Name: Bindu Moram
Address: 1740 49th Ave. N., Plymouth
Age: 45 years
- Spouse - Naidu Saladi
- Eldest Son – Rithvik Saladi (sophomore at Wayzata High School)
- Youngest Son – Lalith Saladi (seventh grade at Central Middle School)
Employment: Currently working at United Health Group as Data Engineering Director.
Education: Bachelors in Business Administration, India; Masters in Medical Informatics, Northwestern University, Chicago; Mini Masters in Project Management, St.Thomas University, Minnesota.
Community Involvement: Part of Wayzata School Zoning Committee in 2015; Wayzata Board Meeting attendee; Volunteered in Kimberly Lane Elementary classroom and school activities since 2008; Volunteering at Central middle school classroom and school activities since 2013.
Why do you want to be on the Wayzata school board?
Education is a paramount in this district, I am running to make the positive impact for our students. I believe every student in our district should be graduating, prepared to face the next phase of their education journey. The needs of our district are constantly changing and we need to work on the best interest of all our constituent groups with proper engagement and collaboration. With my professional and educational background, I can be the fresh voice of our community. I have been living in Plymouth since 15 years and know our schools and community very well. I am committed to continue improvements and taking our educational system to an even higher level.
What is your view of the state of the school district?
We moved to this school district in 2004 learning the academic excellence the school district has presented and our district has done a phenomenal job in serving the students and families and there is always a room for improvement. The needs of the district has been changing with growing diverse student population, new families coming to the district and new ideas, improvements need to be introduced to meet the needs of all constituent groups of the district with great collaboration and communication.
What would be your top priorities as a school board member?
- Rapid Growth of Enrollment issues for next five years: Collaborate with various stakeholders in understanding their needs like increasing classrooms, providing sufficient resources for teachers, accommodating growing needs in various extracurricular activities. The district should review and assess various options that are available to address the student growth in next 5 years by balancing academics and athletics.
- Achievement gap: “We need all children succeeding.” Identify students who need additional instructional support; enhance early childhood education to be prepared for elementary education; Collaborate with Interfaith Outreach and Community partners to do outreach to student families.
- Improvement in nutrition program and wellness: There is an evidence based analysis performed and based on recommendation we need to focus on ingredients in daily meal plan and promote nutritional health and healthy food practices and physical health at all of our elementary, middle and high schools.
- Mental health: Engage trained counselors and have planned program to support youth and families impacted by mental health issues and identify funding opportunities at the state and national level.
- Safety: I also want to work with constituents in bringing advanced safety technologies like handling vaping issue and adding trained counselors, etc.
What, if any, areas in the district budget should be adjusted?
With my observation attending the school board meetings the funding is limited and district administration follows an intense decision process to allocate funds. If elected I will be working on how we can bring more state funds for each student, work on additional funds for special education students and also see how we can qualify more students for free lunch program so that we can access the federal funds.
What should be done to address the achievement gap?
Unfortunately Wayzata school achievement is higher than anticipated, in looking at the MCA results for district students who qualify for free or reduced price lunch there is close to 49% of achievement gap in our district which need to be given attention. Students should not just be focusing on the core subjects but also need to work on speaking, writing, collaboration, self-management, technical literacy etc.
To resolve this we need to focus enhancing the cultural competence, identify students who need additional instructional support; Outreach to student families in collaboration with Interfaith Outreach And Community Partners; Improving early childhood learning, seek adequate funding and involve universities, foundations in school work.
What skills should be added or emphasized in classrooms to educate students for a 21st-century career or workplace?
In this advanced smart technology era out children need to be well equipped with broad set of soft and interpersonal skills like critical thinking, problem solving, reasoning, creativity, self-discipline, adaptability, multicultural literacy — to be critically important to success in today’s world.
How should Wayzata Schools ensure the safety of its students?
Safety of our children always has been one of my priorities as we are grooming the next generation — we need identify students and families and provide the needed support as early as possible for prevention for which we need trained counselors available and also collaboratively work with administration on school safety technology from a physical structure perspective.
How should the school board respond to the districts continuing steady enrollment growth?
District has much worked on resolving the growth issue in elementary by adding 2 new elementary schools. It’s time to put some attention to stabilize the growth in Middle schools. Middle schools are expected to increase 21% (highest) growth by 2023. We need to plan on next steps for next 18 months. Understand the feasibility of increasing the class rooms or build a new middle school. Accommodate the growing needs of the sports requirements (such as playgrounds) with growing student population.
Have you ever been charged with a gross misdemeanor or higher, or been involved in a personal or business bankruptcy or foreclosure?
No I have been not.
Getting to know you
Favorite book or movie?
"The Story of My Experiments with Truth" – Autobiography of Gandhi.
My parents who were born right after the Indian independence have greatly read this book many time in my growing years about peace through non-violence.
Last live show or concert you attended?
Our own Plymouth Live band occurs in summer of every year, this is one that as a family we make sure to attend without missing from past 15 years. Otherwise I am just a quiet listener on my own couch.
Favorite subject in school?
I am very artistic in nature coming from my mother, I am a classical Indian dancer as I was a kid. I have achieved many state awards as a teenager.
Dream vacation destination?
Europe — I have been always fascinated from young age on European history and culture, and would like to explore this area of the globe.
Favorite local business?
Massage Envy — I always enjoyed the massages after long hectic week work load and kids activity, that is the first place I can think of to go.