Kathleen Traphagen: Page would be a needed voice on Amherst School Committee

Published: 10/18/2021 9:43:24 AM

I write in support of Jennifer Page’s candidacy for Amherst School Committee.

I believe Jennifer will bring a much-needed independent voice to the School Committee; and she will seek out voices who are not often attending meetings and responding to surveys but who are critical to building a school system that works for all our students and families.

And to be honest, we have a way to go before we can say that is true. Peruse the DESE School and District Profiles website for yourself to see all the ways opportunity gaps between white students and Black and Latinx students and between economically disadvantaged students and their more well-off peers are manifesting themselves — in addition to gaps on MCAS scores (and I take those with a grain of salt, especially last year), there are gaps in advanced course taking and completion, in attendance, in grade 9 course passing, and in many other areas.

Even with all this data impacted by COVID, it’s clear that the Amherst and Amherst Regional school systems have continued work to do to ensure they are supporting every student to reach their potential.

Jennifer and I were on different sides of the last school building project, but we are both in favor of a new school to replace Fort River and Wildwood. With the sixth grade move that is necessary to make that plan work, there will be a lot of change for K-6 families and I know Jennifer will seek out their hopes, questions and concerns and bring them to the School Committee discussions.

As a former School Committee member, I understand how important it is to consistently push for more inclusion of historically-excluded perspectives rather than trust you have been given all the information you need to make a decision. I do believe Jennifer will be that voice on the Committee. Please join me in voting for Jennifer Page for School Committee on Nov. 2. Learn more about Jennifer here: http://www.jenniferpageamherst.com

Kathleen Traphagen


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