Jill McGrady

District: Antelope Valley Joint Union High
Position Seeking: Governing Board Member

Question 1: Please share a meaningful experience you had with art (visual, dance, drama, music, media arts) while growing up.

I am happy to say I participated in marching band, orchestra, choir, and drama while I was in high school The arts gave me an opportunity to discover my creative side and gave me immediate friends who accepted me. Also, I accompanied vocal and instrumental soloists at competitions. The arts were a big part of my growing up years. I am still involved in directing and acting in our community theatre, and i sit on the governing board for Cedar Street Theatre.

Question 2: What kind of creative solutions would you suggest to support student outcomes such as English language development, closing the achievement gap, and preparation for college and/or meaningful careers?

As a teacher, I enjoyed project based learning, which ties in with Common Core. When we studied Shakespeare in English classes, we performed some scenes, designed costumes, sets, and discovered creative ways of presenting his works. With projects, all students can get involved and learn while having fun. In our district, we offer many opportunities for students: solar cars projects, robotics, health career academies, and general academies that engage students. We are working on a visual and performing arts academy we hope to have running next year. One of our choirs competes and wins international competitions.

Question 3: What do you think should be the role of the School Board in ensuring that students have access to a broad range of study?

As a governing board, we need to be certain we are offering all areas of learning, not simply the nuts and bolts of education. We must be sure the students who are college bound are prepared, and the students who are not, have opportunities for career tech to prepare them for careers. It takes all five of us on the board (or at least 3) to make any decisions, but we can have discussions that can lead to a majority vote. Our students’ futures must be our number one priority.

Question 4: In light of the Local Control Funding Formula and development of district Local Control Accountability Plans (LCAPs), what are your creative solutions for achieving goals in the eight priority areas?

First, be sure we have qualified, credentialed teachers who are implementing Common Core Standards. Be certain all students have access to creative programs. Watch closely as we move in to the new tests, to be certain our students are gaining the knowledge to be successful on those tests and in life. We need to continue to work on graduation rates and dropout rates. Both have improved in our district in the last few years! Know that our funding is tied in to specific accountability areas, much of our spending is directed by our community forum questionnaires.