Throughout this summer, Montgomery County Student Member of the Board Ananya Tadikonda started her work towards improving equity within the county schools and has taken steps to educate herself on the systems within the county.
Tadikonda has previously stated that she would like to address equity issues and resource allocation within Montgomery County schools. Tadikonda started to take a look at how she can ameliorate the learning gap within the summer for children who are affected by poverty. Tadikonda stated, “The Board unanimously voted to approve the pursuit of an extended school year calendar in two of our Title I elementary schools: Arcola and Roscoe R. Nix. This would promote equity in access to summer resources and bridge the summer learning gap for children impacted by poverty.”
Tadikonda hopes to enroll more young children from lower income families in head start programs as a measure of reducing the learning gap between lower and upper class families. Tadikonda described, “...we are working to expand Pre-K programs to additional schools, in hopes of eventually having it available for all four year olds and Head Start available for all low-income three-year olds.”
Throughout the summer, Tadikonda and the Montgomery County Board started to look at how to extend the calendar officially. Tadikonda said, “We have started on the calendar process, keeping in light the survey results from Hanover Research.”
Tadikonda has enjoyed learning about the fine details of the Montgomery School system, from bus schedules to the lunches in school cafeterias. Tadikonda stated, “It's been quite surprising to see the magnitude our system works on every day. I've really enjoyed learning about every detail that goes into our buses stopping where they do every day and how our lunch menus are decided.”
While working on adjusting the school calendar and the various other initiatives delegated to the SMOB, Tadikonda also took some time for herself this summer. She visited Virginia Beach as well as New Jersey, accompanied by her family.
Despite the eventful summer Tadikonda had, she expressed that she is not as eager to start her final year at Richard Montgomery High School as she is to get started on her policy plan for the 2018-2019 school year. Tadikonda said, “I had a great time in Virginia Beach and New jersey with family this summer, but I'm still not quite ready to be walking into school in just over a week. In the coming months we are looking forward to discussing the calendar further and revising our policy on long-range planning.” Tadikonda hopes to keep up the work she’s been doing this summer throughout the school year, and leave a lasting impact on Montgomery County.