Thomas Luna , as part of the Newark Kids Forward team, is prepared and ready to address areas of growth and put the community-based NBOE strategic plan front and center of the policy decisions for the district.
At the heart of any education system MUST be the idea that all students deserve a high quality education. In a healthy educational ecosystem, all students thrive. Currently, this is happening only in small pockets and not at levels that are acceptable to our kids and our community. So, achievement is top of the list. It's Luna's belief that an investment in expanding intervention strategies will allow students to get the support that they need in order to achieve at the levels we know they can. This outcome only happens when leaders, like Luna and the Newark Kids Forward team, puts achievement front and center of their work.
A belief in equity is the belief that everyone, kids-teachers-families, has different needs and requires those needs to be met met in order to live dignified and meaningful lives. On a system level, this is no easy task. And, Luna , along with the Kids Forward team, is up for the challenge. Luna believes the area of focus to create an equity-based education system is to increase support for every students, teacher, paraprofessional, custodian, food-service work, crossing guard, teacher's aide, instructional coach, and staff. When we support the professionals who are supporting our kids, we know kids will win. When kids win, so does Newark.
As a community organizer, Luna recognized a very VERY powerful truth: the greatest asset we have in educating our children is our people. In our city, there is an abundance of greatness and to honor that greatness we have to respect and listen to our community. The Newark Kids Forward team will advocate for transparent and community-based decision making initiatives within our schools. Our stakeholders will not be afterthoughts but rather pro-active partners in our journey forward.