Jersey City United, compromised of the Jersey City Board of Education candidates Matt Schapiro, Luis Felipe Fernandez and Asmaa Abdalla, promoted community inclusivity with their “community connected schools” initiative.
“We wanted to release this platform on community connected schools because we feel that our communities and our schools has been disconnected for so very long. So we have some specific ideas as far as how to make that better,” Schapiro said at a press conference this morning.
The team suggested that better ways of communication with parents is by embracing the use of emails, texts and social media.
Schapiro also revealed that the team is currently surveying existing contracted childcare centers in Jersey City so pre-K’s can be closer to home.
This would potentially eliminate students being bused to schools and also decrease the length of the school day.
With Jersey City known for its cultural diversity, Abdalla shared that the team will also work on the availability of faith based meals for students.
“No child should have to skip a meal at school because the food being served doesn’t meet his or her needs.”
Additionally, after analyzing the English Language Learners (ELL) population in the Jersey City district, Fernandez shared that the team will be pushing to make Arabic, Urdu, Gujarati, Hindi and Tagalog the official district languages with critical documents available to the parents and guardians of students.
“We will pilot translation services at schools with Large ELL speakers such as P.S. 6, P.S. 11, P.S. 17 and the Mahatma Gandhi School P.S. 23,” he said.
Fernandez was also proud of Jersey City United standing with the community against the Jersey City BOE in the first step to rename Public School No. 34 after President Barack Obama.
“We believe that by bringing people together, by bringing the community into the schools, the schools into the community, the families and school board connect, that we be able to see more success for everyone in the Jersey City public schools,” added Fernandez.
This is the first of many initiatives of Jersey City United. The team plans on releasing their initiatives and campaign plans on a weekly basis between now on Election Day.
There are a total of 10 candidates seeking a three, three-year terms on November 8.