28 Apr Ellen Minetto
Washoe School Board Trustee District B
Campaign Contact Phone:
Please share briefly what inspired you to run for this office and why you feel you’re qualified for the position.
I love the children in Washoe County. I taught music for 31 years, 29 of those years in Washoe County schools. I retired from teaching in 2018 and was elected to the board that same year. I started my first 4 year term in 2019. I have dedicated more than 32 years to our Washoe County kids. I believe the students need me. I also will likely have the most seniority on the board in 2022 and there is quite a learning curve with this position.
How do you propose that more funding be allocated to public education?
We as a community need to keep open communication with the state and the Commission on School Funding. We need to advocate a re-evaluation of the Pupil Centered Funding Plan (passed in 2019) for the sake of all Nevada students.
Parents are frustrated with the performance of public schools, its apparent nonresponsiveness to the community, and its current poor performance with student outcomes. What are your thoughts on how we can support public education and change this situation?
I understand that parents are frustrated, as the students recover from the last couple years. We will not know the full effect of the COVID-19 shutdown for a long time to come. It is important to keep communication open with students, parents and staff as we continue working for excellence in education.
How would you propose changing the current funding formula to make it more equitable for children from poverty, English Language Learners and special education students?
The Pupil Centered Funding Plan has built-in weighted funding above and beyond the per pupil base for children who are at risk, English learners and Gifted and Talented. This is to help create the funds necessary to help students in our district who need something more.
There is a rise of bullying and racism in our schools. If elected, what steps would you make to ensure that our children can safely attend school?
The school district needs to strictly enforce the laws and policies that are in place, especially at the school level. A few Board Policies are 5700, 9200 and 9201.
Comprehensive, age and developmentally appropriate, medically-accurate, inclusive sex education has been proven to improve students’ long-term health outcomes, yet it is not required that students be provided with this information in their sex-ed programs. Do you believe that public school sex-ed programs should be comprehensive, medically accurate, and inclusive?
I believe the public school should teach comprehensive, medically accurate and inclusive sex and health education. I also believe these programs need to be opt-in, meaning the parents give permission for their child to take the class. The parents should have the final say in their child's education.
Do you support ending the use of pepper spray on students by the school district police? Yes or No, and why?
School district police build relationships with the students at the schools they service, which is extremely important. There may be situations when school police must step in to protect the students from a dangerous situation and pepper spray may seem appropriate. Keeping our students safe must be our top priority.
Post Covid we have many students who have not been able to catch up in their learning. It is particularly alarming that the younger students, who did not acquire reading skills during remote learning, are very far behind in reading proficiency. At the other end, we have seen a drop in Nevada’s high school graduation rates, with minorities, special ed, and ELLs now suffering a significant graduation gap. How do we address the needs of the Covid generation?
We need to offer after school tutoring as well as summer (and break) school. Counselors are needed to help keep our kids on track. Family engagement is a key component as well.
What is your position on legislation such as Don’t Say Gay, and forcing transgender children to use bathrooms of their birth sex?
I do not think we should need legislation along these lines. Respectful conversations can help the lines of understanding.
What is your position on restorative justice?
Restorative practices can be very successful in public schools. The children learn to communicate even when it may be difficult. It also helps people repair the harm and understand what was done. Encouraging students to have empathy can prevent further offenses. I believe this is a work in progress. Restorative practices will still have consequences, so the students learn that they cannot just apologize and not have to answer for their actions.