Clarisa Perez-Armendariz Submitted Photo

Name: Clarisa Pérez-Armendáriz

Age: 48

Occupation: Professor at Bates College

Community engagement: Dempsey Center volunteer, former volunteer for Girl Scouts, former Odyssey of the Mind coach.

Question 1: Do you believe students should be required to wear a mask in school to prevent the spread of COVID-19 under current pandemic conditions? 

The academic, social and emotional impact of closing schools and transitioning to remote and hybrid learning was significant. I support universal masking as the best way to keep students learning in school and in person. Masking helps keep hardworking school staff, as well as before- and after-school caregivers, safe. It ensures that children in Auburn who are immunocompromised or live with immunocompromised household members have equitable access to all that public schools offer.

Question 2: Do you feel that issues of equity and race are being appropriately addressed in Auburn schools? 

Auburn schools can improve their performance on issues of equity and race. Significant resource inequities exist across our elementary schools and these become ever more apparent as students come together in the middle and high schools. The community wide debates, information gathering and learning that occurred following Boston Globe’s scathing critique about Edward Little High School in 2019 have been valuable. The conversations must be sustained and lead to reforms and continual review, particularly as this community continues to grow.

Question 3: What are two specific issues you would address as a School Committee representative? 

Continue strengthening curricular and staff development to ensure access to academic excellence for all students.
Support cost-efficient teaching and learning strategies to bring students up to speed emotionally, socially and academically as we learn more about the impact of COVID-19, and once COVID-19 relief funds are exhausted.
Maintain programs that foster children’s sense of belonging (e.g. transportation; free and reduced-priced  breakfast and lunch; mental health support; CLC; ELL; arts and athletics; special education).

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