2022 School Board Responses

Fox Point-Bayside School Board Questionnaire

  1. How do you feel about trying to remove books from libraries?

    Andrea Haus Bernstein – School libraries help students to broaden their horizons and develop the skills they need to use, understand, and think critically about information from a variety of sources. We are so fortunate to have School Librarians who curate books that are engaging and developmentally appropriate for students. Parents know their children best, and can work with their children’s teachers to help them select books based on their child’s specific needs.

    David Melbye – As society evolves our institutions evolve as well, including education. We should evaluate the books to make sure they are culturally sensitive, age appropriate, and represent a wide range of views. I think it is important for all children to see themselves in the books available to them in the library. School should be a safe place for all children, and books can be used to teach us how to understand each other's differences and perspectives.

    Jonathan Carnehl – Mr Carnehl declined to share his views.

  2. Under what conditions do you think you would recommend, if ever, a return to virtual schooling or mask mandates?

    Andrea Haus Bernstein - The pandemic has been extremely difficult for everyone, but especially for children, parents, and educators. As a school board member, it has been important to listen to those who felt strongly about loosening restrictions due to concerns about mental health, social development, and academic progress, while also listening to parents and teachers who advocated for policies that would protect the safety of immunocompromised family members. Additional considerations such as maintaining sufficient staffing and minimizing disruptions to families caused by contracting Covid-19 have been pragmatic factors to consider.

    While I believe that reasonable people can disagree on these decisions, I hope that what we can agree on is that the answers are not simple, the needs are not uniform, and everyone is advocating for what they believe is best for children. I am not an expert on public health or infectious disease. My approach has been to follow the guidance of the CDC. I believe the best we can do is try to be creative, compassionate, and collaborative as we address the evolving challenges of the pandemic and the needs of our students.

    David Melbye - Throughout this school year my focus has been on maintaining in-person learning. The district has come up with a COVID strategy using the percentage of students and staff in isolation as a metric to guide the use of masks moving forward. I am in support of this plan. Masks should be used as a tool when necessary to help prevent school closures due to inadequate staffing or student attendance. It is also important to continue to monitor public health recommendations and adapt as needed.

    Jonathan Carnehl – Mr Carnehl declined to share his views.

  3. What in your background or experience makes you a good choice for the school board?

    Andrea Haus Bernstein - In my first term as a school board member, I have found many of my educational, professional, and volunteer experiences to be useful. As part of my training for my Masters in Social Work, I studied and practiced in the child and adolescent mental health field, as well as school social work. In my current position as the Associate Director of the Jewish Community Relations Council, one focus of my work is on anti-bias programming for youth and schools.

    In addition to my professional work, I have been a frequent volunteer at Stormonth and Bayside, as well as serving on the Fox Point-Bayside Educational Foundation board from 2017-2019. I received the School Support Award from the Coalition For Jewish Learning in 2017 for my contributions as the Co-Chair of Youth Education at Congregation Sinai. I am committed to lifelong learning, and I have attended school board member development opportunities through the Wisconsin Association of School Boards. Perhaps most importantly, I take a pragmatic, responsible, collaborative, and child-centered approach to serving as a school board member. I am focused on maintaining an open mind, listening, and being curious as I work with the board and administration to solve problems and support our excellent public schools and the students they serve.

    David Melbye - Growing up my father and aunt were both teachers. My sister is currently teaching, and my wife was also a teacher, so I have been around education my whole life. I understand the importance of attracting, retaining, and supporting high quality teachers and staff. In addition, I am a pediatrician and have dedicated my career to the health and well-being of children. I am also an associate professor at the medical college of Wisconsin, helping to educate young pediatricians during their residency. My part time role in education gives me even more respect for the time and dedication it takes to be a full time educator. I have served on the board the last three years, including two years as board president. The decisions I make on the board will continue to be student focused, both for our current and future students.

    Jonathan Carnehl – Mr Carnehl declined to share his views.

  4. Are there curriculum-related or diversity-related issues that you think the current board members are not addressing? If so, what would you do differently?

    Andrea Haus Bernstein - The Fox Point-Bayside School Board and District Administrators engaged the community this past fall in a strategic planning process to learn about priorities from a diversity of stakeholders. Clear guidance such as expanding project-based and personalized learning, approaching education from a “whole child” perspective, and focusing on meeting the increasing mental health needs of students are all incorporated in the strategic plan that is underway. Additionally, applying an equity lens to all program and policy decisions, which was another resounding principle that emerged from the community engagement sessions, is a focus of both my professional work and my position as a school board member. It is my belief that this work is urgent, ongoing, and requires humility as we constantly strive to create a school community where everyone experiences a sense of dignity, worth, and belonging.

    David Melbye - Over the last three years the board has discussed curriculum and diversity issues on multiple occasions. The district has an appropriate regular curriculum review plan in place. I was fortunate to participate, along with many members of the community, in the “Framework for our Future” district event this past fall. One of the many helpful things that came out of this event was the community’s strong desire for the district to have diversity, equity, and inclusion as a pillar of our district’s strategic plan.

    A diverse lens is needed to ensure equity and inclusion are part of the curriculum and that policies include fair treatment, equal opportunity, and fair access to resources that give every student what they need to succeed. We also want to continue to build a culture of belonging by actively inviting the contribution and participation of all students.

    Jonathan Carnehl – Mr Carnehl declined to share his views.