Thank You to Scott Blough

I have been determined to keep my children in private school, but after some recent personal challenges with my Kindergarten aged son, looking at alternatives became necessary. That is a scary notion with all of the school district headlines. I reached out to Scott Blough, not as a candidate for School Board, but as a parent with kids in the district and a personal knowledgebase of facts about our local schools and how they work.

Rather than use the opportunity to campaign, Scott listened and advised. His knowledge of our schools helped me pick some choices that suited my son’s needs. His understanding of the process allowed him to advise me on how to properly research to make the right decision. His guidance allowed me to enroll my son in an excellent school with an amazing teacher and office staff. He helped me without asking for my vote.

Thank you Scott Blough!

Heroin in Schools?

Is heroin use in Simi Valley a problem that starts in our schools?  If you believe it is, then you may be inspired to pay attention to this year’s local elections.

Dan White is running for Simi Valley School Board and communicated openly to the Heroin Task Force members his thoughts on the subject last week, as well as his thoughts on the strength and accuracy of the draft report that was being circulated among the members before the presentation to the City.  Here is a small sample of that communication:

In this 52 second video excerpt from the June SVUSD School Board meeting, we hear School Board President DiFatta’s summary of the activities of the Task Force.

Transcribed, her words are as follows:

“… it has been fairly consistent when we look at any of the data – from any source – that we are targeting that – or should be looking at that 19 to 25 year old age group – that seems to be where we want to focus. That seems to be where we want to focus much energy with regard to the heroin use … in this community anyway. And so the thought was that working with our local community college would be a good idea because that is where that segment of the population might be.”

I do not share Ms. Difatta’s conclusions. Instead, I believe that the public comments provided ample evidence that focus needs to be placed on the schools.  What she is saying is that the public comments from our citizens do not constitute “evidence”.

I also believe the draft report circulated last Friday to Task Force members has obviously been influenced by SVUSD leaders. The report circulated Friday has 4 pages describing all the wonderful things the SVUSD has been doing and will continue to do per the recommendations of the task force. It states that many of the new “recommendations” refer to continuation of the “same successful programs already ongoing”.   In the preparation of the official draft report, the recommendations appear to have been changed between the evaluation spreadsheet and the published report. The modified version of recommendations in the report states that “All Agencies” are responsible for a drug education program. However in the evaluation spreadsheets circulated to task force members the week prior, the SVUSD was listed as the responsible agency.

The report circulated Friday is not the right report.  The report that more accurately presents the information is attached to this e-mail.

To view the report proposed by Dan White, click here.

Josie Hirsch Announces Candidacy 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 25, 2012
CONTACT: Claira Guerra, 805-409-5201

Josie Hirsch files for Simi Valley Unified School Board

“I’m supporting Josie Hirsch… because she can provide the new ideas that will improve the quality of education.” – Greg Stratton

(Simi Valley, CA)— Josie Hirsch officially filed Monday, June 23, 2012 for Simi Valley Unified School District Governing Board Member. Three of the five seats are up for up for election. S.V.U.S.D.’s Governing Board oversees K-12 and adult education schools and programs within the Simi Valley.

Hirsch is a local business owner, community volunteer and mother of two school aged girls. She has over 20 years of experience in financial analysis and budget management. Josie has lived in SImi Valley with her husband, Ken and two daughters; Ariella (7) and Taylan (4), for over 10 years.

Josie is supported by numerous community leaders. Currently, her endorsement list includes Ventura County Board of Education Trustee Dean Kunicki, Santa Clarita Community College Board Trustee Scott Wilk, Former Simi Valley Mayor and Simi Valley School Board Trustee Greg Stratton, Simi Valley City Council Members Mike Judge and Barbra Williamson, Former Simi Valley School Board Trustees Doug Crosse and Mimi Shapiro, and Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District Members Elaine Freeman and Kate O’Brien.

“I’m supporting Josie Hirsch for school board because she can provide the new ideas that will improve the quality of education. These are trying times for schools, and the district needs new leadership to adapt to these challenges. Our kids deserve better.” stated Former Simi Valley Mayor and Former Simi Valley School Board Trustee Greg Stratton when asked about his support for Josie’s campaign.

For more information and a complete list of endorsements,
visit www.josiehirsch2simischools.com.

Josie’s Concerns

Josie Hirsch is running for one of the open seats on the Simi Valley Board of Education and she’s got some concerns. She posted these remarks on her campaign’s Facebook page, but she shared them with me as well. Public safety is everyone’s concern, and Josie is especially concerned that our kids may be in danger. I’ll let her explain in her own words…

Our Kids Are In Danger

Simi Valley used to be the safest place to live in the US. Now we are ranked in the top 35 places to live. We are no longer safe, and our property crimes continue to rise.

With only 103 street cops on our streets, lets do the math. That rounds Up to 15 officers on the streets of Simi Valley ever 24 hours. If they work 12 hour shifts, we are lucky to have 7 officers on the streets. If they work 8 hour shifts, we have only 5 officers at a time on the streets of our ENTIRE valley. Do you feel safe now?

How about our kids? The DARE program is gone. Gang problems in our schools are increasing, drugs are everywhere, just ask the high school students. These children are telling us they are scared. They are asking parents to drive them to Oak Park so they do not have to go to our schools. What is the district doing about it? One Wood Ranch parent wrote to the Board and Superintendent here in Simi Valley explaining why they were leaving SVUSD and received a letter back wishing her son better luck in Oak Park.

We ,the citizens of Simi Valley must raise our voices to the city and school board and demand more officers. With almost 127,000 residents, we should have 127 officers on the streets, plus the officers who keep the police force optimized from the desks.

Once elected to the Simi Valley School Board, I will fight along side my friends and parents to work with the city council to get to police coverage we need in this community and the police presence we need at the schools, so the gangs, drug users and dealers, and bullies know we mean business. We want our city safe for our children.

Josie Hirsch
Candidate for SVUSD School Board

Josie Hirsch Endorsed by Eric Lundstrom

Josie Hirsch who is running for Simi Valley Board of Education shared the following letter with me a few days ago. I had heard that Josie had received this endorsement already, but this letter is probably the official notice of endorsement. It comes from Eric Lundstrom, current Trustee on the Simi Valley Board of Education.

Dear Josie,

It is my pleasure to officially send you my support in the upcoming election for Simi Valley Unified School Board.  Our discussions about Finance and Operational procedures have me excited about having you replace me on the Board.  I believe your desire to make the District stronger for the children of Simi Valley, coupled with your work experience from the business world will be an extreme asset  in which the parents within our community are looking for in a School Board Member.  Again, I look forward to having you replace me on the Governing School Board.  All my best wishes and I look forward to working with you in the future to help make our District much stronger.

Sincerely,

Eric Lundstrom
Governing School Board Member

Jeanne Davis Upcoming Event

I received the following notice of an event for Simi Valley School Board candidate Jeanne Davis. The Jeanne Davis campaign is looking pretty strong so far. A mailer recently went out from the Simi Valley Educators union indicating their support for Jeanne Davis and Arleigh Kidd for School Board.

Here are the details of Jeanne’s upcoming event:

10/06/2010 Simi Valley – Candidate for Simi Valley School Board Jeanne Davis will be holding an event to meet voters this Saturday, October 9th at 12:00 PM at Chuy’s restaurant (east). She will be there from 12:00PM – 2:00 PM to take questions and listen to the concerns of those within the Simi Valley community.

Meet Jeanne Davis @ Chuy’s East
Saturday at 12:00pm
Chuy’s – 5840 E Los Angeles Ave, Simi Valley, CA 93063
(go to www.bajachuys.com for directions, menu, and pricing)
About Jeanne Davis:
Jeanne Davis is an educator that has been serving Simi Valley for more than 40 years. To find out more about Jeanne, please visit:

Arleigh Kidd Goes Online!

The Simi Valley School Board candidates are not only racing for a seat on the board, they’re racing to stake their claim in cyberspace. Arleigh Kidd, candidate for the Simi Valley School Board, has taken his campaign online with a new website. He sent me a link to his website via Facebook, the social media network that is reshaping the online landscape of campaigning on the internet.

From 1990 until 2005 I worked as a social studies teacher at Valley View. While there I continued coaching basketball as well as being a department chair, Quiz Bowl coach, peer mediation coordinator and member of the School Site Council. From 2002 to 2005 I was also elected by my fellow educators to be the President of the local association. Also in 2005 I received an Honorary Service Award from the Simi Valley PTA for my work on behalf of the children of Simi Valley, it was a great honor for me.

In 2005 I was offered a job as a staff person for the state teachers association. I now work consulting with educators and assisting them in long term strategic planning. I also do trainings for educators in areas like the Brown Act and School Site Councils and in reading school district budgets. I am not a member of the local teachers association or state teachers association and I do not work for the local teachers association. I am also not management and not a part of governance.

According to his website, he’ll be joining Jeanne Davis and Bob Huber at an event in Simi Valley at 3:00pm. Brian Dennert will be covering the event, conducting interviews and likely including pictures and video. To find out more about this event, upcoming events, or for more general information about Arleigh Kidd’s campaign for Simi Valley School Board, check out his new website:

http://www.arleighkiddforschoolboard.com/