Scott McVarish

District: Culver City 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.

In high school I had the great pleasure of being part of the performing arts troupe. I was in both the play and the musical. But the real special event was the improv team that I took part of. We competed in competitions throughout L.A. and much to my shock I actually received a little bit of an award at one of them. To this day it’s probably my favorite memory from high school. Now I am so happy to see my daughter wanting to get involved in the middle school improv group. I swear I didn’t push her. (-:

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?

We know that arts programs are instrumental in closing the achievement gap. As a former English as a Second Language instructor, I found that pairing my students with native English speakers perhaps gave them the greatest motive to learn English. I would propose that English learners be given a native English buddy to assist them in their learning path. We also need to build in English-language components into programs tied to those students’ cultural backgrounds & life experiences. This would include music and dance and visual art from their native countries.

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?

It’s a matter of prioritizing the budget To provide greater options for our students– even when this means smaller class sizes in some subject areas– and tying that in with the Local Control Accountability Plan. Likewise, we must reach out to the artists in our community who have ties to the vibrant and diverse community art groups in Los Angeles. Our local artists can help bring These organizations into the schools and provide inside and outside of school learning experiences for our students.

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?

Parents will come to campus and engage with staff whenever their children are performing. In this way performing arts brings our diverse parent community together. Likewise as our district is about to embark upon $106 million of renovations we have the opportunity to focus on creating classrooms designed with the best science of learning. Pupil outcomes will also be improved as we are able to engage parents in their own language based on their cultural norms. Finally student outcomes are better when students are happy. Arts make students happy.