top of page

Dear Weston Community:

 

I learned of late that there is a question being raised about my support of METCO. It appears to be related to a Roxbury-Weston Preschool transportation issue. Before I discuss that issue, I want to highlight my advocacy for the Weston METCO program. As a School Committee member, I voted to authorize the submission of the METCO grant every year, in addition to:

 

  • Attending METCO Lobby Day at the State House for many years where often Weston Public Schools was one of only a handful of districts with Superintendent and School Committee representation, of which I was very proud;

  • Advocating and voting for budget adjustments to increase funding for direct student support;

  • Advocating for and voting to maintain late buses to ensure that Boston students fully participate in the rich extra-curricular offerings that are a hallmark of a Weston education;

  • Working with other members to refine the School Committee policy on METCO, to codify our past practice of enrolling two students per Kindergarten classroom, up to 14 students; and

  • Ensuring as Chair that the METCO representatives to School Committee were kept current on issues and working to maintain a two-way dialogue.

  • Attending a range of school and PTO events in support of the METCO program; and

  • Promoting and highlighting the value of the WPS METCO program to new families, town voters and even to other districts.

 

As a private citizen, I have supported the Weston Public School METCO program in public and private. My family and I have valued our friendships with many Boston students and their families. When my children were in elementary school, we were a host family in the Family Friends program. There is no doubt in my mind that the METCO program contributed to the high-quality education my children received in their schools. Likewise, I benefitted from many personal opportunities to help and be helped by members of the METCO community.

Some of you may be unfamiliar with the private Roxbury-Weston preschool, founded in 1965 by community leaders. A few years ago, Weston Public Schools ended the practice of providing transportation for Boston students to Roxbury-Weston Preschool. It was a difficult decision. While a valued community resource, the preschool is an entity separate from Weston Public Schools and separate from METCO. As an elected official, however, my responsibility to the town and the town’s interests outweighed my personal support for a long-standing relationship. My legal and fiduciary duties do not extend to a private non-profit entity. The issues that arose and led to the decision involved student safety, including questions about tethered booster seats for preschool students and concerns raised by METCO Inc. These were pivotal in my decision making.

 

I and other members of the School Committee and the administrative team subsequently met with the Roxbury-Weston Board to find a way to address the transportation issue. Unfortunately, none of the proposed solutions were agreeable to the preschool Board, which is absolutely within its discretion. I had been hopeful for a solution. 

 

My record as a member of the School Committee demonstrates that I am willing to make difficult decisions and to be judged on those decisions. However, to extrapolate that my involvement in the decision to end transportation for the preschool demonstrates a lack of support for METCO is inaccurate and misleading. Such an allegation is not supported by my actions, either as an elected public official or private citizen.

 

As a member of the School Committee, I have a responsibility to the Boston students and families who are part of the Weston Public Schools community. I have worked for nine years to maintain and strengthen that relationship. I also have a responsibility to the Weston Public Schools entity and am duty-bound to make decisions that insulate it from litigation. I believe I have served both honorably and objectively. As always, I am a proud supporter of the Weston METCO program.

Dear Weston Community,

 

I am excited to announce my candidacy for re-election to the School Committee. For the past nine years, I have been privileged to be a member of the Committee and believe my experience, knowledge, and perspective are needed now more than ever. I am eager to continue the work and I ask for your continued support.

Reflecting upon my time on the Committee, I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished to date yet believe that there continues to be so much more to achieve. During my past three terms, our accomplishments include increasing curriculum alignment, unifying district goals among buildings, establishing a strong leadership team, implementing a late-start at the secondary level, and expanding the District’s capacity to meet individual student need.

However, while work on our ongoing goals has been temporarily suspended due to the COVID-19

DSC_0075.JPG

pandemic, I want to ensure that they are not forgotten and desire to see them through to conclusion. I believe I have the necessary skillset to be a contributing member of the Committee, and would be honored to be part of the team responsible for concluding these goals. I maintain that the Weston Public Schools should meet students where they are – academically, socially, and emotionally – and present them with a comfortable stretch so that they can develop into the best versions of themselves. I bring this mindset to each issue presented before the Committee. Over the past nine years, I’ve urged the district to be more nimble in response to course offerings, budget decisions, and student need. Weston’s size and incredible resources should allow the district to pivot and tailor resources and programming.

Just as important as the long-term goals is the pressing and critical need to approve and implement a plan for safely re-opening schools in September. This needs to happen by ensuring that students’ needs, and the safety of students and employees – not politics or posturing - remain at the forefront. We must look at all the science, understand the limitations, and acknowledge that lost instructional time is an irreplaceable commodity. All community members have the right to advocate to their elected representatives, which is a fundamental tenet of representative government. I take that obligation very seriously and will not be stymied by negative and inaccurate comments about me on social media. I have spent nine years encouraging interested parties to contact me. I always welcome the conversation and appreciate that we have a community invested in the public schools. My experience as a member of the budget subcommittee and a lead negotiator in numerous collective bargaining negotiations will be helpful to the re-opening process. I have the understanding of the budget, collective bargaining issues, and infrastructure limitations to assist in approving and implementing a re-opening plan.

Once re-opening and contingency plans are established, the School Committee will resume its efforts on the tasks suspended in March when COVID-19 permeated every aspect of education. This work includes concluding the Math Program Review, advancing to the next phase of the Guidance Department Review, commencing the review of the high school schedule, and planning for the FY’22 budget. Having raised two children through the district (K – 12), I have the broad perspective needed to analyze these issues and offer solutions to best meet student need.

I am deeply committed to the students and families of Weston Public Schools. I have respect for my colleagues on the School Committee, greatly appreciate the contributions of administrators, faculty, and staff, and am incredibly grateful for the generosity of the taxpayers. The Weston Public Schools district is a top district in the Commonwealth but can improve. We can, and should continue to, challenge ourselves to be better. I have always advocated for ways in which the district can improve, and I will use my experience, knowledge, and perspective to continue to do so.

Last, I promise to continue serving the community with integrity by running a positive campaign that recognizes that no matter the outcome, we, as residents or members of the Weston Public Schools, will always be neighbors and should treat each other as such.

 

Respectfully,

Danielle Black

Candidate Statement
How to Vote
How to vote

Annual Town Election is scheduled for Thursday, September 10, 2020. There are two ways to cast your ballot, by mail or in person. Please read below for deadlines associated with vote by mail and for in-person voting hours.

Vote By Mail

Step 1: Complete the 2020 Vote by Mail Application by September 3rd at 5:00 pm.

  • This application (postcard) was recently delivered to your home by the US Postal Service. Simply select “All 2020 Elections,” sign and date it, and return via mail or by dropping in the specially designated box at Town Hall

OR

Simply select “All 2020 Elections,” sign and date it, and return via mail or by dropping in the specially designated box at Town Hall.

 

Step 2: A ballot will be mailed to you. Complete the ballot and return by mail or by using the drop box outside of Town Hall. Ballots are due by September 10th at 2:00pm

Vote in Person

All in-person voting on election day (Thursday, September 10th) will be at the Town Hall Auditorium between 8:00am and 2:00pm. Facial coverings are required.

bottom of page