Collins is seeking re-election to the Natick School Committee – Framingham SOURCE

Editor’s Note: In accordance with SOURCE Election Policy, each candidate is permitted to submit an advertisement in their own words for the election. The election for the town of Natick will take place on March 29.

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NATICK – My name is Cathi Collins. I am the current vice-president of the Natick school committee and I am a candidate for re-election. I am deeply committed to the town of Natick and the public schools of Natick. The depth and breadth of my experience in City finance and operations makes me uniquely qualified to be a highly effective School Committee member.

When I first raced in 2019, I shared a number of goals and I’m proud to say that we have achieved or made significant progress on each of them, including:

• ensure a thorough budget review and analysis to establish that the budgets requested were appropriate and necessary to support the educational objectives and operations of the Natick Public Schools while remaining mindful of the City’s budgetary constraints

• keep primary class sizes as small as possible

• staffing of the new Kennedy Middle School

• Advocate for policy and program changes to provide all Natick students with a
quality education, resulting in curious, confident students and lifelong learners.

In 2019, I could not have imagined the global pandemic we would experience for the majority of my term on the committee. As we continue to move forward on important District goals, over the past two years we have had to focus much of our attention on navigating the critical social, emotional, physical, and educational impacts of COVID-19. There was no guide on how best to meet the wide range of student and teacher needs in such circumstances.

I am proud of what we have accomplished together over the past three years, despite the most difficult circumstances imaginable. I am committed to continuing this important work, as I believe there is more to be done and done to further improve the results of our students.

Additionally, I believe it is imperative that the committee enjoy the stability that comes with experience to ensure that we are fully focused on meeting the educational and socio-emotional needs of our students.

While we continue to fight COVID-19 and learn important lessons from it, my goals for the next three years are:

• Ongoing responsible financial management to ensure Natick Public Schools has the resources to meet the needs of all students while simultaneously controlling the rate at which the NPS budget grows

• Set annual and five-year strategic and educational goals and policies to significantly improve student outcomes at all levels and demonstrate our accountability and commitment to students, faculty, staff, and families

• Negotiate competitive employment contracts with each NPS collective bargaining unit that recognize the vital role our employees play in the success of NPS students and encourage experienced faculty to remain with the district

• Ensure equitable access to opportunities for all Natick Public Schools students, teachers and staff so that each individual is seen, valued and safe.

• Identify and provide necessary academic and socio-emotional recovery resources for each student facing setbacks due to COVID-19

• Endorse a structured and evidence-based literacy program for the teaching of
literary skills

• Ensure that schools advance education programs and policies to improve
student learning while promoting sustainability

I respectfully request your vote on Tuesday, March 29. Along with my colleagues on the Natick School Committee, I pledge to continue our hard but necessary work to ensure that all Natick students receive a high-quality education and graduate as informed, thoughtful, and productive.
If you have any questions, please contact me at cathicollinsfornatick@gmail.com