THEY ASKED, JEN ANSWERED
East School PTO
(COVID aside) what would be the one thing you would like to work on regarding Hingham Public Schools?
My platform includes a variety of ideas that I would like to work on in Hingham Public Schools, but collectively they all touch on communications. I believe continued improvement of effective communications across all levels in our district - from school administration, elected officials, and principals to teachers, students, families and taxpayers - will help us further improve future success for Hingham Public Schools. When it comes to communication in schools, less is not more, and more is not necessarily better. As the School Committee we are responsibility for how our schools and students perform, but we also need to be systematic, intentional and transparent. With this focus, we can work to bridge the communication gap between the administration, schools and students who live in the district, but most especially with the students and families who live outside the boundaries of 02043.
The Hingham School Administration has begun a process and initiated change to the district website including new branding. I’m sure there are others like me who are eager to see it once complete. To that point, a new website for Hingham Public Schools presents us with a great opportunity to improve upon the efficacy in the flow of information so that it represents 21st century technology practices along with consistent terminology and messaging across the district from central office to all 6 schools and the Hingham community at-large. I look forward to being part of this continued process and bringing
What are your main goals for HPS?
In addition to social emotion well-being, which I touch on in Question 3, my main goals are educational equity, the continued growth of our fine arts program and strengthening of our STEM programs.
We need to stand out as educational leaders in Hingham, but also in our surrounding communities and benchmark towns, by listening, learning and representing best practices and implementing new policies that focus on diversity, inclusiveness, anti-racism and equal opportunities for each student within Hingham Public Schools.
I am resolved to find ways to keep our district focused on its core values and our mission which includes, “creative expression through the fine, performing, and applied arts.” Additionally, I want to empower our students with skills to succeed well after graduation through more STEM programming at both the elementary and secondary school levels. Countless research demonstrates how a substantial increase in arts education and applied science experiences have meaningful impact on students’ academic, social and emotional outcomes. We are cultivating future generations of citizens and leaders, so let’s recognize the value of arts and sciences to ensure a well-rounded education.
Why do you feel like you would be a good fit for Hingham School Committee?
I believe I would be a great fit for the School Committee because I bring unique qualities and experiences. My focus for the past 10+ years has been about helping our schools and students succeed as a parent leader in Hingham Public Schools. Before my volunteer service in the schools, I was a lead special education teacher working with moderate to severe special needs children. I’m also the only candidate with a child at the elementary, middle and high school levels.
I am committed to putting in the hard work required to make decisions that support all our students. I believe in working together as a team, listening carefully, and deliberating thoughtfully to a consensus; at the same time, I am not afraid to speak up with insightful ideas.
I’m confident my honest and thoughtful work ethic, coupled with the relationships I’ve built with parents, educators, and the school administration, which have been based on trust, confidence and successful implementation, will benefit the School Committee. My goal is to pursue the vision for Hingham Schools to reflect the needs of the students, the wishes of the voters, and the consensus of the community.
What is your main goal for the Fall considering COVID?
I am focused on returning our students, teachers and staff back to school this fall in a safe, productive, learning environment. Public health regulations in a fiscally challenging environment will be priority, and we should expect teaching styles will be adapted and support innovative techniques with training for the teachers. We must also recognize how the school closure has had social and emotional impacts on students, while paying close attention to our most vulnerable group of students with learning disabilities. Lastly, we need to appreciate and value the roles and responsibilities of parents and caregivers as co-teachers should we incur a second wave and are forced to delve into a remote learning scenario again.
Where can we learn more about you and your campaign?
You can learn more about me on my website, www.electjenbenham.com. I’m also on Facebook (/jenbenham4sc) and Instagram (/electjenbenham). If you have any questions, please reach out to me directly via email. Thank you for reading. I’d be honored to have your vote on Saturday, June 27th.