Letter: Alicia Williams for School Committee

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I am Alicia Williams and I am running for School Committee

I have been a Reading resident for 7 years and been married for 14. I also own a photography studio Cordele Photography, which is located here in Reading and most importantly I have three small children ages 8, 5, and 3 who are all currently enrolled in Reading public schools. My 8-year-old is a first grader at Birch Meadow and my 5 and 3-year-olds are both enrolled at RISE at the high school. 

I am one of the former co-chairs of the Special Education Parent Advisory Council, also known as the SEPAC which is a sub-committee of the school committee which bridges the Special Education parents to the district administration. I was instrumental in getting this group off the ground after it had disbanded and was taken over by the district. I was able to bring in a few amazing speakers to address topics such as dyslexia and ADHD. I also helped bridged communication with out of district parents and the district. My own child’s experience from his hand off from RISE to Birch Meadow helped facilitate the process that is in place today to make sure children are appropriately placed. As a special education parent, I am the only candidate who has a true understanding of special education students. I would be the only parent on the committee with a background experience in special education. I’d like to figure out how to address the rising costs of Special Education and the decrease in funding. The funding has changed, and maybe our approach needs to change too. 

I have also volunteered for understanding disabilities Star Gala and Jail and Bail events as well as volunteered for the Reading Recreation Father-Daughter dance and donating a tree for the last 4 years to the Reading Education Foundation Festival of Trees. I am also one of the co-chairs of the Birch Meadow Gardening club. I am running to bring leadership, improved communication and greater accountability to our public schools. I want to bring dialogue to topics that concern parents. 

I have been following the school committee for over four years and have witnessed and experienced ineffective communication resulting in parents not being informed about important issues. We have various ways to communicate with the district but we still have disjointed and ineffective communication. As a parent, communication is the key to being involved and at times the only way to get the correct information is from other parents or social media. I would bridge that gap between parents and the schools and make sure the district is using all the tools they have to communicate. 
 
For accountability, we need to make sure someone is keeping track of all the new initiatives and the budget as the year goes on. As a parent and a taxpayer trying to follow along can be challenging, and I am looking to find ways to make it easier.

If elected, I will bring a new perspective to the board by asking pointed questions and following up on any initiatives that we have in our district. I will work to improve communication for all stakeholders and I respectfully ask for your vote on April 3.

I can be contacted at 978-771-0341 or email at aliciawilliamsforschoolcommitt@gmail.com
 
Thank you for your time,
Alicia WIlliams
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