Nancy L. Cobb
District: El Segundo USD
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 grew up on a farm in Illinois and attended a small junior high that had a passionate art teacher who encouraged me to enter the annual statewide art competition. We began with a local contest and then progressed to District, Regional, State. We received a literary passage to illustrate within a limited amount of time, combining my love for reading and art. I placed high enough each time to progress to the next level. Only regret: the high school had no art program. I’d like to fix that for future students.
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 high school English teacher for 17 years I incorporated the arts continuously. For example, when we studied drama, we acted it out. When we studied a period of American literature, we also analyzed the art of the period and wrote about it. When we studied the 20s, we listened to jazz and visited House of Blues. Students incorporated media into their presentations The more students integrate the arts into their academic curriculum, the more they EXPERIENCE and REMEMBER, which helps English language development and closing the achievement gap while better preparing all students for college and careers.
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?
The School Board is the watchdog for both programs and allocation of funds. They should set goals that include a broad range of study available for all students, including core subjects and electives. When state-allocated funds do not suffice, they should solicit funds from the entire community through education foundations and partnerships with local businesses and organizations. They should also continue to lobby the state for increases in school funding, since even with the passage of Proposition 30, we are not adequately supporting education.
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?
We need sustained community input and adequate time and opportunity for all stakeholders to learn about and integrate the changes.
Any activities that foster community partnerships and pride will help improve school culture, especially as they emphasize high expectations.
Create partnerships with media to publish/post/feature lots of pictures & videos of student achievement in all realms.
Student art shows, music, drama that draws in the community and showcases talent.
Interaction of role models with students, e.g., classroom speakers tutors,etc
Community work days to clean up campuses
Extend AVID and other programs that support kids for academic rigor.