Education

We must invest in the future of our City. The Mayor of Medford has a significant role in education funding and decision making and, as Mayor, I intend to be intimately involved in providing all of our children a high-quality education. As a father who has experienced the public schools from PK-12, I know first-hand that Medford’s educators, staff, faculty, and administrators are among the best in the state, but they need support for the road ahead which includes recovering from learning losses, updated mental health curriculums, and addressing significant technology challenges. 

The handling of education issues during the COVID crisis was an abject failure by the current administration. For example, our administration was inexcusably late in ordering and completing adequate air ventilation studies. DESE urged these studies in April 2020 and this advice was not heeded by the current administration until mid-July 2020. This failure in leadership and public health planning was a driving reason for remote only learning in the Fall of 2020.  Remote learning was tolerable for some but left too many students in vulnerable and, in some cases, dangerous situations. We must do better for our students.

John will:

  • Enhance our vocational school by making sure offerings are robust to fit current workforce needs, as well as audit all current equipment and technology to ensure it is adequate for our Voke students’ goals. 

  • Modernize our buildings and technology capabilities throughout the district. The pandemic revealed a critical need for urgent repair of the connectivity at our schools, especially our high school. Immediate attention is needed in order to help our students compete with their peers. 

  • Prioritize social and emotional health. The pandemic has caused significant harm to our students’ emotional health. As Mayor, I will work to form a public/private partnership with medical professionals to review our mental health services at school, update and implement recommended services, and provide related professional development to faculty.

  • Make the before and after school programs more accessible at each elementary school. The district is currently unable to meet the demand for after-school programming. After School programs don’t just close a childcare gap, they provide settings that support social, emotional, and academic development, reduce risky behaviors, promote physical health and provide a safe and supportive environment for children. The 2021/22 Before and After School Care lottery closed on March 1, 2021. We need to rethink this system and do better to support our working families.

  • Improve communication to families and students with a more streamlined, district-wide email process and new website. Information should be timely, easy to access, and distributed equitably.

  • Consider a Development and Grant Writer to assist faculty, staff, and administrators in pursuing grant opportunities to advance teaching and learning initiatives. An investment in grant writing is crucial as the need for education resources continues to rapidly increase amid budget constraints. Currently, staff members write their own grants which is a cumbersome, overwhelming process that results in missed opportunities due to lack of time and know-how.

  • Create an online registration process. Doing so not only saves time, it is environmentally friendly, creates better records, and allows non-native English speakers easier accessibility to this critical process.