Shawnna has over 20 years experience working to build strategic partnerships in the community in support of public education. She is a graduate of Wilberforce University, with a BA in Mass Communications and masters work at Georgia State University in Sociology. She has held numerous parent/community positions, including, PTA President & Vice-President, Local School Councils, Parent Liaison, and lead numerous committee chairs such as: Special Needs, Parental Involvement, Legislative & Advocacy, Community Outreach, Cultural Arts, Communications, Website and a host of others. She has served her community in her Neighborhood Planning Units (NPU) as vice-chair and education committee chair, and currently serves as the Education’s Committee Legislative/Advocacy Sub-Committee Chair for The Atlanta Planning Advisory Board. … As the Parent Liaison at ML King Middle School, in one of the lowest performing APS school, she led meetings with a record number of parents up to 150, developed Parent Patrol and held monthly leadership meetings with feeder pattern PTA leaders, Parent Liaison, Local School Council and principals. In her efforts to give the “parent’s perspective” in APS she has served on the Parental Involvement Task Force and Committee, Special Needs Task Force, Middle School transition committee, Parent Handbook, Placement Focus Group, Design Team, Renovation Committee, Superintendent Stakeholders interviewee, and sat on the panels to hire the Gifted and Talented Executive Director, Academy Leaders and Principal panels. … In 2010, she co-founded CASE (Community Advocates for Special Education) and was elected president for SNAPPS (Southwest & Northwest Atlanta Parents & Partners for Schools), serving 27 schools with 15,707 students enrolled in those schools. … Shawnna and her husband David, … are raising their four children, who attend four different schools, two in APS, one at the Atlanta Area School for the Deaf and one recent APS graduate, now attending college in Florida.
I will continue my work to ensure parents are empowered by holding the system accountable for developing an effective parental involvement strategic plan that will allow parents to feel welcomed and included in school decision making.
… we must first ensure that every school has equitable resources. APS must consider being in the Birth-Graduation “business” to optimize early learning opportunities to assist children in becoming school ready. District policies must reflect improved climate and culture changes related to school discipline, Special Education and Gifted & Talented. Student “needs-based” must be the focus of the school system and infused into every decision made to increase student achievement and ensure students are Career & College Ready.
Effective and qualified leadership play a critical role in identifying and maintaining quality teachers. Teachers must be trained and supported to work with student based needs as well as the ability to include parents as viable partners in the success of students. Teachers must feel valued and be included in the decision making process.
Position on Revenues and Taxes
Position on Deficit Spending and General Fund Reserves
Position on Allocation of Resources
[AJC – 06/14/2010] But budget hawks and many parents say travel spending can easily be trimmed, especially if the choice is between plane tickets and educators’ jobs. “It looks like they’re just squandering money,” said Atlanta parent Shawnna Hayes-Tavares. “I have four children in the system, from second grade to the 11th. You know I want our teachers to be the best. But if they’re cutting back on folks, then they shouldn’t be jetting around anywhere.”
Position on Class Size Waivers and Average Class Size
Position on the Budget Process
Position on Overcapacity Issues and School Closings
Position on Board’s Oversight Responsibilities
Position on Charter Schools
… Now the question becomes – how do we manage a system of traditional public schools and public charter schools where ALL children receive a quality education? … they have also proven the point that all charter schools are not created equally. So the charter quick fix approach is not a precursor to charter success. It is critical to ensure that the charter schools are operating on a high level of fidelity with proper monitoring and evaluation. However, with a decreasing public school population and a growing understanding that some traditional public schools are not high-performing schools, intense emphasis must be placed on solving those problems and therefore, we must re-evaluate our processes on how we educate parents on school choice and what it means to their children. Knowing that every school cannot accommodate ALL children, our work must be placed in the system to provide quality education whether it is in a Charter School or Traditional public school setting.
Position on Other Issues that Have Financial Implications