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Colorado Board of Education District 7

Seven elected officials representing Colorado's Congressional Districts serve as members of the Colorado State Board of Education. They are charged by the Colorado Constitution with the general supervision of the public schools. They have numerous powers and duties specified in state law. Every other year the State Board elects a chairman and vice-chairman from its own membership; the Commissioner of Education acts as a non-voting secretary to the Board. Individuals are elected on a partisan basis to serve six-year terms without pay.Junta Estatal de EducaciónSiete oficiales electos que representan al Distrito del Congreso de Colorado sirven como miembros de la Junta Estatal de la Educación de Colorado. Según la Constitución de Colorado, son responsables de la supervisión general de las escuelas públicas. Tienen varios poderes y responsabilidades especificados por la ley del estado. Cada dos años, la Junta del Estado elige un presidente y vicepresidente entre sus propios miembros; el Comisionado de Educación actúa como un secretario no votante para la Junta. Individuos son elegidos conforme a su partido para servir mandatos de seis años sin pago. _________ELECTION INFO: General Election ballots will start to be mailed on October 9th, 2020. Voter Service and Polling Centers open on Monday, October 19th, 2020. Ballots must be received via mail or at drop-off no later than Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020, by 7 pm. If you have not received your ballot or need a replacement, contact your local Clerk & Recorder Elections Office.INFROMACIÓN SOBRE LAS ELECCIONES: Las papeletas de votación para las Elecciones Generales empezarán a ser enviadas el 9 de octubre del 2020. Los Centros de Servicios Electorales se abren el lunes, 19 de octubre del 2020. Las papeletas electorales deben ser enviadas por correo o entregadas en un centro de entrega a más tardar a las 7pm el martes, 3 de noviembre del 2020. Si no ha recibido su papeleta electoral o necesita un reemplazo, comuníquese con su Funcionario Oficial de la Oficina de Elecciones local.

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  • Candidate picture

    Karla Esser
    (D)

  • Candidate picture

    Nancy Pallozzi
    (R)

Biographical Information

What is your number one priority and why?

What changes would you favor making to the regular school schedule and/or classes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, if any? How would the special needs of students be supported?

What recommendations, if any, would you make to address the potential loss of learning (the “COVID-19 slide”)?

What changes, if any, would you make to the reduced lunch program in the event that online learning continues?

Background I am a Colorado native, who also lived and worked in Germany for 19 years. I have been a classroom teacher, school and district administrator, and a professor and director of the graduate teacher program at Regis University. I have served students my entire 40-year career in Colorado and Germany
Contact phone 720-432-6155
Twitter @Karla_Esser
My number one priority is school safety, which includes both mental and physical health. Right now we are in the middle of an alarming mental and physical health crisis, due to how abruptly CoVID changed the “way we do school”. Presently, schools are wrestling with how to return to school safely in fall amid a pandemic that is changing daily. This will have to be done with 5% to 15% less funding due to a shortfall in the state budget caused by the pandemic. Colorado was already first in the nation for growth in the teen suicide rate. We need to provide mental health services and healthy, positive environments built through collaboration with district/school administrators, teachers, parents, students, and our communities. Our goal should always be providing a safe space where all children can learn.
A global pandemic brings unbelievable complications to the “way we do school”, and Colorado will continue to see changes until schools can provide the safe environment mentioned above. Schools will need to cooperate with the local health departments and communities to offer options to keep all students safe while learning. This could require further virtual learning, blended learning, and possibly smaller class sizes with social distancing. Families will want to have choices, so decisions can be made according to individual family needs. Students with special needs will require a menu of supports so they can receive the services required for them to be successful. This could mean individual tele-support, and/or students being in small groups in schools with their teachers. This will all have to be done with less funding, which is a tremendous challenge.
The “CoVID-19 slide” will not be distributed equally. Those students who were struggling before schools went to virtual/remote learning will now be even further behind their peers. Many of our families in Colorado do not have the means to provide the needed technology for their children to be successful with remote learning. Schools are scrambling to provide these devices, but that won’t solve the internet issue, where our rural areas are negatively impacted. We have students without technology and families that can’t afford monthly internet fees. In addition, our teachers had very little training and support to take classes 100% online. We are at a moment in our global history where 'grace' is required as we do everything possible, using all the human capital we have, to provide needed services with fewer resources in unprecedented times. This cannot be a political issue, as it will take every one of us collaborating together with our individual skills in overcome this situation.
Free and reduced lunch is in our schools for a reason. It is tragic that Colorado and the nation still has families experiencing food insecurity. Colorado schools were able to provide lunches for students this past spring, when forced to shut down with only two days notice in some cases. I am confident that our schools will build on what they learned in the spring and continue to serve students who are experiencing food insecurity. No child in Colorado should ever go hungry because we failed to do everything possible to maintain and improve on our free and reduced lunch programs.
Background Born and raised in Lakewood, CO. Married for 20 years and we have 1 son, who is a recent 2020 high school graduate in Jeffco schools.
Student Health and Safety.

This year has not turned out the way any of us would have imagined, with education and our children. I am very concerned with the well-being of the students returning to school in the Fall. The students were abuptly removed from school in March, with hopes to be returning in a few weeks, but as we know, that did not happen. 2020 Fall school year has begun, with uncertainity and many questions. My concern is the mental and physical well-being of our students. The mask mandates, the lack of social and physical interaction with teachers and friends, and internal stress will lead to many underlying causes for the years to come for many children and staff. I want to make sure that every school district will have enough money and resources to help their students (and possibly staff) with these problems now and for the years proceding this 2020 year.
I believe that it is important to improve and maintain cleanliness of a school. I am in favor of hiring more staff to help with this important job of wiping down surfaces throughout the school day. As this "pandemic" is now in its 6th month, and we have received more information about this, I am one to say it is time to open up the schools as best as we can, with some limitations, and let these children get back to learning and being with their friends. COVID is real, but not as deadly, as we thought months ago. I'm worried about the flu season this year more than COVID now. The special needs of students should be supported no matter what. It is up to the school's teachers and staff to recognize those needs and figure out what must be done to accommodate to those special needs. COVID-19 should not be used as an excuse to address special needs. It should always be a priority for every school and district !!
Improved Online teaching and classrooms.

2020 Spring school year was a disaster for thousands of students, parents, and families. They did the best they could, but if this continues, we need to fund and begin continueing education for teachers and staff to learn how to teach online for all types of classes, including the arts (music, band, drama, art, etc.). Please keep in mind that public education was the majority of loss of learning during this period, mostly in the school districts within the Denver metro area. Homeschooling and Charter Schools did not loose much of learning as they are ready and equipped to make any necessary adjustments. I will always support school choice for this exact reason. Every parent in this wonderful state should have the choice to put their child(ren) in any school they chose.

There are many facets to this program....afterschool snacks, emergency feeding, fresh fruit and vegetable, national school lunch program, school breakfast, seamless summer program, summer food service and special milk programs.

I sure hope that online learning does not continue much longer, as the children need to go back to school. I can say that these programs are essential for thousand of students throughout Colorado. It is sometimes the only meal(s) that they get throughout the day. I can say that I am not in favor of the regulated prepackaged meals, at this point. They contain enourmous amount of sodium and other preservatives. With no nutriential value for the body. I think that there are some other options that have not been considered. They are looking at something that is quick and simple and mostly less risk. With that type of change to the reduced lunch program, it can also increase the cost, and money is something that the schools do not have at this time.