Paul Ruseau

for Medford School Committee

Keeping the focus on every child
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November 7, 2021

 

    Thank you Medford for re-electing me to serve our community on your School Committee!  It has been an honor to be your public servant these past four years and I look forward to continuing to work for a Medford Public Schools that serves all our students by implementing equity in all its various forms to ensure each and every member of our school community has what they need to succeed.

    I am thankful to so many individuals including my family, my fellow candidates on the Our Revolution slate, our amazing campaign staff, and the many volunteers that dedicated an incredible amount of time and money to make possible the implementation of the Medford People's Platform.  Above all else, I am thankful you all have joined in this work to build a Medford that works for all those that call this place home.

     I returned last night from the Massachusetts Association of School Committee annual conference which began Wednesday (yes, the day after the election).  At the conference, I attended sessions on "Culture Changes: Beyond Mascots and Graduation Gowns", "A Systems Approach that Targets the Literacy Gap", "Public Engagement: What Have We Learned? What Can We Leverage from the Virtual Experience", "School Districts at the Center of Polarized Community Debates", "Equity Audits: Creating Conditions for Systemic Change", "Get Yourself a D.R.E.A.M. Team (Diversity, Respect, Equity, Action & Multiculturalism): Moving Toward Antiracism in Schools", "Federal Legislative Update", and "Issues that Divide Us".

     I was honored to be elected by the Medford School Committee as the delegate to vote on the resolutions before the assembly.  We voted in the affirmative to have our professional association work towards dedicated funding for school-based clinics and services, funding to close the homework gap (internet at home), fully funding the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, mandatory uninterrupted, unstructured free play (recess) of at least 20 minutes for elementary school students (S.383, H.695), replacing 'zero-tolerance' policies with restorative, therapeutic, and educational approaches to incidents (S.344, H.664), alternatives to MCAS (S.293, H.612), prohibiting the use of Native American mascots, $30 billion dollars over two years to replace at least half the nations school bus fleets with zero-emission electric buses.

     On Thursday the conference day was opened by a presentation from the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe. This was the most impactful part of the conference for me by far.  I learned much from the oral history that was transmitted to us.  What really hit me was a realization through experience that oral histories are not the same as written histories.  Even if they were the same words - to have them spoken by someone for whom the history is THEIR history was intense - and while I forget many things I read, I'll never forget what I heard and saw because there was a real human connection - a gift I am thankful to have received and will work to honor and pass on.

Paul Ruseau