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Board of Ed Candidate: Sharon Scarpelli

Seeking re-election

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These questions came from residents of Glen Rock. They were sent to all of the BOE candidates. Their answers have not been edited.

    1. How do BOE candidates intend to address the yearly antisemitic graffiti and antisemitism that occurs in and on school property differently?  Enough is enough.
      • What do you think the district could do more going forward?The district is doing a lot to educate our children against hatred by teaching them empathy, inclusivity, and acceptance. That said, clearly, this is not enough. We need to work together with families to eradicate this hatred and harmful acts. Conversations must continue at home to reinforce these values. With the creation of our Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion Committee, I believe we will begin to bridge the gap between school and home. Together we can address these issues. 
    2. My understanding is that Glen Rock children quarantining due to traveling outside certain neighboring states are being required to quarantine and will not receive synchronous learning, while children quarantined for other reasons will receive synchronous learning. I understand that most other NJ school systems are not taking this approach.
      • are you in favor are not in favor of having that different synchronous learning approach depending on the reason for quarantine?  Why?The current policy calls for synchronous work for children who either test positive for covid or are subject to quarantine because of exposure to covid. For travel, if students follow the testing procedures, they are not subject to quarantine.
    3. We currently have a few trustees on our Board employed by other school districts (three currently with one whose seat is opening up). As such, they are sometimes forced to abstain from votes or participate in certain BOE responsibilities due to a conflict of interest. It is my understanding that some of the current candidates are also employed by other districts. As valuable as it can be to have an educational background at times, would these candidates also be forced to abstain from some future BOE votes? Any person employed in public education would be subject to conflicts and would not be able to fully participate in all board responsibilities. The main one is negotiations. 
    4. And if our total number of trustees is 9, with 5 having to abstain at times, can we still have a productive BOE?This would place a burden on the other board members and limits input from the entire board. 
    5. What is your position in regards to the reorg that happened in our schools under the new superintendent? –  (1 principal of both schools and content area supervisors).

I believe the addition of supervisors to our district was long overdue. I am supportive of the one principal with two assistant principals – one for HS and one for MS. That said, it is important that we continue to evaluate the structure and make adjustments when necessary.

  1.  Do they think we have an issue with community involvement in major school-related decisions and if so, how will they address it if elected? It is important to seek public feedback and insight. The board will be having a community input session for this very reason. The date has not been finalized at this point but will be sometime after reorg, in January. 
  2. How will they work with the board if they have dissenting opinions?The most effective boards are ones where there are varying opinions and points of view. There are discussions and discourse occurring. The key to this is a respectful discourse between board members, administration, staff, and the public. When an item is placed on the agenda, it has already been vetted by board members.
  1. What is your attitude to the removal midterms and finals in MS and HS?There have never been midterms/finals at the MS level. I think the addition of quarterly assessments, in addition to more traditional testing is good for our middle school students to start to prepare them for HS. The move from traditional midterms/finals is not a novel concept in many high achieving districts. That said, the success of this is dependent on giving the teachers support and guidance on meaningful and substantive assessments. I do believe the need and continuation of traditional testing should be continued as well. 
  1. Did you accept campaign contributions from the GREA and, if so, are you concerned about the conflict of interest if called to vote on matters affecting the GREA? No, I was not offered, nor did I accept any campaign contributions from the GREA or anyone else. My campaign is 100% self-funded. I did not think it was appropriate for me to engage in statement positioning with the GREA screening committee as I did not want any endorsement to put me in a position of a potential future conflict. There is the possibility of any candidate endorsed by the GREA to be conficted for a certain period of time. 
  1. What specific steps will you take to repair the relationship between the BOE and the GREA? Currently, the Board has committed to meeting with GREA leadership to discuss issues and find resolutions to move forward. 
  1. What do you hope to change if you get a seat on the BOE?If re-elected, I will continue to make decisions that are in the best interest of all students in our district. 
  2. Do you approve of the job the superintendent is doing?Last year, when many surrounding districts were remaining virtual or in school learning was minimal, Glen Rock opened its doors. Even though in a pandemic, Dr. Charleston continued to look ahead and recommend changes that would benefit our students. He is consistent in his leadership, has the fortitude to make tough decisions, and cares deeply for our students. He is always looking for ways to be more efficient and create outside revenue for our taxpayers. He is visible in every building, attends almost every single HSA meeting throughout the district, and attends many extracurricular events, including the Homecoming dance with his daughter. These are all things wanted in a strong leader.
  3. On to Covid, the CDC has since changed its cross on Mask waring now Advising that all kids k-12 have a mask on in Schools what is your take on Kids wearing a Mask?While I look forward to the day when our staff and students will not have to wear masks at school, I think it is important to follow the guidance of the CDC, NJ Department of Health, our local BOH, school doctor, and school nurses. 
  4. One thing that people tend to talk about is that teachers tend to leave GR for other schools in your opinion how do we keep them in GR?No district wants to lose quality educators, no matter what the reason. I believe the best way to retain talent is to make them feel valued, provide quality professional development, encourage them to further their education, seek their input, and abide by the terms of their contract.
  5. For readers who might not know you do you have kids that Attend School in GR?Two of my children currently attend GR Public Schools. 
  6. How long have you lived in GR? We have been residents of Glen Rock since April 2001.

 

Sharon’s Facebook page 

 

Please visit the BOE page to see other candidates’ interviews.

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