Westview and Poway MUN present COVID-19 response suggestions to PUSD Board of Education


YJ Si, Editor-in-Chief

Daniel Shaw (left middle), Sydney Alper (right middle), and Kristopher Mamer (bottom right) meet with Poway MUN members and their advisor to debate and draft the document outlining suggestions to the PUSD board of education. The joined clubs presented to the board April 23.

“Two Saturdays ago, [MUN] came together in a mock conference to draft a resolution with our ideas to outline [what could improve the COVID-19 response],” Daniel Shaw (11) said. “Through arduous formal debate and drafting, we came up with these solutions.” 

Shaw made that statement in a video presentation played during the public comments section of the Poway Unified School District (PUSD) Board of Education meeting April 23. She made the presentation along with Sydney Alper (11) and Kristopher Mamer (12), on behalf of the joined Westview and Poway Model United Nations (MUN) clubs. These two clubs came together to present the district with a multitude of suggestions regarding the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The joined clubs created a document that outlined suggestions the district could implement to improve the conditions of all PUSD staff and families affected. These included distributing face masks to food service workers, making district-wide announcements with a universal communication service, partnering with various internet providers to provide suitable connections for all students, and addressing childcare issues. MUN also suggested that the district establish standard guidelines for science, English, math, and fine arts class operations.

Shaw has always been interested in civic advocacy and engagement, and as a board member of the Scripps Ranch Civic Association, wanted to bring fresh voices to the PUSD board.

“We thought that if we could present a well-researched, well-founded argument, we could give the board a new perspective, [which could potentially lead to improvements],” he said.

Alper said that when she was invited to work on this project, she saw an opportunity for her voice to be heard and jumped on it.

“Once I heard that we were actually going to be presenting ideas to the district, I thought that it was a really good chance to to have my opinions be heard,” she said. “To maybe do something that will matter, something that will count, something that will make a difference.”

Starting April 11, the two clubs conferred nearly every other day up until the board meeting to put together this document, and then eventually work on a video presentation to give to the board. 

As of April 29, the board had not yet given a formal response to MUN, Chief Communications Officer Christine Paik said that those comments made were heard and appreciated by the board. In response to MUN’s points about communication, Paik said, she agrees that there is a gap in direct communication between PUSD and students who do not follow the district on social media. 

“We are currently looking into alternative mass communication systems, which would allow an easier way to reach all of our students,” she said. “It’s still in the early stages of exploration so I am hesitant to name any specific companies that I’m looking at.”

Paik said that in the meantime, students and parents can download the PUSD app (iTunes or Google Play) to receive the messages that all parents receive by email.