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Fox Chapel Area School District Director Region 2 {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

School Directors are elected on behalf of the community to oversee the education of students in their jurisdiction. They serve as agents of the state legislature. They are responsible for curriculum and instruction management, all finances including development of annual budgets and levying of taxes and issuance of debt obligations when necessary; personnel; legal matters; management of facilities; and transportation of students as appropriate. Schools may include pre-K and career and technical schools. The school board consists of nine members who serve four-year terms of office without pay.Term of office: 4 years

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  • Candidate picture

    Ariel Zych
    (Dem)

  • Greg Dolan
    (Rep)

Información Biográfica

The pandemic has highlighted the significant disparity in educational delivery in districts from no in-person learning, to hybrid models to full time in-person sessions resulting in uneven student performance. As schools reopen, how would you propose to assess student achievement and to remedy the loss of learning for so many students?

Social and racial justice issues have become a concern for all school districts, many of which have instituted anti-bullying programs to help address these issues. What kinds of criteria would you propose to measure the effectiveness of these campaigns and progress toward improvement?

Pennsylvania currently allows parents to choose whether their children attend public schools, charter, or cyber-charter schools with funding provided by state and local opponents of all of these options. Where do you stand and explain your position.

Last Name Zych
First Name Ariel
Campaign Web Site http://www.electariel.org
Facebook www.facebook.com/ariel4fcasd
twitter www.twitter.com/arieloquent
District Fox Chapel Area School District, Region II (Fairview)
Education B.S. Cornell University, cum laude M.S. University of Florida
Qualifications for office Former public school science teacher, trainer of thousands of teachers annually, author/editor of curriculum used by over 500K students in dozens of districts nationwide, awarded multiple federal and foundation grants for STEM education programs, parent of an enrolled FCASD student.
Assessment was problematic before the start of the pandemic. Standardized tests overvalue memorization, punish neurodiverse learners, and fail to assess the practical skills and behaviors that students need for learning about and succeeding in the world. Benchmarking students using outdated testing is a waste of resources at a time when we need to tailor responses to learning loss. We have an opportunity to field authentic assessments that invite students to demonstrate proficiency through real world tasks, oral and written arguments, and self-directed inquiry. These performance-based assessments will better identify meaningful goals to address with targeted summer programming, technology support, and skills interventions in the fall.
Every child in FCASD deserves to feel like they belong, regardless of their socioeconomic status, race, gender, religion, or ability. But building inclusive public schools takes more than anti-bullying programs; it requires intent, up-to-date educator training, admin support, and community involvement. We’ll be on track if all students can easily ask for help and report harm, if we see a decline in incidents stemming from student conflict, and if anonymous student surveys show improved mental health and a reduction in high-risk behaviors. In a truly inclusive community, students of every background will participate in clubs and athletics, show academic gains and community leadership, and report satisfaction with their school experience.
As a former public school teacher (and student) I have seen the value of a high quality public education, and believe that public schools are an essential service benefitting every taxpayer. Our district provides an outstanding education that fuels local real estate demand and earns the enrollment of the majority of our resident families. Though I support a family’s right to choose the setting that works best for their learner, I feel strongly that any school receiving taxpayer dollars should be held to the same educational and civic standards as our public schools; they should have demonstrated academic gains, elected oversight, certified teachers, fair wages, publicly-audited budgets, and be secular, nondiscriminatory, and nonprofit.
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