Priorities

A supporter signs Diana's papers

Claire Warren Morollo signs Diana's nomination papers at Countryside's Multi-Cultural Festival

I will bring years of school advocacy experience and an enthusiasm to explore new options to help keep our Newton schools strong.

My priorities include:

  • Preparing all students for success through a well-rounded education. Even in tough fiscal times we know that providing a good education means more than just the “3Rs.” The arts, social studies, technology, civics, sports and extracurriculars are crucial to a functioning school system.
  • Maintaining breadth of programming and effective class size. Class sizes have been steadily rising and there are now many classes, even at the elementary level, that have over 25 students. While teachers and Principals have been creative in trying to meet students’ needs in large classes of students, we must not allow our class sizes to be so large that we compromise student achievement and risk teacher burnout.
  • Providing appropriate space for growing student enrollment: utilize our classroom space wisely and strategically renovate deteriorating buildings. Many Newton schools are over-capacity and our enrollment is projected to continue to grow. We have to provide adequate space for our growing student population and we must ensure that our deteriorating buildings are renovated in a way that is fiscally prudent, educationally sound for 21st century learning, and well-engineered to be environmentally efficient.
  • Reducing costs while maintaining or improving student achievement. I will draw on my professional experience in program planning, monitoring, and evaluation to advocate for more systematic ways to ensure that programs are effective and run efficiently. We need consider different educational models and we must negotiate a new contract that is both affordable for Newton and fair to teachers.
  • Exploring creative options for generating reliable revenue streams. I will work to devise new revenue sources that will help make the school system fiscally sustainable in the long term. Examples of possible revenue mechanisms include private fundraising, careful use of fees, partnerships, and PILOTS (payments in lieu of taxes).
  • Expanding communications between the School Committee and voters. It is essential for School Committee members to continually hear voters’ concerns and perspectives, and it is vital that the School Committee keep voters informed of school issues. I plan to increase communications through community meetings, on-line communications, and regular updates in the Newton Tab and Patch.