Jason Palitsch for School Committee

The belief that all Shrewsbury kids should have great opportunities coming out of Shrewsbury schools, just like I did: that’s what has driven my work on the School Committee since the beginning. Shrewsbury schools perform extremely well: our kids represent a bright hope for the future, achieving at high levels. But important challenges remain. We are one of the last districts that charges families for their kids to attend Full Day Kindergarten, when we know Full Day K is an essential boost to help kids succeed later in school. Our students at higher grade levels are demonstrating increased mental and emotional health challenges. We must continuously ensure that the educational experience we are providing will best prepare today’s kids for tomorrow’s world. And the impact of COVID-19 has become one of the most significant challenges to face public schools in our time; we must protect access, supports, and learning as our district navigates uncharted territory.

There’s so much more work to be done. That’s why I’m running for re-election to the School Committee in Shrewsbury’s 2020 Town Election. 

I’m proud of what we’ve managed to achieve during my tenure on the School Committee. Shrewsbury Public Schools continues to be in the top-tier of student performance metrics, while our district ranks towards the bottom in per pupil spending — earning tremendous value for taxpayers. We’ve increased high-level focus on securing new private support from our business community, as well as new programming to connect Shrewsbury students to opportunities in the workforce and the community. We’ve added supports to help students better cope with pressures we know contribute to mental health challenges, through wellness programming and additional adjustment counselors.

And critically, we’ve committed to making Full Day Kindergarten available to all students, without charge, when the opening of our new Beal School creates the classroom space to do so. We’ve faced pushback over that policy choice, but I am committed to keeping up the fight. All Shrewsbury kids should have the same opportunities in kindergarten, regardless of a family’s ability to pay — and I will not allow a crisis to deter us from this important aim.

I will need your help. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and necessary social distancing restrictions, this campaign will be unlike any other. You can help out by: pitch in with a small donation, sign up to volunteer, or place a sign on your lawn — I can’t do it without you!

I was able to get ahead in life because of the education, and the opportunities, that I received from Shrewsbury Public Schools. I remain committed to ensuring that Shrewsbury’s kids have great opportunities today and tomorrow — no matter what that tomorrow may bring.