Karna Nisewaner

Karna+Nisewaner

Sophia Stern, Business Manager

Karna Nisewaner, a parent of two elementary school students in the district and former Chair of the Palo Alto Community Child Care board, is running for the School Board this November on a platform of district transparency.

Nisewaner decided to run after feeling dissatisfied by the school board’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic last spring.  “I was just really inspired because I felt like now is the time to take action, and now’s the time to do things,” she said.

Nisewaner’s main focus if elected would be to improve community-board communication. When Palo Alto schools switched to distance learning last spring, Nisewaner felt that parents did not receive clear information from the schools. “There just wasn’t really clarity and communication.That lack of communication and lack of hearing feedback was problematic, because people just didn’t feel heard.” Nisewaner feels like improved communication could restore trust in the school board, which would lead to more community engagement.

Her major plan to improve transparency is to better explain board decision-making.“Understanding what the priorities [of the board] are, is really important [to the community],” she said. “[We need to explain] why we’ve put in place the processes or structures that we have, and then [think about] how we can adjust those as demands from the community shift.” Nisewaner said.