Replacing "No, because" with "Yes, if" | Attracting Alumni to Raise Families in Fremont | Proactive Planning Needed for Return to School | Reflecting on World Mental Health Day | Fixing the School System is in Your Hands | What is the SRO program and why is everybody talking about it? | My Statement Regarding Hate Speech | Meet Vivek Prasad - Your Voice For Fremont School Board
Replacing "No, because" with "Yes, if"
October 25, 2020
Have you noticed that opportunities for our students are constantly under threat? Is there flexibility in course offerings?
- Hopkins' world renowned music program has been facing many obstacles because FUSD has failed to provide support.
- Elementary music program is under threat as it depends on FEF for funding
- AP exam only options were eliminated for self study students until pressure from families restored it
- GATE program is just a name as there is no funding allocated to providing differentiated curriculum to GATE identified students
- Only courses that can be taken for credit at Ohlone are foreign language classes
- Science Olympiads are not supported by several schools in D5
- SRO program could be eliminated or defunded
We need to move from a position of “No, because”, to “Yes, if” to serve our students diverse needs.
- Find solutions by raising funds from companies, alumni and the community to preserve specific programs
- Put students first, allow courses to be taken at Ohlone and at other schools in the district. Engage with Fremont companies to offer internships for vocational training
- Plan ahead and sign up volunteers to proctor AP/SAT/PSAT exams. Use FUSD’s many facilities to conduct them with social distancing
- Find ways to improve the SRO program instead of eliminating it and jeopardizing the safety of our campuses
As your school board trustee this will be my mindset and guiding principle. I will work hard to remove barriers and find resources and solutions to best support our students. Cutting programs should be the last option.
Attracting Alumni to Raise Families in Fremont
October 21, 2020
Fremont was named the “safest” city in the Bay Area and 30th in the nation according to Wallethub.
Just like the city, our school campuses should also be regarded as the safest option for our students. Safety on school campuses will keep residents in the neighborhoods safe and vice versa. This is a key element to keep Fremont a top destination to live in the Bay Area.
Our students are our future. Good schools will make our vibrant and diverse community thrive and keep Fremont as a destination for those seeking a high-quality education. That is why my focus areas are Student Success, Health and Safety, and Facilities and Budgets.
We should provide opportunities for alumni to give back to the school to make them feel connected to FUSD and want to live in Fremont. This can be done by sharing their experiences, along with providing career guidance and internship opportunities for students. Such alumni would feel proud of their school, continue to be involved with the school community, and also donate generously to their alma mater.
Having our children raise their own families in Fremont will be a testament to the school system. It will drive up enrollment in our schools, increase state funding, and reduce the tax burden on residents.
Proactive Planning Needed for Return to School
October 14 2020
The current COVID-19 pandemic and its resulting situations are unprecedented and the uncertainties surrounding it may remain for an extended time. Continued safety of students, teachers, and staff is my utmost priority. Alameda County Public Health Department has allowed elementary schools to open from October 13 if ready. Palo Alto opened its campus to TK and KG this week. However, FUSD has not published a reopening plan yet. Proactive planning is critical for a successful return to school. In preparing such a plan, FUSD should actively seek feedback from students, parents and teachers at this critical time.
I propose that students return to school in a phased manner. Students with special needs and those having difficulties with distance learning should be prioritized. Students from at-risk households and those preferring to continue distance learning should have the option to do so.
Sufficient funding needs to be allocated for sanitation of classrooms, bathrooms, etc. and PPE such as masks. I request families to continue following safety protocols at home so that our schools and community can remain safe until a vaccine is widely available.Vote now, vote early and stay safe!
Reflecting on World Mental Health Day
October 10, 2020
Dear Fremont community members,
Today is World Mental Health Day. It is a day for us to come together and reflect on the challenges that so many of our children face, yet often do not discuss, on a regular basis. As a parent of two recent high school graduates, I can acknowledge that oftentimes, I did not know what was going on in my children's minds. I was there for them, loved them unconditionally and wanted to do right by them to help them achieve maximum self-confidence and happiness. You can read about it in my son's writing here: Why Vivek Prasad.
My vision for Fremont is to ensure that mental health and personal well-being are topics discussed not just on one day of the year. Ensuring our children feel safe and happy is my #1 priority, and therefore I am proposing a plan to integrate discussion of personal well-being into FUSD across elementary school, junior high, and high school.
It’s not a difficult goal to achieve! As Fremont residents, we are blessed with some of the most understanding teachers working with a truly unique population. All it takes is 15 minutes a week encouraging conversations asking how each of us is doing. These may include teachers facilitating discussion regarding time management, emotional coping strategies, and building interpersonal relationships, among so much more. Teachers at MSJ High have started doing it this school year via distance learning. Students are already seeing the benefits and we should continue this once we return to school. Starting these conversations in elementary allows us to destigmatize and encourage integration of mental health into everyday discussion, leading to more well-rounded individuals.
This is a low-cost, easily attainable goal that I hope to implement district wide immediately if I am elected to the FUSD School Board. My mission is to work alongside students, parents, and teachers to do the best for our children. To make this happen, I humbly ask for your vote on November 3rd.
As always, I am here to serve you and to learn from your feedback. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit my website www.vote4vp.com for any additional information.
Dear Fremont community members,
For a large number of us, the primary reason to choose Fremont was the quality of education. The motto of FUSD is Inspire Educate Challenge. Fremont is not living up to its motto or its reputation in education. We are in a downward spiral and Fremont is falling behind similar districts for the following reasons:
- Music, art, and sports programs are being cut
- Career pathways and advanced courses are reducing
- Facilities are in a state of disrepair
The New Haven School District in Union City offers Manadarin Dual Immersion Program for Kindergarten and TK students. You can also take a look at the high school pathways at Cupertino High. Dougherty Valley High School, a public school in San Ramon, also has considerably better facilities and infrastructure, pictured here.
Consequently, enrollment is dropping and the opening of our newest elementary school has been pushed out. Fremont is unable to attract buyers for its new homes.
New leadership with experience in addressing such complex issues is needed. My focus as a school board trustee will be Student Success; enabling every student to achieve their aspirations. Significant budget cuts are expected as indicated by our Superintendent and we need to think outside the box. We must leverage distance learning to extend our advanced and specialized offerings in each school to benefit students across the district. We should permit more courses to be taken at Community Colleges and MVROP for credit. We should flex the existing budget and find creative ways to deliver improvements while staying cost effective.
Let’s together build a strong and vibrant community by making Fremont schools better than ever!
A community service message from Vivek Prasad
School Resource Officers (SRO) are members of Fremont Police Department specially trained for ensuring safety and enforcing laws on and around school campuses. They are an integral part of keeping our campuses safe and secure. The recent bomb threats at the beginning of the school year in FUSD schools were handled effectively and efficiently because we had SROs in several campuses who rushed in to help in the immediate response efforts.
Unfortunately there is an active effort underway to end the SRO program before the Nov 3 election, despite an overwhelming support for the program from the community. We should all strongly object to this. I, Vivek Prasad, am very committed to support and continue the SRO program. I can’t fathom anybody putting a price on the safety of our children, our teachers and staff.
What Does an SRO do?
- Ensures safety of students, teachers, staff and visitors on school campuses Works onsite at each of our high schools and responds to elementary/ middle school calls when available.
- Breaks up scuffles, keeps drugs and vaping off campuses, deters theft and defends against armed attacks
- Identifies potential mental health issues and requests evaluation
- Calls 911 for faster response than calls from the school office
- Helps with traffic safety
- Delivers community awareness presentations, security for school events, home visits, etc.
- Prevents and solves problems within our schools and fosters positive relationships between our community’s youth and law enforcement
Who supports the SRO Program?
- I, Vivek Prasad, am the only candidate for Fremont school board from D5 supporting this program
- Administrators of high schools who consider them assets
- Majority of students, teachers and parents as shown by the SURFBoardE SRO Survey Results
- Parents Faculty Associations
A 28 person committee is trying to override overwhelming support from 6000+ respondents.
- Number of people who responded "YES": 4056 (65.5%)
- Number of people who responded "No": 1234 (19.9%)
- Number of people who responded "Prefer not to answer": 900 (14.5%)
Compromising safety of students and staff should be the last resort towards budget cuts. SROs contribute to only 0.2% of FUSD’s $380M budget. They are moving quickly to try and end the SRO program before the November elections. Like all of you, I would protect my child with my life. I am calling on you to join me in making our voices heard to protect the SRO program now. I ask for your vote to enable me to be your voice on the board to protect programs such as SRO. Together, let’s build a strong and vibrant community by making Fremont schools better than ever!
Please send an email to the FUSD Board and express your support for the SRO program.
Dear Fremont community members,
I want to take this opportunity to denounce and oppose any and all hate speech, regardless of its origin. To those Fremont candidates who have come under personal attack from certain community members, I send my sincerest regrets. As soon as I was made aware of a derogatory tweet last evening, my team found the author and asked them to remove the post. Many of us are new to the realm of politics, and I am sad to see you be at the receiving end of rhetoric that is demeaning to your identity. This is unacceptable. In my time living in Fremont, I have come to know personally and professionally individuals with varying identities, and I truly value what each person brings to the community.
In the past few public forums and town hall meetings, I have stated my priorities very clearly - our focus should be around equity, student success, health and safety, and proper allotment of budgets to educate our students on how to be compassionate individuals. As a former MPPFA President, I have and continue to recognize each student's uniqueness encompassing their personal identity and aspirations. I am committed to supporting each one of them. This includes students of all races, genders, sexual orientations, socioeconomic status, and ethnic and cultural backgrounds, as well as pupils with special needs and English learners.
Where my fellow candidates and I are united is in our commitment to promote inclusivity. We must all remember that we are here for the purpose of educating our students. Hate is counterproductive to this mission, and I do not condone its use as a mechanism to win an election. I encourage my fellow candidates to do the same when support for their campaigns is enshrouded by hateful language.
As always, I welcome any and all feedback from community members, and I promise to uphold the integrity of the School Board as we work towards our central goal of promoting inclusivity and doing right by our students.
I am Vivek Prasad, a parent of FUSD graduates and a member of your community. I am here to advance the quality of education for all students in our school district. I need your support to make that vision a reality. I am willing to serve our students in partnership with our teachers, parents, and staff as your next School Board Trustee from District 5.
My three main focus areas are:
- Increase opportunities for all students to achieve their aspirations
- Enhance mental health and safety of every student
- Support well maintained facilities leveraging available budget
I want to be your voice; please register to join me in my upcoming town hall on Sunday 9/13 (recurring every Sunday!) from 2:00 to 3:00 PM to learn about my goals for Fremont schools. I humbly ask for your support and help in spreading the word to all of Fremont.
Together, let’s build a strong and vibrant community by making Fremont schools better than ever!