THE WASHINGTON POST — All nine seats are open this year on the Alexandria City Public Schools board, an elected body that helps oversee the Northern Virginia school system of 16,000.
There are 15 candidates competing for the seats. If elected, they — like school officials nationwide — will be forced to grapple with serious ongoing problems posed by the covid-19 pandemic. The majority of students in Alexandria have returned to campuses, where they face a plethora of health precautions, including the recent suggestion from a school board member that eligible students be required to get the vaccine.
Ish Boyle works in cybersecurity. He said he wants to serve on the school board because, as the father of two children in the Alexandria school system, he has heard from other parents — as well as teachers and administrators — who “believe their voice isn’t being heard.”
What are the biggest challenges facing Alexandria City Public Schools?
Lack of leadership. Learning loss occurred with our students during the past 19 months. Now, top school officials are failing to provide safe learning environments. At both the middle schools and the high schools, I worry about the violent fights disrupting learning environments. We need to bring back our School Resource Officers.
What would be your top priority as a school board member?
In general, we need to enable teachers and classes for differentiation to meet our students’ needs. ACPS should provide rigorous and engaging courses for all learners. I am also concerned that the removal of the SROs has led to fighting on school property. Our schools need to be safe before they can provide an excellent learning environment.
Do you support a vaccine mandate for staff? For students?
Medical decisions, to take the vaccine or not, should be between a patient and their medical provider.
Do you agree with the decision to remove School Resource Officers?
I do not. This is highly alarming. Principals rely on the SROs as teammates and mentors who help facilitate safe and effective learning environments. READ FULL ARTICLE