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District parent Jacquie Tanner wants to bring her business experience to MVLA board

Jacquie Tanner in Palo Alto on Sept. 8, 2022. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

Recently retired and with a daughter in her freshman year at Los Altos High School, Jacquie Tanner said she wants to bring her business experience and outlook as a current parent to the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District's board.

Tanner, who is one of six candidates running for one of three seats on the high school district's board this November, has lived in Mountain View for over 50 years and grew up attending local public schools, including graduating from Los Altos High. She has spoken about the positive impact an early dyslexia diagnosis and support through special education had on her academic success. She has worked for roughly the past decade at Tesla and retired in June.

Tanner has positioned herself as somewhat of an outsider, promising to bring fresh perspective to the board and would use her experience with data to review the issues that come before the governing body.

"I believe we should all work well as a team, but that doesn't mean we have to agree, and I will be asking the hard questions. I don't believe in the status quo," Tanner said.

One area that Tanner wants to focus on is how the district will accommodate enrollment growth as a result of the expected increase in housing. In recent years, discussions have begun about the potential to purchase land and build another high school, which Tanner believes will be necessary, noting that the school district will need to work with local city governments to make it happen.

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Another top issue for Tanner is improving students' transition to high school. Back when Tanner was in school, the transition from Crittenden to Los Altos High was "traumatic, a real culture shock," according to her campaign website.

Tanner wants the school district to better prepare kids for high school by expanding its summer program that serves incoming ninth graders. The district has launched Summer Academy, a bridge program for incoming freshmen, and Tanner wants to see it grow. She also wants to better communicate with parents about the transition and believes that better preparation for the move to high school can help close achievement gaps.

Other steps that Tanner supports to help struggling students include expanding tutoring and supervised study halls. Her website also mentions the potential to reinstate zero period to help provide struggling students time to meet with tutors and mentors. The school district used to have a zero period before the regular school day started, but eliminated it in the past few years when it switched to later school start times.

Tanner has said that she opposes placing limits on the number of Advanced Placement classes that students can take, instead believing that decision should be left up to students and families.

When asked at the Voice's candidate forum about the district's ethnic studies course – which is being piloted this year, with plans to make it a required course for freshman next fall – Tanner expressed some hesitation.

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"It is a pilot program and I sort of don't like the idea that we're experimenting on our children," Tanner said. "At least we were able to, our school district, develop a well-thought-out program that sounds pretty good so far."

She wants to see the class offered not just to freshmen, but as an option for older students. The district's implementation is ahead of a state requirement that takes place in the 2025-26 school year.

At the forum, Tanner declined to answer a question asking how well the district is doing to ensure students and staff feel safe and included at school, regardless of their race, gender sexuality, family income or other factors, and if there are any additional steps needed.

In response to an email from the Voice asking why she skipped the question, Tanner said she had needed to leave the room at that point in the forum. She pointed to an answer she gave to a similar question that was on the Voice's written questionnaire, where she said that to ensure students and staff feel included, people need to take steps including recognizing that there are conscious and unconscious biases, as well as looking at things from another's perspective.

Zoe Morgan
 
Zoe Morgan covers education, youth and families for the Mountain View Voice and Palo Alto Weekly / PaloAltoOnline.com, with a focus on using data to tell compelling stories. A Mountain View native, she has previous experience as an education reporter in both California and Oregon. Read more >>

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District parent Jacquie Tanner wants to bring her business experience to MVLA board

by / Mountain View Voice

Uploaded: Tue, Oct 18, 2022, 1:39 pm

Recently retired and with a daughter in her freshman year at Los Altos High School, Jacquie Tanner said she wants to bring her business experience and outlook as a current parent to the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District's board.

Tanner, who is one of six candidates running for one of three seats on the high school district's board this November, has lived in Mountain View for over 50 years and grew up attending local public schools, including graduating from Los Altos High. She has spoken about the positive impact an early dyslexia diagnosis and support through special education had on her academic success. She has worked for roughly the past decade at Tesla and retired in June.

Tanner has positioned herself as somewhat of an outsider, promising to bring fresh perspective to the board and would use her experience with data to review the issues that come before the governing body.

"I believe we should all work well as a team, but that doesn't mean we have to agree, and I will be asking the hard questions. I don't believe in the status quo," Tanner said.

One area that Tanner wants to focus on is how the district will accommodate enrollment growth as a result of the expected increase in housing. In recent years, discussions have begun about the potential to purchase land and build another high school, which Tanner believes will be necessary, noting that the school district will need to work with local city governments to make it happen.

Another top issue for Tanner is improving students' transition to high school. Back when Tanner was in school, the transition from Crittenden to Los Altos High was "traumatic, a real culture shock," according to her campaign website.

Tanner wants the school district to better prepare kids for high school by expanding its summer program that serves incoming ninth graders. The district has launched Summer Academy, a bridge program for incoming freshmen, and Tanner wants to see it grow. She also wants to better communicate with parents about the transition and believes that better preparation for the move to high school can help close achievement gaps.

Other steps that Tanner supports to help struggling students include expanding tutoring and supervised study halls. Her website also mentions the potential to reinstate zero period to help provide struggling students time to meet with tutors and mentors. The school district used to have a zero period before the regular school day started, but eliminated it in the past few years when it switched to later school start times.

Tanner has said that she opposes placing limits on the number of Advanced Placement classes that students can take, instead believing that decision should be left up to students and families.

When asked at the Voice's candidate forum about the district's ethnic studies course – which is being piloted this year, with plans to make it a required course for freshman next fall – Tanner expressed some hesitation.

"It is a pilot program and I sort of don't like the idea that we're experimenting on our children," Tanner said. "At least we were able to, our school district, develop a well-thought-out program that sounds pretty good so far."

She wants to see the class offered not just to freshmen, but as an option for older students. The district's implementation is ahead of a state requirement that takes place in the 2025-26 school year.

At the forum, Tanner declined to answer a question asking how well the district is doing to ensure students and staff feel safe and included at school, regardless of their race, gender sexuality, family income or other factors, and if there are any additional steps needed.

In response to an email from the Voice asking why she skipped the question, Tanner said she had needed to leave the room at that point in the forum. She pointed to an answer she gave to a similar question that was on the Voice's written questionnaire, where she said that to ensure students and staff feel included, people need to take steps including recognizing that there are conscious and unconscious biases, as well as looking at things from another's perspective.

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