As a former Scarsdale Board of Education member, I seriously question the SBNC’s logic in refusing to renominate Alison Singer, the current board vice president, to a second term. It seems more like an ill-conceived vendetta against school district administration.
Yes, this past year has been unprecedented in the history of the school district. The district continues to face a national health emergency. It is trying to manage the effective and efficient delivery of education services to all of our children while maintaining the health of faculty, staff and families — a herculean task hampered by inconsistent guidance from the New York State Department of Health and the New York State Education Department.
During my board tenure, we moved the district from Advanced Placement (AP) to Advanced Topics (AT) courses in the high school, and rebuilt a major section of Quaker Ridge Elementary School. Those efforts, which created a public uproar, were child’s play compared to the monumental tasks and decisions the current board and administration continue to address.
The SBNC has stated that it wants to “bring different backgrounds and experiences to serve our community.” How does removing Alison, the mother of a special needs child and a nationally acknowledged leader in the autism community, accomplish that? Who better understands the Scarsdale special education community and the needs of children with learning differences? A large number of Scarsdale students, who are not classified, receive resource room services and psychological support. Alison has consistently advocated for them in board discussions of hybrid education, virtual learning and mental health to ensure that their needs are equitably met. Who will keep their interests in the forefront of the discussion and not as an afterthought?
While claiming diversity, the SBNC is denying special education students and children with learning differences a seat at the table. I do not call that “serving different constituents.”
This is not the time to remove one of our most experienced board members. We need someone who is already prepared to step into the board presidency. I will be voting for Alison. I urge you to do so as well.
Former member, Scarsdale Board of Education