News

Parent Shana Segal announces run for Palo Alto school board

Campaign focuses on improving communication with families, services for all students

Shana Segal, a graduate of Palo Alto schools, former teacher and current Palo Alto parent, has announced plans to run for a seat on the Board of Education this November.

Shana Segal is running for the Palo Alto Board of Education this fall. Courtesy Shana Segal.

If elected, Segal wants to focus on better meeting the needs of kids regardless of their academic level, as well as improving communication and collaboration with parents and teachers, Segal said in an interview.

"I want to build this partnership back with the teachers, the administrators, the board, the parents and the students," Segal said. "I'm not seeing this partnership right now."

Two seats on the Palo Alto Unified School District's board are up for a vote this November. Incumbent Ken Dauber isn't seeking reelection. Shounak Dharap, the other incumbent, is planning to run for a second term. Nicole Chiu-Wang and Ingrid Campos are also seeking spots on the board.

Growing up, Segal attended Ohlone Elementary School, Jane Lathrop Stanford Middle School and Gunn High School, and currently has two kids attending Palo Verde Elementary School.

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Professionally, Segal taught English and English Language Development for a decade at Lynbrook High School in San Jose, including serving as chair of the English Language Development department for seven years, according to her campaign website. She is currently a substitute teacher in Palo Alto schools.

She also works as a "school consultant," where she helps families choose what preschool, private school or public school to send their children to. If elected, Segal told the Weekly that she would stop working as a school consultant.

From her own experiences and those of other families, Segal doesn't believe the district is "adequately addressing the achievable needs of our children." Coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, Segal said the district needs to have more mental health resources for kids in all grades, including a strengthened social and emotional learning curriculum for elementary schoolers.

She is also a supporter of what's known as "differentiated instruction," where educators tailor the curriculum to the skill level of each individual student. Teachers can't do this work alone, Segal said, adding that she wants the district to put resources and appropriate personnel into the effort.

"Data shows that students of all levels need to be appropriately challenged in order to feel engaged, happy and supported, so I'm not in favor of a one-size-fits-all type curriculum," Segal said.

Segal is also interested in working to remedy the gaps in opportunities that students with fewer resources have by offering free after school support programs for kids who are struggling in math or English, as well as providing greater support for students who are learning English.

Another focus for Segal is on making sure teachers and parents are included in decision-making. She pointed to two recent examples where she didn't feel that was the case: the board's decision this spring to adopt an English Language Arts curriculum that many teachers who participated in the pilot program didn't support and a separate decision last fall to temporarily relocate Palo Verde Elementary School to the Cubberley Community Center site this coming school year while Palo Verde's campus is under construction.

"When they made this decision, it did not appear as if parent input was being heard, respected or validated," said Segal, whose children attend Palo Verde.

The window for candidates to file the necessary paperwork to formally run for office opened on Monday, July 18, and closes Friday, Aug. 12. That period is extended five days if an incumbent doesn't file paperwork to run.

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Zoe Morgan
 
Zoe Morgan covers education, youth and families for the Mountain View Voice and Palo Alto Weekly / PaloAltoOnline.com, with a focus on using data to tell compelling stories. A Mountain View native, she has previous experience as an education reporter in both California and Oregon. Read more >>

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Parent Shana Segal announces run for Palo Alto school board

Campaign focuses on improving communication with families, services for all students

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Thu, Jul 21, 2022, 9:54 am

Shana Segal, a graduate of Palo Alto schools, former teacher and current Palo Alto parent, has announced plans to run for a seat on the Board of Education this November.

If elected, Segal wants to focus on better meeting the needs of kids regardless of their academic level, as well as improving communication and collaboration with parents and teachers, Segal said in an interview.

"I want to build this partnership back with the teachers, the administrators, the board, the parents and the students," Segal said. "I'm not seeing this partnership right now."

Two seats on the Palo Alto Unified School District's board are up for a vote this November. Incumbent Ken Dauber isn't seeking reelection. Shounak Dharap, the other incumbent, is planning to run for a second term. Nicole Chiu-Wang and Ingrid Campos are also seeking spots on the board.

Growing up, Segal attended Ohlone Elementary School, Jane Lathrop Stanford Middle School and Gunn High School, and currently has two kids attending Palo Verde Elementary School.

Professionally, Segal taught English and English Language Development for a decade at Lynbrook High School in San Jose, including serving as chair of the English Language Development department for seven years, according to her campaign website. She is currently a substitute teacher in Palo Alto schools.

She also works as a "school consultant," where she helps families choose what preschool, private school or public school to send their children to. If elected, Segal told the Weekly that she would stop working as a school consultant.

From her own experiences and those of other families, Segal doesn't believe the district is "adequately addressing the achievable needs of our children." Coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, Segal said the district needs to have more mental health resources for kids in all grades, including a strengthened social and emotional learning curriculum for elementary schoolers.

She is also a supporter of what's known as "differentiated instruction," where educators tailor the curriculum to the skill level of each individual student. Teachers can't do this work alone, Segal said, adding that she wants the district to put resources and appropriate personnel into the effort.

"Data shows that students of all levels need to be appropriately challenged in order to feel engaged, happy and supported, so I'm not in favor of a one-size-fits-all type curriculum," Segal said.

Segal is also interested in working to remedy the gaps in opportunities that students with fewer resources have by offering free after school support programs for kids who are struggling in math or English, as well as providing greater support for students who are learning English.

Another focus for Segal is on making sure teachers and parents are included in decision-making. She pointed to two recent examples where she didn't feel that was the case: the board's decision this spring to adopt an English Language Arts curriculum that many teachers who participated in the pilot program didn't support and a separate decision last fall to temporarily relocate Palo Verde Elementary School to the Cubberley Community Center site this coming school year while Palo Verde's campus is under construction.

"When they made this decision, it did not appear as if parent input was being heard, respected or validated," said Segal, whose children attend Palo Verde.

The window for candidates to file the necessary paperwork to formally run for office opened on Monday, July 18, and closes Friday, Aug. 12. That period is extended five days if an incumbent doesn't file paperwork to run.

Comments

Jess C
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 21, 2022 at 10:52 am
Jess C, Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on Jul 21, 2022 at 10:52 am

Omg, an actual teacher running? AND she's a PAUSD mom? AND actually went to PAUSD herself? AMAZING!

I am one of the many families has been pulled my kids from Palo Alto's supposedly "great" public schools because, frankly, they aren't meeting the needs of many kids. The schools have gotten much weaker over the last ~10 years or so, which is hurting all kids. Kids and their families are fleeing the district.

When I talk to older parents with much grown kids, they're surprised that families are leaving so much. They don't understand how PAUSD has and is falling.

Both advanced kids and those who are struggling are getting left behind. Treating them all the same leaves the advanced kids bored, the struggling kids overwhelmed... and both disengaged, prone to act out, etc. Some of the privileged kids can compensate with tutoring, but (a) that's hardly a healthy solution [takes time away from other activities and doesn't deal with being boredom/overwhelmed at school] and (b) that's not accessible to underprivileged kids.

I'm saying this as a mom with two kids who ARE both advanced and struggling. PAUSD is ignoring their actual needs -- that's why we left for private school. EVERY kid deserves education at their level -- not just for their academic needs, but also for their emotional needs. My kids are not just learning more now, they are happier. The light in their eyes is back.

I am so excited to see Ms. Segal run. We need people like her who are getting involved because they understand the issues, have experience in education (and with PAUSD), and truly care -- not because it's some stepping stone to their career.


Anon123456
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 21, 2022 at 11:05 am
Anon123456, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Jul 21, 2022 at 11:05 am

Oh please please please make this happen. Almost all children suffer under the one-size-fits-all model. No one is in the middle in all areas.

"Data shows that students of all levels need to be appropriately challenged in order to feel engaged, happy and supported, so I'm not in favor of a one-size-fits-all type curriculum," Segal said.


Community
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 21, 2022 at 11:22 am
Community , Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on Jul 21, 2022 at 11:22 am

Very interesting. When was the last time an educator, parent and former student was on the PAUSD school board? It looks like a trifecta of perspectives when one person has experience as several different stakeholders in the schools.

I’m kinda impressed that someone with this level of insight is willing to step up for our schools. My friends and I are all a bit tired and jaded after the past few years.


Forever Name
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 21, 2022 at 11:45 am
Forever Name, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Jul 21, 2022 at 11:45 am

What was Shana's stance on PAUSD School Board in-person school closures Aug 2020- March 2021 at the secondary level?


Greene and Paly Parent
Registered user
Professorville
on Jul 21, 2022 at 2:24 pm
Greene and Paly Parent, Professorville
Registered user
on Jul 21, 2022 at 2:24 pm

FINALLY!! a much needed candidate that is both highly qualified, a teacher and a parent, and hits at the core of what must change at PAUSD.

-- Build partnership and trust between families and district. There is nothing more important to students wellness than consistency and respect between the adults at home and school. The district's systemic disrespect to families, and even more so to foreign-born parents and their priorities, must be finally addressed.

-- The one-size-fits all does not work for our diverse students. Instead of broadening to serve diverse needs, also in light of demographic shifts, PAUSD K-8 program had been narrowed down to the point that it no longer suitable serves the majority of our students. This is very evident with math where most students supplement after school and data shows that most students are actually misplaced at school (are a year or more above or below their class level).


N. Baer
Registered user
St. Claire Gardens
on Jul 21, 2022 at 8:25 pm
N. Baer, St. Claire Gardens
Registered user
on Jul 21, 2022 at 8:25 pm

Shana understands this from every angle - as a current parent of kids in PAUSD, a previous student and the education she received, to her understanding as an educator herself. This is such a strong resume to help PAUSD serve children now.

There is no substitute for the experience and expertise Shana would bring to the PAUSD Board!


John
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 21, 2022 at 8:57 pm
John, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Jul 21, 2022 at 8:57 pm

If we “broaden to serve diverse student needs”, the usual rabble rousers will point to ANY outcome disparities in race or sex as structural whateverism and we’ll be right back at the dumbing down via “equity and equal outcomes for all.” It’s time to embrace a meritocracy again. Not every kid is smart enough to be a Stanford engineer… and that is ok.


MaddieMidtown
Registered user
Midtown
on Jul 21, 2022 at 9:46 pm
MaddieMidtown, Midtown
Registered user
on Jul 21, 2022 at 9:46 pm

I believe having an educator and parent is the true answer to PAUSD district woes. Someone who has been in the classroom, taught students, designed curriculum, collaborated with teachers, students, and parents alike is in the right position to help all parties. I believe Ms. Segal can get the job done!


John Young
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Jul 22, 2022 at 9:19 am
John Young, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Jul 22, 2022 at 9:19 am

Shana will be great on the school board. So much passion and expertise on the issues a board member should deal with. You have my vote!


J Brown
Registered user
Barron Park
on Jul 22, 2022 at 1:27 pm
J Brown, Barron Park
Registered user
on Jul 22, 2022 at 1:27 pm

As a retired PAUSD Art teacher, I understand the challenges of meeting the needs of all students, academically, socially, and emotionally. Open communication between teachers , parents and administrators is key in order to make this happen. I have known Shana for many years. She is energetic and passionate both as a mom and an educator. She will be a valuable asset to the School Board.


Janemill
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 30, 2022 at 5:55 pm
Janemill, Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on Jul 30, 2022 at 5:55 pm

Shana Segal has the experience necessary to bring a balanced perspective to the school board. Being a former student in PAUSD, and now a parent, she brings a caring and unique perspective. Her teaching experience at Lynbrook adds another dimension to her understanding of what is needed to bring success in the classroom. Based on the reviews by her former colleagues, Shana went the extra mile for her students and staff at Lynbrook so obviously she would bring that same energy to the school board where she is a parent. Shana also substitutes in the district so has a double motivation for success!


Facts and Figures
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 23, 2022 at 11:42 am
Facts and Figures, Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on Aug 23, 2022 at 11:42 am

Thrilled to see a candidate who wants input from the community of parents and teachers and is data-driven. Over the last 5 years, it has felt like many decisions at PAUSD are based on gut feelings, but not data. I hope everyone will take the time to get to know Shana and support her campaign.


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