Symone Walker is an Arlington Public Schools parent, community advocate, attorney, and mediator who has been working for over ten years to create an environment in APS that is service-oriented; where diversity, equity, and equality are paramount, and where every student will be well prepared for their career path upon graduation.
APS decisions and policies should be made through an equity lens: Who does it benefit? Who does it burden? Which voices are missing? How do we know?
Mental health is prioritized and teachers, administrators, parents, SROs, and the community are equipped to recognize and assist those who experience trauma and that APS staffs schools with the recommended ratio of mental health professionals.
Systemic biases are acknowledged and addressed to begin the process of working through implicit biases.
Students are career and college ready in an environment that depressurizes testing and prioritizes critical thinking, analysis, rhetoric and persuasive writing, collaboration, and civic education.
Diversity of all types is valued, recognized, and celebrated. Diversity and inclusion are not mere concepts but actively incorporated into the APS curriculum and culture.
Learning differences and disabilities are identified and addressed early and given the appropriate resources.
Teachers are diverse and representative of the student population, well-trained, well-compensated, and viewed as integral partners in education. Technology is used as a tool, not to teach.