Testimony of Teresa Engst to the BOE, Janyary 17, 2019

My name is Teresa Engst and I work with Asian Americans United. I am here today because we were contacted by Chinese immigrant parents in the Mayfair community with many questions and concerns about the new school to be built on Lincoln campus. These parents, many of whom are limited-English proficient, want to be included in the decision-making process for the new school. They could not be present today because of timing – it is also Family Night at Mayfair Elementary, child care and distance. Parents we spoke with were not even aware that a final decision was being made on the location, nor of the decision to go forward with a K-8 school. It has been six months since the last District hosted informational session. We would like to know: When does the District plan to host follow up planning sessions with community members? How will the broader community be included in the decision-making process about the school? What is the District’s plan for outreach, including in-language outreach to multiple social media and community platforms?

Parents have many specific questions, which we hope they will be able to ask you directly – including:

  1. The proximity of the new school to Lincoln High School and coordination of arrival/dismissal
  2. Commute to the new school – many working and intergenerational families rely on grandparents to walk kids to and from school; parents are concerned about travel and if buses will be available; parents are also concerned about coordinating pick up from multiple schools – they are already struggling with this issue due to the transfer of children to Meehan School while siblings attend Mayfair
  3. The process for deciding the new school’s catchment area
  4. What language support services for families and ESOL programming will be available at the new school for LEP families
  5. Projected timeline for completion of the school

Parents would like to know the next steps the District plans to take to ensure that the community in and around the proposed new school will be a part of the decision-making process for the school going forward, and fully able to participate in their needed language. We are asking that you please share your projected outreach and community planning schedule.