Sylvia Leong, Governing Board Member
I am a wife, mother, admissions counselor, community volunteer, and current Cupertino Union School District trustee. The two years I have served on the board has flown by as I have worked to increase communication with the community, made decisions that kept our district financially solvent, and ensured that the academic excellence we are known for is matched by similar emphasis on social and emotional health. With your support, I will continue my advocacy for our students and our community.
A Continuation of Leadership
Sylvia Leong, Governing Board Member
My name is Sylvia Leong. I am a wife, mother, admissions counselor, community volunteer, and current Cupertino Union School District trustee. The two years I have served on the board has flown by as I have worked to increase communication with the community, made decisions that kept our district financially solvent, and ensured that the academic excellence we are known for is matched by similar emphasis on social and emotional health. With your support, I will continue my advocacy for our students and our community.
A Voice for the Community
As a longtime resident in CUSD and a parent of two children who have been a part of CUSD and FUHSD, these issues matter deeply to me. I have also worked in the CUSD classrooms as a substitute teacher. My background helps to inform me as I seek to bring together the diverse perspectives of parents, teachers, principals and administration to make sure our district's priorities reflect the values, needs and dreams of our entire community. I believe strongly in CUSD’s Strategic Plan and the ultimate goal that our education focuses on Each Child, Every Child, and the Whole Child in our school district.
Especially as our community faces the new challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic together, I am committed to gathering the stakeholders in the community in order to listen and learn about how we can best care for the academic, emotional and physical well-being of our students. I have pushed to make sure parents and teachers have voice in the decision-making process. As we plan for the fall, I am committed to ensuring that we provide consistent academic rigor without compromising the health and welfare of our students and teachers. Now more than ever, we need steadfast and consistent leadership to provide governance of the school district. I am prepared to guide our district through this new reality.
The harsh reality of our district is that we are experiencing a crisis within a crisis. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, our district was already in the bottom 2% of California in per-pupil funding due to the state funding formulas. As a board, we have had to make over $10MM in budget cuts over the past three years, keeping those cuts as far away from the classroom as possible. And current state budget uncertainties continue to impact our district. As we look ahead, we need to think of Every Child, and how we can make systemic changes in our infrastructure and facilities in order to ensure a high-quality education for all our students. As part of the superintendent’s Enrollment Planning and Facilities Master Planning committees, I am focused on helping the district to combat the issue of increasing costs and decreasing funds exacerbated by the Bay Area’s declining enrollment. I have met with our local and state legislators to advocate for fairer funding distribution to ensure that all districts have basic essential operational sufficiency.
Overall, our students are outperforming their peers throughout California and the United States. However, when we consider Each Child, we must continue to close the achievement gaps that exist in parts of our community. As COVID-19 has led to the school site closures, learning gaps are widening. We need innovative, differentiated teaching and learning so each child can fulfill their potential. We need support for teachers as they have had to carry the burden of suddenly creating remote emergency education for our students. I have worked with principals, parents and administration to evaluate and support new curriculum and programs in science, social studies and math placement that is teacher approved and allows room for individual student development and personalized learning.
Social & Emotional Growth
As an education professional and parent, I am committed to the prioritization of the Whole Child. Especially in our high-performing district, where academics is so valued, we cannot overlook the importance of social and emotional learning. As we pioneer in this new world of COVID-19 where mental health issues have risen, we need even stronger tools to equip our students to build healthy relationships, self-worth and resiliency.
Ultimately, my motivation to serve is rooted in my belief in public education to help fulfill the potential for every child. Together, we can continue strategizing on changes that are necessary for our children’s future. We have unprecedented challenges ahead for our community and I hope to have your support to continue making a positive change for Cupertino Union School District.