Blog - Sandee Everett - CVUSD School Board

Post-Election Night Letter to My Supporters

Dear friends,

Thank you for all your support!

As of 12:44 AM last night, we are behind by 1,072 votes. I currently have 6,345 votes and my opponent has 7,417. But there are a lot of votes still left to count.

The last batch of results released last night were 4 to 1 in my favor. There is no way to tell if that trend will continue, but if it does, then things will look good for us.

According to the data that our campaign received at least twice daily from the county for the last 4 days of in-person voting, more than half of the 6,700 Republicans in Newbury Park did not cast their vote until the very end. The next count update is scheduled for Friday.

Can you do me a favor? If you have a chance today, could you drop off your yard sign at my campaign HQ? Just leave it by the door if no one is there.

You can also pick up any other Sandee signs that you encounter.  We are trying to get all the signs cleaned up within the next two days.

Thanks again to each of you for your incredible support! We are all very anxious to learn the final results of this election. We will keep you posted.

- Sandee

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Unauthorized letter to teachers

A CVUSD teacher contacted me yesterday to let me know that an email had been received by many teachers at their school email addresses. That email contained several issue/policy comparisons between me and my opponent in the school board election. The email also apparently included a link to the Supreme Court's Janus decision and included instructions for teachers on how to leave the union.

That email was not sent by me, nor do I authorize or approve of its contents.  I denounce the use of teachers' school email addresses for political purposes by anyone or by any organization.

- Sandee

 

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My Response to Email Complaints from Union Members about Reopening

[NOTE: this is a copy of the email that I sent in response to union members this week who were trying to derail the board vote on reopening the schools.]

Thank you so much for contacting me with your thoughts about reopening schools. I have carefully read your opinion and concerns.

Questions on the specifics of any reopening plan that may be approved by the board will be answered by District administrators. If a plan to reopen is adopted by the board, administrators will be tasked with implementing the CVUSD safety plan already approved by the county and state health departments and with resolving concerns.

The following are my thoughts so far regarding the vote to reopen schools. I am still listening.

1. STUDENTS FIRST

When it comes to a decision on reopening the schools, my primary consideration is the students and their needs. To help you understand what parents (the students’ primary advocates) who want to reopen the schools are saying, I am including excerpts from emails that I have received (with all identifiers removed). For many, this is an emergency. The children are suffering and families are struggling.

2. DISTRICT SURVEY RESULTS

The District survey to parents in mid-May revealed that 78% of parents wanted their kids back on campus full time this fall. The District resurveyed parents a couple of weeks ago and 80% indicated that they want their kids back on campus for instruction.

Parents are well-aware of the risks associated with COVID-19 and yet the overwhelming majority continue to want their children back on campus for school. The emails and conversations I have had with parents have helped me better understand the negative impact school closures are having on many families and why the vast majority want us to reopen the schools.

 

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CVUSD Students Let Down by School Board Vote

Transcript of Video Below:

Hi, my name is Sandee Everett. Last night at our school board meeting, the board majority chose to put the wishes of the union above the safety, well-being and educational needs of our high school students. Board members Goldberg, Gorback, Fitzgerald and Connolly all refused to allow our high school students to return to our campuses in November. Instead these four board members voted to require the students to stay home for three more months because district administrators said it was too much work for them to adjust the master schedule in order to accommodate our students.

Let's be clear. This is not about a master schedule. This is about a group of union-backed, misguided board members who are putting the demands of our union over the needs of our kids. It is the district's job to accommodate the parents who have requested that their children be back in school for numerous reasons. In the 2020-2021 school year it is required by law that the board provide the students with in-person instruction to the greatest extent possible. 

I believe last night this board violated that law.

The district has all the necessary approval to reopen our schools. The Conejo Valley is NOT hot spot for COVID-19. It is time that the CVUSD leadership put our kids first. Moorpark Unified returned their high schoolers to campus today. Meanwhile, our board has chosen
to have our high schoolers sit home for three more months on the computer.

What will happen in three months? I think we all know the answer. The union will have another meltdown and the kids won't be permitted to return in January. It is time for parents who really want their high schoolers back at school to get involved and to put some pressure on this school board majority. That's what they respond to. That's what the union does.

We can start by writing letters to our local paper, signing petitions and holding protests. We need to be loud just as the union is loud when they don't get their way. 

We can make this happen for our kids. We can't allow them to force our kids to stay at home for three more months. It's just unacceptable.

I hope we can all come together and try to get our high schoolers back to campus. This is what is best for our students.

I'm Sandee Everett. Please help me support our kids.

 

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Denouncement of unauthorized mailer

I have been informed that a flyer has been mailed out from a group that is not affiliated with my campaign. I have not received a copy in the mail, but someone sent me a picture of one side of it. It is entitled "Conejo Valley Unified School District Area 5 Candidates."

That mailer was sent without my authorization and without my review. I am committed to running a positive campaign, so I have resisted pointing out my opponent's positions on issues. I am running on my own record, my own positions, and my own qualifications.

The only time I have mentioned my opponent was when I pointed out a misstatement from her in one of the candidate forums. She stated that teaching K-6th grade gender identity is required by law. In my video on this topic (https://youtu.be/htNBHye7LZs), I included the applicable law, with a clarification that K-6 gender identity instruction is NOT required by law.

There are a couple things in the unauthorized mailer that I specifically take issue with:

  • The mailer included a group photo of Conejo Together with some children in it. It looks like the minors' faces have been blurred, though. Interestingly, people have told me that they have seen the same photo on Conejo Together's website and/or Facebook page, so apparently Conejo Together had already published those minors' faces (unblurred) themselves. 
  • The mailer uses a couple of subjective words like "comrades" and "far-left."  Those are words that I would not have used in a mailer.

With the new school board voting areas, each campaign covers a very small area. I have kept my campaign positive and focused on issues because after November 3rd, we will all still be neighbors and our kids will still go to school together.  When all is said and done, we still need to be a community.

There doesn't seem to be anything inaccurate about me in the mailer. If there is anything inaccurate in the mailer about my opponent, I would be happy to update this blog post to point out those inaccuracies if she would like to send them to me.

- Sandee

 

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Should kindergartners be taught their parents guessed their gender?

Transcript of video:

Hi, my name is Sandee Everett and I'm a current trustee on the Conejo Valley Unified School District school board. I'm running for re-election and our ballots just arrived in our mailboxes. We really need your vote in November.

I support programs in our schools that teach kids to invite lonely students into their friend groups to be kind and helpful to each other and to be respectful of each other's differences in opinion, dress, race, religion, and all other differences.

Many students are taught at home to be respectful of others. In general, i believe that our teachers and our students are very respectful and accepting of each other, but there's always room for improvement. It is common for members of our community to disagree on how students should be taught to respect each other's differences at school.

For example, some members of our community and some members of our school board believe that in order to prevent bullying of our transgender students that all kindergarten through 6th grade students should be taught at school that gender is "assigned at birth" and that the children can choose their own gender.

These kinds of gender identity lessons were adopted by our neighboring district Oak Park in 2019. The school counselor teaches the lessons during social emotional learning. The counselor or a teacher can be required by the school district to teach the lessons if that's what the school board adopts.

Teaching kindergarten through sixth grade gender identity lessons is not mandated by law. It's not in the sex education bill. It's recommended but it's not required, although my opponent during our Thrive forum indicated that she believes that AB 1266
does require us to teach gender identity in our elementary schools. I disagree with her because this law is about sex segregation and
discrimination, and does not mention curriculum.

In 2017, the state senate passed a bill that changed the definition of gender in California. the California Teachers Association (CTA) lobbied for this bill even though it was a housing bill and unrelated to education. The bill states that transgender is an umbrella term used to describe people whose gender identity or gender expression do not match the gender that they were "assigned at birth."

The book "Who Are You?" was originally recommended by the California Department of Education (CDE) to teach gender identity for the five to eight-year-olds in school. However, after the framework was released for Health, thousands of parents in California complained about the book and the California Department of Education removed it from the recommended list in the framework, and now only recommends it for family use. However, it can still remain in libraries and teachers can still use it if they choose to do so. I'm going to read you a few pages from the book "Who Are You?" that can help you better understand how this new definition of gender may be taught in our schools if the school board elects to do that.

When babies are born people ask, "Is it a boy or a girl?"

Babies can't talk so grown-ups make a guess by looking at their bodies.
This is the sex assigned to you at birth, male or female.

Sometimes people get this confused with gender. But gender
is much more than the body you were born with.

Some people say there are only two genders,
but there are really many genders. You are who you say
you are because you know you best.

And for some people there are more than
just two choices. 

These are just a few words people use trans, gender queer, non-binary, gender fluid, transgender, gender neutral, agender, neutrois, bigender, third gender, two-spirit and there are even more words people are using to describe their experience.

This is called the gender spectrum.


Although there are valid and valued perspectives on this issue, my position is that I do not believe we should teach K-6 gender identity
lessons because it is not required by law,and I don't believe that it is developmentally appropriate for our
youngest learners.

If one of our transgender students is in a class I believe they need to be treated with dignity and respect and that the class needs to have some kind of instruction in order to help them to understand and to prevent bullying.

But I believe parents should be involved in this and that it should be very open and transparent and so that parents can teach their own values on this topic at home.

My name is Sandee Everett and I'm a current trustee on the Conejo Valley Unified School District school board.

I'm up for re-election and we need your vote in November.

Thank you so much.

 

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When students are assigned books with graphic child rape

Transcript of video:

Hi, my name is Sandee Everett and I am a current trustee on the Conejo Valley Unified School District school board. I'm running for re-election this Fall and we need your vote in November.

Today I want to talk to you about one of my guiding principles as a board member, which is that parents know what is best for their own children.

When it comes to graphic content being introduced to students at school, I believe that parents should have a choice. For example, when a teacher chooses to show an R-rated movie in their classroom, they send home a paper and the parent needs to sign the paper before the student is permitted to watch the movie.

Similar to some of these movies, we have books on our assigned reading lists that contain graphic descriptions of child rape and other violence. These are not the books that we remember reading when we were growing up. The descriptions of child rape are so graphic that they leave little to nothing to the imagination.

We know that one in ten children under the age of 18 is the victim of sexual abuse. Content like graphic child rape, which is in some of our assigned books, has the potential to re-traumatize some of these students.

I believe that parents know their children best and understand their sensibilities and sensitivities.

That is why I support giving parents and students a heads-up about content in our reading lists that contains graphic descriptions of child rape and other violence. I have five children - and I want to protect my children. I'm sure you want to protect your children, too. The district's current book policy does not require parents to be given a heads-up or students to be given a heads-up.

In addition, when a student selects a different book or an alternative reading assignment, the student is required to leave the classroom for the rest of that unit, which can be for weeks. I believe that this practice has the potential to embarrass students and cause a chilling effect, so that students will not ask for another book when they really want to.

I support giving parents and students the information they need in advance to make wise choices - just like we do for the R-rated movies. I believe this is the respectful and the right thing to do. I will always protect a parent's right to choose what is best for their own child.

Please vote for me in November. My name is Sandee Everett.

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My Answers to the Conejo Guardian Candidate Questions

Note: The most recent issue of the Conejo Guardian ran a story about all the candidates for local office. We were asked six questions. Here are my answers to their questions:

Brief Bio

Sandee Everett is a current CVUSD School Board Member, holds a California school counselor license, and is a full-time mother of five children. She earned a Master of Science degree in Education from Purdue University and is married to Craig Everett, a finance professor  at Pepperdine University.

1. What motivates you to run for reelection to the School Board?

My main motivation as a board member is to improve student educational outcomes and decrease achievement gaps for all students at all grade levels, especially in reading, writing, math and science. 

I am a seasoned board member that understands the budget. When making budget decisions the board must prioritize student classroom experience. We need board members that will balance the budget and stop expecting families to subsidize programs and activities to make up the difference for budget shortfalls.

I was elected as a “voice for parents” that was sorely lacking on the school board. Since then, I have consistently advocated for parents to be involved in their children’s education and to have the greatest influence over how their children are educated.

Because I am a mother with children in our schools, I have a vested interest in the schools.

2. Please share your thoughts about online instruction and reopening schools.

The school district surveyed families in May with over 12,000 responses. 78% of parents indicated that they want in-person, on-campus instruction for their children this fall. I believe we need to respect the parents’ wishes and provide in-person instruction to the greatest extent possible.

Ventura County has now deemed it safe to grant waivers for transitional kindergarten (TK) through sixth grade students to return to in-person instruction. The board can also offer TK through twelfth grade special education students in-person services and instruction. I believe the board is ethically and legally obligated to provide all opportunities available for students to safely return to the classroom.  Education Code 43504 requires Districts to “offer in-person instruction to the greatest extent possible” during the 2020-21 school year.

The District has already received millions in federal stimulus dollars to implement all required safety measures.

In addition, we must continue offering online and homeschool options, especially for teachers and students with higher health risks and other concerns.

While secondary schools are only permitted to provide online education right now, I will advocate to regularly survey all parents and teachers for feedback and input.

3. What role do charter schools, private schools, and homeschooling play in our community?

I support choice in education, while also believing public schooling is often the best option for many families. While my own children are receiving (or have received) wonderful educations in CVUSD, I recognize that parents sometimes find the best educational fit for their child in charter, private or homeschool options.

CVUSD itself offers a homeschool program, SHINE. This program has grown tremendously this year. One of my children’s favorite and extremely talented elementary school teachers is now a SHINE instructor.

Roughly one-third of all school-age children in the Conejo Valley do not attend CVUSD. The District has 1,000 fewer students this year than last year. This is equivalent to the enrollment of three elementary schools. As a board, we must prioritize listening to parent concerns and providing any needed flexibility and programs to bring students back or convince them to stay.  

4. Last year, there was a great deal of controversy about graphic child rape in books on the required reading list for high schoolers. Please share your position on this matter. 

The District has books on its reading list that contain graphic depictions of child rape and other extreme violence. These are not the books parents remember reading in school while growing up but are much more graphic and potentially disturbing. I support providing parents with a heads-up regarding such books for the same reason that we inform parents when an R-rated movie is going to be shown to a class. I believe parents have the right to choose what is best for their children.

One of my main concerns with requiring students to read books containing graphic child rape with no advanced warning, is the potential for re-traumatization of sexual abuse victims. One in ten children are victims of sexual abuse, and for this reason I strongly advocate providing parents and students enough information to make informed decisions.

The board’s current book policy does not require teachers to provide parents or students with advanced warnings about graphic content in our reading books. In addition, the policy does not permit students that choose an alternative reading assignment to remain in class with their peers during that unit of study. I am opposed to forcing students to leave the classroom for weeks if they choose an alternative book, as it may embarrass them and be perceived as a punishment.

5. What is your position on our schools allowing students to leave school for abortions without parental permission or notification.

California permits minors to have abortions without parental knowledge or consent, however the law does not require schools to be involved in this practice. Last school year, the CVUSD parent handbook was changed to inform parents that the District now allows students to leave school for abortions and other “confidential medical procedures” without notifying parents. 

My position is that schools should not facilitate rides to clinics or deceive parents about the whereabouts of their children. If a student is not in school, the parents should know. If a child is in crisis, school employees are mandated reporters and county services should be notified to help the child. 

I agree with surrounding districts that choose not to participate in this practice.

6. Please share your position on teaching gender identity in grades K-6.

The updated California sex education law (AB 329) does not require sex education and gender identity to be taught in kindergarten through sixth grade (K-6). The decision is left up to the school board. I support ensuring that all transgender students are treated with love, kindness and respect at school. However, I am opposed to K-6 students being taught in school that their parents guessed their gender and the children can choose their gender for themselves. My position is that values on this matter are best taught at home, and parents should decide when it is developmentally appropriate.

I support providing classroom interventions on a case-by-case basis to help with ensuring understanding and respect for a child. Teachers should be offered any needed support and training. Bullying should never be permitted.

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Safely Open the Schools Now

Transcript of video:

Hi, my name is Sandee Everett and I am a current trustee on the Conejo Valley Unified School District school board. I'm running for re-election this fall and we need your vote in November.

Welcome to my daughter's room. This is where she sits when she does her online learning for school.

None of us as parents could have imagined that our children would still be sitting in their rooms doing their learning online, rather than back at school with their teachers and their friends this fall.

The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have both indicated that, for kids, the risks of school closures are greater than the risks of Covid-19.

In May, the district conducted a survey, and over 12,000 of our families responded. 78% of the parents indicated that they would like their children back on campus for in-person instruction this fall. I believe because the board is an elected body and represents the community and the parents, we need to provide what the majority of parents have asked for.

We also need to continue to provide online options for teachers and students, especially those that have health concerns. The law requires that in the 2020-2021 school year that the board provide in-person instruction for the students to the greatest extent possible.

On August 19th, the Ventura County health director indicated that we can now apply for a waiver for our TK through sixth grade classrooms. That means that our youngest learners can return to campus and have in-person instruction. However, our board has been dragging its feet. Meanwhile, the private schools have already received their waivers and opened their campuses for their TK through sixth grade classrooms.

The board needs to get these waivers and allow the parents to make the choice to return their children to the classroom, if that's what they prefer.

The district has many students who have disabilities that are struggling with online learning and online services. The board has the ability to allow these students from TK through 12th grade to return to campus and receive their instruction and services in person. The board needs to stop dragging its feet on this. We must allow these students the opportunity to choose to return to campus for in-person instruction and services.

The board needs to come together to also get permission to reopen our middle schools and our high schools for our students. The district has already received millions in federal stimulus dollars in order to ensure that our campuses are safe when our teachers and our students return for in-person instruction.

I think it is time for the board to do everything necessary to put the decision into the hands of the parents whether they want their children to return to in-person instruction or if they would like to continue with online learning.

My name is Sandee Everett and I am a trustee on the Conejo Valley Unified School District school board. I'm running for re-election this fall and we need your vote in November.

Thank you so much.

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My Answers to Student Forum Questions

Student Forum hosted by Ventura County Youth Coalition, September 10, 2020

School Board Candidates were given six questions in advance of the forum. The following are my written responses to these questions.

Introduction:

Hi, my name is Sandee Everett and I’m a current Trustee on the Conejo Valley Unified School District School Board. I am running for re-election and we need your vote in November.

I grew up in a family of ten children and my mom and dad were both public school teachers. I understand teachers and the value of being frugal and staying within a budget.

I am the full-time mother of five children, three of whom graduated from Newbury Park High School and two that are currently attending Newbury Park. Because I currently have children in the schools, I vested interest in their success.

I earned a master’s degree in education from Purdue University and I hold an active California School Counselor license.  One of my guiding principles as a board member is that parents know what is best for their own children. I will always protect a parent’s right to choose what is best for their own children.

Please go to my website, SandeeEverett.com for more information

1. What are your main goals for the District and what changes or improvements do you want to see being made?

My three main goals would be to open our campuses, improve educational outcomes and reverse declining enrollment

OPEN OUR SCHOOLS

None of us expected that our kids would still be sitting in their rooms doing their schooling on the computer rather than back at school with their teachers and friends.

Six private schools in the Conejo Valley have now safely reopened their transitional kindergarten through 6th grade classrooms for in-person instruction. This is because the Ventura County Health Department has now deemed it safe to reopen our kindergarten through 6th grade classrooms using a waiver process. The county health director cited as his reasoning the information put out by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that have both indicated that for kids, the risks of school closure are greater than the risks of COVID-19.

Among the risks of school closures are severe learning loss; disparities in educational outcomes particularly for low-income, minority students and students with disabilities; lack of social interaction taking a toll on child social and emotional well-being; increased levels of depression, thoughts of suicide, social anxiety and sexual activity; increase in child abuse and less reporting of child abuse; potential lack of proper nutrition; lack of physical activity 

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/reopening-schools.html 

Over 12,000 families responded to our school district survey, conducted in May. 78% of parents indicated that they want their kids back on campus this fall. I believe that because the board is elected by parents and the community, we need to respect the wishes of parents while also continuing to offer online learning, especially for teachers and students with health concerns.

The law requires that the school board "offer our children in-person instruction to the greatest extent possible" (EC 43504).

We also need to join together to get permission to open our middle and high school campuses. Until we receive this permission, we need to regularly survey parents to find out how we can improve.  

The District has already received millions in federal stimulus dollars to implement all state required measures to safely open our schools. It’s time to do the right thing and let kids and parents decide if they wish to safely return to campus. 

IMPROVE EDUCATIONAL OUTCOMES

In addition to opening our schools, we must focus our resources on improving student educational outcomes and decreasing the ever-widening achievement gaps in math, science and English Language Arts, for all students at all grade levels.

ENROLLMENT

As far as enrollment, CVUSD has lost over 1000 students between last year and this year. This is roughly the size of 3 of our elementary schools. Declining enrollment has been an issue for the District for well over a decade. In 2016, the District hired a firm to conduct a study and it was determined that roughly ¼ to 1/3 of all school age children in the Conejo Valley do not attend CVUSD. Since 2005 our District has almost 5000 fewer students.

For every 1,000 students we lose, it equates to a $10 million loss in funding. The success of our District impacts all of us, whether we have kids in the schools or not. Property values are positively impacted by our schools. Many families choose to move here because of our school district. We must reverse our declining enrollment trend by effectively resolving parent concerns and providing the flexibility and programs that bring students back or convince them to stay. 

2. How do you plan to address equity and access issues among the students in the district?

First, I want to address the inequities going on because of school closures. The District has many students with disabilities as well as other at-risk students that are struggling with online learning and receiving important services. The board is now permitted to allow these students the choice to receive in-person services and instruction. We cannot drag our feet on this. We must do what is best for the students. 

I will continue to advocate at our board meetings for my fellow board members to join me in offering the option for TK-12th grade students with disabilities to return to campus without delay.

Another glaring inequity in our schools right now is that some families can afford to supplement their children’s online learning and others cannot. The achievement gap is growing wider and wider. I received an email from a parent in the district and she stated:

“I urge you and the District administration to apply for the waiver and reopen campuses. It is very discouraging that the District itself is allowing inequities to exist among the children who reside in the Conejo Valley. Children of private schools in Thousand Oaks are beginning to return to campuses and there has been a bit of an exodus of students from public school to private school because virtual learning cannot replace that which is given on campuses. I personally know elementary-age children who think it would be better to be in Heaven at this time. How does a parent respond to that? “I’m sorry, we don’t have the money to sent you to a school that will advocate for your well-being.” The longer the District waits to apply for a waiver, the more significant the inequities in learning, mental and emotional stability will be felt by the children in the Conejo Valley.”

LAUSD did a study during the school closures in the spring. The results indicated that Latino and Black students "suffered deep disparities in online learning." The study indicated that the current crisis has taken a devastating toll on Black and Latino families because many of the parents work in essential jobs as front line workers. This leaves the children at home to get themselves online for school. https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwiUl5CjhePrAhUEKH0KHfo6DpUQFjAAegQIBBAB&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.latimes.com%2Fcalifornia%2Fstory%2F2020-07-16%2Flatino-and-black-students-hard-hit-with-disparities-in-their-struggle-with-online-learning&usg=AOvVaw3JiQQzOtaTCISEE20mJ57T

In addition, in our district many students do not having good internet access. Those families that can afford high speed internet are at an advantage over those using District hotspots. Someone in our community offered our District the opportunity to provide every student in our District with high speed internet access for free. So far, the District has not taken these people up on the offer.

We must prevent a two-tier educational system from immerging during our current crisis. We cannot turn a blind eye to the fact that students that can afford certain advantages outperform students that cannot afford them.

In addition, our school accountability report cards in 2017-18 and 2018-19 show that there are deep disparities among students in at-risk populations. 

For example, in 2017-18 in the Thousand Oaks High School area only 30% of Latino students met or exceeded the standards. Only 12% of students with disabilities met or exceeded the standards.

In 2018-19 we improved but still only 54.26% of Latino students met or exceeded the standards and 17.5% of students with disabilities. http://www.conejousd.org/SARC-SPSA

I will continue advocating to focus resources on improving student educational outcomes and decreasing achievement gaps, especially in math, science and English Language Arts, for all students at all grade levels.

3. How do you plan on addressing drug abuse and vaping issues in the District?

Drug abuse and vaping are both huge problems in our community. Ventura County has reached a crisis level number of people addicted to heroine.

ADDRESS UNDERLYING ISSUES

The first question we must ask ourselves as decision and policy makers is what is going on with our children that is causing them to turn to drugs? Are there voids our students are trying to fill? Have the students experienced abuse, trauma, neglect, lack of nutrition, bullying? Do they have learning disabilities such as ADHD and smoking is a sort of self-medication?  What feelings are students with drug habits experiencing that are so painful that they are turning to drugs to suppress and cover their feelings? How is social media playing a role in the depression our students are experiencing? What are the impacts of the lockdown? What can we do to help our students overcome their addictions? What can we be doing to prevent students from trying drugs in the first place?

A person can easily become addicted to heroine the first time they use it. Kids need to know.

We first focus on the students and do all that we can at school to encourage them to look forward to a bright future. We must help students to learn coping skills and conflict resolution that effectively allow them to deal with their challenges while continuing to focus on their education. The challenges students are currently facing should not cause a lasting negative impact on their future opportunities to succeed in their chosen careers and educational aspirations.

Every student needs to feel safe and accepted at school. We need to provide a safe environment for learning and give kids the opportunity to discover their passions. Students need to be mentored and encouraged by special teachers, counselors, coaches, music directors and others. I know that some of our schools have programs where students who are sitting alone at lunch are invited by other students to sit with them. No student should feel isolated.

The best thing for students is to develop self-efficacy in an area of interest. The students need to think about the future. How do they envision their life in 5 years? What are their goals. They need opportunities with our local businesses to job shadow and discover their passion. We need to provide more access to Career Technical Education programs for students that prefer to work with their hands and are spatially gifted. Our students with creative and artistic gifts need to be provided opportunities to explore their emotions and talents through art.

SCHOOL PROGRAMS TO EDUCATE STUDENTS

I also support bringing programs into our schools that provide students the opportunity to hear from impactful speakers. For example, I helped facilitate Every Fifteen Minutes at a Catholic HS in Indiana. This is a program to give students insight into the repercussions of driving drunk and ending up in an accident where fellow passengers in the car are killed. The student body also heard from a man that was driving drunk, crashed into a tree and his best friend was killed. The parents of the boy that was killed asked the court not to give the young man the full jail sentence and instead asked that the boy go to jail for a certain period of time and then speak at high schools to tell his story to influence students not to drink and drive. Programs like this can be very effective.  

There are many other programs such as reality parties to demonstrate to parents what goes on at some parties.

In addition, I do not think it is right to have a vaping shop across from Newbury Park High School. This normalizes vaping and gives kids greater access. Vaping is dangerous.

4. What are some solutions that you see to improve safety in our schools?

SAFETY MEASURES DURING COVID-19

First, with our current situation, we need to implement all state required safety measures to provide a safe school environment for our students, teachers and staff that choose to return to campus when they are reopened. As I stated earlier, the District has already received millions in federal stimulus dollars to implement all required safety measures. We must use these dollars wisely for the safety of our students and staff. Safety measures include temperature checks, cohorts and smaller class sizes, face masks and face shields, handwashing stations, hand sanitizer, more effective filters on our air systems, classrooms cleaned between classes, and all other required safety measures.

HIRE MORE CUSTODIANS

We need more custodians. Our custodial staff is stretched too thin for the cleanliness required at our schools. Our schools need to be cleaned at level 1 for custodian standards. Level 1 cleanliness standards result “in a ‘spotless’ and germ-free facility as might normally be found in a hospital or corporate suite. At this level, a custodian with proper supplies and tools can clean approximately 10,000 to 11,000 square feet in 8 hours. ”

https://nces.ed.gov/pubs2003/maintenance/chapter5.asp#:~:text=A%20custodian%20can%20clean%20approximately,square%20feet%20in%208%20hours.

Currently our custodians are required to clean at least twice that many square feet in addition to the kitchen, set ups and tear downs when needed, work orders and even moving things for teachers.

SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICERS (SRO)

We need our resource officers now more than ever to keep our campuses safe. These officers are there to handle safety and crime prevention on our campuses. Students need to meet these officers and learn about how important they are to maintaining safe schools. 

MEASURE I BOND MUST BE USED TO ENSURE OUR CAMPUSES ARE SAFE

It is important to ensure that we are using our Measure I Bond dollars wisely to make our campuses safe. For example, roofs, stairs, windows and electrical work all need attention, not just big projects.

ACADEMIC SAFETY

In addition to physical safety, students need to feel academically safe to respond truthfully during class discussions. Bullying of students with differing opinions is never appropriate. If our children are to succeed in society, they need to learn respect for all opinions and that it is never appropriate to bully someone because of their values or beliefs. There is a tendency to twist students’ words or assign meaning when that was not intended. This is also bullying and a form of gaslighting.

5. How do you handle input from stakeholders that have conflicting viewpoints?

PROVIDE AN EXAMPLE

Board members should be providing appropriate examples of how to respect differing opinions on the board.   

LISTEN RESPECTFULLY TO ALL VIEWPOINTS

It is very important as a board member to listen carefully to all viewpoints and worldviews and not to try to twist or distort the intentions of others. Personal attacks directed at board members are unproductive and create divisions and tension. We should sincerely focus on issues.

It is important for board members and the community to deliver their comments in a respectful manner that provides a good example for our students of how to advocate appropriately for their perspective to be understood.

BE FACTUAL WITHOUT MISREPRESENTING THE PERSPECTIVE OF OTHERS

Falsehoods are sometimes spread by political groups within our community about the perspective of parents that come to the board meetings advocating for their children. It is not helpful or healthy to twist the intentions of parents or board members and assign false narratives. I think everyone’s time would be better spent focusing on what they feel is best for their own children and not taking away options from others. Very often, there is a reasonable solution that can meet the needs of everyone.

EXAMPLES OF DIFFERING OPINIONS IN THE COMMUNITY

Once we receive the waiver to reopen our TK-6th grade classrooms, some families may choose to return their children to on-campus learning and some families will choose to continue with online learning. It is important that online options are available, especially for students and teachers with health concerns. When both options are provided, more families will have their needs met.

Another example is our book policy regarding books assigned to students to read for class. Prior to the policy being changed about two years ago, parents and students were given a simple heads up about certain books that contain graphic child rape or other violence. These are not the books that parents remember reading when they were growing up. These books describe child rape in graphic detail that has the potential to be disturbing to students.

The prior book policy was much like our district policy on R-rated movies. Before a student can watch an R-rated movie at school, the parents must give permission. With the former policy, when a book was assigned to students that contained graphic child rape or other violence, there was advanced notice and an alternative book option provided. The simple heads up was meant to be respectful of parents and their right to decide what is best for their own child.  We know that one in 10 students under that age of 18 has been the victim of sexual abuse. I believe that parents know their children and their experiences best. Parents know their children's sensitivities.

Detractors of this policy believed that giving parents a heads up about books containing graphic child rape was book banning and censorship. But there were never any books removed from reading lists or the library. Those desiring the heads-up regarding books with graphic content, were not trying to censor or ban books, but just wanted information to make wise choices. One group wanted the heads up, another group did not want to permit this. The group not wanting to allow the heads up told the other parents that they could read all of the books in advance and no heads up was needed. This is unrealistic for some families. Both groups could have their needs met by giving the heads up, but still allowing the books to be used in the classroom. This is what the former policy accomplished.

ONLINE BULLYING

Online bullying is a huge problem for kids and can cause depression. I understand that online bullying can also negatively impact a student’s ability to focus and thrive at school. We need programs in our schools that teach students what it means to bully someone online. We also need to teach students what to do if they are being bullied online and how to get help.

Unfortunately, some adults in our community do not provide a positive example to students. As a board member, I have personally experienced online bullying and harassment (such as fake twitter accounts mimicking my real account created solely to mock and disparage me). For this reason, I truly understand how students feel that are bullied online.

Students need to understand that spreading false information online about someone is bullying. Mean-spirited personal attacks meant to damage someone’s reputation should never be tolerated.  I have tried to be a positive example to students who are being bullied online by not allowing bullies to invade my personal online/social media accounts. I believe students should ensure that they can go onto social media without being bombarded with nasty comments or tagged by online bullies. We are all one community, which is generally a very kind and friendly place. Whether it is students in school or local political races, online platforms should not be so contentious and nasty that after a disagreement is over, it hard to heal.

6. Do you agree or disagree that public schools should put a greater emphasis on critical thinking over testing?

CRITICAL THINKING

I believe both critical thinking and testing ability are important to student success and that they are not mutually exclusive.

Our Board Policy 6144 Controversial Issues indicates that:

“…Teachers should not spend class time on any topic that they feel is not suitable for the class or related to the established course of study.”

The Board also expects teachers to ensure that all sides of a controversial issue are impartially presented, with adequate and appropriate information. Without promoting any partisan point of view, the teacher should help students separate fact from opinion and warn them against drawing conclusions from insufficient data. The teacher shall not suppress any student's view on the issue as long as its expression is not malicious or abusive toward others...”

It is very important that students learn to think critically for themselves.

It is never appropriate for a teacher or other students in a classroom try to prevent all perspectives from being presented on a topic. Students should be taught how to think, not what to think. It is important to allow all students to safely express their opinions in the classroom. 

Here is a quote from my oldest daughter who is now twenty-six and working in NYC in her dream job. This is about one of her high school teachers at NPHS – my youngest son is lucky enough to currently have the same teacher.

“I loved Mr. LaRocca because his class was super interactive. We often did debates and he always made sure to stay neutral during them. He never told us which political party he affiliated with and encouraged us to figure out for ourselves what we believed as far as politics went.”

TESTING

Testing is also a very important skill for students to master. Students need to be held to a high standard. Low expectations are a disservice to students if they are to succeed in today’s economy.

The value of students learning to demonstrate their competencies on an exam cannot be underestimated. Test taking is a learned skill and, with effort, can be mastered. There are many coping skills students with testing anxiety can learn in order to overcome it. Examples of coping skills include learning to calm one's nerves by picturing themselves in a favorite place right before the exam begins. Students can also learn to use breathing exercises to calm their nerves. Earplugs can be very useful if a student is easily distracted during an exam or becomes nervous if other students begin turning in their exams early.

Once students learn to think critically and to be able to effectively demonstrate their abilities on exams, they will be much more prepared for their future. 

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My Answers to Acorn Candidate Questions

CAMPAIGN PLATFORM:

Put Kids First.  All students from all backgrounds deserve the opportunity to achieve and be challenged academically while enjoying a safe school environment.

Support Teachers. Providing sufficient technology, professional development and the freedom our faculty needs to innovate are essential to ensuring the best education possible for our children.

Respect Parents' Rights. Parents know what is best for their own children and should have the greatest influence over how their children are educated.

Fiscal Responsibility. We must stop deficit spending and balance the budget. When making budget decisions, the overarching question I ask myself is how the spending helps students improve their educational outcomes.

Safely Open Our Schools Without Unnecessary Delay.

  • The law requires the board to "offer in-person instruction to the greatest extent possible" (EC 43504).
  • Over 12,000 families responded to our school district survey, conducted in May. 78% of parents indicated that they want their kids back on campus this fall.
  • The Ventura County Health Department has now deemed it safe to open our kindergarten through 6th grade (K-6) classrooms. CVUSD must secure the county waivers without delay.
  • The board must permit students with disabilities the opportunity to receive in-person services and instruction.
  • As a community we need to join together to get permission to open our middle and high school campuses.
  • We must also provide online and homeschool options, especially for students and teachers with health concerns.
  • The District has already received millions in federal stimulus dollars to implement all state-required safety measures into our schools.

Age: 53

Profession: Trustee, Conejo Valley Unified School District School Board; School Counselor

Family: Married to Craig Everett (a Pepperdine finance professor) for 27 years. We are the parents of five children ages 15-26. My oldest three children graduated from NPHS, where our two youngest children currently attend. The newest member of the family is our puppy, Beau.

Relevant Education/Experience:

  • Master’s Degree in Education, Purdue University
  • Active K-12 California School Counselor License
  • 2010 recipient of the Indiana School Counselor Association’s Ike Womack Scholarship Award, given to one outstanding school counseling student in the State of Indiana each year.
  • Member Chi Sigma Iota (International and Professional Academic Honor Society for Counseling Students, Counselor Education and Professional Counselors).
  • Every 15 Minutes, Retreat Team at Central Catholic Jr/Sr High School, Lafayette, Indiana. The program challenges students to think about driving while drunk and the impact of alcohol-related crashes.
  • 2009 Study Abroad, The Netherlands with Purdue University. The program provided an immersive experience into the primary and secondary educational system in Holland, with an emphasis on learning about their delivery of services for kids with concerns.
  • The Bridge Group Counseling Practicum for bereaved families, Purdue University. Provided small group counseling for elementary-aged members of the families.
  • School Counselor Internship (one year) at Harrison High School. Provided group and individual counseling for at-risk students. Other duties included assessments and events such as back-to-school night.
  • School Counselor master’s degree practicum at Crawfordsville Middle School and Miami Elementary School. Provided group and individual counseling to at-risk students.
  • ON TRACK Group Counseling, Lafayette, Indiana. The program delivers small group counseling experiences for local schools with low-income, mixed-culture, high-stress populations. I provided group counseling for 5th graders as well as groups at an alternative high school that included a group for pregnant girls.
  • President, Ball’s Bluff Elementary School PTA, Leesburg, Virginia.
  • CVUSD Booster Club Volunteer: Choir, Band, Dance Team
  • Member, CVUSD Student Publication Manual Committee 
  • Cub Scout Den leader

Email address:

Sandee.Everett@gmail.com or Info@SandeeEverett.com

Website:

SandeeEverett.com

 

 

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The Importance of Helping At-Risk Students

A number of years ago, I had internship opportunities to work directly with public school students who were at-risk for not graduating. I helped them learn skills to cope with their difficulties, while preparing for their personal and professional futures.  Because school counselors advocate for children and adhere to a code of confidentiality, barriers often can be overcome even where other interventions have been unsuccessful. 

I worked exclusively with at-risk students at a large high school. I helped ensure they had appropriate teachers and classes to meet their needs. I counseled with them one-on-one about personal issues so they could stay focused at school and could do their best. In addition, I worked at an alternative high school site in group settings. I facilitated small counseling groups for teen moms in this setting. I thoroughly understand the issues facing students who are at-risk for not graduating.

I also had the opportunity to work with a group of middle school students that were placed in the alternative program. Each week I provided a group counseling experience where they were able to discuss topics such as bullying, relationships, and stress. I also did individual counseling for several members of the group. I saw how receiving unconditional positive regard can provide children with support they may otherwise be lacking. I learned first-hand about a whole host of struggles these children face and I saw them learn and grow throughout the group process. On the last day, the students gave me thank you notes. The following examples from among those notes reflect how important supporting these students is:

"Dear Ms. Everett,
I liked when we did the yarn ball and liked you coming because I could tell you anything and I could trust you and we will miss you!"

"Dear Ms. Everett,
Thank you so much for taking time and your patience with class because it can get a little mean. I love having you come and we talk about what’s been bothering us, also getting our feelings out. Come and see us soon!"

I am passionate about my work on the school board because ultimately, the board decides District priorities, how funds will be allocated and whether we focus our resources on the tools and opportunities students need to succeed, or on something else. If board members do not intimately understand the needs of at-risk students, the board may end up making decisions that limit the students' positive outcomes and ability to go on to become productive members of society. 

When the school board focuses on helping all students to succeed, it helps the whole community succeed.

 

Sandee Everett, M.S. Ed.

Notice: the above opinions are my own, and do not necessarily reflect the positions of CVUSD or any of the other board members.

 

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My Letter that the Acorn Refused to Print

[This was submitted as a letter to the editor of the Thousand Oaks Acorn, but they would not print it.]

My name is Sandee Everett and I am running for re-election to the CVUSD School Board. I was elected four years ago as a “voice for parents” that was sorely lacking on the board. Since then, I have consistently advocated for parents to be the greatest influence over how their children are educated.

As the daughter of two public school teachers, I was raised to love public education. I have current CVUSD students and a vested interest in our schools.

My top priority is to provide students with an excellent education to help them become productive, successful members of society.

During this time of mandated online education, I will advocate to:

  • Regularly survey ALL parents and teachers for input
  • Encourage teacher innovation that maximizes student achievement
  • Provide meaningful supports for students with disabilities and IEPs
  • Pre-assess all students for learning loss
  • Ensure students are placed in the cohorts and classes that meet family and student needs

I support safely opening our schools for in-person instruction, just as childcare has reopened on CVUSD campuses. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) indicate that, for kids, the risks of lockdown are greater than the risks of COVID-19.

In May, over 12,000 CVUSD families and 750 teachers/staff responded to a CVUSD survey. The results showed that 78% of parents and 74% of teachers want in-person, on-campus instruction this fall. I believe the board is ethically obligated to respect the parents' wishes and seek permission to open our schools.

The District already received federal stimulus money to implement all CDC safety measures when reopening.

Once campuses reopen, we need to continue offering online education options especially for teachers and students with higher health risks.

Due to the district’s financial crisis, painful budget cuts will need to be made. I will work to ensure that these cuts don’t negatively impact student educational outcomes and experience.

I believe as all stakeholders work together, we will find innovative solutions to ensure all students, despite the current challenges, receive the superior education for which CVUSD is known.  

I would be honored to have your vote.  

- Sandee

Note: An important development occurred after I submitted this letter. On August 19th, Dr. Levin, the county health officer, announced that he would be granting waivers so that elementary schools can open for in-person instruction. It is very exciting that everyone seems to be coming together regarding the science. This is great news for the children and parents of our community!

-----

Sandee Everett, M.S. Ed.
info@sandeeeverett.com

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Sandee Everett for School Board

Notice: the above opinions are my own, and do not necessarily reflect the positions of CVUSD or any of the other board members.

 

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My Email to Superintendent and Board President Regarding Applying for Waivers to Re-Open Schools

From: Sandee Everett
Sent: Wednesday, August 19, 2020 7:06 PM
To: Cindy Goldberg <CGoldberg@conejousd.org>; Mark McLaughlin <mmclaughlin@conejousd.org>
Subject: Dr. Levin K-6 Waiver Announcement Today
 
Good Evening Cindy and Mark,
 
I hope you are both doing well. It was quite a day for the District. 
 
I am very pleased that VC Health Officer, Dr. Levin, announced today that he will be granting waivers to K-6 public and private schools to open up for in-person instruction. His reasoning is that "...for person to person education for little children, I now feel that the benefits outweigh the risks." I passionately agree with Dr. Levin's assessment and I am very pleased that he cited the science showing that young children are at low risk for catching COVID-19 and spreading COVID-19. The kids need to be in school with their friends and teachers. 
 
I am writing to recommend that we do whatever is necessary to immediately submit forms to apply for these waivers and open our K-6 classrooms. 
 
Thank you for your attention to this very important matter.
 
Take care,
Sandee
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Re-Elect Sandee Everett to the CVUSD School Board

Wedding_Photo_Cropped_online.jpg[DONATEVOLUNTEER or PLEDGE YOUR VOTE ]

My name is Sandee Everett and I am running for re-election to the CVUSD School Board. Please vote for me on November 3rd.

I am seeking re-election because our schools are in the middle of a crisis. I am a seasoned school board member that intimately understands the budget and our programs. If re-elected, I will be the most senior board member and the only independent voice on the board. 

I understand the impact that a top-quality school system has on our community. As the daughter of two public school teachers, I was raised to love public education. Three of my children graduated from Newbury Park High School, where my two youngest children currently attend. I have a vested interest in our schools.

I was elected in 2016 as a “voice for parents” that was sorely lacking on the board. Since then, I have consistently advocated for parents to be the greatest influence over how their children are educated. Because the school board is elected by parents and community members, I believe that the board is ethically obligated to respect the views, insights and wishes of parents to the greatest degree possible. 

My top priority is to provide students with an excellent education to help them become productive, successful member of society.

I will not prioritize the political or financial desires of special interests or unions over the needs of our children. When voting for budgetary items, my primary consideration is always how the decision will improve educational outcomes for students.

My Top Priorities for the Next Four Years

I will continue to put students first. During this time of mandated online education, I will advocate to:

- Regularly survey ALL parents and teachers for input

- Encourage teacher innovation that maximizes student achievement

- Provide in-person services and instruction for students with disabilities and IEPs

- Pre-assess all students for learning loss

- Ensure students are placed in cohorts and classes that meet family and student needs

I will support and push to get the permission we need to safely reopen our schools for all grades, for in-person instruction, just as CVUSD childcare has already reopened on our CVUSD campuses. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) indicate that, for kids, the risks of lockdown are greater than the risks of COVID-19. Here are the links to a CDC article and an AAP article about re-opening the schools.

Sandee EverettGovernor Newsom’s school closure order allows for Districts to seek waivers to immediately reopen our elementary schools. I will continue advocating for these waivers.

I will support measures to provide our teachers with all necessary technology and professional development to effectively educate our children. I will work to ensure they have a safe working environment and the freedom they need to innovate.

I will ensure that parents’ concerns are brought up during board discussions. I will always advocate for finding and implementing the best solutions to resolve parental concerns.

In this current financial crisis, we will be forced to make painful financial cuts, but I will work to ensure that the students’ educational experience is the top priority and cuts do not negatively impact student outcomes and experience.

I am passionate about my work on the school board. I believe as all stakeholders work together, we will find innovative solutions to ensure all students, despite current challenges, receive the superior education for which CVUSD is known. 

I would be honored to have your vote on November 3rd. Thank you!

- Sandee

If you would like to help, please DONATEVOLUNTEER and PLEDGE YOUR VOTE!.

 

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Here's how you can respond to the smear tactics being used against me

[This is an email that I sent to my supporters to help them clarify misinformation that has been spread about me.]

Dear Friends,

You may have seen the mean-spirited tactics that are being used against me for the 2020 school board race.

As school board candidates, we sign something called the "Code of Fair Campaign Practices." When candidates sign it, we agree not to use "character defamation, whispering campaigns, libel, slander or scurrilous attacks" on our opponents. I was elected in 2016 without using such tactics and I am once again dedicated to running a positive campaign, based on my own record and qualifications. 

Thank you SO much for your support. So many of my friends have been eager to help correct the misinformation that is being put out there by a small group of activists in our community that are trying to take over the school board completely. I thought it might be a good idea to give a rundown of some the falsehoods that are being spread so that you can answer them if they come up in conversation or on social media.

The following is a list of attacks that were used against me in a recent mailer, along with the truth about each one so that you can respond. Pretty much everything that I have ever said on any topic is either on my YouTube account or on CVUSD's school board meeting recordings, so it is easy to prove that the caustic mailer was untrue. It's just a matter of getting the truth out.

Sadly, but not surprisingly, one of the main donors to the political action committee (PAC) that funded the mailer is one of my fellow board members, Betsy Connolly, who contributed $850. (She contributed $8600 in 2018 to the same committee that helped get 3 new board members onto the board). 

I have been falsely accused of:

1. Censoring the curriculum

I have never voted against any book or curriculum since being on the board. What they are referring to is the book policy where I asked that books that have graphic depictions of child rape have an asterisk placed beside them on the syllabus to give students and parents a heads-up. Surprisingly, we have multiple books that graphically describe child rape scenes in our curriculum.

My position on this was driven by my school counselor intern experience and the knowledge that one in ten students is a sexual abuse survivor. There is a whisper campaign going around that asterisks were an attempt to force religion into the schools, which is completely false. My position on this issue was a professional opinion, not a religious one. No reasonable person, religious or not, believes that putting an asterisk on a book containing child rape scenes is censorship or book-banning.

2. Encouraging parents to leave the district for private schools

This has never happened. If someone tells you this, you might ask them to provide a quote of me saying anything like that. There are recordings of all board meetings and all events at which I have spoken. They won't be able to provide a quote, as I have never said anything of the sort. Again, this comes from the defamatory "whispering campaigns."

Both of my parents were public school teachers. I went to public school. All of my kids went to public school (or are attending). I have never encouraged anyone to leave public school and have always encouraged parents to stay involved in our schools.  

3. Bogus accusations of corruption that damage the district

I am not aware of ever making any accusations against district personnel. Those that produced the mailer need to provide exact quotes or recordings. What has happened on occasion is that a district employee or parent has come to me with information regarding questionable practices and I have asked questions about them in open meetings. I am careful not to make accusations, but I feel that I am ethically obligated not to brush aside these complaints, because that in itself would be corrupt.

4. Demanding steep budget cuts & voting against a funding request to offset COVID-19 losses

I am in a 4-1 minority on the board, so I can't demand anything. CVUSD is in a budget crisis that began well before COVID-19. I do indeed think that we need to be cautious with our budget. I believe that our district is very top-heavy and cuts could be made that won't impact the classroom. Yes, I voted against borrowing $25 million when we could have used our rainy day fund instead. There is no reason to pay all that interest, fees, etc. Why do we have a rainy day fund if not for a crisis like this? The interest saved can be used for our children's education. I also disagreed with giving raises that amounted to a $6.4 million increase to our 2020-21 budget. I believe that a financial crisis requires some sacrifice and that pay raises can be reinstated when the budget stabilizes.

5. Political extremism

I am not politically extreme, but my accusers seem to be. I have never taken any position that is politically extreme, so I think the burden is on them to provide evidence and direct quotes when I have ever done anything extreme. They will not be able to find any quotes, as I do not say anything extreme. 

One area that I consider an extreme position of those that are smearing me is that they support teaching "gender identity" to the K-5 children. This includes teaching young children that their parents guessed their gender at birth, and the children can now decide for themselves. If a parent feels that they guessed their child's gender, they should share this with their own child at home. It is not developmentally appropriate to teach this to young children at school. 

It is also important to me that the individual needs of children with gender dysphoria be addressed on a case by case basis to ensure understanding and kindness of their classmates. I believe every child deserves to be loved, respected and treated with kindness at school. Bullying should never be tolerated.

6. Lack of preparation

I am actually very prepared for board meetings. I spend countless hours preparing for each meeting, which people can see for themselves if they attend or watch online or on TV. I prepare detailed questions regarding agenda items.

I think the point that my detractors are trying to make is that they want me to ask my questions and get answers in a "back-room" way, not in public meetings. I do not use the back-room method because I have found that when the questions are asked in open session, I get the most accurate answers, because open session meetings are recorded. In addition, many of the questions I ask during board meetings come from parents, students and taxpayers. They want to hear the answers directly and transparently. I do all I can to ensure that everything is above board and transparent and thus ask my questions publicly, not privately. This takes a lot of preparation, but I am willing to put in the necessary time.

ONE MORE IMPORTANT ITEM

My ballot designation is "School Counselor / Mother" and my detractors have made a point of complaining about this. California election law allows me to use school counselor as my profession because I hold an active California school counselor license. 

I worked very hard to earn my license and, by law, my license gives me the right to use this ballot designation. Those that would try to disparage me and take that away from me are participating in defamation. It is a concerted effort to ruin my professional reputation. I earned my masters in education at Purdue, with a concentration in school counseling. I also worked for a year and a half, UNPAID, as a school counselor at a high school and middle school in order to get the hours I needed qualify for my license. I also worked at an elementary school for many hours as part of my license requirements. I did this while all 5 of my children were home. I was given an award by the School Counselor's Association of Indiana as the "Outstanding School Counselor Student of 2010." Only one student in the entire state is given this award each year.

My experience working as a school counselor, especially with at-risk students, is a foundation for the positions that I take on the school board. Being a school counselor is an important part of who I am, regardless of whether or not I am currently paid to be one. I think that generally our community is very supportive of women who put their professions on hold to be full-time mothers. But even as a full-time mom, I still keep my license active, which means that school counselor is still my official profession according to the State of California.

I hope this has been helpful. It is unfortunate that a few people feel they need to attack me personally and professionally and be untruthful and that some local media outlets have been complicit in the dishonesty. Anyone who knows me knows that I am an honest person that takes my role on the board very seriously. I put the kids first and listen to parents. I love teachers and my children have all received an excellent education in the CVUSD. I am hoping that my friends can help me get the truth out by speaking up on social media and when talking to friends and neighbors.

On that note, it is clear that I will need to send out mailers to set the record straight on these issues. If you can, please donate to help offset this extra cost.

Thanks!

- Sandee

https://www.sandeeeverett.com/donate

-----

Sandee Everett, M.S. Ed.
sandee.everett@gmail.com


Sandee Everett for School Board

Notice: the above opinions are my own, and do not necessarily reflect the positions of CVUSD or any of the other board members.

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My Letter to Dr. Levin - Ventura County Health Officer

My Email to Dr. Levin, Ventura County Health Officer, on August 6th regarding opening the schools
From: Everett, Sandee R <severett@conejousd.org>
Sent: Thursday, August 6, 2020 2:28 PM
To: Levin, Robert <Robert.Levin@ventura.org>
Subject: Re: School
 
Dear Dr. Levin,
 
Thank you so much for your email and reply to my public comment during the Board of Supervisor's meeting. I gladly waited 8 1/2 hours for the chance to provide a 60 second comment because I believe it is vital to the well-being of our children that they be allowed to return to their classrooms with their friends and teachers THIS FALL. It is not right for these children to be locked down. Healthy children should not be shut inside. 
 
Before our superintendent decided to close our schools (and then Gov. Newsom mandated the closures the next day), our District planned to comply with all CDC safety guidelines. We received $10 million in federal stimulus money to safely open our schools and to address learning loss. 
 
Now, with schools completely shut down for in-person learning, the parents that work are left scrambling to know what to do with their children. I fear that children that are far too young to be left alone, will be at home trying to get themselves onto their computers for school. This is NOT RIGHT. 
 
I received the following statement from a mom in our District even before we completely shut school down. She was concerned with only having kids at school for a couple of hours and then having to pick them up.:
 
"Many of the Spanish speaking students are thinking about the remote learning alternative because of the responsibilities they have within their respective family units. With the parents back at work, it is them the ones who will have to drop off and pick up the younger sibling from school and baby sit until the parents return."

How can we, in good conscience, keep our schools closed when we know what the negative educational, emotional, and physical consequences will be to the children. Schools are essential for a reason.
 
The CDC, AAP and NIH indicate that, for kids, the risks of lockdown are greater than the risks of COVID-19. Science shows that children are not super-spreaders of COVID-19, are unlikely to catch COVID-19 and teachers are unlikely to catch COVID-19 from the children. 
 
I am petitioning you to advocate at the highest levels to get our schools open. Newbury Park, Thousand Oaks and Westlake are not hotspots in our county. We can protect any vulnerable populations within our community without punishing the kids. Teachers or students that feel more safe at home should still be allowed to do so. But please do not force that on everyone. The kids are suffering. They need socialization. They need to use their minds in school and their bodies on the playgrounds and during sports, dance, and other important activities. We have been sitting in our houses for 5 months now. We cannot continue to do this to the kids.
 
If anyone can get the shut down orders reversed, it would be county health officers. I am asking that you do all in your power to make this happen - for the kids.
 
Thank you so much again for your kind response.
 
Very sincerely,
 
Sandee
Trustee, CVUSD
 
My comments are my own and do not necessarily represent the CVUSD or the board as a whole.
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Letter to VC Officials About Scientific Evidence Supporting School Opening

From: Everett, Sandee R
Sent: Friday, July 24, 2020 3:54 PM
To: Goldberg, Cindy S <CGoldberg@conejousd.org>; McLaughlin, Mark W <mmclaughlin@conejousd.org>
Cc: robert.levin@ventura.org <robert.levin@ventura.org>; Stan Mantooth <news@vcoe.org>; kelly.long@ventura.org <kelly.long@ventura.org>; steve.bennett@ventura.org <steve.bennett@ventura.org>; linda.parks@ventura.org <linda.parks@ventura.org>; Supervisor Huber <Supervisor.Huber@ventura.org>; john.zaragoza@ventura.org <john.zaragoza@ventura.org>
Subject: Evidence For Opening Schools This Fall
 
Dear Cindy and Mark, 
 
I hope your summer is going well.
 
I am hearing from parents that are upset about CVUSD offering child care on our campuses/in our classrooms this fall for $850 per month per student (see copy of CVUSD letter sent to parents and CVUSD child care website below). If this is true, it seems hypocritical that CVUSD classrooms are "safe" for child care workers and kids, but not safe for teachers and kids. 
 
There is also the issue that many cannot afford the child care option. Parents have mentioned FAPE and want to know how CVUSD can justify kids attending child care all day, sit on a computer to listen to their teachers (while on CVUSD campuses) and be required to pay for this.  
 
Education is either essential or it is not. Teachers are either essential workers (like child care workers, grocery store workers, food service workers, doctors, nurses, etc.) or they are not. 
 
I believe we should be advocating for our schools to open this fall as planned. The science does not justify closing the schools (see linked articles and studies below). 
80% of our parents and teachers responded to our District survey in mid-May indicating that they want to be back in the classroom this fall (see results below). Over 12,000 CVUSD families responded to the survey. Over 700 Certificated staff responded to the survey. 
Please consider strongly advocating to Governor Newsom and any other decision-makers, that schools should resume in-class instruction this fall. Opening up campuses for child care and not in-person instruction is wrong. Students will be best served this fall  by being on campus in their classroom receiving instruction from their teachers, not sitting on a computer with child care workers.  
Thanks for your attention to this matter. 
Sincerely, 
Sandee
Autism Autism and Screen Time: Special Brains, Special Risks Children with autism are vulnerable to the negative effects of screen time. Posted Dec 31, 2016
Wearing a mask and face guard as protection against the spread of COVID-19, Garland Independent School District custodian Maria Concha wipes down a chair in the library at Stephens Elementary ...

A Department of Public Works worker places a closed sign near an entrance to a playground at an elementary school in Walpole in March out of concern about the spread of the coronavirus.
 
While most California school districts are planning only virtual instruction to start the academic year, some are offering child care programs that will bring students into the same buildings that ...
There has been no recorded case of a teacher catching the coronavirus from a pupil anywhere in the world, according to one of the government’s leading scientific advisers.Mark Woolhouse, a leading
As the schooling dilemma continues to daunt millions of parents, some with the means to front the steep costs are hiring private educators and tutors. Sara Elahi isn't waiting to find out whether ...

Title: Student Engagement Online During School Facilities Closures: Author: W10 1903 X64 Created Date: 7/8/2020 3:57:02 PM
Introduction and Background The Challenge Before Us. These are extraordinary times. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States in force in March 2020, every state closed its schools in response, disrupting the education of over 60 million children.

Millions of young minds are going to waste. Education is the surest path out of poverty. Depriving children of it will doom them to poorer, shorter, less fulfilling lives.

A study of 2,000 children and teachers at schools in the German state of Saxony has found very few antibodies among them. The study was carried out in May by the Medical Faculty of the TU Dresden ...
* Abbreviations: COVID-19 — : coronavirus disease HHC — : household contact SARS-CoV-2 — : severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) presents arguably the greatest public health crisis in living memory. One surprising aspect of this pandemic is that children appear to be infected by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the ...
Swedish flags fly from a tourist souvenir shop in Gamla Stan in Stockholm, Sweden, on Thursday, March 26, 2020. Sweden is starting to look like a global outlier in its response to the coronavirus.

Conejo Valley USD Child Care is committed to ensuring that all materials on this web site are accessible to students, staff, and the general public.

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Letter to County Leaders for In-Person Graduation Ceremonies

Dear Mr. Powers, Chair Long and Board of Supervisors,

Thank you to each of you for your tireless work on behalf of our county during the COVID-19 pandemic. I am truly grateful for all you do.

Because I was unable to finish my public comment due to the time limit, I am submitting my entire comment for you to consider.

What I am requesting is that each of you to go to bat for our seniors. Please take the time to contact by phone and email the governor and anyone else that needs to be persuaded to allow us a variance to the current rules for large gatherings so that we can provide a safe, in-person graduation ceremony for our seniors and their families. Even if in-person graduation ceremonies are held later than originally scheduled, please do all in your power to continue trying to get a variance to large gathering so that in-person graduation ceremonies can be held.  The seniors and their parents deserve for us to at least try. 
Many of our seniors and parents have been working in businesses that are open during COVID-19 and most, if not all, parents and seniors have stood in lines at grocery stores and other businesses. We understand what is required by social distancing rules. I am asking you to place your trust in our seniors and their parents, as well as our CVUSD staff and teachers, to host in-person graduations on our football fields that fully comply with all COVID-19 safety guidelines. The parents asking us to hold in-person graduations are bright, educated, professional individuals that would never put the health of their children or anyone else's children at risk. They simply understand that if the owners of stores, restaurants and other businesses can be trusted to open their doors to the public, CVUSD can be trusted to hold in-person graduation ceremonies on our football fields. 
Please do all in your power to allow in-person graduations. Please call and email those that can provide a variance to current guidelines.
Thank you so much. I appreciate all you are doing for our families. I value your work very much.
Sincerely,
Sandee Everett, MSEd
805-559-3609
These opinions are my own and do not represent the board as a whole or the CVUSD.

-------

Sandee Everett public comment for the Board of Supervisors 5/28/20 emergency meeting:

Thank you so much for your service. 

I am a Trustee for the Conejo Valley Unified School District. My comment is regarding in-person graduations for our seniors. My comments are my own opinions and do not necessarily represent those of the Conejo Valley School board as a whole or CVUSD.

I would like to start by stating that my comments are not intended to ask you to violate the law or to put anyone’s health at risk. I am simply asking for PERMISSION to hold safe and carefully planned and executed in-person graduation ceremonies for our seniors and their parents.

While a drive-thru graduation may be the choice of some students – which I absolutely respect – it is my understanding that the overwhelming number of our seniors and their parents want in-person graduation ceremonies.

A parent in our community, Clinton Muir, has worked very hard to come up with a carefully thought out plan for the CVUSD to hold in-person graduation ceremonies. I am asking that the county consider issuing the CVUSD a variance to implement this plan and hold in-person graduations for the seniors.

The plan includes many, many safety measures but here are a few:

Participation is optional, Chairs on the field 6’ apart, signed liability forms, temperature checks prior to participation, hand washing stations, all social distancing guidelines will be guaranteed to be implemented to their fullest. 

The parents are even willing to pay any costs that are not covered by any remaining CVUSD graduation budget (if there is any). The parents also want to volunteer and do as much work as necessary to implement such a plan.

If all seniors that want to participate in an in-person graduation cannot be allowed on the field at the same time – please consider permitting us to hold two separate in-person graduation ceremonies. One parent suggested that if we are permitted to do this, that we allow the seniors to sign up for a time so they are able to attend the ceremony that all their friends are attending. I am fully supportive of this idea.  

Ventura county is now “open for business.” Grocery stores, retailers like Home Depot, Target and Walmart and now, at last, our small businesses, restaurants, hair salons and barber shops, as well as the malls are all either open or are beginning to open up as they are able to demonstrate that they can do so safely. Beaches are also open. Many of our seniors and parents have been working in these businesses during COVID-19 and most, if not all parents and seniors have stood in lines at grocery stores and other businesses. We understand what is required by social distancing rules. I am asking you to trust our seniors and their parents, as well as our CVUSD staff and teachers to host amazing in-person graduations on our football fields and to do so very safely.

I am asking each of you to go to bat for our seniors. Please pick up the phone today and make calls to the governor and anyone else that needs to be persuaded to allow us this variance – even if graduation is held later than originally scheduled. As elected officials and county leaders, the seniors and their parents deserve for us to go to bat for them and at least try.

I would also like to put a plug in for our 8th graders and 5th graders that are promoting to high school and middle school. Please consider trusting them and their parents as well to also follow a very strict plan but to have their in-person promotions for those who would like to attend. 

Together we can demonstrate our ability and professionalism to hold these important milestone gatherings safely for our kids during this unprecedented time. 

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Sandee Speaks about AB 329 Sex Ed Law at Town Hall in Northridge

Here is a video of my speech at the sex education town hall meeting hosted at Houses of Light in Northridge on 2/29/2020. I talk about the California Healthy Youth Act (AB 329), a 2007 study by a Berkley professor on Comprehensive Sex Education (CSE) and some proposed curriculum for the public schools.

Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) was originally scheduled to present its sex ed curriculum at the event but at the last minute they cancelled and said they were "too busy." The moms organizing the event invited me present some of the curriculum to the parents. Please note many of the parents in attendance were minorities and non-English speakers. It is important for all parents to be informed about what their children are being taught in school regarding sexuality. 

Because this meeting was held in Northridge (which is part of LAUSD), I covered aspects of Positive Prevention PLUS (PPP), the sex ed curriculum that has been adopted by LAUSD. At the time of the town hall, CVUSD has yet to adopt a new sex ed curriculum, however, PPP is one of four curricula that CVUSD stated it referenced to design its own outline for AB 329 compliant supplemental material.

 

 

 

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