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Sarah Rockwell_Alachua County School Board


School Overcrowding

    • Prioritize district-wide rezoning with community engagement
    • Continue plans for whole-school magnet programs


  • Closing the equity gap
    • Continue UFLI for all K-2 students 
    • Add targeted phonics instruction through Title 1 programs, ESE pull out and push in, and high dose tutoring
    • Involve UFLI in training middle and high school reading teachers
    • Increase high dose tutoring for middle and high school students
    • Promote Beyond the Bell tutoring, prioritizing device access and working with local ISPs and elected officials to expand affordable internet access
    • Continue developing rigorous data analytics program to continuously evaluate and adapt existing interventions
    • Expand access to quality after school and summer programs
    • Continue and expand SF partnerships for college readiness, and add additional partnerships for CTE
    • Build partnerships with local trade unions to facilitate smooth transitions to apprenticeship programs
    • Include representatives from local trade unions at college and career fairs
  • Curriculum
    • Instruction should be guided by the state standards and facilitated by the curriculum
    • Curriculum should allow enough flexibility for teachers to differentiate instruction to student needs, respond to teachable moments, and connect instruction to student interests and experiences
    • Thorough and comprehensive social studies and science instruction are critical components of a rigorous public education that prepares students for a successful future
    • Instructional materials should reflect the diversity of the students and families on our school district
  • Special Education Services
    • Streamline the referral and evaluation process, particularly around RtI data collection. RtI is not a reason to delay the evaluation process, and students should not flounder in an endless loop of data collection
    • Recruit and train staffing specialists to attend IEP and 504 Plan meetings to ensure compliance with IDEA and section 504 of ADA and that student needs are the primary determinant of services and accommodations  
    • Provide professional development for teachers to ensure consistent implementation of 504 Plans and IEPs
    • Provide a digital learning option for students on access points through Alachua eSchool
    • Consider moving to a push-in model for gifted education in elementary schools
Sarah walking with family
Sarah with son and daughter
Sarah reading with daughter


  • General efforts
    • Increase salaries across the board
    • Provide free therapy for faculty and staff
    • Increase recruiting efforts
    • Provide bonuses for returning faculty and staff members
    • Encourage district-level administration and Board Members to spend more time in schools and classrooms, and speaking with faculty and staff so that they better understand the issues on the ground
  • Faculty
    • Prioritize raises to decrease wage compression
    • Reduce unnecessary workload on teachers by decreasing administrative tasks and meetings
    • Eliminate retaliation against teachers who bring up concerns
    • Increase input from the ACEA union and the Teacher Advisory Council
  • Transportation
    • Provide better PPE and air filtration to protect health of bus drivers
    • Prioritize raises for bus drivers, recognizing the difficulty of supervising 70+ students while simultaneously operating a 30,000 pound vehicle
    • Create a strict behavioral contract for bus riders with a clear progression of disciplinary action, including loss of bus privileges. Encourage drivers to formally report behavior problems and consistently implement disciplinary action
    • Create a volunteer bus aide program 
    • When transportation shortages are an issue, rotate the bus routes to ensure that the same students are not missing school repeatedly
    • Prioritize routes for younger children and in areas where RTS is not a viable option for alternate transportation
    • Prioritize routes for students at failing schools
    • Improve communication to parents when bus services is unavailable or delayed
  • Substitutes
    • Consider moving away from Kelly Services so that the substitutes can be paid the full amount rather than the agency receiving part of the payment
    • Consider raising the daily rate for substitutes

Student Health and Safety

  • General
    • Work with temp agencies to ensure substitute nurses are available – especially at schools where students have nursing care included in an IEP or 504 Plan
    • Work to recruit additional school nurses
    • Consider providing medical-grade masks and individual portable air filtration units to high risk students and staff members
    • Invest in additional air sanitization and air intake for HVAC systems
    • Consult with counsel on how federal mandates for mask use on transit apply to our buses
    • Continue partnerships with UF Health and the Department of Health to offer vaccine clinics 
    • Work with the Department of Health to improve contact tracing
    • Ensure continued Canvas training for faculty and families so that students can access instruction and teachers can update lessons while quarantined, again prioritizing device and internet access
  • Mental Health
    • Work to recruit additional school counselors, school psychologists, and social workers
    • Train staffing specialists so that school counselors can focus on student social-emotional development and mental health rather than on administrative tasks related to special education services
    • Consider social-emotional health activities that can be combined with other instruction – for instance, including yoga and breathing techniques in PE instruction or including journaling in writing instruction.
Sarah standing outside with family
Sarah with family
Sarah with family and dog wearing masks

Community Engagement

  • Implement a weekly update video from the superintendent and board chair to keep the community apprised of current projects and their progress
  • Ensure that advisory councils meet regularly. 
  • Advisory councils should have a composition that reflects the diversity of our community and should include:
    • SACs
    • DAC
    • TAC
    • Parent Advisory Council
    • Student Advisory Council
    • Staff Advisory Council
    • ESE Advisory Council
    • Rezoning Advisory Council
  • Have members of district administration attend PTA and SAC meetings to connect with school-level needs
  • Have regular town halls to provide opportunities for additional community engagement
  • Adjust board workshop times to allow for public engagement
  • Continue and expand partnerships with SF with the goal of creating more community school options

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Sarah Rockwell_Alachua County School Board