A Diverse Leader for a
Diverse School District

Now is the time to preserve the high-quality schools and CTE programs Plano ISD is known to have. Every day I am reminded that one of the only ways our district leaders will know what issues the students truly care about is to have someone who recently attended Plano ISD schools on the school board. I'm ready to use my unique perspective on the school board.

 

My priorities are more than priorities. It's a promise that I will continue planning and working together with my community and I will center all my decisions on the safety, quality of education, and work environment for the students and staff. That means taking action and having the courage to stand up for our students and teachers when decisions directly impact them. Our community deserves a school board member that is involved and makes decisions for our schools and families above their own political views.

 

I've been observant and have a plan to make my school district better, the taxpayers living here proud, and the students excited to have a school board member that looks like them.

- Simon Salinas, your next School Board Member

Diversity & Equity
- No one should be excluded from participating in or learning something they want to learn when it involves CTE classes. Simon knows from his own experience that certain classes are only available at certain times. For students with restricted schedules including athletics and after-school activities, this can be concerning when they want to take a class. We need to expand the available campuses and times these classes can be taken to make scheduling easier for students and the teachers teaching these classes.

- He wants EVERY community of students to feel represented in Plano ISD. This means hiring administrators and staff that look like the students.
Having been in numerous religious, professional, and cultural clubs and programs that Plano ISD offers has given Simon firsthand knowledge of issues many different Plano ISD students are going through and how to help them on a greater scale. There were connections between clubs both on campus and throughout Plano ISD. In a district with more than 57,000 students, unity is important now, more than ever and he wants these students to have the option to participate in these clubs if they choose. He will work to help sponsors start these clubs. It's important for students to find their place in the district and to feel safe. Simon believes that a diverse student population is how culture is shared, respected, and appreciated. He will strive to make diversity an easy and important part of the managing of schools. Our students are diverse and it's time to invest in their cultures.

- Some students can benefit from extra help in their studies and personal lives. Access to tutoring, mental health resources, food assistance, clothing, mentoring, etc. should be offered at little to no cost.

      Mental Health & Social-Emotional Learning
- Simon knows that school can be stressful for students and teachers. It was especially hard for students during COVID. It will continue to be hard for those students who have stressful situations going on at home. Students need mental health counselors and not just career counselors in our High and Senior High Schools. Vice principals and principals should not have to add mental health counseling to their already long list of duties. Plano ISD should work together with our counselors to create ideas to help students receive this support without putting the burden on the students. Simon wants to share his vision for a district-funded mental healthcare program.

- There are bullying and sexual assault events that exists in Plano ISD. Simon also believes that cyberbullying is also a problem that PISD should address as well. These events can cause damage to students when they are learning and doing homework. Plano ISD should make swift action when these events happen. Simon has had to speak up for students 

- Racism, sexism, and homophobia on all grade levels is something that the members of the school board should be concerned about. We don't want these events to give a false idea of what kind of school district Plano ISD is. Simon won't ignore these hateful acts and will advocate for policies that handle all levels of discrimination in Plano ISD. No one deserves to be bullied or treated "less-than" and it's important to make sure it's harder for students to be treated this way. He has already been working to make a positive change on this subject.
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Special Education
- Our school district needs to improve the quality of education students receive and the number of extracurricular opportunities for students to get involved in. Simon was grateful to be a manager for the Panther Pride program at Plano East where students are able to be on a basketball team and feel included. He also planned and volunteered for the 1st annual "Special Education District-Wide Sensory Prom" along with the support of amazing staff at Plano East. He loved that his senior high school had this program and he wants to encourage other schools to establish these programs as well. He will support and help maintain the existing programs and will advocate to increase the options to participate in programs like these across Plano ISD.

Plano ISD needs to provide our teachers with the resources they need to create these much-needed programs. Simon has no doubt that the teachers and support staff are constantly wanting to help their students learn, they just don't have enough support from our district when it comes to funding and resources. Pleading for funds and support from Plano ISD shouldn't be a second job for these already underpaid teachers. He believes that's why many special education teachers have left Plano ISD in the last couple of years. We have to do better and should not make special education a talking point and then do nothing to help these programs. 

The parents of our district should have better communication from the district about the programs available.  They should know that their student is included in their campus and has a strong community of students, parents, and community members that support them.

                     Taking Back Our Money                     
- Simon believes that leaving debt to our families, future taxpayers, and students that will live in Plano ISD after college to pay is a horrible plan. We need elected officials at all levels of government to prioritize public education. School board members must advocate against the way the state government has been taking vital funds from Plano ISD taxpayers that go towards teachers and students. This is known as "recapture" and there is something that we can do to stop this government relocation of Plano ISD taxpayer funds. Simon believes that when a coalition of other school districts and school board members who feel the same way comes together to tell the government to stop using our funds, we can prevent CTE classes from being cut from the Plano ISD course catalog. Students deserve to have the option to start early in a STEM path if that's what they want to do.

Collaboration between Teachers and Parents
Simon believes that Plano ISD's students are its greatest investment for the future. It's understandable that parents want to be involved in making sure their students are being taught in the best way possible that prepares them for their future careers. We have one of the most active PTAs that parents can join to make an impact in our schools and we let parents wanting to be more involved know about those opportunities. Parents can work together with their student's teachers to find out how their student learns and how they can help the student with homework, lessons, etc.
Educators deserve to have basic respect when it comes to how they teach. They also have a reasonable average salary that allows them to live in Plano ISD and not have to work two or more jobs. At the very least, we should strive to pay teachers the national average salary for teaching. Teaching is stressful, and it makes it more stressful when they are hesitant on what they can and can't teach their students.

SROs and School Safety
- We need to make sure to review safety measures for our schools. Simon has witnessed the various drills throughout his time in Plano ISD schools, and they are not effective. Some drills instruct teachers not to let any student into their classrooms, while other drills confuse students who don't know what to do if there is a drill between passing periods. There need to be more drills during passing periods so that students know how what to do. In these situations, it's important to 


 

Investing in Green Spaces

Improved PreK, After School care and 
Boys & Club Partnerships
-These programs hold a special place to Simon, and he knows firsthand how to help these childcare workers like and understands what their priorities are and how the community can get involved. He was in the PASAR Plano After School Care Program in Elementary School and knew his mom was a single mom who was working longer hours and needed help watching her child. Many of our single mothers, fathers, guardians, and working-class residents in Plano ISD need help with childcare as well. He wants to create volunteer programs for future students that hope to be educators at these elementary schools that can benefit the volunteers as a learning work experience.

-Simon is also a past Boys and Girls Club volunteer, worker, and youth. He remembers the fun he had at the center in the Douglass community where he earned his first dollar cleaning up after dinner from Ms. Joy, a beloved volunteer there. These clubs have helped at-risk students realize that they are important and can make the world a better place by mentoring, supporting, and listening since it first opened. These are also some of the most important programs that help the rate of homelessness in Plano decrease by early interventions. Simon wants to ADVOCATE and give back to the place that gave him a reason to focus in school and gave him one of his strongest reasons to be a voice for the students.   
 

Transparency in Taxes

Promote PISD communication
There is a race and gender disparity in our STEM, IB, and AP classes and a huge problem is the lack of information being given to these students. Simon wants to increase communication with these families so that they can make an informed decisions for their students.

Make certain programs like food assistance and clothing drives wider known, some families don't have technology

''A student with a mission''

Plano ISD is the best school district in the nation. It's time to get involved