School Board Meeting: October 10, 2017

School Board Meeting: October 10, 2017

All right, everyone. We are still one
member short of a quorum. Nope. One second. Ahh! Oh, great! Well, we’re ready to go then. Welcome, everyone. We have a
number of other school board members who are on the way but had conflicts and
are going to be a little bit late today, so would the clerk please call the roll? Yes. Mr. Ankuma. Aye. Ms. Gill. Aye. Mr. Reitlinger. Here. And Ms. Ward. Here. Please join me in the Pledge of
Allegiance. I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. Thank you all.
I’d ask unanimous consent for approval of the agenda. Seeing no objections, it is
approved. The first item we have on the on the agenda today is a closed
meeting. Do we have an estimate on how long it will take? Roughly 15 minutes.
Roughly 15 minutes, so it shouldn’t be too long.
Would someone please read us into closed? [unintelligible] I can probably do it. Oh, thank you.
Pursuant to the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, I move that the board
can be in a closed meeting for the following purpose: to discuss or consider
the identified subject matter, personnel under Section 2.2-377ai, in particular staff appointment, staff reassignment, staff
resignation, staff retirements, staff performance, staff change of position,
disciplining of a specific employee, childcare leave, family medical leave,
EPED assignments, and advisory committee appointments and resignations. Is there a
second? Second. All in favor? Aye. Any opposed? All right. We are going into closed. We should be back shortly. Thank you. Could I have a motion to read us back
into open, please? This one’s short. I move that the board reconvene to open meeting.
Thank you. Second? Second. All in favor? Aye. Opposed? Motion carries.
Could someone please certify the closed meeting? Whereas the Falls Church City public school board has convened a closed meeting on this date, pursuant to an
affirmative recorded vote, and in accordance with the provisions of the
Virginia Freedom of Information Act, and whereas section 2.2-377b
of the Code of Virginia requires a certification by this school
board that such closed meeting was conducted in conformity with Virginia
law, now therefore be it resolved that the Falls Church City public school
board hereby certifies that to the best of each members knowledge one, only
public business matters lawfully exempted from open meeting requirement
by Virginia law were discussed in the closed meeting to which the certification
applies, and, two, only such public business matters as are identified in the motion
convening the closed meeting we’re heard, discussed, or considered. Thank you, Ms.
Gill. Second? Second. Mr. Ankuma. Aye. Mr. Castillo. Aye. Ms. Gill. Aye. Mr. Reitlinger. Yes. And Ms. Ward. Yes. Thank you. Thank you. That takes us to the consent agenda. No, public comment. Ah. Sorry. Thank you. In accordance with
the school board bylaw 2.3, time for each speaker is limited to
three minutes. Additional written statements may be submitted to the clerk
for dissemination to board members and for the record. So, we have a number of
requests. The first person up is Mr. Kelly. If you would come up and please
state your name and address for the record. Hello. My name is Farrell Kelly, and I
live at 600 Roosevelt Boulevard here in Falls Church, but today, instead of
speaking as an individual, I’m speaking as president of the Falls Church City
Education Association. I’m not speaking to a particular item on tonight’s agenda,
but I wanted to let the school board know, and the community, that the
Education Association took a poll of its members and voted to publicly support
the bond referendum for the rebuilding of George Mason. FCCEA realizes that, as a community and as a school system, you know, all the links matter, and
that where GM is hurting, that hurts all of us. And so, in order to keep our school
system strong and our staff safe and our students safe, we actively and fully
support the bond referendum, and we hope that the community will decide to pass
it. And we thought, based on some of the discussion at the debate by the League
of Women Voters, held by the League of Women Voters, in which it was mentioned
that the community didn’t have word on how teachers felt about this, that we
wanted everybody to know that our educators think that this is what’s best
for students, for the community, for staff, and for Falls Church. So thank you for
listening and having me here tonight, and I’m gonna go take care of some other
things. Thank you, Mr. Kelly. Thank you. The next public comment is Ms. Brady, please. Hi. My name is Beth Brady and I live at
200 North Spring Street. I have a letter that is from my daughter, so I’m not
quite sure how we would … Do you want to read it? I have one and she has one. So I would,
I don’t have to read hers, I could just present it or give it to whoever could read
it. If you could give both to us, that would be great, and make your statement. So I just wanted to speak on behalf of Mr. Jamie Lahy, and he has worked with both of
my kids over the last five years. Sorry. I’m not a good public speaker. Mr. Lahy has been a
wonderful leader, a mentor to both of them. He has encouraged them and assisted them with projects and classwork. He allows them to come into his room and eat
lunch and bond with other kids. He works with, he worked with my son who is very
shy and introverted. He encouraged and motivated him to be his best. Mr. Lahy
also helped guide my son with his SAT and ACT prep and college preparations.
Mr. Lahy helped create the Hydroponic Club, where this was the first for George
Mason, and allowed children to explore and consider environmental careers. We
considered ourselves to be lucky to have such a great teacher to work with our
kids. He is a great asset to George Mason. We live in the city that cares so much
about our kids and community, and Mr. Lahy is the model exactly what we want for
our children. We are truly grateful for Mr. Lahy and very disappointed that he’s
not present at George Mason High School, and we’d love to see him back. Thank you very much. The next public comment is from is from Ms. Leech. Hi. I’m Jena Leech. I’m at 514 North
Oak Street, and I’m speaking on behalf of my son, Ian Leech, and her son, Jacob Brady, They put together a video from college there at Radford University, thanks to
Jamie Lahy, and so you can see it online, on a YouTube video, supporting
Jamie Lahy. And I’m just going to read an excerpt from the video on
behalf of them. Jamie Lahy has had a positive impact on many students’ lives.
we, Ian Leech and Jacob Brady, are prime examples of kids whose lives have
changed for the better due to Jamie’s role as our teacher, and we are now at
Radford University. From the eyes of his students, Jamie Lahy is a determined,
hard-working man who is willing to go above and beyond to help a student
succeed in as many ways as possible. He encouraged his students to be
independent in school and ready for college. Jamie is a friend to his
students as well as parents who appreciate Jamie’s hard work, effort, and
determination that he puts into his students. If anything, we need more
teachers like Jamie Lahy, not less. Thank you. Thank you very much. The next public comment is Mr. Kuchma. Dave Kuchma, 813 Fulton Avenue. I’m here
to speak on behalf of Jamie Lahy. I wanted to preface my words with stating
that I have had three graduates that have gone through George Mason High School
and have been involved with Mr. Lahy from time to time, but our experience is
about a decade through the high school. We’ve been in Falls Church about
15 years. And speaking on behalf of Jamie, and we got to know him a fair amount of
time ago, that it’s just a rare occasion when you get a teacher that has the
wisdom at a very young age to get a grasp on what children need. And these
are, in particular, children that have challenges, that may have learning
disabilities, and they’re in a high school that is a very, you know,
challenging environment for them to go to and to be successful. Jamie was a kind
of person that somehow, someway could reach these kids, and, you know, I used the
words, and you’ll hear it again, mentor, leader. But I want to say that
Jamie represented a safe harbor for countless kids that have come through
George Mason High School. I guess it’s his room, it’s during lunch, you never have to go into a cafeteria and face up to the challenges of having kids there that may
pick on you or that may, you know, belittle you. It was him. It was his room.
The kids were there. He took care of them. He guided them, and he made them, as well as their parents, be, have a successful experience. So I’m just here
to convey that, that Jamie has, you know, he has saved kids, he’s facilitated
their future and their lives. So how many kids have actually gone on to higher
education because of him? It’s a rarity. So I just wanted to say that,
you know, as a dad, a father on behalf of my children and those that he has served,
that you take that into consideration, whatever you guys do. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Kuchma. The next comment is from Alison Kuchma. Ms. Kuchma? Good evening. My name is Alison Kuchma, and I live at 813 Fulton Avenue, and I just wanted to come
here tonight to speak to you in support of Jamie Lahy. I first met Jamie in, I
believe it was in 2009. For those of you who have been to the high school at
those little mini conferences at those little tiny desks set in the gym,
and it was clear that he was somebody different, that he clearly cared. And
I felt like in the conversation, that he would take care of my son at a time when George Mason was really a shadow of what it is today in terms of
what it provides for students with learning disabilities. At that time, the
school did not even have a co-teach algebra class, and so we were trying to
trailblaze in that environment. And he was, himself, a leader and
showed great courage to support students. And I don’t know if you know, but to be a
special education teacher, you know, you have to be certified in your content
area, and do you think you get paid extra because you handle all that paperwork
and all of that, you don’t, and so it’s exceptional treasure to have a man
like that in our school. You know, I trust him with my children and with guiding
them, and he’s become a friend to our family and to my children,
as now that they’re adults. I kind of think about him as, you know, how there’s
been Harvey and Irma, and those are 100 year storms and 500
year storms, I would say in all the teachers that I have met, Jamie Lahy is
like a hundred year storm. He is so exceptional, and he is so rare, that his
qualities are just, you just don’t believe it’s
true. And he cares about kids, and at a time in their life which is incredibly
impactful. Many kids come into the high school in, you know, in a 14 year
old body with, you know, a ten year old or twelve year old brain, and all, you
know, they’re disorganized, and they’re shy and introverted and, you know, they
don’t know how to ask a girl to the eighth-grade dance, and I knew his
room afforded a safe haven. And it helped kids literally survive their days at
George Mason High School, and I know that I will be forever grateful. Thank you. Thank you, Ms. Kuchma. That is all of the people who turned in forms
requesting public comment. Is there anyone else who wishes to make public
comment? Please come up. Thank you. Good evening. My name is Angela Newbern. I live at 212
Garden Court. My daughter has had an IEP since first
grade. She goes to a very rigorous school at George Mason. She’s a senior. Finding
out that Jamie Lahy, her caseworker, wasn’t there this year was devastating.
She is on the runway for college right now. She needs to get IEP. She needs
accommodations for SATs, ACTS, for special applications to colleges, not
just the regular common apps. Jamie Lahy has been a teacher, and she has been in
his classroom since her freshman year. He has, not only for her but all of his
students, he offers to meet with them before school, after school, during
Mustang block, during lunch. At any time that those kids can find time, he
will find the time to sit and work with them individually. in the 12 years in this school district
there has not been a single educator who has put in the time and the commitment
for my kid I have no idea why he is on leave
there’s been no talk obviously it’s part of the closed session but as a parent in
the community of a child who has had the benefit of working with one of the best
educators that you have I would highly just ask you to review your decision on
how this is going to play out because he is a valuable resource in this community
thank you ma’am are there are any additional people who wish to make public comment hi I’m Linda Camille make it short just
three minutes I wrote a little a few notes okay um
if author Franz Kafka were here today with us he would be inspired to write
another book entitled the good teacher in it Kafka would write about a kind and
dedicated man who besides being a good teacher was also a good role model a
good influence a good guide to many of our students one of those students is my
son Adrian who has benefited from a great team project in aquaponics which
by the way won national awards as well as recently the 2017 presidential
environmental education award at the EPA most recently The Washington Post
featured an article about the hydroponics project at Mason because of
his positive experience with mr. Lai Adrian is now considering marine biology
in college congratulations are due to mr. Lai who unfortunately was not able
to attend the awards at the EPA because of this very issue I worked for the IMF
for 27 years and we have a lot of rules in that time I have seen similar things
happen to good people but these were misunderstandings by people who were
going a little bit further to help someone and then were caught in a system which was all wrong I don’t know the details of this case but I know in
my heart that whatever it is it is a misunderstanding and should be dropped
now the embodiment of a good teacher is Jamie Lahy who should be held in high
esteem for all the good work he has done and the students he has helped navigate
the difficult years of high school we should be thanking him for the lives he
has changed not dragging him through this Kafka istic bad dream we are asking
that you clear mr. Lahys good name and that you restore his position at the
school we care for him we need him and mostly the students miss him
thank you thank you very much are there any additional people who wish to make a
public comment? id like to say something I didn’t prepare anything but my name is
Jason Kutchma and and Jamie changed my life when I was in high school I
pretty much was terrible at everything and I got poor grades and I just I
wasn’t in an environment where I could succeed and that’s not the case for very
many people but for a few people it really hits you and so Jamie was someone
that provided an environment where you know I could figure out the way that I
learn and in high school I struggled to get through a single book over the
course of the year and you know don’t tell anyone but I don’t think I got
through a book in high school and now I have the confidence to succeed
because he came in on the weekends to help me you know he scheduled his own
time and and there are a lot of motivations that people you know do things and you know someone that was just there because he liked watching people succeed
and watching people grow is something that’s special and now that I’m 21 I
never went to college my bedside table is full of books and I read almost
every day and the only reason why I do anything is because of Jamie and that’s
the truth because of Jamie I could see that I
could actually you know function in society and he provided the way
of all those things that you really need to be able to do what you love and
now I do what I love every single day and I know that I’m not the
one who gets to really experience life to the fullest because of Jamie and so I
wish that you guys would really consider that but I know Jamie almost
better than anyone and I know that he’ll end up in a place that deserves
him and I hope you guys consider that so thank you does anyone else wish to
provide public comment thank you thank you all for coming we will now move on
to the next item in the agenda so I will turn the gavel over to chairman Webb Thank You mr. Reitinger I apologize for
running for being late this evening I was returning from southern Virginia had
a family member who passed away and their funeral service was today so just
getting back in town so we’ll move on to the to the ask unanimous consent for
approval of the consent agenda so moved
and then move on to 6.01 vsba Academy Awards yeah so each year the Virginia School
Boards Association sends out recognition to our school board members for a number
of different things and there are for professional development and for work in
the community and so this evening the chair will be handing out to our school
board members their vsba awards and recognitions and after they come out we
would like to get a quick photo with all of you and your certificates so I’ll
turn it over to you I will pass those out I will actually what we’ll do I
guess in being that we’re going to do a quick photo so as I call you if you come
on over in front we’ll do we’ll do the picture so mr. Ankuma. Ms. Gill Doctor Noonan and myself so i won’t cal myself and Ms. Ward I gotta move on to business action and
information about 7.01 student achievement snapshot Dr. Noonan
yes Thank You mr. chair good evening everybody it’s a pleasure to be here
tonight with you we have an opportunity this evening to hear a little bit about
student achievement in our school division as it stands currently just as
a little bit of a learning for me and perhaps a bit of a backstory to help set
the stage for this evening it’s my understanding that in the past
there have been evenings that have been stay to the school’s evenings where the
principal’s have come and they’ve spoken about their data to the school board and
as I sort of unpacked that a little bit and coming from another division that
had similar state of the school’s evenings I thought to myself that if
principals were coming and spending a half an hour talking about data that
they might not necessarily get to talking about some of the really cool
things that are happening in their schools or being responsive to the needs
that they have seen from the data so this year were we’ve readjusted not
readjusted we’ve adjusted the schedule a little bit to do preliminary data walk this evening that Lisa High along with Jeanie Seabridge will be working through to give you a broad picture of how we are doing division wide with
respect to some of the data points that are out there and then we’ll hold stay
to the schools evenings with our principals but instead
of having them all come together we thought we’d break them out so that
you’d have a better chance to see them so we’ll do the Elementary’s one night
Mary Ellen Henderson one night and George Mason another night so you get a
better chance to sort of dig in around the work that they are all doing in this in their schools and we’ll do those during during regular school board
meetings so with that in just a second I’m going to turn it over to Lisa
and Jeannie have worked really hard on this presentation
excited that they’re going to be able to share it with you there is some
information and I’m gonna prompt by saying it I’m probably going to set it
up in a way that it’s just going to create havoc perhaps not havoc but let me just say this there is some information in here about our
enrollment and I’m sharing that with you because tonight is not the night to talk
about enrollment we will be sharing enrollment information with you as soon
as we have the final adjusted numbers but there is some preliminary
information in here about enrollment so as you’re looking at it I would
encourage you just to kind of keep that in mind that this is preliminary
information about enrollment but the hope is that you’ll really focus in on
where we are my belief is that we should be telling the whole story not just
parts of the story so tonight you’re going to see the good they’re gonna see
the not-so-good and you’re gonna see some ugly the good the bad and the ugly
of where we are and I think it’s important for us to recognize that and
to understand where our areas of growth are as you may or may not know Jeanie Seabridge is our division testing director so she has the best sense of where we
are she’s pulled a lot of these data together for us but she and Lisa
together are going to share our data journey to date with you so mr. chair if
it’s okay with you I’ll turn it over to Lisa and just before you get started I
was just informed that there was one additional parent who had public
comments so I’m gonna allow for that one person to to speak for three minutes and
then I’m gonna turn it back over to Lisa and miss Seabridge alright remember that whole set up Hello everyone sorry i’m a little late my name is Jill Friend and I live at 155 West Annandale road in Falls Church so basically I’m here to express my support for mr. Jamie Lahy my daughter has worked with mr.
Lahy in different capacities since ninth grade he was her biology co
teacher in ninth grade in tenth grade he was really a friend and mentor helping
her in chemistry and then in 11th grade he was a caseworker and this year
obviously he’s not there basically what makes Jamie very very unique amongst all of
the special educators that we have experienced is his ability to connect to
the students and inspire them to reach their full potential he sees each
student as an individual and with patience and humor encourages them to
persevere even when they want to give up he has never wavered in his commitment
to encourage my daughter to do her best in addition for students with ADHD and
processing disabilities mr. Lahy has the ability to teach in a hands-on clear
reinforcing manner that results in high achievement and this was seen especially
in my daughter’s chemistry class in I guess it was tenth grade where he made
chemistry really easy for her to understand a very very difficult subject
he’s also exceptional in that he is able to think out of the box to come up with
solutions that meet each individual’s learning style my daughter is a pretty
high achieving student and we have been facing this issue where there really
isn’t an appropriate math class for her within the school system after taking
algebra 2 in tenth grade because all the other classes are either IB and AP and Jamie has really helped us with an
ongoing dialogue with the administration which is still not resolved yet but he
has helped he was my advocate in trying to push to find a math class for her
after algebra 2 so she could continue with her math in 11th and
12th grade and finally and equally important jamie has been a strong ally
and nurturing presence for my daughter over the years in moments of high stress
he has provided a safe haven for her to go to and decompress he is as a trusted
resource and he’s a trusted friend and he’s basically made high school safe and
nurturing for my daughter when she’s faced with with the stress of academics
within the school system so I just want to conclude by saying that teaching for
mr. Lai has been a passion not just a job my daughter right now there’s not a
day that goes by when she does not talk about it how she misses mr. Lai he’s
exceptional in both his teaching style he finds a way to meet each individual
where they are not in a box and help them reach their full potential and also
he’s a friend and a trusted ally that makes high school safe for the students
so by that I hope you do re-consider reinstating mr. Lai’s employment thank
you thank you very much Ms. Friend turn it back over to ms high and Ms seabridge thank you all for indulging tonight you will hear about various
programs that our students are able to access to meet their needs and their
interests and the data supporting around those programs for example we have well
we’ll be sharing information on our CTE credentialing you’ll hear information
about the Virginia Department of Education SOL’s IB AP and then our EIP
program before what’s not on the this slide that I do want to share that we
see as an accomplishment of the board and that is hiring dr. Noonan as our
superintendent when he came in in May he hit the ground running and it’s just
been a really good year for us and you know as the teachers at convocation and
as we’ve gone through the school year it’s just really been a really
good and promising year for us and we’re just excited to have him as a division leader other data that we
will be sharing with you tonight are the Virginia Department of Education awarded
the school division the board of education Excellence Award all four of
our schools Mount Daniel Thomas Jefferson MEH and George Mason all
received the education distinguished achievement award for 2017 we are now
one of seven IB school divisions in the nation which which is a great honor and
that’s something that we’re working on to make sure that we’re addressing IB
so that every student can access all of the the components of the IB program we
are the highest in reading writing and history for the state and Sol pass rates
this year we’re the highest per pass rate in math in Northern Virginia and
we’re fifth in the state and our graduation rate is 99.5 a hundred
percent we we kind of keep going back and forth with the state on that number
but when you speak with our administrators and counselors at the
high school we graduated every student and at the end of the school year we had
16 National Merit commended students and one student who was a National Merit
Finalist and that’s we’re really proud of the work that our students do on a
daily basis another early indentification
program which is EIPS through George Mason University this program is
geared for students who will be the first student in their family to go off
to college and last year we graduated six students on that program and of
those six three went on to four-year universities two went to Northern
Virginia Community College and one entered the Marines this year we have
six students who are in our EIP prep program where they’re as eighth graders
going on saturdays and getting some extras and then currently nine through
12 we have 22 students who are participating in our EIP program this
summer we sent five students to Governor’s School and the areas of
you see there humanities math science technology world
language dance and Spanish and another thing that we’re really proud of with
the Virginia Department of Education they have had us work on careers and we
had 149 students who receive CTE credentials one of them would be in our
finance and economics area and then a few were in the television production
and computer science and graphics but that’s just really having students
receive access for things that they’re interested in careers as they move
forward one of the things that we’ve also would like to share with you is that we
have a lot of students at MEH who are accessing our high school credits in our
mathematics we have 178 middle schoolers who are taking math for credit high
school credit 213 who are taking world civ one for credit that’s our eighth
graders and then 292 are World Language credit and with that there could be some
seventh graders some eighth graders so our students are really really doing
well and as they move on to high school we’ll have you know we’ll be working to
make sure that we have things to meet their needs there but I just think
that’s something we should be commended for enrollment this is where dr. Noonan
said he has set us up and all of these are based on September 30th dates
numbers and you can see that we’ve grown over the the last five years our nine
thirty 2017 isn’t unaudited this we have to submit that to the state in the next
week or so and they will come back with a
with a final but right now we’re at 26 93 and we the growth that we expected
isn’t quite there but we’re seeing that some of that some of that lack of growth
was at kindergarten this year which you know with with Mount Daniel and all thats
going on that may prove to be an OK thing as we have to have it stay at a
certain number but you can see every year we grow keep going to go to the
next month and this is the historical enrollment information that has been
provided over the years and you’ll just see that for the most part are the
red is our actual where we are every year and we’re a little bit below
projections this year but in every school division every building we did
grow in the number of students who are there except for Mount Daniel yes all
right where did our journey take us tonight you will hear us talk about all
students but you’ll also hear us speak about our special populations and those
would be our students with disabilities are economically disadvantaged and our
L’s you will see out of two thousand six hundred and seventy seventy two
students we have three hundred and sixty-five who are students with
disabilities two hundred and twelve are economically disadvantaged and that’s
our free and reduced lunch students who receive free and reduced lunch and then
our Ls our second language and they’re two hundred and twenty eight students
throughout the school division out of two thousand seven two thousand six
hundred and seventy six and you’ll see our percentages are thirteen seven and
eight point five percent so just keep that in perspective as we go through
another piece that we wanted to share with you is our every December we have
to provide to the VDOE our December count and this is as of December 16th
because we haven’t reached December 7 2017 that that data is not here so this
comparison when you see the growth is from a December 2015 count to December
16th which was last year you’ll notice we’ve broken it down by schools
and when you look at the disability category
it’s the areas where there are higher need areas that our students have the
numbers have grown in our developmentally delay into that
intellectual disabilities that’s just information just so you can understand
the students that we’re working with and just understanding even though
a lot of times we hear that that’s a small population but every last student
counts and we want to make sure that we’re meeting the needs of each and
every one of them all right this is a complicated sort of chart for our
English Learner numbers you’ll see when you look at the total currently
for this school year we are servicing 136 students who are either level 1
through level 4.3 as far as their weta score total of ELs and the division are
242 but you’ll see that from exit 1 through 4 we have a hundred and six
students who have exited when you look below in the writing there are 18
different languages spoken by our ELs we have students we’ve shown you the
numbers for students who are dual identified who are both students with
disabilities or English language learners and you’ll see three out of a
hundred and six of our students who exited are dual identified and gifted
and el and that’s one of the things that we worked with our advisory
committee last school year to look for ways to make sure that we were
identifying students who may be in an underrepresented populations and we will
continue that work with our teachers and our advisory committee this year as well
our this is this when you look when you go to the Virginia Department of
Education website they have a new look in terms of what the school report card
will look like it’s called the school quality profiles and this is our front
page that gives just a snapshot of what happens throughout the entire school
division I mean you can actually look at any school division as well as
individual schools as well and it’s an open document for the the public and
so I’m going to turn it over to Jeanne to give you more specifics on our scores
okay so just want to preface that when you look at numbers and you look at the
data that there’s a lot behind it that you have to keep in in mind so it’s
really not the number on the surface but there’s a lot of things that may have
impacted scores one way or the other so what we’re looking at this this is our
Sol English reading score and this is for the
division so third grade through high school and we use some color coding here to make it a little bit easier to understand but is a three-year trend so the blue means
that we showed growth in that area and if there’s a red it means that there may
have been a dip so looking at this chart right here even though we stayed the
same as we did last year with the 64 percent pass rate for economically
disadvantaged it’s in red because it’s below the state so if you look at the
blue column on the right that’s the state pass rate was at 67 percent pass
rate and Falls Church for economically disadvantaged is that at 64 however if
you look at the other three area students with disabilities English
learners and all students we are above the pass and you’ll notice this year
that we really are focusing on those subgroup populations so you’ll see that
with all students we have our economic disadvantage English learners and
students with disabilities and one reason being it fits in with our
priorities for the school board work plan that Miss High is going to talk
about a little bit more later for the SOL English in writing you’ll notice all
the areas for this year are in blue so we have shown growth with all of our
subgroup populations as well as with all students we are well above the state
pass rate in those areas as well and you’ll notice that there are some areas
that jumped quite a lot like if you look at our English language learners
that’s a definite jump and you’ll see a trend here with our English learners as
well that they’re probably doing better than the other subgroups there’s a lot
of factors some of the research-based programs that have been put in place
with those kids extra time after school with them we got we counted our exit one
and exit two students were counted into the pass rate this year as well plus a
bgla last year we had about 12 students taking the BGLA assessment for reading
and out of those 12 ten of them passed and the BGLA is no longer available so
we will take it for last year so with the SOL mathematics pass rate you’ll
you’ll notice that as far as all students go we stayed pretty much the
same even though we’re still above the state
an economic disadvantage we are below the state average English learners we’re
neck-and-neck with the state and we did increase and then our student
disabilities are still above the state but just one little point dip right
there there’s been a lot of work with mathematics in the last year to develop
realigning to the new standards scope and sequence has been developed with our
math specialist Jen Fessenden and teachers across the division have been
working really hard on that so we’re hoping to see a an increase next year a
little bit SOL history and social sciences we have again that read
economic disadvantaged population whereas everybody else either showed
growth or pretty much stayed the same when it comes to our history and our Sol
science we can see that there’s a little bit more red here than we want to see
so we had a lot of conversation about this we really feel that we need to sit
down and take a look at our curriculum and our alignment with our standards
that we’re to be teaching and doing a little bit of a crosswalk and just
digging a little deeper into this because there’s some factors that we
need to take a look at the other thing is keeping in mind that this isn’t
apples to apples it’s apples to oranges so the cohort from the previous year who
took the assessment aren’t the same kids so we definitely need to do some work on
that one of the other pieces before you go to the next side with Sol for science
the state has gone into removing some of the actual multiple choice Sol tests and
for science our third grade students in previous years were taking a multiple
multiple choice tests now it’s just fifth graders so our students from K
through five they’re being assessed in fifth grade for our science
that’s one that’s a little bit of a different because it used to be two two
scores that would have been average so that’s
something that we want to look at and we’re continuing to work on some of the
problem based assessments that teachers are using to identify mastery in 3rd and
4th grade so again there’s a lot of things that
kind of play with these numbers it’s not just surface value and as far as the SOL’s that was it so we’re going to take another look here this is our story with
data so what went well on our journey and where did we hit some bumps in the road we saw
a few there some things here that we’re looking at this is for we tried to
include all schools so this is for Jesse Thackeray preschool Liz Germer supplied
this chart with us their assessment that they use is the PALS assessment which is
a statewide assessment it’s in a way it’s their Sol for early elementary
school Mount Daniel uses as well and so do some grade levels at Thomas Jefferson
and what we’re seeing here is in all of the ranges the kids are scoring fairly
well in the hundred percent 90 percent eighty percent range on those
assessments and then she also teased it out with students with disabilities and
and the at-risk population in tuition and we look at Mount Daniel there’s is a
little different as far as the chart goes only because they have a little bit more
data over over the years that they can compare it with so if we’re looking at
all students in kindergarten pretty much you know right up there in the 97
percent range and first grade is doing really well as well so a lot of blue a
lot of blue there so they’ve seen a lot of change I like to look at the one in
the middle the LIEP by the way is for our replacement for ESOL so if you
haven’t heard yet with the new essa guidelines we it’s not ESOL anymore it
is now the leap program or the language instructional educational program
so if you see LIEP and wonder what we’re talking about that’s what that means and
then students with disability again they had a nice you know nice gain with the
pals at Mount Daniel and then we’re looking at TJ so we’re back to the
standards of learning again since they do the stands of learning test starting
in third grade and looking at their ranges as far as reading for a 3rd 4th
and 5th grade they’re they’re doing well across the board again we’re even seeing
our subgroup populations are doing fairly well
we look at benchmark literacy that’s been put in place guided reading
approach the writers writing program that we we just added last year right so
there’s been a lot of things that have been put in place that really we think
are helping our kids and of course our fabulous teachers that we have so math
is an area that we have seen across the board and we mentioned that a little bit
you know earlier with the whole division data that there are there’s a few little
dips but really it’s about aligning those standards because we have new
standards and we’ll start testing on those standards next school year for
history we had the Virginia studies which is just fourth grade who does the
history Sol and as Miss high mentioned the state’s been getting rid of some of
those Sol’s so third grade used to have one they don’t anymore so really it’s
just fourth grade and fifth grade also doesn’t have the SOL well they have the
PBA’s that they have to do instead and then with science we mentioned this we
can see that with fifth grade it’s just one grade level that’s taken that
science Sol and it’s an area that will dig a little bit deeper into
that now that we can see this and then for the middle school they have the
reading the math history science and a writing Sol in eighth grade you’ll see
with the reading and the math that all three grade levels are included with
that one the the readings pretty consistent I mean within a few
points our ELs or LIEPS one thing we have to keep in mind here is that the
population at Mary Ellen Henderson for our ELs is very small I think currently
for example we have only 17 students out of those 17 if some of them are new to
us and they didn’t come right at the beginning the school year they’re
actually exempt from the reading so it actually takes it down even further so
the the numbers 90 could have been five kids you know and out of those five kids
you know four of them they passed you know the other one might not have so
it just it depends I’m just hypothetically so the
numbers you get a dig a little deeper and look and really look at those kids and then for our high school we have the
end of course reading math algebra one geometry and algebra two of the ones
that count for the standards of learning and for a history we have our Virginia
and u.s. history world history one two geography and then science biology
chemistry or science and then they have an end of course writing as well that’s
in here and when we’re looking down the road you can see we still have some of
those those red areas that are a little bit you know questionable that we just
want to take a look at but pretty consistent there’s been a few drops in
94 93 it’s not anything to be you know totally alarmed about in some of the
areas and when we’re looking a little bit deeper and not just looking at
standards of learning we’re looking at our students at the high school who are
taking advanced courses and we have AP IB and dual enrollment de courses at the
high school the there are seven AP courses being offered currently 36 IB
courses and 4 dual enrollment courses in ninth grade we have six percent of
our students are taking AP courses and typically AP courses aren’t taken until
about 10th grade in tenth grade 57 percent are taking AP IB isn’t available
until 11th grade as well as dual enrollment for the older kids in 11th
grade 23% are an AP 25% IB and 34% or in dual enrollment and some of those cross
over so the same kids that might be taking IB courses might also be taking
an AP or vice versa or dual enrollment so and then with 12th grade same thing
so the numbers do increase here with 45% for AP 81% are now in taking at least
one IB course and 26% in dual enrollment so we have a lot of opportunities for
those advanced courses for our kids and then looking at a little bit more
data we have the WIDA access for ELs and the WIDA access for ELs is is just
for English learners and we had 39 out of 142 receiving services students
actually reach proficiency and exited the program the score changed for the
first time last year because the test was more rigorous and what we were
finding is that our kids were not doing as well on the test across the state and
across the other states that actually use the WIDA access because of the
rigor so the Department of Virginia Department of Education made the
decision that they were going to lower the score for kids to exit the program
so it used to be five they had to have a level five proficiency and last year it
was a four point four so if they met the four point four criteria we had to exit
them from the program and we’re going to do it again this year so they want to
have another year to look at the data to make a decision whether or not they’re
going to up it again to five or leave it leave it at that score I just want to
clarify that with for our ELLs even though they may exit if they still need
instruction interventions we have them go through our multi-tiered system of
support and make sure that we’re still meeting the needs of our students just
because they’re in an exited doesn’t mean that they they will not continue to
receive support from either a classroom teacher or our specialists on as needed
through our intervention systems yeah we definitely keep an eye on them and then
for the star reading and star math you’ve seen maybe this chart before but
basically what we’re trying to do here is summer manis put this together for us
is we’re following a cohort of students so now we’re looking a little bit more
at apples to apples so if you’re looking for example I’m
going to start with the the blue circle at four point seven for 2014-15 and
second grade so those second graders when they were third graders this is the
grade equivalency so in second grade they were scoring at a 4.7 grade
range in third grade they were scoring at 6.2 and in fourth grade this previous
year they were scoring at a 6.8 so you’re actually looking at the same
cohort of students as they go down diagonally and that’s showing us that
they are continuing to make growth in reading as they take the star
assessment and then same thing for math so you can see the the same cohort of
kids now and moving down the line diagonally is how they’re performing and
you’ll see that they do max out eventually so looking down seventh grade
and eighth grade at the 12.9 they’re pretty much mastering the that content all right so now we’re going to talk
about what we do next tonight you’ve heard a lot about our special
populations and how they’ve achieved on the SOL’s is something that we share with
you but we do use multiple measures like star and benchmark tests to look at
growth over the year using formative assessments and so as dr. Noonan has
shared and as a part of the triennial plan and the goals for this year is
we’re really focusing on multi-tiered systems of support
RTI which is response to intervention which is our academic component as well
as we’re looking at PBIS which is our social emotional and behavior component
and this year we’re really focusing as a division on our Tier one poor
instruction what happens in the classroom that every student receives
we’re looking at ways to tighten what happens there looking at creating
flowcharts to help people understand what the process is to get to make sure
that we’re we’re taking students and meeting their needs as early as possible
we’re clarifying the characteristics around our Tier one instruction as well
each school has a problem-solving team to address both academic and behavioral
social emotional needs of our students and you know with our economically
disadvantaged our ELs and our special education students we’re
looking at that and making sure that we’re we’re getting students in that
problem-solving team as early as possible to provide interventions with
teachers or going in yeah are some of our specialists go into the classrooms
to to work with our teachers to build capacity in our classroom teachers
that’s something we want to to make sure we do is build a capacity in our our
classroom teachers for our special populations we’re going to make sure
that our effective evidence of effectiveness is for there to be a ten
percent increase for students with disabilities English learners as well as
our economically disadvantaged every school will be working this year to
create an action plan based on data to improve the academic outcomes for our
subpopulations again we’re working with teachers in
providing information on our tier one core instruction some of the early
release Wednesdays we’re working with our teachers to present in and we’re
not necessarily bringing people in we’re also using our own staff who are
great at what they do so we’re asking we’re tapping our own staff to share
some of the skills and strategies that they use with students to help them be
successful we’re also working to make sure that we incorporate the IB
philosophy and make sure that across all of our special populations they’re able
to access all the program and we’re promoting more creativity curiosity and
problem-solving for those for everyone and then the last priority
that’s it we’re looking at our approaches to learning making
sure that we are helping students you know with research thinking
self-management communication and having them work collaboratively we’ll be
working with our teachers this year to create rubrics to see if the students
are being successful if they are mastering and the rubrics and making
sure that they know the learner profile and they’re using it in their everyday
work that they do so that when they when they leave us they are doing what they and their lifelong learners and I’m losing so we’re just really working with all of
our students to make sure that you know they can access the International
Baccalaureate and we’re working with our teachers this Thursday we’re meeting
with our middle and high school staff to look at our program and reflect on what
we’ve done last year and look at how we can move forward to make sure that we
continue to grow and be better at this program because we pride ourself on
being International Baccalaureate school and we think it’s really what was great
for kids and next one is any questions from you thank you both very much
questions I do first of all I want to congratulate you both and your staff for
the huge increase we’ve seen with the ESOL scores that was you know a concerted effort and it was in the making I mean I thank you both for this I do have a
question about the categories of Els economically disadvantaged and those
with disabilities I’m looking at that pie chart do any of those categories
overlap or do you just select a student and stick them in one no they overlap they can be in more than one yes okay you know just as one of the slides show that something
we do have dual identified and so they would show up in both or could be all
three categories okay thank you other questions mr. Castillo first a question
are gifted and talented is that considered a special population we don’t
we don’t consider them a special population we we look at just across the
board how our gifted students are doing even with the star we’re looking for
growth even for our our students as they access the the star test because we want
to make sure there’s growth across the board A lot of times, you will see gifted as
listed as a special population, but we really, when a lot of our students are
pretty high achievers, so we look at them as far as being identified
as a special population, but our program is geared for all of our students. Hope that answers your question. Well, I think there’s a problem on the gifted side,
as I understand it, with respect to SOLs and other things, where you have
difficulty measuring growth because they’re basically firewalled.
And it seems to me that it would be worthwhile to find ways to measure
growth, nonetheless, because I think every child in our system
should have their growth attended to, and they should be able to grow, and we need
to be able to show how each child is doing. And so, you know, I would suggest
that we need to address that problem where some of our metrics don’t seem to be up
to the task. I mean, we do look as far as STARs, just one measure. We’re also
looking at our AP scores, our IB scores, because that’s where some of our
students are accessing some of their higher achieving scores, so we do have IB
and AP scores that we could bring back and share with you. Okay. And then another
thing is I would say the longitudinal analysis in the STAR slide
that you showed was great. I’m very concerned, and I’ve beat this drum for
several years, that just showing how 5th grade did this year versus last year
doesn’t show you a darn thing and probably actively misleads people into
drawing the wrong conclusions and into not addressing things that need to be
addressed. And so I would beg you that when you present numbers, that they
mean something, because, otherwise, just comparing an apple to an orange doesn’t
do anybody any good. And when you see what the STAR scores show, it’s so much
more helpful than just throwing up numbers. And I really think we need to
hold ourselves to a higher standard on that, again, with respect to showing how
each child in our system is progressing. And, you know, if there’s a different
cohort this year versus last year, we need to call that out and not create
undue sense of worries that the numbers are changing significantly, the people
think the bottoms falling out when, in fact, you’re just dealing with a
different population. Mm-hmm. So I think we really need to be much more disciplined
with how we present data, so that it’s not causing us more problems than good. Dr. Noonan. I just want to, first of all, say thank you for that question, or that comment. I
think it is something that we need to pay attention to. Structurally, one of the
issues with the standards of learning assessments is that they’re not scaled
from one grade level to the next. So if we were to show a cohort of students
coming through and showing, say, their 5th grade and their 8th grade and
their 9th grade and their 11th grade, it is still showing apples to oranges,
because they’re not scaled to be able to show that growth that way. I think that’s
one of the reasons that we’re excited to be able to put together, if you think
profile of a graduate and then have that profile of a 12th grader with the
approaches to learning, and how we’re working with the IB program to
incorporate those approaches to learning, and the profile of an IB student and
then work that back to 8th grade, and work it back to 5th grade, and work it
back to 3rd grade, and work it back to 1st grade. To be able to follow those
students in that cohort, looking that way, really I think will enable us to begin
to collect some of these data. Now, these data that we hope to collect are not
going to be like other data you might find in other school systems, but I think
they’ll be meaningful to us, and I think that that’s going to be equally
important moving forward. Thank you for that. Other questions? Mr. Reitlinger. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. A couple quick thoughts. One, I, like Mr. Castillo, would like very much to see
cohort analysis. I wonder if it would be possible to normalize scores. Now,
understanding you don’t get the same test every year so it’s not as good to
do, but if you, just, for example, took for each year, took
what the score was and whether we were above or below the state average.
The state average would reflect the change, and you could observe whether
a cohort was holding consistent with the state or dropping off. And maybe
it’s subtraction, maybe it’s division, but there ought to be a way to statistically
normalize that, so you could still get, I mean, it wouldn’t be as as valuable because it’s not as a full a table as STAR, but you could still do some cohort level
analysis that would get around better the problem of well, you know,
we’ve got a new group of students, and this one has different issues than the
prior group. The second thing is also is something that Mr. Castillo spoke about.
I’m just generally less interested in SOL scores for the majority of our kids.
Well, I think it’s important to look at, especially for groups that
may start from a lower achievement base, it’s really valuable. The last
thing I want to have teachers doing is put all the weight on SOL so
they teach to the test rather than teaching the stuff that kids really
need to learn. So I’m, you know, whatever we can do to sort of say here’s
what we’re going to look at, here’s the judgments we can make, you know, looking at things like … I mean, I think the number of kids we graduate, as
long as we’re not graduating kids that shouldn’t be graduated, is a great metric,
but there are, whatever we can do in that space. The one thing that I
think did sort of cut across the spectrum on the, you know, a place that
I think we need to devote more effort was economically disadvantaged
students. I mean, there was a lot of red there. As Ms. Ward said, there were
some really great progress on English language learners, and you could see
other special populations, but generally, you know, there was more, we
were not as as well performing on economically disadvataged students. And I
also know that we’ve got, I think, the lowest percentage rate of economically
disadvantaged students in the state. So I don’t know if those are
correlated to some degree or not, but I think it’s worth, as I think you are
probably doing, is you discuss trying to do some root cause analysis of what
leads to that. Because it ought to be, you know, I mean, well, it may just be if a kid, if there are, if economically disadvantaged kids are more
isolated, they don’t perform as well. But one could come up with multiple causes for that, and I think it’s worth thinking through what those would be.
But thank you very much. It’s a great presentation. I really enjoyed it. We made it shorter than last year. Any other questions? I do. I have one.
It’s not really directly related to your presentation, but I noticed the
developmental delay percentage of students rose significantly, like 92
percent. Do you know what is accounting for that? I don’t. I think … It has nothing to do with, like, additional students at the preschool level or anything like that? I
mean, no, because the students who are in the preschool would be coming to Falls Church anyway, but I’ll ask Liz if she has some information to share about this, email you. When you can. All right. Thanks. Anything else? Just from my comments, and it’s been mentioned now by a couple folks, about the economically
disadvantaged students, where the red really kind of stood out a little bit.
What type of things do you potentially do to work with that group of students? Is there anything, you know, I’ve talked
to, tell me to, but just that stand kind of jumps out at me a
little bit. Just wanting to make sure, because I know we have an overall
high-performing school district, and that population is not big, but it’s a
population that I want to see be able to achieve at the same levels as all the
other students. And I’m guessing, I’m assuming, potentially, some of the issues
they have comes with that economic piece of things that the school can’t provide
itself, but then they may not have that same potential level of support on the
home front, from potentially maybe having to work, do things like that, are some of
the things that you potentially identify as maybe why that
particular group has a little bit more struggle than others? With our
economically disadvantaged students, we are really working to tighten our RTI
process to make sure that we are identifying those students, based on
teacher recommendation, benchmarks, that test that we give, formative assessments throughout the year. And we’re working with our teachers to not spend a long
time working with students who they see may be struggling, go ahead and
bring them to the problem-solving team sooner. And we’re hoping that that will
help us catch some of those students, you know, their
deficit skills that they may have a little bit earlier. You know, with
economically disadvantaged, we have to be very confidential with who those
students are, so that’s not, that can’t be broadly advertised who the
students are. So we’re looking at that as well as with some of our
PAL scores, trying to look at early interventions, what’s happening in the
early elementary school year, and where we can see those skills, and then try to
hone into those, and do some after-school work with students. Some
of our programs that are after school, a lot of times we say it’s for
ELL population, but we invite any student who may have some academic deficits to
give them some more support in the afternoon after school as well as
through our Summer Academy. And we’re trying to make our Summer Academy
not be skill and drill, but things that are very interesting in helping students to broaden just their knowledge base. So, hopefully that … I only sort of giggled and snickered a little, because it is one of those things that it’s really hard to get our
hands around, because we don’t publicly know who those students that are
economically disadvantaged are, because of the FERPA rules. However, it’s a
good indicator for us to remember that we need to provide best first practice
with all of our kids and be able to differentiate to meet the needs of all
of our kids, whether it’s ratcheting up and providing extension and enrichment
for students that need that extra push, or ratcheting up for those students that
really need some gaps filled. So we, and as Ms. High mentioned, you know, that
multi-tiered system of support is really meant to do, that is really meant to
figure out very specifically in an individual by name and by need way okay,
what does Peter need today? He needs some extra support in mathematics, but Lisa,
she’s ready to rock and roll, and so we’re gonna take some correlated
above-grade level standards and provide her with that extra push that she
deserves, too, during that Tiger Paws or during that Mustang Block or during
the Husky Time or whatever the time is during that school day. Okay. Yeah. It’s just kind of picking up where Mr. Reitlinger and Mr. Castillo say. You know, SOLs are, overall, it’s something you have to do, but for most of our students, it’s other ways for
us to assess where they are, but for those special populations, I think they
are helpful in letting us know where they are and kind of sometimes where our
gaps are that we need to potentially focus on a little bit more. Okay. All
right. Thank you very much. Appreciate it. All right. We’re gonna move on to 7.02,
the adoption of superintendent’s goals. Going to turn it over to Dr. Noonan. Thank you, Mr. Chair. Normally I would say I’m just asking for you to approve as written and
distributed, printed and distributed as mentioned at
the school board work session last time, but given the context of tonight’s data
conversation, I do want to just take a second to reiterate what my division
wide focuses of learning are going to be for the school division for this year,
next year, and the following year, because I do think that this is a three year
process. And the first is really to look at, by June of 2020, a consolidation of
learning for each grade level of students at grades 1, 5, 8, 10, and 12, to
utilize and develop those approaches to learning and to be able to showcase
their knowledge as measured by a student project. It gets to, I think, what the
comment was from Mr. Castillo and Mr. Reitlinger as well, and that is how do
we go deeper into content, and how do we look at how the IB program is
influencing the work that our kids are doing, and how does that create then
depth and complexity with respect to that content and that learning as well?
And I think that this is an exciting possibility for us because, to our
knowledge, there’s no one else that we’re aware of that has any kind of profile of a first-grader, profile of a third-grader, profile of a 5th grader, 8th
grader and 12th grader within the world of IB, so we think that we can kind of help lead around that. The second goal is ensuring that
student-centered teaching and learning through the multi-tiered
systems of support, you’ve heard that a couple of times tonight, but by making
sure that by 2020 all of our schools have a clearly defined and implemented
multi-tiered system of support that includes high quality best practices for
instruction for all students and a structured and timely intervention
process for all of the kids that we serve. I, just to very quickly, this is
a silly story in the context of this, but I feel like we could break the evening
up just for 5 seconds, but my son and I went to Harper’s Ferry a couple
weeks ago. We were coming back, and he said I’d like to stop for lunch, and I
said okay, where do you want to stop for lunch? And we were driving along, and
there was an A&W root beer place, and he said I’ve never had an A&W root beer, can
we stop and get an A&W root beer? I said sure, so we stopped and we pulled off and we
got an A&W, walked into the A&W, and we said we’d like an A&W
root beer, and they said I’m sorry, we’re out of root beer, and I thought what?
You’re the A&W Root Beer, how can you be out of root beer? My son was stunned, sort of stepped back and said what am I supposed to do about this? I said what do you want
to do, kid? He said can we just go? I was, like, yeah, so we left. But the point of
that is, it’s like what is your systematic process that you have in place to ensure
that you have what you need to get the best out there for your community, your
customers, your partners. Because it seems to me when you’re running halfway low on
root beer, some lights should be going on. like hey we’re getting low when you get
down to a quarter some alarm’s going off saying we’re almost out of root beer we have these kids that are really struggling and it seems like at a
certain point we should have some lights that go off that say hey what’s your
systemic process what’s your plan to insure these kids are going to get that
extra support and when our kids continue to fail what are the sounds andN the bells and the whistles that are going off how are we making sure that we
capture those and this multi-tiered system of support really is meant to to
close that gap and I’m looking forward to working with our schools on that as
well and then the last instructional goal is ensuring that we have equitable
access to all of our programs and to meeting the needs of our special
populations so you saw as indicated in the presentation tonight and even
commented there was a lot of red for example in our economically
disadvantaged populations in our yellow populations we make great gains in our
yellow populations this last year but is it is it good enough and I would question
we’ve got room or wouldn’t question I would say we’ve got room to grow and we
definitely have room to grow with our special education population as well so
how do we how do we close those gaps to bring it closer to what our general ed
population looks like and so look forward to working through that and then
the last one was an operational goal as you’ll recall making sure that we have
an efficient and effective organization and so one of the things that you that
we talked about was that we would create operational processes and systems that
would be aligned to support the triennial plan with a hundred percent
fidelity and we would show growth over a baseline in systems efficiency and
effectiveness that’s a huge lift for us in the system because there aren’t any
real metrics around how we look at operations currently so I do want to
pull out a couple of operational components of the organization and start
with those and kind of move through going forward so with that presentation
by Lisa and by Jeannie as the backdrop I respectfully request that you support me
and these being the superintendent’s goals that we can work together on as a
board as a superintendent as a staff as we continue to grow and learn together
going forward for the next three years thank you Dr. Noonan are there any questions right entertain a motion please Mr.chair I
move that the school board adopt the superintendents goals as presented second i get to second all those in favor please say aye aye opposed thank you very much
thank you 7.03 the adoption of the revised supports salary
scale I’m gonna very quickly turn this over to Deirdre Michael
Huffman but this is a technical issue that she’s here to talk about tonight
and without giving the whole story away i’ll turn it over I was gonna say you say much about this you would have said everything because theres not a lot to say our all of the salary scales are that we maintain their part of the budget you adopt
they’re kept in Excel and the formulas are in there so you whatever changes you
all make will get made and that happened this year but in the course of our work
putting I think it was when we were putting a new person on the salary scale
we saw that some of the lanes on the technology series weren’t displayed in
the documents that we provided the school board they were there but they
weren’t displayed they were hidden in the in the Excel spreadsheet prior years
they had been there I don’t know what happened I can speculate but I really
don’t know this is just a technical correction to amend the budget if
you will for the for one page of the salary scales any questions
I will entertain a motion please mr. Chairman I move that the school board
adopt a revised support staff schedule for the 2017-2018 school year
second Thank You mr. Ankuma all in favor please say aye aye
opposed thank you very much and now we move on to approval and
adoptions of second reading of policies miss Minson good evening we have five
policies for second reading tonight all of which we reviewed on September 12th
the first is policy Jhce recommendation of medication by school personnel this
is a new policy to come into line with the Virginia Code training has already
been provided to staff there were no proposed changes at our first reading
any questions on this policy questions second policy is policy BCB school board
officers this would replace current FCC PS policy 2.12
there were no changes between to this proposed that the last meeting on first
reading any questions BCE that’s BCB sorry my enunciation was not
the best BCE is next if there’s nothing on BCB okay BCE is school board
committees this was former FCCPS by law 213 there had been some questions last
time that I was not on the ball on answering as far as what how this
related to our other policies and in looking at that I realized and
in talking with mr. Lawrence and I know he’s not here tonight but I appreciated his
perspective on this we added some language based on this policy in the
past I also added a reference down at the bottom to former policy 5.12 so this is
different than the citizens advisory committees that the school board does appoint this is whether the school board has any standing committees so there
were a few changes to this based on the last policy are there any questions as
it’s written now for BCE school board committees all right next is BCA School Board
organizational meeting this would replace FCCPS bylaw 2.22 we did add to
this from last time that sentence thats in red the second sentence that appears
at lines 4 through 7 that at the organizational meeting the
superintendent presides up until the first order of business which is the
election of the school board chair that’s the point at which the chair assumes
office and presides over the election the vice chair that made sense that we
had that in our previous policies there was a suggestion that seemed to be
supported by the board to add that we also added that the election of a
vice chairman would be mandatory print language of shall instead of may any
questions about those or any other questions about BCA and why did we say
we had to do the vice-chair my notes indicate that the question came up if
we’re definitely gonna have a vice-chair why do we say may instead of shall since
it’s something we anticipate we will always want to do so I thought that made
sense since the shall language which requires the board to do that if the board wants
to put it back to me that’s what was proposed in the model policy rules I
think either ways is acceptable I mean under the code it’s discretionary under
the code it’s discretionary that’s true under which code the Virginia state code
22.172 and 76 well then can we Falls Church City school board make it mandatory yes and
that’s what we would be doing if we use the word shall whereas if we kept it as
may we’d be required to have a chair but there’d be no requirement that there’d
be a vice chair any discussion any preference of one way or the other
yeah I don’t really care but I just that’s clear that the code doesn’t
require that given the way the meeting started today I vote for shall not to mention the chairmain’s travel
schedule agree the last policy for second reading tonight is BCC school
board clerk that would replace our policy at bylaw 2.16 we had at the
last meeting discussed whether or not to outline what the duties of the clerk was
and it was a consensus of the board since that’s clearly outlined in the
Virginia Code what is expected of a clerk there’s no need to reiterate that
as part of the code so other than removing 40 some-odd lines of a
description for what the clerk did which was a word-for-word take from the
Virginia Code there would be no changes from the last presentation of these any
questions mr. Castillo I’m asking for miss Ward who just wondered what how much is
the clerk and deputy how much are they bonded for and is $10,000 a realistic I
mean would you ever want to do it that small that’s what you’re required by the
Virginia Code to be bonded amount I’m not sure what they are actually bonded
at I can look into that I believe that that’s it’s a wrapped into your general
liability insurance so I think that I don’t know that there’s bonds involved
but there is insurance against loss a fidelity bond on the clerk I don’t think
it’s I don’t know their bond that I don’t know I know we pay for insurance
specifically for the clerk its for the school board yes we could talk about self line I think we should okay glad you actually had something to say
but I was just spotting the issue I don’t necessarily think it’s a reason
not to adopt the policy at this point but it is something we should get the
answer to and make sure that we have the appropriate bonding if everyone agrees
that’s it for a second reading any questions by any of those policies
if not might entertain a motion for approval I move that the school board
approve and adopt the second reading of the following policies policy J hce
recommendation of medication by school personnel policy BC B school board
officers policy BCE school board committees policy BCA school board
organizational meeting and policy BCC School Board clerk thank you ms Gill
second second Thank You mr. ankuma all in favor please say aye
aye opposed thank you very much all right continue on with miss mensen with
approval of first reading of policies yes sir we have three policies for first
reading today technically one of them is would be combining two policies into one
the first is the economic interest the disclosure statement required to the
superintendent under the new policy organization it would be CBCA it would
be replacing policy 3.8 the economic interest disclosure statement it is
has slightly different wording than our previous policy it removes the
requirement that the Director of Finance file a personal disclosure statement
since that’s not required under the code but in other ways is quite similar to
the previous policy are there any questions about CBC a questions alright continue
second policy is policy model policy GCPF suspension of staff members this
would replace policy 8 point 3 which is just titled suspension it in many ways
is similar to the language of our previous policy almost word-for-word
since much this is taken from the Virginia Code
there was one section that was in policy 8.34 that talks about staff members
cannot be suspended for refusal to perform health related services that’s
in a separate section of the model policies that we’re going to be moving
towards GCPD which I expect to present for first reading at the next school
board session so it would be removed temporarily but added back in and under
the code certainly no school board member could school board employee other
than administrative personnel could be suspended for failure to perform health
related services we I did propose adding the last sentence of policy 3.4 back in
so it’s in red in the policy as it appears on board Doc’s saying that
nothing the policy shall be construed to limit the authority of the school board
to dismiss or place on probation employee pursuant to 22.1 307 I wouldn’t
have John Lawrence raise a question with me earlier why that language reference
chapter 15 article 3 of the code and I think we can take out that that’s just
saying where the code section appears so that would be one amendment that I would
make coming forward for second reading if you all approve this for first
reading is to take out chapter 15 article 3 there in line 13 on page 2 but
otherwise this is quite similar to our previous policy 8.34 any questions on
the proposed policy on suspension of staff members like no but just so
is this an exhaustive list would there be other I mean there’s
the catch-all at the end that you that’s added but is the list
that’s there the entire range of issues meriting suspension or allowing
suspension for suspension I believe so
and that’s expressly what’s provided in the Virginia Code this is for this is
separate in part from an employee being placed on administrative leave with or
without pay so this is when somebody’s suspended from their duty I
know common practice and local school board’s is administrative leave with pay
pending an outcomes so it’s separate suspension is a separate action than
that but to suspend a teacher for a good and just cause it does need to meet
these requirements or fall under one of these code provisions okay any other
questions is line six wide enough what’s that line six safety
or welfare of the school division or students therein this threatened sort
of to mr. Castillo sure that that would allow you would have to be able to have
evidence to prove that it rises to that level but safety and welfare could be a
reason for suspension and that would be subject to yeah the discretion of likely
the superintendent and the supervisors Alright I’ll move on to the last one of the night which is policy G C PB which is resignation of staff members in our previous policies that had been the resignation of teachers was at 8.6 – and the resignation of support staff was at 8.7 – so this proposed policy merges the two together and I think that’s why you’ll see when you look at the policy on board Docs there’s so much in red which was taking language from our previous version that seemed to make sense and work in line with what we do the first of those appears at line six saying that the written notice of non continuation of the contract by either party must be given by June 15th of each year otherwise the contract continues and effect the ensuing year that’s required under the Virginia Code it wasn’t explicit in the model policy and since it’s required and applies anyway we thought might as well make it clear for all parties to know that June 15th is a date by which both the school division and a teacher with a continuing contract has to give notice of their intent to no longer continue with that contract I did change also at line 20 we put two calendar weeks and the vsba model policies the amount of time in which a staff member had to give notice of resignation was given as ten school days and I have had in other divisions questions come up of what is a school day if school’s out of session or there’s no summer school or at summer time can someone who’s the continuing contractor in a position not give their notice two calendar weeks as clear and there’s no doubt of what the school day what’s not a school day so that’s what I would recommend there and then the 14 days notice that also they’re later at lines 23 to 28 under the Virginia School Board model policies an employee who wants to terminate their employment has if they don’t give that notice is not able to leave and can continue to be bound this allows under extenuating or emergency circumstances a superintendent may approve a request for termination with less than those two calendar weeks notice and then the superintendent does have the authority to to in response to a reference check advise the employee resigned his or her position without sufficient notice the superintendent would not have to do that but that would be an option if we were to get a request to terminate with less than the notice required under the Virginia Code so I thought that was a fair balance of giving the discretion of this superintendent but recognizing that there then might be limitations upon any any reference that comes in the future any questions about this proposed policy mr. Castillo so if a teacher wants to resign before June 15 they’re required to give written notice to the division but and then under the mechanics of it the resigning after June 15th they don’t have to resign by July 1st do they or you know it’s the the the school year the July 1st doesn’t isn’t a factor in how much notice and when their contract expires or is it July 1st is not a factor under June 15th is the date by which they have to give notice the work becomes automatic so they could do it in John July 10th or any time during the summer for the school the next school year but not for the if somebody had wanted to retire at the end of the 2016-17 school year and didn’t give a notice until July 1st then technically they weren’t complying with the requirements from the code and unless they were resigning at the end of the 2017-18 school year so if a teacher who’s on a continuing contract doesn’t give notice by the june 15th of that school year that they don’t plan on coming back then they are subject to continued in contract I know we had to come up in the past where divisions have told us that they won’t let someone out of a contract because they didn’t give them notice by June 15th got it okay thanks so you could hold them to it yes any other questions if not I would mount in a mush please mr. Chad knew that the school board approve first reading of the following policies policy CBC a disclosure statement required of superintendent policy G CPF suspension of staff journalist and policy GC PB resignation of staff members thank you much a second let’s go all in favor please aye aye aye opposed thank you very much and then we’re going to move on to the proclamation on bullying which I will read and staff and without any questions for City Public Schools Proclamation 0-3 – 17 bullying prevention month whereas school school bullying has been an increasing and increasingly significant problem in the United States and Virginia and whereas over 20 percent of the youth in the United States are estimated to be involved in bullying each year either as a as a bully or a or a as a victim and whereas an estimated 160,000 students in kindergarten through twelfth grade miss school every day due to fear of being bullied and whereas willing can take many forms including verbal physical and most recently in cyber space and can happen in many places on and off school grounds and whereas it is important for Virginia parents students teachers school administrators and school board’s to be aware of bullying and to encourage discussions of the problem as a school community and whereas the false Church City Public School Board encourages positive behavior and to eliminate bullying behavior now therefore be it resolved in the fall Circuit City public school board recognizes the month of October 2017 as bullying prevention month with the intentions that the issue of bullying and prevention be discussed in classrooms and at the Foster City Public Schools we entertain a motion to ask universe ty just Thank You mr. chair I want to thank you all for taking this up obviously bullying prevention is something that’s very important to all of us as a school division to the extent that we can do our part to stop bullying from happening this this year before the school year began Tricia Vinson did program with all of the teachers in the city of Falls Church talking about what bullying is and how to appropriately address it and deal with it and one of the things that I want to make sure that you all as well as the community know is that when there is an incident of bullying that does go to the principal there are multiple ways that are dealt that it is dealt with depending on the level of severity of the bullying sometimes through conversation leading all the way up to even greater consequence all of our teachers that witness it are asked to report it to our school administrators so that we can track those incidents of bullying that are occurring so that everyone knows when it’s happening unfortunately it is one of the more insidious kinds of behaviors that we see with kids but if we all have our eyes and our ears to the ground and we’re talking with a single point of contact that principal or that administrator then we can start to add some pieces up to determine when it’s really becoming a problem with some kids so and by the way bullying doesn’t stop with kids either it happens with our staff it happens with our own community and so we are as committed to ensuring that our teachers and our staff work in a place that is free of bullying free of harassment as well as our students so I just want to say thanks for taking this up and recognizing that it’s an important component to making sure that our kids are safe and it really digs at one of those core values that I hold and that’s in fairness and equity for all kids because the last thing I want to do is have students that are afraid to come to school and I’m afraid and the last thing as I’m would not want teachers to be fearful to come to school as well so thank you thank you very much knocking in it I have someone would make the motion to adopt the resolution mr. chair I move that the school board adopt proclamation oh three – 17 bullying prevention month as prevent as presented thank you very much we go there a second second Thank You mr. kuhmo all in favor say aye aye opposed thank you very much and there’s a proclamation to make sure you let you sign it before you leave this evening are there any future agenda items anyone would like to bring up with these guys if not thank you to the superintendent’s report Thank You mr. chair just a few things this evening the first is that George Mason high school senior day is Wednesday while the rest of the school is taking the PSAT the seniors will spend time in very special sessions that will be designed for them including voter registration so that they can they can vote and planning for externships and many other really great things so I know that Wednesday is going to be a great day for our seniors TJ held an afternoon professional development recently with the true experts in building teachers and leading sessions for their colleagues it was unique because it was truly led by our staff so when Miss high was talking about building the capacity of our staff to be leaders in the building I just want to give a shout out to to the leadership over at TJ for their ability to identify those teachers that have that extra special skill and be able to talk with others about it so topics range from classroom management to differentiation of instruction and diversity and our curriculum so excited about that George Mason High School students are holding a series currently of hurricane relief efforts a community yard sales happening on October 21st so if you are interested in cleaning out your closets and getting rid of some things and donating to a cause please hesitate to do that at Mary Ellen Henderson students are staying at starting to get out in the community for their service learning projects and some of you may have seen them of course they have a certain number of hours that they have to achieve they’ll be traveling to field sites during the school day and working with young students elderly and on some environmental projects as volunteers so look for our kids out in the community that will be really a lot of fun on Wednesday October 25th from 4 to 7 all community members are invited to tour as a community guest of ours the George Mason high school and this is part of the process of helping people understand what the needs of the school are with respect to its physical plant so from octo knocked over 25th from 4 to 7 there will be teacher and student led tours for community members so please join us there and that is it mr. chair thank you very much any questions for the superintendent mr. Castillo yes thank you dr. Noonan recently there was a an item that came out in the public media written by my good friend Mark wave our sons graduated together a couple of years ago saying that a proposal that the interim superintendent devised for George Mason about a 50 million dollar George Mason expansion should be something that should be seriously considered because it would meet the needs of the students save substantial money you know and not compromise development potential for a portion of the the site there and I wondered if you had any thoughts about that proposal from dr. Schiller that 50 million dollar option whether it’s really viable or if not why thanks for raising that as a question we’ve gotten a lot of comments and a lot of questions about what we are affectionately calling the Schiller model that did come out I I’ve put together some thoughts about that that I’ve been sharing with the community when I have the opportunity so if you’ll indulge me I might refer to my notes here because I’ve spent some time thinking about it but I went back and I did because a lot of this happened prior to my arrival and I think it’s important for me to know the history so what I do know is this is that or as I understand it in January of seventeen this year the school board and the City Council reviewed thirteen different options and and I understand that that was a joint meeting and when you got those thirteen options there were a lot of questions that came up as a consequence of that and some of the questions that came up were what does a gut renovation cost what is considered a modest renovation would it be cost effective to do the renovation would it be cost effective to do it in one stage would it be cost effective to do it in two stages or phases or does it make sense to do one phased brand-new building so the options were priced out by Bob Jones from our Cadis that I think everybody knows here based on a square foot basis and at the January 31st joint session with the two elected bodies it was narrowed down to five options that were most practical based on cost the number of years required to do the project the quality durability of the end result and the probability of economic development to mitigate the expenses So for the February 4th community
meeting, Dr. Schiller, you might remember that, you can watch it on tape, at
Mary Ellen Henderson, Dr. Schiller and Wyatt Shields presented three options,
because they determined that some of the five were very similar in nature. The
option number one, which was a minimal renovation and an addition, and that
would take from 2018 to 2021. Option two was a new building to be constructed in
two phases between 2018 and 2029, so an 11 year horizon. The first phase would
be science labs, labs, art classrooms, shared space, an auditorium completed in
2021, and the second would be completed in 2029. And the third option was to
build a brand new building constructed at one time. That would happen between
2018 and 2021. As I understand that the community consensus coming out of that
meeting at Mary Ellen Henderson that day was to really look at option 3, which was to
build the new building constructed in one phase would be the best idea,
because it would be less expensive. And then Dr. Schiller got to work thinking
about how to build potentially a new academic wing and wondered if it would
be practical at that point to save some of the parts of it to use as a central
office, Mary Ellen Henderson swing space, and athletics. And he came up with the
idea, also with an eye to reducing costs, continuing to use a portion of the
building. In shorthand, some of you might have referred to it as the “save the gym”
option, might sound familiar to you, reusing athletic square footage,
not adding a competition gym, which is a hundred thousand square feet, reusing
maintenance space of 9400 square feet, food service at 12,500 square feet,
and then taking the central office in the Mary Ellen Henderson swing space and
addition out of the equation altogether. Based on those square footage reductions
alone, Bob Jones from Arcadis went back and came up with a 60 to 70 million
dollar solution. So some key points to sort of consider in that. The price did
not include a future edition and wouldn’t upgrade the gyms, and it
wouldn’t do it for at least 10 to 15 years. And at the point, the rest
of the school would have been knocked down and available for commercial, the
cost that had been added would bring us back to more than a hundred million
dollars in cost, looking at doing all of that. So if you look at Nick Benton’s
article that came out February 8, 2017, it does give a little bit further context.
So at that point, Dr. Schiller’s recommendation, and the school board
voted to do that true feasibility study that Perkins Eastman was contracted for,
just to see what was possible and potential there. And if you look at the
minutes at the end of the feasibility study, on page 132 to 143, you see that
this option of looking at the Schiller model was pretty vigorously pursued.
There were tours of George Mason High School with Perkins Eastman. At the start
of their contract, they walked the lines to determine what the “save the gym” option would keep and what would come down. And in the May 4th minutes
in that same document, item 2.14, Dr. Schiller said that
the affordability should not be undervalued. He described the benefit of
the modernization approach, save the gyms, cafeteria, and science labs allows
for their replacement in the future once economic development and funding is
available. Well, Perkins Eastman went back and took a deeper dive into all of
that and determined, while it potentially could happen, it would actually cost more
than 60 million dollars in the end. By saving a portion of the school would
require upgrading the systems in that portion, that was not part of the sixty
million dollars that was put into that plan. So it would mean upgrading to ADA,
it would mean bringing the sewer up and the HVAC systems up, it would include
bringing up the plumbing and the like. The line that would be drawn that would
be saved, according to Perkins Eastman, was so jagged and so uneven that there
would be challenges to just the construction of the project and how to
even attach it to what was there. In addition to that, Perkins Eastman opined
that there would need to be a large contingency, because the issues of
connecting the old construction with a new can turn out to actually be more
expensive, because of the way that the difficulty
of the building is. The area that would be saved would then eliminate also four
acres to the economic development, would eliminate four acres of the
development possibility, so then it would leave a footprint of about six acres to
do development. And in the end, it would leave us a building that didn’t have new
gyms, didn’t have a cafeteria that was larger, didn’t have an auditorium that
was any bigger, and while some of the new section would look a little bit new, we
would still have this core facility that looked the same as it does now and would
result in a very, very difficult space to navigate, and we know how important flow
in a building is as well. So in their deeper dive, Perkins Eastman did take
into account the sixty to seventy million dollar option that Dr. Schiller
brought up, determined that it wasn’t really feasible, but did extrapolate out
from that what could it look like if we were actually going to do it. And in
their extrapolation, they presented to us, as you may recall, the hybrid school and
the academic school. And both of those are in the feasibility study, and those
are the combination of saving a portion of the school and adding to. Both the
hybrid model and the academic model exceed the 100 million dollar mark. So
when it’s all taken into account, the hundred million dollars to do this
hybrid model or to do the academic model, and the loss of the economic development
opportunity by losing a significant portion of the acres to help pay for an
offset to the construction costs wasn’t tenable to you as a board, to the
community, or to the City Council, and that’s how we ended up where we are. So
that sixty million dollar version, the long story short is it was a nice back
of the napkin idea, but when you peel the onion back to determine what actually
goes into that sixty million dollars, we have to upgrade ADA, we have to
upgrade HVAC, we have to create a space that kids can flow through, we have to
create an environment that’s conducive to learning, and that 60 to 70 million
dollar version just doesn’t do it. I know it’s a long answer, but my, you know, I had
to go back and piece some parts together, and that’s sort of where I landed. Right. Well,
so Mr. Quave said, you know, 50 maybe 70, but clearly those numbers do not
align with the ultimate cost, which would be north of a hundred million. Correct.
That is correct. And the 120 million dollar model which you have adopted, the community school, is the all-in model. The other piece that was not accounted
for in here was no FF&E, no engineering, no design, which is another 20% on the
cost, so on a 60 million dollar nut, that’s an extra 12 million dollars, or
on a 70 million, we’re looking at 14 more. So, really the 70 million is really
an 84 million, and you still don’t have the infrastructure that’s necessary. So
the 120 that we’re looking at with the potential bond referendum would be
engineering, would be architecture, would be all the design work, it would
be all the FF&E, and it’s the all-in number.
Thank you. That’s very helpful. Any other questions for the superintendent? All right. Thank you very much. We will move on to board student liaison comments, and we’ll start
with Ms. Gill. Ms. Gill? I don’t have anything for the committees that I am a liaison to,
but the Elementary PTA is having the Fall Carnival this weekend, and they are
woefully short of volunteers. I am volunteering, during the cakewalk,
and if anybody else, I’m there, but if anybody else would like to volunteer?
MEH students and GM students can volunteer, so if you have a student who
might want to come and help out at the elementary Spring Carnival or Fall
Carnival, that would be fantastic. Mr. Ankuma? Band Boosters. We met before the beginning of the year, but they are sort of developing programs and deciding
where the kids would go this year. It’s a bit of a hard act to follow after the
Carnegie Hall last year, but we’re still working on that. FCEPTA.
Well, there was the joint session where you spoke, so that was our, that took the
place of our first meeting. Most interesting thing I did was represent the board at the VSBA Legislative Conference in
Charlottesville the other day and heard from both candidates for governor on
their educational, should I say ideas. Let’s put it this way. Mr.
Gillespie was there in person. Mr. Northam spoke to us by video. Actually, what I find, they made their pitch, so I’ll leave it at that.
Each made their own pitch. But the most important thing, the most interesting
thing I found was, I listened to a presentation, actually it was more of a
panel by a number of people, someone from the Virginia Department of Education. But
a professor at Radford University, and the topic was teacher shortage across
the state, so there’s a lady from Radford University who has an interesting
program, and starting to begin recruiting at the high school level into a program
that actually encourages them with scholarships to come into teaching or
to come into a four-year education program to become a teacher right out of
high school. I mean, to go to Radford. So that was interesting, something I thought
I’d mentioned to you, and you know … And we do the Curry Fellow for the University
of Virginia. We have a teacher right now in our system who’s not a full fledged
teacher, she’s going to college right now, but we are guaranteeing her a position
in our system when she finishes, so we believe in the pipeline. Thank you, because I thought I’d bring that up, but that was very interesting to know that it has to
start early and sort of find out who’s interested and encourage them to come to
that, so, yeah, it’s pretty interesting stuff. Thank you. Ms. Ward? Okay. Yeah. Day Care advisory board. Not too much new to report there . We are appointing a new member, so we
have a full committee now. The Gifted And Talented committee, however, is in need of members, so if anyone is interested, please let me know or go
through Marty Goodell and put your application in. Thank you.
Mr. Castillo? Thank you, Mr. Chair. Had a good kickoff meeting with the BIE
with Dr. Noonan there, and there’s a great deal of enthusiasm, as well as a
desire to align the work of the BIE with our Triennial Plan and our Work Plan. And,
in fact, we’re going to have a meeting on October 26 to sort of follow up. It’s
a non regularly scheduled meeting. It’s going to be sort of a work session
to try to figure out what that kind of support would look like with respect to
alignment to our goals. I was out of town last week so was unable to go to the
Parks and Rec advisory committee. And then was at the joint meeting of the
PTAs where two of the PTAs voted unanimously and one minus one voted unanimously in support of the bond referendum, which was good to
see, and Dr. Noonan did a great job, along with Mr. Shields,
presenting the facts about what was being proposed, and it was a good meeting
and well attended. Thank you very much. Mr. Holmes. Okay. So the first thing is two teachers approached me about two weeks ago, and
they were wondering why do we post our jobs later than Arlington and Fairfax.
One of them even said we’re getting quote the last in the crop, so that’s one
thing. Also, teachers cannot update their Macs. A thing I’m proud to announce
the opening of our Maker’s Space and what is this going to be? It’s going to be a center
where students can utilize for classroom
projects. So there’s a 3D printer in there, there’s high performance computers in
there, there’s different tools that students can use. Also the Club Fair and
Service Fair. I was at the Club Fair representing the Diversity Improvement
Project. And the Service Fair went well, except there was a problem with our
servers, but we got that fixed. And, yeah, that’s it. Thank you. Mr. Reitlinger? Thank you. Unfortunately, I’ve been traveling a fair amount lately, and I was unable to make
either the first SEAC meeting or the first LEAP committee meeting, but I
should be able to make the next ones. I was also with most of you at the joint PTA
meeting. The Bi-weekly Economic Development meetings, which is sort of
the follow-on activity to the one that Michael and Erin and John and Lawrence all did for the school planning, is still continuing on a on a bi-weekly basis. So
we met last week. Nothing really there to report other than discussions are
continuing and especially with the consultant Alvarez and Marcel. It’s a
little in advance, but let everybody know that the George Mason musical will start
on the 15th of November, I believe Thursday. And this year, it is Spamalot, so
for those of you who are Monty Python fans, which better be everybody, you should come, because if you’re not a Monty Python fan, it’s a great deficiency of
character. Agree. The last thing is I raised a point after discussing it with Laurence and
Peter at the agenda meeting last week, that it might be a good idea because, while there’s a lot of material out there on the school referendum, that perhaps
more outlets are better. And so like it was done at the Fall Festival, it might
make some sense to have a pavilion or just a couple of people sitting on a
Saturday or two at the farmers market to answer questions, so I haven’t heard
back anything on that, but I will certainly let the board know if that
opportunity presents itself. That would not be an advocacy situation. It would be
just to put the materials out there and answer people’s questions from our
perspective. Thank you very much. And in that vein, I
attended the Elementary PTA ice cream social over at TJ, guess, what, a week ago, and myself and Ms. Connelly and Ms. Hardy did that very thing. We
had the board set up and the one pager and just answered questions
for folks that were there who had questions about the referendum. And it
was a decent number of folks who had questions. There’s surprisingly a lot of
folks who are just really focusing in on this. I guess a person who’s been
involved with it for as many years now, it kind of surprises me, but there are
still folks who are just starting to tune in and asking questions about the
upcoming referendum. So it was good that folks were there to do that. And I think
the farmers market is another good venue to be able to do that at, and I would
encourage, once we’ve kind of figured that out and being able to do that, at least
being able to answer questions for folks. Then, also, just on a personal note,
just some I told, but I was recently appointed by the governor to serve on
the, get the name correct, Commission on the Diversity, Equality and Inclusion, which
is the commission that Governor McAuliffe created via the executive
order in response to the violence that happened in Charlottesville a few
months ago. So I was recently appointed to serve on that group and was
quite honored by the governor asking me to serve on that. So just to kind of
share, that’s an additional something that I have on my plate to do in
addition to my work here with the board, but it’s a great honor and very
important topic for us to work on and come up with some solutions
to some of those issues. Are there any other comments or anything? Yes, sir. I want to thank Mr. Holmes for bringing up a couple of questions, you know, the posting of the jobs. I’m going to ask Ms High to sort of respond
to that, so we can take care of that. We actually post positions as we
receive resignations, because we are a small school division.
Typically, it’s after the budget that we actually offer the positions and hire
for them. We do go recruit in February at surrounding
universities and get applicants that would be first out of
college, and a lot of them end up wanting to work in Falls Church, and they
haven’t found a job. And so I know that may be what teachers are sharing with
you, but we get really strong teachers. Some of our new teachers come
from universities that are reputable, as well as we get teachers who
sometimes move from other divisions who have fourteen or fifteen years of
experience. So we do get strong teachers. We’re not getting the bottom of the
barrel, believe me. Just to follow up on that, just briefly. Not to look overly
defensive about this … We’re not getting the bottom … We did put in the Triennial Plan this year, and you might
remember seeing it, about recruiting and recruiting for diversity as well. One of
the things I’ll be talking with our HR folks about in the coming recruiting and
hiring season is identifying those areas which are critical shortage areas, not
that, not all of them are critical shortage areas to your point, Mr. Ankuma,
you know, about the national teacher shortage, but particular areas
such as higher level mathematics, higher level science, even special ed and others,
to see if there’s a way that we might even be able to offer early hire
contracts and what that might look like. So if we found a really great candidate
in March through a recruiting fair, offer that person on the
spot a potential contract, not for a position of their choosing, but when they
come, we can say you got a position here, let’s help you find the best one, but we
can capture them early so that we don’t have to wait on the hiring
season. So, anyway, just … Mr. Ankuma? Thank you. I want, sorry. Absolutely. Good
questions. There’s one more task, or should I say one more liaison
assignment, that was the Special Education. We had our first
meeting, and I want to thank Dr. Noonan for offering to attend, and we leveraged his
background in special education and special expertise. The committee’s quite
excited to have him there to share his ideas. They know that
they have a superintendent who’s really backing them. We’ve also gotten two new
members whom I met, and I highly recommend, so I’ve given that to Miss Marty to get them approved, and I think we approved them, and actually approved them as
part of it. Okay. So that’s good. Thank you. Peter.
Any other questions or comments? if not, we stand adjourned.
Thank you all very much. Thank you.

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