Voters in four of Compton Unified’s seven school board areas will determine whether they want to represent them during the June 7 statewide primary election.
There are more than 21,000 students in the Compton Unified School District, 36 schools in Compton and parts of Carson and Los Angeles.
In March 2020, Compton Unified changed its larger system – where voters elect all seven school board members to a sub-district system.
The Board of Trustees has three newcomers running in Area A, which covers the northern area of the city and a slew of LA communities: Laquisha Anderson, Adrian Cleveland, and Denzel Perry. In Area E, in the northeastern part of the city, Adrienne Thomas is challenging the existing alma Pleasant. In Area G, the southernmost area—which includes a portion of Carson’s—Mary Jackson-Franny is running against Zurita for the current season.
In Area B, no one decided to run against teacher Eliana Davis, leading to the cancellation of the race.
Since there are three candidates in Area A, it is likely that a new board member will not be decided in June. If no candidate gets a majority, the top-two finishers will head to a runoff in November.
All the candidates listed drop in enrollment and return from the pandemic as top concerns for the district.
While Compton isn’t alone in this, the district’s enrollment has declined over the past three academic years, largely due to the pandemic. Enrollment at Compton Unified declined approximately 8.4% from the 2019-20 school year to the current year, according to data from the California Department of Education.
An employee of Ticor Title Company, Laquisha Anderson has been active in the California State PTA and Compton Unified PTA.
To combat declining enrollment, Anderson said, she wants to pay teachers and staff fairly, target rising housing costs, and create a welcoming school environment.
He said other district issues are low family engagement, a lack of transparency, and the achievement gap for African American students. Anderson said that teachers should assess a student’s learning style individually to determine their strengths.
To assess the mental health of students and parents in the aftermath of the pandemic, Anderson said, there should be at least two mental health professionals per school in the district.
Adrian Cleveland has worked for unions, in churches, and within Watts community groups.
The decline in enrollment can be tackled by bringing back trade training such as woodshop and electrical classes, and focusing on programs that combine academic standards with technical and skills, he said.
To aid in the emotional well-being of students after the pandemic, Cleveland said, the district needs to increase counseling and communication.
And to help students hold up academically, Cleveland said, she will work to expand careers technical education and apprentice programs, if elected. She also said that she would support access to distance learning technology for students and families.
Denzel Perry, an assistant vice president of people and partnerships at Neighborhood Housing Services of Los Angeles County, volunteers as a youth mentor in the community, and is also a black student union counselor and mentor at Dominguez High School.
Perry said that providing an environment where students feel safe and heard is an important step towards increasing enrollment.
The district should also be innovative and provide education to the students by updating the textbooks.
To help with post-pandemic issues, the district first needs to understand the needs of students, teachers and parents. Possible approaches, he said, would include increasing the recruitment of faculty to reduce the student-to-teacher ratio and increasing the number of after-school enrichment and teaching programs.
Current Alma Pleasant, owner of Almaz Cookies & Co., describes her leadership as an act of love for the community where she was born and raised.
Investing in teachers, support staff, facilities and enrichment programs, Sukhad said, is key to keeping students engaged and engaged in the classroom. He advocated programs such as Compton Early College High School, which allows students to earn a high school diploma and an associate degree or community college transfer credits. It is also important to hold teachers and staff to high standards, he added.
After the pandemic, Pleasant said, the district needs to expand programs that provide personalized support, provide training for teachers and administrators, and invest in mental health counselors.
District Equity Officer Adrienne Thomas said she believes the student exodus is due to a lack of confidence in instruction, facilities and the financial responsibility surrounding the retention of teachers and staff.
To maintain enrollment, Thomas said, the district needs to strengthen technical education through high school, along with a college dual-enrollment curriculum that can be started from eighth grade.
The school district should collaborate with teachers, parents and community partners to focus on learning recovery programs, Sukhad said, which will provide supplemental instruction at all grade levels to make up for the academic losses suffered during the pandemic.
Retired school social worker Mary Jackson-Frenny, who has been a Sunday school teacher and elementary school PTA president, said a significant problem facing CUSD is a shortage of teachers, primarily in math and science.
To attract students and their families, schools also need to create stimulating programs — particularly in science, technology, arts and maths — and provide a safe environment in which to maintain well-being, Jackson-Freney said. Have facilities.
Small groups of well-trained students, he said, can help catch up with their peers during the holidays, on weekends or in the summer. He described increasing field trips as a way to further help students learn.
Incumbent Satra Zurita began volunteering for the Meals on Wheels program, which was directed by her mother for 43 years as a teenager. She has volunteered on several boards and co-founded the Compton Walk for a Cure, a breast cancer awareness program. She said that a few years after its founding, she was diagnosed with breast cancer, which made her an even bigger advocate.
Zurita said the district needs to get better at marketing its achievements to deal with the enrollment loss. According to U.S. News & World Report, those achievements include Compton Early College High School, which has a 100% graduation rate and ranks No. 32 in California and No. 280 nationally for all public high schools.
The best way to address learning loss, Zurita said, is to provide tutoring before and after school, take advantage of Saturday school opportunities and focus on a multi-level system of support in mental health services. .