NPFC member remarks as delivered to NUSD Board on 4/29/03

April 29,  2003

Good evening. My name is Abby Wong. My family has lived in Novato for 3 ˝ years and I have 2 daughters attending Novato High School.

I am speaking tonight on behalf of the Novato Parents & Family Coalition (NPFC) or “NovatoParents.org” for short.

First, we want to thank and commend the Novato Unified School District for switching to an “opt in” approach for “That’s A Family” as we requested in our letter and public comments of January 14th. Likewise, we again thank you for limiting the pilot of “That’s A Family” to the 5th grade Family Life classes.

However, as we understand it, our second request from January 14th to mail excerpts from the “That’s A Family” Guidebook to all 5th grade families along with the “opt in” form and cover letter has not been adopted. That means that unless parents are able to attend the ongoing Family Life & “That’s A Family” parent previews --- and given past and present experience, most parents will not be able to do so --- they still lack the necessary information to make an informed decision.

Therefore, we offer tonight to pay for and mail out Guidebook excerpts to all 5th grade families should NUSD and the publisher permit us to do so.

In the meantime, we encourage all 5th grade parents to visit our web site --- NovatoParents.org --- where our January 14th letter is posted. That letter and its attachment --- which includes key excerpts from “That’s A Family” --- explains why so many people are concerned about “That’s A Family” and why it is not consistent with the common ground and broad appeal of our mission statement. The NPFC mission statement reads as follows: “keeping academic excellence paramount by helping ensure a safe and respectful school environment for all. As such, we of course support diversity awareness and only ask it be age-appropriate and respectful of our role as parents. In short, we are here first and foremost for our children.”

We respectfully request the opportunity to provide 5th grade parents with the necessary information to make an informed decision on behalf of their children.

Thank you.

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