Feedback opportunity for staff and parents
Posted on 09/26/2022
Mondays with Maria Cover Image



Dr. Maria Vazquez (00:09):
Hello, I'm Maria Vasquez, Superintendent of Orange County Public Schools, and this is Mondays with Maria.

Nancy Alvarez (00:16):
Hi everybody, I'm Nancy Alvarez.

Jamie Holmes (00:18):
Hello, I'm Jamie Holmes.

Dr. Maria Vazquez (00:20):
We are back. And today I want to talk about communication. It's so important to me and to the success of this district. I would love for our families to send me questions. Nancy and Jamie, you're both parents, so what keeps you up at night?

Nancy Alvarez (00:36):
So much, <laugh> is this therapy

Jamie Holmes (00:38):
How long do you have?

Nancy Alvarez (00:39):
Is this a therapy couch? Because I could be here all day. Um, so I think if I had to bring up one thing to you, I, I think for, you know, on behalf of most parents, it would be school safety. You know, we have little kids going through active shooter drills, older kids asking tough questions about what's happening in schools. And that's why it's so important to have these conversations because there is so much being done in Orange County to keep our kids safe.

Dr. Maria Vazquez (01:02):
Yeah. It's a sad reality that we are living with. Um, and safety is top of mind for all of us. Uh, but I am so grateful for the partnerships that we have with our local law enforcement agencies. We have an SRO in every one of our schools. We have protocols in place that harden, uh, our facilities. Uh, and you know, I have a grandchild that's gonna be starting school, um, next year. And my, my daughter and I share some of those same concerns, but I feel comfortable in saying that we are doing everything we can to ensure that we have safe learning and working environments.

Jamie Holmes (01:40):
I think for me, some of the issues are day to day operations, uh, retaining quality teachers, teacher pay, bus driver shortages that are plaguing the nation and how you go about tackling that.

Dr. Maria Vazquez (01:52):
Yeah. Another tough issue that we're dealing with and certainly salaries, um, is a large component of that. We've been able, uh, to increase, uh, pay by 6% for this upcoming school year. But I believe it's more than just pay. I, I believe that we really need to, uh, make our employees feel like they are valued, that they know how important they are to the success of our mission to ensure our children are successful. Uh, and that is something that I'm gonna be focused on, uh, this school year.

Nancy Alvarez (02:22):
Absolutely. And we're gonna dig in much deeper into all those topics that you just brought up in more. As we have more of these conversations with you,

Dr. Maria Vazquez (02:30):
This is exactly why I would love for our families and employees to help lead these conversations. You'll be able to join the conversation through a new platform called Thought Exchange. It's another way for me to hear from all of you. I hope you participate and I will be listening and addressing some of your questions right here on Mondays with Maria.

Nancy Alvarez (02:53):
I can't wait to do more of these and, and I'm so honored to really help lead the conversation for all parents across our district.

Jamie Holmes (02:58):
And we want to hear from you. So 200,000 emails into Maria's inbox. No, where is it? A system at the end though. A link at the end and you can, uh, leave your questions there. And as always, stay tuned. We'll have much more for you next week with Mondays with Maria.