Here is the unedited response from Cristina Diaz-Torres:
Hello, Arlingtonians! I’m Cristina Diaz-Torres, a former teacher and education policy specialist running as one of your two Democratically endorsed candidates for Arlington School Board because I believe all students have a right to succeed — no matter their background, race, ability, family context, language, or legal status.
I began my career as a high school math teacher. Being a teacher was the most rewarding job I’ve ever had. It was also the most challenging. My district faced severe systemic barriers to student success. On my first day of school, I walked into my classroom and saw 54 students but only 48 desks. My students were there to learn math, while our leaders across the state, county, and school district were failing at basic arithmetic. I used my time in the classroom to work with parents, community members, and colleagues to overcome these systemic barriers and improve outcomes for my students.
This is why I’m running for Arlington School Board. I know firsthand that student outcomes improve when all stakeholders have a seat at the table–and I’m running to bring an educator’s voice to the decision-making process.
Since leaving the classroom, I have worked to create more equitable and efficient systems at all levels of government. As an Education Policy Specialist, I work with states, districts, and education organizations across the country to create evidence-based systems that meet the needs of all students, no matter the circumstances. Over the last few years, this work has included helping educators from my home island of Puerto Rico get back to school in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria; conducting landscape scans to support social and emotional learning across the state of Delaware, and, most recently, helping states rethink education in the context of COVID-19.
The ongoing pandemic has unearthed systemic challenges that have long plagued APS–and leaves our community wading through uncharted territory without a specific roadmap to guide us to better outcomes. We must interpret this crisis as a call to action! Now is the time to build a collaborative framework for governing education that gives voice and power to all community stakeholders so that we can adapt and build back a better, more equitable Arlington Public Schools. We’ll do this by focusing on:
- Equity: We must make every decision based on this promise: all students have a right to succeed no matter their race, gender, background, learning or physical ability, family situation, legal status, or zip code. Our budgets must afford educators the resources necessary to prepare students to thrive in college, career, and life.
- Improved & Transparent Data: We must improve how APS collects, analyzes, and shares data–ensuring the process is more transparent, provide action-ready insights, and is accessible to all stakeholders. APS must dismantle data silos by connecting the dots that show inequities and inefficiencies wherever they are.
- Supporting our Educators: We must support teacher-driven, evidence-based professional development, and advocate for competitive compensation that allows our staff to live in the community where they work. Interest-Based Bargaining can empower education professionals to advance the needs of all students in every Arlington classroom.
If elected to the Arlington School Board, I will rely on these core principles and work with all of you to develop a more community-appropriate, equitable, and adaptable public school system. To read more about my vision for APS, visit my website www.cristinaforarlington.com or follow me on Facebook and Twitter. I am asking you to vote for me and my other Democratically-endorsed colleague, David Priddy, on November 3rd.
In loving memory of William Dinwiddie Tucker, who passed away in 2023 at the age of 95.
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Meeting for lunch? Starting Monday, January 30 and running until Friday, February 3, Copperwood Tavern, The Pinemoor, and Brass Rabbit Pub will be offering buy one, get one free soups, salads, sandwiches, and…
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St. Charles offers a play-based curriculum in a welcoming, Christ-centered environment.
Our program focuses on socio-emotional development and kindergarten readiness through hands-on and engaging activities. Our programs offer different schedules ranging from 7:30 am-5:30 pm for students, ages 2-5. We feature a full-day Jr. kindergarten class for older 4’s/5’s. Our facility includes a full-sized gymnasium, school chapel, and library. All of our students enjoy music and physical education weekly. Children have an opportunity to participate in enrichment classes such as soccer, basketball, ballet, and science.
We offer Summer Camp with weekly themes and twice a week water play, including Fun Friday moon bounce. Please join us for our Open House Feb. 3 at 9:30 am and 11:00 am. Click here to sign-up.
For more information or to schedule a tour, visit us at www.stcharlesarlington.org or call (703) 527-0608.
If you are a lifelong learner over 50+ who wants to make new friends, power up your brain, and enjoy a wide-variety college-level courses, Encore Learning is for you. An Arlington based nonprofit, Encore Learning offers courses in the arts, theater, literature, history, technology and more. This semester we offer our most popular course, Global Hot Spots as well as 25 new courses. Courses are presented either online or in-person at George Mason University at Virginia Square and other Arlington locations.
Join the free presentation to learn about courses and meet the instructors. This is Encore Learning’s signature event to highlight the upcoming semester with brief presentations by each instructor.
The Spring Course Preview event is Thursday, February 2nd at 9:30 AM via Zoom:
The truth, your first pregnancy and new mom months are full of twists and turns, ups and downs, and lots of questions! None of us really know the best way to do it – we just figure it out, together…