As a mother of three young children, I am personally invested in Medford’s schools. The safety and quality of our schools, and the education of our children affects everyone in our city.
When the COVID-19 pandemic struck in early 2020 and school districts across the country were forced to adapt to a fully remote teaching model, I worked alongside the Superintendent and her team, and the School Committee, and led the fight to make sure our teachers and students had all resources to succeed. Throughout the pandemic, we:
- Invested $4.5 million into COVID related infrastructure and technology improvements in our public schools.
- Provided 1:1 Chromebooks for students, and computers for teachers.
- Partnered with Tufts University to conduct weekly PCR tests, proving low transmission in schools and enabling kids to get back in the classroom sooner.
- Were among the first districts to return to in-person learning, beginning in September 2020.
- Were the first district in the state to implement a novel pooled testing model, through the Tufts partnership.
- Hosted vaccination clinics for the newly eligible 12-18 age group.
Following the economic crisis as a result of the pandemic, in the City’s FY22 municipal budget included a 9.4% increase to the Schools’ budget, the largest increase the district has seen in decades. Our investment in and commitment to our schools, our students, and our teachers will continue to be a top priority.
Part of that commitment is making sure we have high quality facilities that meet the needs of our talented and driven student body. The renovation or rebuilding of a comprehensive high school has long been a topic of conversation in the Medford community, but I am committed to taking the necessary steps and actions. The Capital Improvement Plan that my administration created in 2021 calls for a $50 Million investment in this project. I believe a robust renovation plan is right for our students and teachers and provides the quickest path to meaningful improvement while taking into account fiscal responsibility. Under this plan, Medford could see meaningful new improvements by 2024. We can't afford to wait to bring better conditions to the high school, we need to ensure the investments we make here also allow continuing investment in other priorities for education. We will continue advocating the state to support Medford in getting the high school our students, teachers and families deserve and I know we can earn that support if we do it together, with urgency.