Meet the Candidates for the North Attleboro School Board | Local News

Earlier this month, The Sun Chronicle sent a questionnaire to the four candidates for the two three-year terms that will be voted on in Tuesday’s municipal elections. Their responses are below and have been edited to conform to The Sun Chronicle style.






Charles Dobre-Badobre


Due to lack of time, Charles Dobre-Badobre dictated his answers. His answers have been edited for length.

Education: Our Lady of Africa, Ivory Coast; Salem State University, BA in Economics; Northeastern University, Masters in Commerce and Economic Development

Political Experience: Student Government

Family: Married, three children

Question 1: What will be your top priority as a member of the school board if you are elected/re-elected for a two-year term?

One is to open lines of communication to be an accessible leader to all stakeholders — parents, students, teachers and paraprofessionals, and even those who do not have children in the school system. I have been approved by the North Attleboro Federation of Teachers. We need a program that prepares people for work. Not everyone wants to go to college. We need a curriculum that addresses these questions.

Question 2: North Attleboro is in the process of applying for state assistance to work in high school. If the district bid is successful, would you support a completely new school building or renovations to the existing building?

If we get the funding, I would opt for the renovation.

Question 3: The school department has made a commitment to fully fund full-day kindergarten. Are you in favor of maintaining this program and how will it be funded once the federal funds run out?

We decided to fund kindergarten. It is up to our leaders to be able to come up with a strategy to keep these reforms up to date and running. We need community input. We need proactive leaders.

Question 4: In the event of a new outbreak of COVID-19 or one of its variants, would you be in favor of restoring mandatory wearing of masks for fall and winter in neighborhood schools?

If this were to happen again, the Ministry of Education would give us the necessary options. As the head of the school committee, we need to organize a town meeting to collect community feedback from all stakeholders, including teachers and parents. We should not abandon our principles for funding. Parents know what is best for our children.







David Chee

David Chee




Education: Tufts University, BA, double major in political science and international relations

Political experience: North Attleboro School Board 2001-2003; North Attleboro Selectman 2003-2006; RTM and Finance Commission

Family: Married, one child

Question 1: What will be your top priority as a member of the school board if you are elected/re-elected for a two-year term?

The top priority is responsible budget planning: accounting for remaining available ESSER fund balances, preserving jobs, and meeting critical staffing needs based on revenue projections. The funds available would be shared equitably with the needs on the government side.

Question 2: North Attleboro is in the process of applying for state assistance to work in high school. If the district bid is successful, would you support a completely new school building or renovations to the existing building?

Either path is viable if it allows us to have an infrastructure that is fair to other Hockomock schools and is affordable. We need to make our community understand that a renovation is not disparate or that a new structure is not too expensive.

Question 3: The school department has made a commitment to fully fund full-day kindergarten. Are you in favor of maintaining this program and how will it be funded once the federal funds run out?

The whole day is an essential part of the basic growth and success of our students. If federal funding runs out, a reduction in staffing levels through high school should be considered as a possible solution. Alternative solutions would also be considered.

Question 4: In the event of a new outbreak of COVID-19 or one of its variants, would you be in favor of restoring mandatory wearing of masks for fall and winter in neighborhood schools?

We will adhere to federal and state mandates regarding any potential future issues related to COVID-19. Should there be flexibility in the answer allowed locally, optional masks are my answer.







costello

John Costello




Education: University of Maryland; North Attleboro High School

Political experience: North Attleboro RTM 2014-2017, 2018-2019; North Attleboro School Board, 2019-present

Question 1: What will be your top priority as a member of the school board if you are elected/re-elected for a three-year term?

The most important task is to ensure that our students and staff have the resources they need to continue the successful transition to normality and the post-COVID era. Funding from the American Rescue Plan has helped a lot, but we need to work together to ensure that we can continue to provide the optimal level of support needed for our students to succeed in the years to come. Additionally, we must find ways to reverse the loss of public trust that has plagued so many communities in recent years – that means transparency and communication.

Question 2: North Attleboro is in the process of applying for state assistance to work in high school. If the district bid is successful, would you support a completely new school building or renovations to the existing building?

As great as a new building might be, it’s unrealistic. Just a few years ago, the school underwent a major renovation of the scientific wing, with great success from a practical and educational point of view. There’s no doubt that there’s a need for updated building infrastructure and additional teaching space, but that doesn’t require building from the ground up. A tax waiver or debt exclusion needed to fund a new building simply wouldn’t pass.

Question 3: The school department has made a commitment to fully fund full-day kindergarten. Are you in favor of maintaining this program and how will it be funded once the federal funds run out?

Yes. If our schools and our city are to attract young working families, full-day kindergarten is essential. While we have reasonable assurance from the city that the program will be absorbed into future budgetary considerations, the school board and city council must exercise due diligence in adopting policies and making investments that sustain our city. attractive and economically viable for residents and businesses, thereby maintaining and expanding the local tax base. Full-day kindergarten is in itself one of those investments.

Question 4: In the event of a new outbreak of COVID-19 or one of its variants, would you be in favor of restoring mandatory wearing of masks for fall and winter in neighborhood schools?

I’m no medical expert, but I’m inclined to favor a policy of personal choice in this matter. Continuing to issue and rescind warrants seriously undermines public confidence in the government. This virus is something we are going to have to learn to live with as part of our everyday world. That being said, the board of health supersedes the school board in public health policies, and we are required by the charter to follow them.







ethan hamilton

ethan hamilton


Education: State of Framingham

Political experience: Six years, North Attleboro School Committee

Family: Married, three children

Question 1: What will be your top priority as a member of the school board if you are elected/re-elected for a two-year term?

Continue to lobby for additional funds and programs for special education. We need to support more students than before due to COVID and provide support regardless of being on a 504 or IEP plan.

Question 2: North Attleboro is in the process of applying for state assistance to work in high school. If the district bid is successful, would you support a completely new school building or renovations to the existing building?

It will be a community decision. Once all studies and cost estimates are complete, the school committee will seek public input on the direction to take. I believe the studies will show that a renovation with an addition will be the best option.

Question 3: The school department has made a commitment to fully fund full-day kindergarten. Are you in favor of maintaining this program and how will it be funded once the federal funds run out?

The budget approved by the school committee already supports full-day kindergarten. Preliminary figures provided by the city manager also support full-day kindergarten. We worked tirelessly with the General Manager and City Council to ensure this offer was sustainable.

Question 4: In the event of a new outbreak of COVID-19 or one of its variants, would you be in favor of restoring mandatory wearing of masks for fall and winter in neighborhood schools?

It’s really impossible to answer without any context. Does the variant have a high death rate, high infection rate, etc.? What I can say is that we are in a very different situation from September or even January. For the first time since the start of the pandemic, people have access to affordable or free rapid home tests. I am confident that with the availability of testing and high quality masks for those who want to wear them, there will be no need for another mask mandate.