Boone Answers Residents’ BOE Forum Questions

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Mike Boone, one of two candidates in the November 7 Board of Education election, has released a video in which he answers the questions that had been submitted by Verona residents for the forum organized by Brookdale Avenue Elementary School’s School Community Association (SCA).

The forum had been set for October 19. But just hours before it was to take place, candidate Dominic Ferry told the SCA that he could not participate because he had been in close quarters with two people who had tested positive for COVID. The SCA offered Ferry an opportunity to participate via Zoom, but he declined that, as well as a new offer of an online forum that would have been held last week, calling it a “personal decision.”

The original forum was to have been moderated by the League of Women Voters of the Montclair Area (LWVM) using questions submitted to the SCA by Verona residents. After the second forum attempt failed, Boone asked for and received those questions, and answered them online from his home.

The questions are below, linked to the section of the video in which they are answered:
1. What do you see as the major issue(s) facing the school district?
2. What strategies do you propose to attract and retain high-quality educators?
3. How would you support and advocate for children with special needs?
4. What is your opinion on the book bans that are occurring in so many districts and states around the country?
5. Are you in favor of reintroduction to Verona’s public school curriculum the traditional “doing” skills courses–examples include shop, automotive arts, typing and home economics?
6. What actions will you take to make sure the district budget process is more transparent to all stakeholders? As a board member, where would you look to make budget cuts?
7. What are the challenges and opportunities for Verona joining the federal National School Lunch Program?
8. Please articulate your position on the diversity and inclusion program in our schools.
9. What do you believe is a sensible approach for schools when dealing with students who wish to change their names and pronouns without their parents’ knowledge?
10. How can Verona better support LGBTQ students?
11. Inclusive Schools Week is an annual celebration that focuses on themes of inclusion, neurodiversity, acceptance, kindness and belonging. Do you have any ideas on how the district could promote these themes year-round?
12. What is your position on the level of security in Verona schools and should anything be done to improve it?
13. In light of the recent incident involving an inappropriate teacher-student relationship, what concrete measures and policies would you advocate for to prevent such a situation in our schools?

You can watch the full video below. MyVeronaNJ.com interviewed both Ferry and Boone in October, and you can read those interviews here. Early voting at the Verona Community Center started on Saturday, October 28, and will continue through Sunday, November 5. In-person voting is Tuesday, November 7.

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