies show an alarming rate of suicide attempts. But mental health issues significantly increased during the pandemic. What can the school system and the school committee do to help the mental health of students? Identify 3 specific steps.

As a classroom teacher who taught for decades before COVID, who taught middle school French remotely for most of last year until students returned in the late spring, and who is currently teaching elementary school English and French, I have seen firsthand what you are writing about, based on studies. There is no question that the past two years have taken a toll on the social, emotional, and physical health of our students. We need to recognize that the general environment in our city has taken on an unprecedented level of hate, intolerance
and disparate treatment fed by a small number of highly visible residents. What is called for is more than in-school remediation. We need to 1. educate our students about the negative influences of social media platforms since much of their stress is induced online; 2. Include anti-racism and anti-hate in our curriculum, and 3. address the fact as a city, that our society in general is becoming too accepting of racism and stressors and teach our students that they
can rise above it all. I respectfully decline to add more in light of the Open Meeting Law aspects of this question.

Question #5) How should the 9-member School Committee spend the ARPA funds over the next two years? Be specific. 

Because I am a member of the Finance Subcommittee where this matter is to be deliberated, and that it will be deliberated further by the full committee, and the high possibility that all members of this or the next School Committee will be reading this, I will reserve all my comment on this until such time as the Subcommittee and full School Committee continue to take this issue up, so as to avoid any appearance of impropriety or violation of the Massachusetts Open Meeting Law, which provides in its relevant part, “The Open Meeting Law defines deliberation as “an oral or written communication through any medium, including electronic mail, between or among a quorum of a public body on any public business within its jurisdiction.”

Question #6) One of the responsibilities of a School Committee member is to evaluate the Superintendent of Schools. What three things will you hold him accountable for over the next two years? 

The evaluation tool is a negotiated document between the Superintendent and the School Committee. No one member decides the negotiables-it is a group decision that is deliberated in accordance with the Open Meeting Law.

Question #7) One of the major roles of the School Committee is to set policy. Which policy would you like to change or propose during your 2-year term?

Because of the high likelihood of further deliberative action on the policies, and because it is possible that all members of this or the next School Committee will be reading this, I will reserve all my comment on this until such time as the full Committee takes this issue up so as to avoid any appearance of impropriety or violation of the Massachusetts Open Meeting Law, which provides in its relevant part, “The Open Meeting Law defines deliberation as “an oral or written communication through any medium, including electronic mail, between or among a quorum of a public body on any public business within its jurisdiction.”

Question #8) Recently an equity audit was taken of the school district. In your opinion, what is the #1 issue that must be addressed in your term that was identified by the audit? Why?

It is clear at this time that although a discussion has occurred in our School Committee meetings, the issues surrounding the equity audit are far from concluded. The mere fact that the findings have been given the Committee does not mean that they are acceptable or accepted. Therefore, because of the high likelihood of further deliberative action on this issue, and because it is possible that all members of this or the next School Committee will be reading this, I will reserve all my comment on this until such time as the full Committee takes this issue up so as to avoid any appearance of impropriety or violation of the Massachusetts Open Meeting Law, which provides in its relevant part, “The Open Meeting Law defines deliberation as ‘an oral or written communication through any medium, including electronic mail, between or among a quorum of a public body on any public business within its jurisdiction.’”

Question #9) Framingham Public Schools has seen an increase in turnover with central office and principals. Why do you think that is the case? What can be done by the School Committee to increase the longevity of leadership in central office and at the school level?

Any response would be subject to conjecture, as I am not privy to personnel matters as a School Committee member.

Question #10) There has been discussion, but no decision or policy finalized, to have all of the PTOs pool their funds and for all the booster programs to pool their funds for athletics? Do you agree with this concept? Why or why not?

Because of the high likelihood of further deliberative action on this issue, and because it is possible that all members of this or the next School Committee will be reading this, I will reserve all my comment on this until such time as the full Committee takes this issue up so as to avoid any appearance of impropriety or violation of the Massachusetts Open Meeting Law, which provides in its relevant part, “The Open Meeting Law defines deliberation as “an oral or written communication through any medium, including electronic mail, between or among a quorum of a public body on any public business within its jurisdiction.”

editor

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