Equity is about meeting our students where they are and supporting them from that space. Equity also applies to how the district values educators and families. Here are focus areas to strengthen the equity lens in Hayward Unified:
- Antiracism – as a result of the Board Policy on Antiracism, which April authored and sponsored, adopted by the Board of Education in 2020, the district designed in-house a professional development for all staff members. For more information, visit the District's website on Anti-bias/Anti-racism (AB/AR).
- Inclusivity – Schools must be inclusive and safe for all students. April works hard to ensure that students who experience bullying, racial injustice, and indirect access for students with different abilities are heard and that the issues are addressed with expediency and efficiency. April is currently working with the District to collaboratively write a Board Policy on Inclusion. She also brought forward a Resolution in support of the LGBTQIA+ community, which included raising the Progressive Pride Flag at every HUSD site. Additionally, April supports culturally and linguistically responsive teaching, trauma-informed practices, and decolonizing education through abolitionist teaching.
- Conflict Resolution – April believes in using restorative practices to resolve conflict and to dismantle the disproportionality in suspension and expulsion rates for our African American and Black students. This requires a comprehensive and district-wide commitment to antiracist work, which April championed through board policy. She is currently working with the District to collaboratively write a Board Policy on Restorative Practices.
- Facility Repairs – Our students deserve safe, clean, and functional learning environments. Since being elected, April has continued to advocate for quality school conditions for all our students.
Hayward students face many barriers before ever entering a classroom. April works hard to ensure that all students, regardless of race, economic background, and ability, are given the opportunity to success and thrive.
- Special Education – We must meet the needs of each of our students. That’s why April advocates to increase special education training for all of our educators to promote inclusive learning environments. We also must work together to uphold each student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) and to support parents during this process. This is why April has led the effort to write a board policy on inclusivity for HUSD.
- English Learners – Diversity is one of Hayward’s greatest strengths. To embrace our students’ cultural and linguistic heritage, April pushes to expand the English Learner Master Plan to address the needs of all our language learners, including our students in our World House program and those who have been reclassified.
- The Arts – The arts play an invaluable role in our students’ personal and professional development. April will continue to support the arts and the district's updated VAPA Strategic Action Plan.
- Health & Wellness – For our students to thrive in the classroom, we must meet their most basic needs. April supports HUSD's current efforts to promote emotional and physical health. That’s why she advocates to increase culturally responsive Social Emotional Learning offerings for students, families, and educators. April also advocates for expanded, age-appropriate, comprehensive sexual education in schools to move Hayward schools into compliance with the CA Healthy Youth Act.
- Early Childhood Education – Studies show that children who attend preschool or early childhood education programs perform better in kindergarten and beyond. That’s why April believes we should strengthen these programs in HUSD.
- Literacy – Out students must be able to read at grade level if they are to succeed, which is why April led the board in charging the district to create its first Literacy Plan. The design of this plan has been in progress for a year and will come to the board for approval in May 2022.
The success and wellness of our students depends on not just educators and families, but on the entire community coming together. Hayward’s spirit of volunteerism is one of its greatest assets. Here’s what April does to engage our community to put students first:
- Family Engagement – Parent and Caregiver involvement in a child’s education is one of the most important indicators of future success. Hayward has several opportunities for families to get involved in their child’s education. April works to support engagement opportunities, to increase outreach efforts, and to encourage formation of PTAs at every school. Additionally, she's hopeful to bring Participatory Budgeting to HUSD to engage students and their families in decisions on spending in our schools.
- Civic Engagement – Collaborating with civic leaders is the best way to tackle the myriad challenges our students face, which is why working together with Hayward City Boards, Commissions, Committees, and Task Forces, as well as Hayward City Council and HARD, is essential to the success of Hayward schools. April has cultivated relationships with Hayward City leaders and will continue to do so to unify efforts to put our students first and to address the issues that challenge our community as a whole, including housing, food insecurity, racism, poverty, policing, and mental health services.
- Community Engagement – To fulfill the “Made in Hayward” vision, it truly takes a village. Committed to this vision and to the district’s “community schools approach,” April partners with the faith community, advocacy organizations, local businesses, and HUSD to address community issues. As a School Board Member, April continues to foster these important partnerships within our Hayward community and support full-service community schools.
If you support April's Plan, then please stay connected to help the effort!