Tracey has an impressive record of accomplishments from her first three years on the School Committee. She has worked hard to build on the success of Andover Public Schools in the following ways:
Eliminating Tuition for Full-Day Kindergarten
Working with her School Committee colleagues, school administrators, and town officials, Tracey voted to approve a plan to reduce, and then eliminate, tuition for full-day kindergarten. Because of this work, starting in Fall 2020, all Andover kindergartners had access to tuition-free full-day kindergarten.
Adopting Educational Equity Policy
Tracey supports policies and programs that allow every Andover Public School student to feel included, seen, comfortable, and safe when they are in the district’s care, and that provides equitable access to high-quality anti-racist and culturally responsive curriculum, support, and other educational resources. Tracey voted to adopt an Educational Equity Policy to codify the district’s commitment to equity, and she continuously advocates for the district to examine ways it can continue to grow in this area.
Expanding Anti-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Protections
Tracey supported two important updates to Andover Public School policies against discrimination and harassment. The first ensures students and staff are protected from discrimination on the basis of gender identity and the second provided greater protection to students subjected to sexual assault. When updates to Title IX regulations required a rollback to the sexual assault protections, Tracey designed a vote that automatically restores the original, more protective policy if the Title IX regulations change again.
Negotiating Collective Bargaining Agreements
As a member of the negotiating sub-committee charged with collectively bargaining with the Andover Education Association, Tracey worked hard to reach a memorandum of agreement with the AEA relating to the re-opening of schools in the Fall of 2020. Over the course of more than a dozen negotiating sessions, Tracey developed creative proposals to try to address the union’s needs and concerns. Negotiations for a successor collective bargaining agreement are underway, and Tracey will bring the same creativity and critical thinking skills to those negotiations in an effort to reach agreement on terms fair to the district, to our teachers, and to the taxpayers.
Supporting the Upgrade of School Facilities
West Elementary School/Shawsheen Pre-K: Shortly after she was elected to the School Committee, Tracey joined the West Elementary School Building Committee, which had been accepted into the Massachusetts School Building Authority’s program. Since then, Tracey has worked with the Building Committee, comprising town and school officials, members of the community, project manager, and architects to bring the project through the feasibility phase, secure final MSBA approval to include Shawsheen Pre-K in the project, and begin the schematic design phase. She also participated in the project’s sustainability focus group, which examined options for maximizing energy efficiency and other sustainable features for the building project.
Andover High School: Tracey has supported the work of the Andover High School Facility Study Committee, which has identified options for the community to consider in renovating or rebuilding the high school to address many issues there, including overcrowding. Tracey voted to submit Statements of Interest to the MSBA in 2019 and 2020, as well as funding for improvements to the existing high school facility that were needed more immediately. Tracey understands the strong link between learning environments and student outcomes, and continues to advocate for a new or renovated high school building, whether the district does so through a partnership with the MSBA or on its own.
Establishing English Learner Parent Advisory Council
Tracey voted to support the establishment of the first-ever PAC for English Learner families and was thrilled to become the first School Committee liaison to the group. ELPAC is an important resource for Andover Public Schools students and their families, who speak over 40 languages and hail from about 60 countries. The group helps to bolster Andover’s ongoing efforts to make this a welcoming and inclusive community.
Advocating for Fine Arts Funding
Tracey recognizes the enormous benefits to students of opportunities to participate in athletics, fine arts, and other extra-curricular programs. After she voted to increase funding for athletics, which had been under-funded over time, Tracey took a close look at fine arts funding, and began to push for increased funding there as well. She successfully advocated to boost funding for fine arts stipends and has supported investment in capital improvements that benefit the district’s fine arts programs. Tracey continues to make the case that funding for fine arts should be on par with funding for athletics.
Evaluating School Start Times
Science shows later school start times have a positive effect on adolescents’ physical health, mental health, academic performance, and athletic performance. Tracey has engaged actively in district-wide discussions on this topic, including numerous meetings with parents who hold a variety of views on this topic. She supported a transportation study that enabled the district to evaluate possible approaches to later start times, and continues to consider how best to balance the compelling need to address the public health crisis of adolescent sleep deprivation with other student needs.
Launching New Special Education Parent Advisory Council
Tracey voted in favor of re-establishing SEPAC, a critical resource for families whose children have a wide variety of special needs.
Supporting a Responsible, Consensus Budget
Tracey advocates for meaningful investment in areas that improve student outcomes and examines spending closely to drive fiscal responsibility. During Tracey’s tenure every school budget the Committee has developed has been met with consensus approval by the School Committee, Finance Committee, and Board of Selectmen prior to Town Meeting.
Supporting Investment in Literacy Initiatives
During Tracey’s service on the Committee, the district has continued to invest significantly in improving literacy programming for the district, including teacher training, identification and intervention. This investment is paying off through demonstrable improvements to student learning and reduced out-of-district special education costs.
Improving the Annual School Calendar
Among Tracey’s earliest accomplishments was negotiating with the Andover Education Association to improve the school calendar in response to widespread community feedback. This effort resulted in standardization of the annual school calendar so the school year begins before Labor Day, contains fewer non-school days, and ends earlier in June.
Most importantly, throughout all of these accomplishments, Tracey has valued the input of constituents.
Community engagement is critical to sound decision-making, and Tracey remains committed to gathering input from all constituencies. She is an accessible, thoughtful listener and a clear communicator. Tracey supports the School Committee’s ongoing “informal forums” as an important opportunity for residents to engage in deeper dialogue with Committee members than is possible during the Committee’s normal business meetings. Tracey routinely speaks with residents who reach out to express concern about an issue, and before COVID she met in person with countless members of the community to hear their perspectives. She has continued to engage with residents virtually and is committed to remaining accessible to all.
Tracey is eager to continue her support for Andover’s students and asks for your vote on March 23, 2021.