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School Board Meeting | April 11, 2017 | Stafford County Public Schools

School Board Meeting | April 11, 2017 | Stafford County Public Schools


[THEME MUSIC] I’d like to call the Tuesday,
April 11, 2017 school board meeting to order. Madam Clerk, can you
call the roll, please? Mr. Connelly. Here. Ms. Decatur. Here. Ms. Hazard. Here. Ms. Healy. Here. Mr. Hirons. Here. Mr. McOsker. Here. Madam Chair, you have a quorum. Apologies are sent by Ms. Egan. She had a medical issue and will
not be joining us this evening. Before we bring down our
wonderful Stafford High School Navy JROTC, I would
like to show– many of you know we have spent
a lot of time on our new logo, and we are very excited to
have our new logo up and ready this evening, I know, for
several board members. So we’re going to do sort
of like the presenting. Feel like you’re in
the movie theater. So I’ll let Dr. Benson
show off our new logo. [APPLAUSE] And you would even think we
have everything matching. Look at the colors. Way ahead. So thank you to all those
who have worked very hard on unveiling our new logo. And with that, we’ll move
on to our invocation, Pledge of Allegiance, and our colors. If you all will stand, please. oh 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. You may be seated. Again, special thanks to our
Stafford High School Navy JROTC. Moving on, we will move on to
the approval of the agenda. Is there a motion? Move to approve the agenda. Second. It’s been moved and seconded. Any discussion or removal
or modification of items to the agenda? Hearing none, all those
in favor, please say aye. Aye. Any opposed? Motion carries unanimously. Many of you may see
with our purple ribbons. It is our Month of
the Military Child. And before Mr. McOsker reads
that important document tonight, I know that we have
some military children who are here tonight. I would love for them to stand. And I believe that
our JROTC, if they want to come back in,
I believe many of them are also children
of military members. So I’m going to invite
them to come on in. I see them coming. Great. So if you all will
stand up, they are already standing
in the back. Some of our other military kids. And Mr. McOsker, I will– Thank you, Madam Chair. A proclamation to designate
April as the Month of the Military Child. Whereas the
Commonwealth of Virginia is proud to be home to
more than 73,000 children whose parents serve in the
military stationed in Virginia; and whereas April is the
Month of the Military Child, a special month
recognized to pay tribute to military families
and their children for the daily sacrifices made
and for their commitment, courage, and unconditional
support to our armed forces; and whereas Virginia
has one of the highest numbers of military school-aged
children in the nation and is committed to be
an active participant in the interstate compact
on educational opportunity for military children
which facilitates military children transitioning
in school systems across state lines; and whereas the children
of our service members continue to make significant
contributions to schools, communities, the nation,
and our commonwealth, despite prolonged and repeated
absences of both one or more parents; whereas in partnership
with the Virginia Department of Education, Virginia’s
public schools remain committed to the care
and education of the children and of the men and women
of our armed forces and by partnering
with school liaison officers, military leaders,
educators, and community organizations, VDoE provides
the unique support needed for military service
members and their families during all stages of
transition and deployment and the Month of
the Military Child reaffirms our commitment
to ensuring excellence in schools, childcare, and youth services
to military children who face unique challenges
that other children their age never experience;
now therefore be it proclaimed by the School Board
on this 11th day of April, 2017, that the
School Board hereby designates April as the
Month of the Military Child. [APPLAUSE] I would also like to
thank Ms. Keely Ricks, who has been a Stafford County
Public Schools former employee, but also is now our
liaison with Quantico. And we really appreciate
her partnership with us and look forward to continued–
they have also provided to us the dandelion, which is the
flower of the military child. I don’t know how many people
have seen this before. But it’s really neat. It’s about– with the little
seeds going everywhere. So I thank you all. There are special challenges,
and Stafford County certainly welcomes our
children of military. And like Mr. McOsker said,
so many contributions made by our kids. So thank you all
very much, and I hope you have a great
rest of the year. Moving on to Ms.
Healy, who’s going to do one of our
other favorite things, is talk about our libraries. And I know that I
believe we have some of our librarians here tonight. If they would go ahead
and stand, please, our wonderful librarians. And I will let Ms.
Healy read for– Mr. Hirons said you
have to be quiet. But that’s not because
of the librarians. What? Don’t pay any attention to him. A proclamation to
designate April 2017 as School Library Month. Whereas the desire to learn
by school-aged students in Virginia is fostered
through the use of educational
resources and services provided by school
library programs; and whereas school
libraries provide materials and opportunities that
encourage growth and innovation; and whereas school library
programs enhance reading motivation and
information literacy skills necessary for
lifelong learning; and whereas the full
potential of school libraries depends upon school
librarians who assist teachers and students to effectively
use a wide range of resources; and whereas it is fitting that
special recognition be given to the school library
programs and the role school librarians
play in education throughout the
Commonwealth of Virginia; now therefore be it proclaimed
by the School Board, on this 11th day of April,
2017, that the School Board hereby designates April
2017 as School Library Month in Stafford County
Public Schools. The school board
takes this opportunity to call upon all school
administrators, teachers, students, and citizens
of Stafford County to recognize and
support this action and to participate
throughout the month of April in celebration of
School Library Month. [APPLAUSE] Madam Chair, does
School Library Month come with Christmas cookies? No, it came with this. That’s right. I know, I’m just– You guys– guys, gals– are so generous to us. We really appreciate you
feeding us, among other things, besides what you do every
day for all the students. It’s so wonderful to see when
our libraries are full of kids doing all the neat things. And I think that’s one of the
commitments this board has made to looking at our library
spaces differently, to help facilitate
you all as libraries are moving into a new age. And I know you all have
to catch up with those. And you all are probably
way ahead of us. So we also appreciate
your input into how we can make those libraries
serve better our students, who are so inquisitive. So in that vein,
thank you again, everybody, for coming out. Madam Chairman, I just
thought of something. You know, we have these
nice proclamations and they get in the books. But wouldn’t it be nice if we
gave each one of our librarians a copy signed by our chairman? Sure. We can send those out. For whatever you want
to do with those, scrap paper, or if
you want to post it. But it just– It has our new logo on it. But this actually recognizes you
and what you do for our schools and everyone. And I think it’d be a nice
thing to give those out. That OK, Dr. Benson? Oh, absolutely. I just want to point out
that technology or not, and we know that the landscape
of our libraries is changing and the role that they play
in schools is changing, and it’s really
exciting, but there is a book in our new logo. And I just want
to point that out. All right. Next we will move on to our
time for public citizen comment. Tonight we will
call people forward. I have two people on a list,
but even if you did not sign up and you still wish to
speak, you’ll still certainly have an opportunity. We’ll start with those
who have signed up. So, speakers shall
identify themselves by name, address, and
organizational affiliation, if the spokesperson
represents an organization. Speaker shall also announce
the purpose or topic of their comments. Three minutes will be
allotted to speakers. We go with the stoplight system. When it gets to yellow, it means
you have one minute remaining. When you get to red,
your time has expired. You get about five
seconds to wrap up. The chairman reserves the right
to restrict the total citizen comment received at
any particular meeting to a predetermined
maximum number of minutes with the approval of the board. Citizen comment which
is profane, abusive, or which threatens imminent
physical harm shall be ruled out of order by the chair. Although the board provides
the opportunity for citizen comment, individuals desiring
to register complaints against division employees or
division programs, services, or activities may also
utilize the procedures outlined in policy
1113, public complaints. I also always
caution people, this is a time for you to comment. There’s not a dialogue
with the Board. But we will be listening,
so we can hear any concerns. I have two people signed up. I have Christian Peabody
and David Starr, I think. If I mess up your name,
please correct me. So if you want to
both come forward, and you can work
out who goes first. And then after that, we will
open the floor for anybody else who wishes to speak. Good afternoon. I do have a quick
question for the Board. I am speaking in a multitude
of capacities tonight. Can I possibly get three
minutes, 15 seconds? We’ll see. Go quick. So my name is
Christian P. Peabody. I live at 2506 Manor Court
in Fredericksburg, Virginia. I’m the Falmouth
Elementary music teacher. I’m also the Falmouth
Elementary SEA representative. And I’m also the Virginia Music
Education Association District 15 representative-elect, which
means that in 2017 through ’19 I’ll be representing
and advocating every elementary music teacher
in the surrounding 12 school divisions, including Stafford. And my comments tonight
regard a concern over the overall lack
of consultation and due consideration given to
teachers and students regarding the redistricting options
for Falmouth Elementary. Falmouth Elementary
is a Title I school with a free and reduced
lunch population approaching close to 40%. And of all the options
to be presented, each necessitates a potential
move and forfeiture of space currently and
specifically tailored to suit our current
population as it is. The options for
redistricting inevitably result in the music
room being moved exactly in between one of our
LS classrooms and the library. And I’ve had a lot of
concerns brought up about the negative impact
this will inevitably have on obstruction in those rooms. Sharing a well with
the LS room will be detrimental to the
learning environment, as many of these
students have very highly sensitive and sensory impact
issues and health issues that necessitate sleep
throughout the day. And due to the need for
their immediate accessibility to student privacy, handicapped
bathrooms, the nurses office, there’s no option for
that classroom to move. So due consideration as stated
in the local special education annual plan up
for review tonight has not been given to
these students’ situation, nor towards the negative
impact placing my room could have in exposing the
students to almost up to eight hours of continual
and fluctuating sound, when they require
highly controlled and stable and predictable
learning environment. The main concern is that
the teacher of this room has not once been consulted by
a member of the board or anyone from the office of operations. Sharing a well with
the music library places two diametrically opposed
approaches to instruction, each unique to a music room
and a library placed next to each other. I held a mock classroom
in the computer lab, where the music room
might be placed. And the sound bleed
into the library was massive and absolute. The library proclamation
just read tonight states that the full potential
of school libraries depends upon school librarians
to assist teachers and students effectively, and that
special recognition should be given to school librarians
and the role of they play in education. Yet this teacher
still has not been consulted by any member
of the board or anyone from the office of
operations concerning this move in redistricting. And for my own part, I’m the
building’s expert resident in sound. And the natural acoustics
and the materials of design facilitate transmission
of sound from that room into every surrounding
room next to it. And by my own
estimation, the sound of completely
sound-proofing that room would be well in
excess of over $10,000. That doesn’t guarantee
it’s going to work. That doesn’t count instillation. It doesn’t count maintenance. It doesn’t even meet
the fire code, even. And I still haven’t
been consulted by any member of the board
or the office of operations. One of the options
for redistricting pushes Falmouth at over 80%,
and we’re a Title I school. That inevitably will
result in the loss of our occupational and physical
therapy and sensory room. And if there’s any
group of students in our entire population– [BEEPING] May I have 15 more seconds? Go ahead. Thank you– that need to be
serviced above all others and unequivocally, it’s the
students in our LS and MD classrooms. Title I funding wasn’t granted
to Falmouth until January. We lost four paraprofessionals
that we need alone just to service now what we have. And many SEA members have
approached me with concerns that this is just
another Band-Aid fix. And some believe it
disproportionately targets economically
disadvantaged students. So I’d strongly urge
you to please thoroughly reconsider all the options and
vote in a way that actually truly services all of
the students at Falmouth and not just a temporary fix
for what’s a bigger problem. Thank you. Hi. I’m David Starr
from 106 Hope Road. And tonight I want to try
to get through two topics. The first is that special
education preschool program at Falmouth Elementary School. And the second is
transportation. First, the Child
Find program was wonderful in walking
us through the IEP process for our son, Daniel. We were warmly greeted
and terrifically pleased to hear that the school
system was willing to start up a new preschool
program at Falmouth to treat the needs of my son. This involves hiring
qualified teachers, renovating two classrooms
for preschoolers, and finding qualified
peer students. My son was the first
student in this classroom, and he has responded
well to this experience. Thank you for giving
the Child Find program and the special
education preschool programs the ability to provide early
diagnostic and intervention. Second issue is transportation. That was not as smooth as
the Child Find process was. At first, it really
disturbed me. I didn’t really understand the
full nature of the problems. And the problems are not
from the lack of wanting, from the lack of trying. It’s the lack of the
resources in which they have. They were dependent upon
1980s-era fax machines to get a transportation request,
if the staff at the school has time, and if the machine is
working at the transportation thing. Now, they are going to
the electronic forms for the kindergarten
registration registrations. So you’re starting to
go ahead and do it. But those folks are
putting out multiple fires at the same time. Every time that I need to talk
to somebody, the school bus is late, my school bus app shows
the bus is running on time. It’s fine– when
you see the triangle 20 miles away from your house,
and it’s not running on time. There’s a glitch. Somebody was sick,
and the person whose job it was to update
my thing is out driving. There’s many, many
things in which these people are doing beyond. And we need to move to instead
of one-to-one communications, one-to-many communications, with
the help of Blackboard Connect. I have another page. But I don’t have time. So I’ll be back in
another two weeks there. My person that I talked to about
this is absent, so thank you. You can always send us something
in writing which then it comes to all the board. You can send it even
to our board clerk. Madam Chairman, since only two
people have signed up tonight and he has something to finish,
I’d like to make an exception. Is that OK with the board? Go ahead. OK. Thank you. So I abbreviated it, but
let me go ahead and go on. So– I meant for a reasonable
amount of time. I’m just finding my thing. The transportation
office goes ahead and communicates
with the parents through the 540-373-6095
phone number, if they’re available
to go ahead and talk. I would go ahead and
recommended in which we go ahead and use all the
technology in which Stafford County has. And we have bought
Blackboard Connect. This is used widely
across the district to go ahead and inform
parents of stuff. I would propose that we go
ahead and use Blackboard Connect to go ahead and inform if there
is a major delay of the school buses for 20 minutes or more. My son’s second bus ride was 45
minutes late on a February day. He’s three years old. There was multiple
wheelchair kids too. And there was no notice
that there was a delay. The only means of
communications is one-to-one. You have Blackboard Connect. You have very smart folks
there and everything. The principal of Falmouth
Elementary School told me it takes her about
five minutes or less, less if she pre-cans a script to
go ahead and send out an alert. And she told me in which
you all already have a group per bus that’s built.
It wouldn’t take a whole lot to go ahead and
effectively communicate these things with the parents. Thank you for the extra time. Do we have anybody else
who wishes to address the board at this time? OK. I don’t see anybody leaping
over chairs or running forward. So if not, then I will go
ahead and close public comment for this evening. And then we will move
on to our board member committee reports and comments. And I will start with Mr. Hirons
with our student discipline matters. I wasn’t quite ready for that. The Discipline Committee
met on March 16. Let me start over. On March 16, 2017, a
committee of the board met to consider one student
disciplinary manner. The committee
suspended Student A for the remainder of
the 2016-2017 school year with 10 days to
be actively served and the remainder
held in advance, conditioned upon good behavior. Thank you. Moving on to our board
committee reports. Who would like to start? Go that way. OK. Mr. Hirons, would
you like to start? The Finance and Budget
Committee did meet just prior to this meeting. And we did have actually
a fairly full agenda, as it turned out. It took us right up to
the start of this meeting, and we actually didn’t get
through every single agenda item. But the important highlights
that we did hit upon. Number one, we don’t have
and additional information on the board supervisor’s
action on our funding request and/or the passing of the
county budget as a whole. But they are expected to pass it
on the 18th of April, at which time we will then know our local
funding and our total revenue projection for FY18. And we can come back and
complete our budget process at that point. We did talk about the
kind of of budget calendar we recommend to staff to go
ahead and have a full board work session at some
point after the 18th to work through what we
learned from our revenue side and what our final budget
is going to look like. The other thing I
want to highlight that we talked about in the FAB
meeting was the CIP process. I know members of
the three-on-three, the joint working group with
the Board of Supervisors, received this presentation. They’ve been working on
it diligently, the new CIP process. We received the
presentation that they have been working
through and the documents they’ve been working through. I did want to ask, Dr.
Benson, do we know, are these documents
available online, either on the county site
or the school site? And/or a section for the
CIP process and the proposed process as it’s working
its way through? I’m not sure, Mr. Hirons,
but I can look into that. I think that’s
something that would be important to make
sure citizens are aware of, that both boards are
diligently working on the CIP process, because it does
have a timeline for us and has the proposed
process and what the future of Stafford
County as a whole is going to look like in terms
of large-scale infrastructure builds. And I would just note that
it hasn’t made its way out of the Joint School’s
Working Committee yet, and it remains a draft. And there was
considerable discussion about how it might
change moving forward. But we will certainly
look into that. All right. Thank you. I believe that’s all. Ms. Healy, any– Mr. Connelly, Ms.
Decatur, anything to add? Yes. I have– I’m sorry, did you
say, do I have anything to add? Or to say– Committee report. Go ahead, committee reports. Well, I came in an hour
early to get all of my notes in order for you guys. But I’m still learning
these computers, so I deleted all of them
about five minutes ago. And so I think I’ve
got them all back, and I hope I don’t
miss anything. But the Special Education
Advisory Committee has partnered with our
fine and performing arts to present a sensory-friendly
performance of Peter Pan. That’s going to be
held on Saturday, April 29th at Stafford High
School at 4:00 PM. And you can find information on
sensory-friendly performances at staffordschools.
net/sensoryfriendly. The Clever Oaks Baptist
Church and SEPTA will be hosting a charity golf
fundraiser on September 29– I’m sorry, April 22– at Cannon Ridge Golf
Club in Fredericksburg. For more information
on that event, you can visit SEPTA Online
and click on the link to the golf tournament. The Fredericksburg Area
Council on Transition will be holding
a workshop series on developmental disability
waivers on March 26, from 7:00 to 8:30 at the
Disability Resource Center. And then the Exceptional Family
Member Program of Quantico has partnered with
the Special Olympics to sponsor a fun field
day, also on April 22, which will be from 10:00
to 1:00 at Butler Stadium. Additionally, I would
just like to add– and I’m going to
pull this up really quickly from notes on an email– we’ve added 147 new
students with disabilities since our December 1 report. They vary. The disabilities
vary across areas. But we’ve obviously seen
a significant increase. So it’s been a while since I’ve
reported on this committee. So thanks for bearing with me
with all of the announcements. Excellent. No, thank you. Mr. McOsker do you have
a committee report? Committee reports. So Mr. Hirons already briefed
on the Finance and Budget– oh, sorry. Mr. Hirons already briefed
on the Finance and Budget Committee quickly that
we just came out of. For Gifted and
Accelerated Programs– oh, it’s still not on? Mr. Hirons just briefed the
Finance and Budget Committee, which we just came out of. But for a quick update on
the Gifted and Accelerated Programs, it’s been
a very busy month. Destination Imagination–
17 staffers teams competed this weekend for
the DI state competition, where five teams
advanced to global finals and we’ll be in Knoxville,
Tennessee in May. Congratulations to the teams
from Rodney Thompson Middle School, Ferry Farm
Elementary School, a combined team from Dixon Smith
Middle School and Drew Middle School, a combined team
from Mountain View High School and AG Wright
Middle School, and a combined team from
North Stafford High School and Colonial Forge High School. Wonderful job by all done
there, and of course the support of parents and teachers
that make this happen. The Agents of Change Day was
Saturday at Colonial Forge High School. And we had 28 schools
participate from the county and over 25 community
and business partners. There were also several groups
from the Stafford County Offices to include the sheriff’s
department, fire and rescue, emergency crews, and others
connecting with the students and the community. It was a true Stafford County
Public School community event. A job well done. This week, the gifted
resource teachers will attend the 10th
Annual Symposium for Resource Teachers
of Gifted Education here in Stafford County. They will participate
in professional learning experiences, work on the
revision of the gifted plan, and they will continue
to collaborate in ways to deliver services and
support to our schools and our children. Wonderful job. Focus Festival will be at Brooke
Point High School, April 27 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM. The event showcases
the independent studies and projects that students
in grade K through 12 have completed during the year. It’s always a
wonderful event, and I hope we have a big turnout. That’s Brooke Point, April 27. Summer Discovery Program for
identified gifted students, registration is now underway. Please go to the website,
Stafford County gifted website, and look that up. 6th grade common experience
is also underway. Students are preparing
their roller coasters for a competition
at King’s Dominion. Fredericksburg Regional
Governor’s School decisions will be coming out within
the next few weeks. Governor’s School interviews
are ongoing and will wrap up by the end of April. I think we have a full plate
of Governor’s School kids, which is wonderful. Summer residential
Governor’s School letters will be coming out soon. And for those lucky folks that
are selected, that is free. And that is sometimes– I think three weeks
is the main one. But they go to the
Chesapeake Bay for weeks on– it’s a wonderful program. And then a final update– by the members of the
Gifted Advisory Committee are very excited
about right now, there’s a parent
workshop that’s going on simultaneous with
this meeting tonight at Brooke Point High School. It’s called Maximizing
Your Child’s Potential, engaging
exhibits from 6:00 to 6:50, and they have a presentation
from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM, featuring special
guest presenter Nathan Levy, the author of
the best-selling book What Makes Kids Think. The event will now focus
on creative strategies parents can use to engage
and support all learners. This is supported by the Gifted
and Accelerated Programs, the Commonwealth Governor’s
School, and the Gifted Advisory Committee. Thank you, Madam Chair. Excellent. I don’t have too much to
add, so I will move on to board member comments. Ms. Healy, you want to start us? Just briefly, Madam Chairman. It was a real pleasure to attend
the recognition for our Support Service Employees of the Year
last week at Stafford High School. Always a wonderful
event, and it’s such a diverse group in
terms of the services that are being provided. And it just really
reinforces in me the recognition
that we would not be the school system we are
without our support staff, whether it’s the bus drivers,
the monitors, the cafeteria, the maintenance staff,
the support services here in central office. And of course, the front
office staff in our schools. You know, I can’t
hit on all the groups because I’m trying
to keep this short. But it really is amazing,
what these people have brought to our school system. And it was a real pleasure. I very much enjoyed
Dr. Benson’s remarks. And Mrs. Hazard, she gave a very
thoughtful and moving speech recognizing, and I think she
gave some challenges in that as well. So it was a wonderful evening. And I have to be cognizant of
the wonderful culinary arts students who fed
us that evening. And what was really neat was,
it was culinary arts students from all our high schools. We were at the new Stafford High
School, which was beautiful. We had a pianist
who was outstanding. But the students who actually
cooked the meal and served it came from all our high schools. And they were all recognized
by Dr. Benson, as well as their culinary arts
teachers at that event. So I know we’re looking forward
to a similar event for teachers coming up next month, but it’s
always an awesome experience to be in the presence of
these people that just make our school system what it is. And we recognized the
librarians tonight. They’re certainly
amazing people. But when you see that bus
monitor or that driver or the custodian or
the office staff, just give them a thanks
for everything they do, because we couldn’t
do it without them. Then I also wanted
to wish everyone a safe and relaxing
spring break. I know everybody’s
looking forward to it, and this weather just
makes it even more exciting to look forward
to those days off. So I’m glad we could give
the teachers off for Friday. I guess I’m not
going to get anywhere asking for anything else. I tried. But at least it should
be quiet for those who are working on Friday. So enjoy the break,
and we’ll see you soon. And then we’ll get gearing up
for all those SOLs, et cetera. Thanks. Mr. Hirons, you
want to go ahead? I want to steal a little
bit from something that Dr. Benson mentioned
at our last meeting when board members
don’t have comments. He recognized the third
graders across the county who put on a musical at the
Fine Performing Arts Festival, which the entire festival, as
always, great and wonderful, and a great opportunity to
showcase art and performing arts throughout Stafford County. But the one in
particular performance that I was particularly
fond of, as I think Dr. Benson was as well,
was Lousy Rotten Stinking Grapes, put on by the
Stafford County third grade music teachers. For you guys and for the
elementary school teachers, really, that was a
pretty incredible feat, to have all these schools learn
these parts and do these parts. And you know, my son was
one of the performers. And I dropped him
off, I think it was Mondays and
Fridays at 8:00 AM, and Max, what are you doing? What is this? And he would not tell me. He wouldn’t tell me until we
actually saw the performance. And absolutely amazed that there
was a lot of choreography going on on the stage, moving the
kids from place to place and where they were performing. And some of them
performed with some of the percussion
instruments, some of them played the recorders. And they sang and they did
dance moves and everything else. It was a great job. I know we have one of our music
teachers, Mr. Peabody, here. Great job. Please pass along to all of your
colleagues how impressed I was, how great a performance it was. Dave Vita I think was
kind of the ringleader in that, our music teacher
at Moncure Elementary School. And they did a fantastic job. And also because it is– well, not only because it
is School Librarians Month, but we should recognize
Bridget Harvey from the Central Rappahannock Regional Library. I don’t know her history, if she
happened to have been a school library or not. But she is with the
regional library, and she was the narrator
for the performance. And she did a fantastic job. Continuing with
performing arts, Peter Pan is going on at
Stafford High School. I haven’t had an opportunity
to get out and see it, but all of my
neighbors have told me what an incredible
performance it is this year. They always do a great job. It sounds like Peter Pan has
really struck a chord there. They do have
performances next Friday and Saturday, I believe, and
the one sensory performance on Friday afternoon. Saturday, the 29th. Saturday, the 29th. You see, I was listening. So please, get out
and see Peter Pan, along with all the other
plays at the other schools. You know, they put on
plays too, apparently. They all do a wonderful job. The last thing I want
to say is, Mr. Peabody, I hope you are sticking
around for the agenda item on the Falmouth
redistricting because a lot of the
points that you brought up I’m going to ask
directly to Mr. Horan, because we have had a lot of
that discussion in the town halls I’ve held, and I want
to make sure those very specific points that you brought
up are addressed and answered, and so we all do have a
good understanding of what the effect of redistricting
will have on the school. So I appreciate
you coming tonight and addressing the board. Mr. Connelly? Just briefly, this past weekend,
Colonial Forge, the chorus group, went to New York City
to see a couple of shows and to take in what they do at
a smaller level at the schools. And I cannot begin to
imagine what it must be like as a teacher or a parent to be
chaperone to dozens and dozens of high school kids
in New York City. But our folks did it. And so I just wanted to say
thank you to the parents and to the teachers who
gave up their weekend to go. And they paid for it. They didn’t get a
free trip out of it. They paid for it. And they worked and they were
chaperones to high school kids in New York City on buses. So I just wanted
to say once again, it just shows how much
we rely on our parents to be involved in the
schools and just how great our teachers are. Ms. Decatur? I just wanted to
take a brief moment to thank those of you
that do come forward for public comments,
residents and employees alike. For a new board member,
it’s on the job training. And so this is how I
learn what questions I need to be asking, what’s
important moving forward, where I may or may not need
to be putting my foot down. So I just want to
acknowledge and say thank you for coming forward
and giving us all of this very
important information that we might not get otherwise. So, thanks. Mr. McOsker. Thank you very much. It’s always a great
pleasure each year, the board affording me
to read the proclamation for the military child, as
an army veteran and retiree. My children have endured moves. Luckily, they were younger
when a lot of my nasty moves were going on. But most kids don’t
have that pleasure. So they’re very resilient. I think that’s the
word, resilient. And my hat’s off to them,
because Stafford County is really taking care
of them, and they’re doing a wonderful job. You know, when their
parents are deployed and in harm’s way
around the globe, we’re back here supporting them. And that’s a good thing. So you know, God bless them. Special congratulations
to our service employees who were recognized
last Wednesday. It takes a strong
team to provide professional instruction to
our approximately 28,000 kids each day. And our service
employees are that base, that stone of support, so
that our administrators and our teachers
can vault and take care and kind of touch
those kids’ heads and have them learn. So you definitely
are the bedrock, and thank you for the stuff
that you do around this county. Once again, the librarians,
there was some candy in there. But you know, it’s
always a wonderful– librarians are folks that,
even though some of them have the technology to support
the children in the school, they still know
where that book is. And they still know those
children’s favorite books. And they’re just a
wonderful asset to the team. I think we need to
keep them around. Ferry Farm rebuild–
many of you know that the Ferry Farm rebuild that
was supposed to start in FY18 has been moved off the CIP. We made a vote on that. To compete with–
Hartwood and Drew are also schools that
desperately need our attention. They’re the three oldest schools
in the county, I believe. Hartwood, Ferry Farm, and Drew– Ferry Farm was 1957 built, and
it had renovated once or twice over the years. But it’s been many, many
years since a renovation. You know, Ferry Farm is an old
school with a large population. And we’ll talk a
little bit about it during the comments on the
Falmouth redistricting. But you know, Ferry
Farm is a strong school, and you know, we love all
the kids that go there. But we do indeed have a
33, 34% free and reduced– we do have specialty
programs that are in the basement with no
windows with our LD support. And we have teachers
sharing rooms. We have already gotten
rid of our computer lab and made that a classroom. We’ve already gotten rid of our
storage closet in the basement and made that a classroom. You know, the school is at 90%. So we’re doing our best. We’re doing our best. But you know, it’s time for us
to take a good look at that. And we’re going to take
a good look at that. And I’ll add some more comments
and give you my reasonings when that time comes up. Lastly, on a good note, on a
better note, a happier note, I’d like to congratulate
Miss Heidi Sloan. And now I know I’m stealing a
little bit of Sherie’s thunder, because she’s going
to put this out. But Mrs. Heidi Sloan is
a fifth grade teacher at Ferry Farm
Elementary School who has been selected to be the
2018 Teacher on the Trail. Earlier this year, she
competed with two other folks for this Alaska experience,
where from a nationwide search, this one teacher goes to Alaska
and podcasts the Iditarod. The Teacher on the Trail
program is a unique opportunity for one selected
educator each year to enter into a year
agreement to teach beyond the traditional
classroom walls via the internet and to be involved
in a project that reaches students
around the world, creating
standards-driven lessons, using research-based techniques,
and integrating technology as a tool for teaching and
learning in the 21st century, are components that are going
to make this an academic success for all students of all ages. Ms. Sloane will trade in her
coat and her teacher’s shoes– whatever that is, I
guess they’re like mine– for extreme weather gear. And she’ll brave
the Arctic elements, temperatures far below zero,
during this last great race, where she’ll spend about
four weeks during race time in Alaska as a member of
the Iditarod educational team, visiting schools, riding
the Iditarod vehicles, talking to the community,
and preparing for a teaching adventure of a lifetime. They fly in a small bush plane
over a rugged yet magnificently beautiful terrain
from checkpoint to checkpoint during the race. And as a race
volunteer, Ms. Sloane will help where needed
in the checkpoints, as she learns and
she gives broadcasts from each checkpoint,
and she learns firsthand what goes behind the
scenes of this great race. She’ll bring the sights,
sounds, and the race events to the classroom and
an online journal, so that educators can
connect with their race and plug in their lessons to
this real-time collaboration event. The transition that learning
in their local community will come from Alaska
is a wonderful thing. This inspires students to
learn and gain new skills and to help lead them
down the trail of reaching their own goals and dreams. And we are so proud
of Mrs. Sloan, and I know she’ll represent
Stafford County Public Schools well. So good luck. And we’ll have to warn her
to watch for polar bears. That’s it. Well, thank you. Again, just wishing everybody
certainly a good spring break– a good spring break. It’s been a wonderful time about
our fine arts in our schools, as mentioned by everybody, a
wonderful fine arts festival. I hope everybody got
a chance to find out that you don’t have
to travel to DC to see great artwork
and great performances. There were plenty that
Saturday and Sunday. Musicals are upcoming at
many of our high schools. I know that North Stafford just
finished Fame last weekend, which I know was
wildly successful. For attention to any of those
who go to Mountain View High School, this affects us. Beginning after spring
break, due to the renovation of the front entrance,
the front loop will be completely
closed off to all traffic for the remainder
of the school year. So there will be
new traffic patterns for everybody arriving. I will be telling
those in my household to leave 10 to 15 minutes
earlier, which I’m sure will go over really well. But anyway, so
anybody who travels that route in the mornings– I know there’s a few
staff members that drive that way– you may want
to either go really early or go much later. Because I think the
first couple of days of getting that running is– it will be handled well,
but nobody likes change. So just warning
for all those who use Mountain View High School. And moving on, just
again, happy spring break. Hope everybody has
a wonderful rest. And we hope to see
everybody safely back on the following Monday. With that, I will turn
it over to Dr. Benson. Thank you, Madam Chair. Just one announcement. You know, sometimes I
think it’s nice for us as a school system to get
out and support a community event that might not be
necessarily connected to schools. And that certainly
happened over the weekend at the Stafford Hospital 5K. We had a wonderful
turnout, over 122 runners. We were wearing shirts that
had our new logo on it. We were a force to be reckoned
with in the race field. But I heard from
just a lot of folks about how nice it was
to be out together doing something that showed
support for the community. This particular race benefits
the Stafford Hospital Foundation. And I just want
to say, thank you to Roberta Euring,
who really did a lot to get the number
of folks together to participate in this
wonderful representation from the schools. Hampton Oaks won for the
second year in a row, with the largest
number of participants. I’m going to jump in
with chairman’s privilege because I forgot
something in mine. But this is for my
board members as well. On April 26, we have the
Stafford Education Foundation Dinner at Mountain
View High School. Tickets are $25, because
it is to raise money. But we will be giving
out our five scholarships to our future educators in
each of our high schools. That’s a $2,000 award
to a graduating senior. The committee has met. They will be being announced
before spring break. And we will also be giving
out awards for our– oh gosh, the innovative
teaching grants. Dr. Benson, do remember
how many approximately? I can’t remember. 18, I believe. 18 teaching grants to
teachers within our division. I hope you all can come out. It’s a wonderful dinner. I will send the
invitation around. I forgot you can
register online. But it’s a wonderful
event, and it’s great for the Stafford
Education Foundation to continue their investment
in our current employees and hopefully our
future employees. So thank you for
letting me share that. Moving on to our consent agenda. We have two items. Is there a motion? Move to approve consent. Is there a second? Second. OK. It’s been moved and seconded. Any discussion about consent? Hearing none, all those
in favor, please say aye. Aye. Any opposed? Motion carries unanimously. Consent items are approved. Moving on to information items. First item, 9.01,
review and approve option for Falmouth Elementary
School redistricting, effective the
2017-2018 school year. I believe the
proposed options are attached to this agenda item. Are there any questions
or discussion? I know we had our public
hearing end of March. I’m sorry. But if there are any questions? I’d like to start, if I
could, with Mr. Horan’s kind of response to
a couple of points that Mr. Peabody brought up, in
particular the music room move. During my town hall,
this was brought up. And then I’ve had
discussions or questions about the effect
of moving the music room there next to the library. And it’s potential
negative impact. What have we done to
minimize, to look at that? OK. I was waiting for you to finish. I’m looking for some response. I’m a little surprised to hear
our music teacher come to us and say he has not
heard from anybody and doesn’t have
the same buy-in. My expectation was the music
teacher, the computer teacher, the instructor there,
and the librarian have all been involved
in this discussion. Frankly, it’s a
little surprising that it sounds like
they haven’t been. Well, I certainly
can’t speak to what happens inside the school
and the administration. But I can tell you that when we
present it to the School Board, depending on the
option that’s selected and depending on the number of
students that are considered to be moved into Falmouth
as part of the redistricting will drive the number
of classrooms required. We do have a fairly confident
that there are three available classrooms. Depending on the
numbers, there are three that can be used today. There would be a need
to convert the computer room to a fourth classroom. What that, actually,
room is used for, certainly we’re deferring
to the school and the school administration to
make that decision. We certainly can convert
it to a music room. And if it is, if the
administration wants it to be a music
room, that location, we can try and
mitigate the impacts, like we do with any
other room that’s a music school in the
elementary school environment. We add Tectum panels
for sound absorption and those type of things. And there are going to be some
costs associated with that. One of the things
I asked for also was, within each
of these options, what changes are going to have
to go on within the school? Because it’s going
to be more impactful, the more students that move. And also any associated
and estimated costs. I know some of that,
just as you responded was, well, it will be up
to the administration how they actually use the room. But we’ve scoped out
some ideas there. So what would the cost
be converting a room? And I don’t see– is that included anywhere? I didn’t see impacts
to the school. Those costs we discussed
real macro in the FAB earlier today, about the cost
associated with those rooms. But for three of the classrooms,
the costs are very minimal. It’s furniture, supported for
furniture for those classrooms. But the conversion of
that particular room to either a general purpose
classroom or a music room, the computer, is going
to be less than $10,000. Closer to around 6. So for each of the
options, though, do we know what the
impact is going to be? And can we outline
for each option what the impact is
going to be as far as number of classrooms that
have to be moved, changed, et cetera? I think the answer is yes. We’ve heard a heck of a lot
about the special ed classrooms as well. At what point, at what threshold
of these students being moved, do we start affecting
that classroom? Well, I think three of
the options involve– option one involves
moving both groups from Margaret Brent to Falmouth. Option two, I believe,
involves moving one group from Ferry Farm and one
group from Margaret Brent to Falmouth. Option three involves moving
one group from Margaret Brent. And option four involves
moving the group from Ferry Farm to Falmouth. So I would tell you that
two of the options, that involve just moving smaller
groups, 52 or 65 students– and I’ll certainly
be happy to defer to Sally, the principal at
Falmouth, to give her input. But two of those options are– I would imagine three
classrooms would suffice for those small groups. But once you start to add
two groups of students, that gets you into the
90 or 100 range, it becomes where that room
will definitely be needed. And it will also put different
stress points on her staff and some of those
additional resources, such as ESOL reading
specialists and those things. And again, I don’t want
to speak for Sally, but I’ll let her
speak those impacts. I thought what I asked for
was, with each of the options, what you just said to
be laid out for us. And I’m not seeing it here. I would have liked to have
seen it in black and white so we really get an idea. I know you presented it to
us, kind of big picture, back in November. But that just
involved, I believe, the Ferry Farm portion. Certainly. Well, we can do that. And I apologize if that’s not
what you were looking for, but we can certainly
add it to those. Sally, I don’t mean to
put you on the hot seat, but if you could come up. I think for me to
support anything, I’m going to have
to better understand these classroom moves and
the impact on the classrooms. Madam Chair, members of
the board, Dr. Benson, I’ll certainly answer any
questions that you have. Thank you very much. Definitely. I think what will
be difficult is to pinpoint how
many rooms exactly, because it’s
dependent on the grade levels of students moving in. Because we don’t want
to go over the staffing standards and the class size
reductions set by the board. And so we would have to look at
our current number of students per grade level in
each of those options and look at what grade
level those students are in. If you roughly were to
look at 65 students, that would equate to
about three classrooms. That would allow us to
maintain preschool as well as the OT/PT room, which also
has a sensory component in it. If you go to
approximately 100 or more, then we’re looking at
approximately five classrooms, if you’re just looking
at the raw math as far as class size reduction
standards that we have. And then, of course, if
you get over 100 students, then you would maximize
more classrooms. I definitely have
spoken with Mr. Peabody about moving the music room. That would only be
necessary should we need rooms with
bathrooms, which would be our kinder classrooms. And that is what our
music room currently has, is a bathroom, or if we were
to move any of our special ed classrooms. Currently all of
our kinder rooms do have a bathroom
within those rooms, and we do have several
bathroom– well, we have bathrooms in all of
our low-incidence LS and MD classrooms, and two of those
are handicap accessible. So I think we would have
to look at the grade levels of incoming students
if we were to break down by option, and then look
at our current enrollment to really determine the impact
of how many sections per grade level. So it may not be necessary
to move the music room? It may not be necessary
to move the music room. If we were to have,
again, 65 students, we would not move the music room. That’s sort of news, because
throughout the whole process, that has been kind
of the one constant. No matter how many
students that are received, based on these various
neighborhoods projections, the music room is going to
have to go next to the library. And you were at the town hall. You know there was concern about
the effect of the music room being right next to the library. Correct. Correct. And I know that we would
be working directly with planning to determine
if that was necessary, what we would have to do to
mitigate the impact of moving that music room and having
the library right there. We could certainly try to see
if we could form that somewhere else, but then we get into
having grade levels separated, where you have fourth graders
together and one fourth grade class in a different
area and put a music room within that hallway. I’ll sit right here, in case
you have any other questions. Do you have any others? That’s all the questions I
think I have at the moment. I’ll have some comments, maybe,
if anybody else has comments. Ms. Healy. Mr. Horan, do you– and I don’t
mean to put you on the spot, and if you can get this to
us before the next meeting if you don’t have
this information. But do you know how many
of our elementary schools do not have the computer rooms? I would dare to say
that most of them have had the computer
rooms, and some are now starting to convert the computer
rooms to general purpose classrooms. So I will say that I think
we went through a period where many of our older schools
didn’t, and we converted a GP classroom into a computer
room, when I first got here about seven, eight years ago. If we can get that information
before the next meeting. I’d like to have
it, because I mean, I know it’s wonderful
to have these rooms but we don’t have the luxury
in all of our schools. I’m wondering about Brent,
because they’re just so crowded right now. I remember when we did
that redistricting, Mrs. Truslow said,
we’ll make it work. And I’m sure that’s
the same case that would be at Falmouth,
because we have incredibly supportive administrators. It’s not always a perfect world. But I wouldn’t like to find
out how many have lost that. I remember, Mrs. Kale I’m
sure will remember, the days when music was in that hallway. I mean, you could walk
by and be entertained at any hour of the day. And that was when
Mr. Wilson was there. You know, we’ve all gone
through growing pains. Way back when, my daughter
was in elementary school. We had music on the
cart, art on the cart, we had gym on the stage. It’s not ideal, and
I’m not suggesting that we go towards that. But I would like to
keep in mind that we do have administrators and
teachers that make things work. I do have a question,
actually, for Dr. Clark. And it has to do with
those two preschool classes that we just added, because
that was very recently. And I remember the question
came up, how will this affect the redistricting? Because redistricting,
it was in the future but in terms of affecting
the space, because every time we add a program, we’re
taking away space. So is there any flexibility
with those programs that we literally just added? I remember you saying that
if we had some potentially. Well, we knew going in that
there was redistricting coming. But nevertheless, we needed
to add them now and we did. And they’re working really well. In addition to
that, though, we are adding two preschool
classrooms for next year. And we’ve moved preschool
out of Winding Creek. So preschool is, as you know,
that growing population where we are just always
looking at shuffling. Fortunately, those
children aren’t yet in their community
school necessarily, although we don’t like to move
any classrooms once they’re established. It’s getting harder and harder
to locate space anywhere, and we have to consider
the transportation of those children that live in
the southern end of the county. And it will be
very difficult. We were looking at that this week. If that’s the
decision, to move, we think we have space
at Head Start for one of those preschool classrooms,
if it should come out of Falmouth. The other one we haven’t located
yet and where that might be. We tend to want to take
a look at Ferry Farm, but we know that might
not be an option. Conway is not an option. Perhaps Grafton Village,
but not sure yet. So we’ve just been
waiting and sitting tight to see what that decision
is, and if we have to move, we’ll try to locate. Anyone to my left? Yeah, sure. Mr. McOsker. Thank you, Madam Chair. So this process for the
redistricting, at least it was only Ferry Farm when
it first started last year. We’ve been talking
about it ever since I’ve been on the board
about the Ferry Farm redistricting of the England
Pointe Run kids to Ferry Farm. Last year I came to
the board in March and we said, you know, we’ll
take care of it this fall. And this fall it
got moved to now, due to high school redistricting
and other things going on, which is understandable. You know, but after examining
all the options that were presented over the
months, option two– or option four if you
only move one group– is the only ones
that make sense. Option two– and
most importantly, it’s to take care of the
consideration of the children of the county, specifically
the 52 children of the England Pointe Run apartments, who now
attend Ferry Farm Elementary School. And the 65 kids
at Margaret Brent, to reduce some sort of class
size reduction, or student body reduction, of the Margaret
Brent Elementary School. But really, this
redistricting should be only about the Ferry Farm
Elementary kids. You know, years ago, the
Stafford County School division, and the School Board
at the time, which I was not on, elected to have Falmouth
Elementary School as recipients for this newly built England
Run Pointe neighborhood, due to the proximity
of the schools, since you have to pass
that school in order to get to Ferry Farm. Rocky Run wasn’t an option,
and the other schools that are a little bit
closer were not an option due to capacity. They couldn’t fit there. As you’ve heard,
Falmouth was lucky enough to have this wonderful
ground-to-roof renovation updating their facilities,
and what wonderful facilities they are. I was part of on the ground when
I first became a board member. But because of this
wonderful renovation ongoing at that time, the
kids could not go to Falmouth Elementary School,
these kids from England Run. They had to go to Ferry
Farm because Falmouth was under this
wonderful renovation. You know, secondly, option
two is the only option that keeps all schools under 90%. Right now Ferry Farm is the only
school in our paperwork at 90% right now. Both Falmouth and Margaret
Brent elementary schools are in the green for at least
five to seven years out. That is not the
case for Ferry Farm. I spoke about the conditions
of Ferry Farm Elementary School that was scheduled for
rebuild in two years, in ’18. And rightly so– it had
many needed upgrades. But when you have
a school that’s scheduled for a full
rebuild, as a smart planner, you don’t dump a lot of
money into the school to fix things that
you need in order to support the kids’ education. And so there are a lot of
things at Ferry Farm that need to get fixed. And I’m confident that
Dr. Benson will address that as we move forward. Falmouth is in the mid-70s right
now for their student body. And they have enjoyed this
mid-70s student attendance for years now, since
the renovation. They’re also a Title I school,
which Ferry Farm is not. And the trick with
the Title I school is, this county spends millions
and millions of dollars every year to support
our special needs kids, which is very, very important. And Title I schools get
a good chunk of money in order to keep that K-3 size
reduction class to 18 kids. We identify them
Title I for a purpose, and it’s for that
reason, to make sure we take care of these
free and reduced children. And Falmouth does that
with the Title I money. They’re sitting at about
38% free and reduced, 37% free and reduced. But over the years, Ferry
Farm has always only been a few percentage points under. Right now we’re at 33.6, so
we’ve never gotten that Title I money in order to take care
of our special needs kids and our free and reduced kids. It only makes sense– so I should back up. The only kids that are free
and reduced, almost 85% to 90% of the kids that are free
and reduced in these moves, come from Ferry Farm Elementary
School, not Margaret Brent, which got put in
the mix at the last go round by another
board member. So here we have over 90%
free and reduced kids that are going to
Ferry Farm that are passing Falmouth Elementary
School that are on long bus rides to their elementary
school each morning, and this is a Title I
school where they can have their needs taken care of. I should say that Ferry Farm
has done a wonderful job taking care of these kids and
the kids in their school. It’s an accredited school, and
it’s accredited every year. We do a wonderful job. But like I’ve mentioned
earlier, we’ve already given up
our computer lab. We have– I mean, we’re
struggling with space. Several teachers are
doubled up in classrooms. Two LD teachers are
teaching together. Our PST and LS1
teacher are together in what’s reported to be a
converted storage closet. This year we no longer
have a Makerspace STEM lab because it’s been utilized
for the storage closet that we already gave up. But the teachers are
making do, and the children are having a wonderful
educational experience. But this year we had to
move our autism classroom into a large storage
room without windows. Forget about the front
office and the library being extremely small and
the security being OK. You know, we have one
printer in the basement and one printer
in the cafeteria, because we have no
space for any office equipment in the front office. So you know, wherever these
kids from Ferry Farm Elementary School and this board sends
the Ferry Farm Elementary kids from England
Run on the 25th, I’m telling you
that it makes sense to move these kids to
Falmouth Elementary School. And that’s the right thing to
do by the kids of this county. They’re being drug
across the county. They don’t go to the same
middle school as our kids. They don’t go to the same
high school as our kids. So why are we moving these
kids across the county when there’s perfectly good space? After option two– which
is providing a little bit of support to Margaret Brent
Elementary School with 65 kids and taking the Ferry Farm
Elementary kids at 52– providing these 117 kids to
Falmouth Elementary School may have a few issues in space. But they’ll still be under 90%
after all is said and done. So I hope the board
makes a decision to make sure that the kids
from Ferry Farm Elementary School on that England
Pointe neighborhood get moved to the school
they should be at. Thank you. Mr. Hirons, can I speak as the– I’m going to make a couple
of comments in general. I’m going to start general. My comments about
elementary schools and how much our
funding body has said that we need
to be operating at 90% capacity at every one
of our elementary schools I actually think is not
actually the way to go. We talk about small classrooms. We talk about being able to
provide these opportunities. But if the requirement
from our funding body is you need to operate at 90%
capacity, which is a number, it means we are
going to be full. And we’re going to be
full in a lot of places. Because unfortunately, we are
a growing– well, fortunately, I don’t want to say–
but we are growing. And if we are going
to always say, we need to have
every school at a 90% so that we are looking to be– that we are using
our buildings well, I think that’s something
that the community needs to consider, whether
that is actually what you would like in
your school buildings, whether it be an elementary,
a middle, or a high school, is 90% capacity. And that is not of– that is design capacity. That means every room is
used at a maximum level– 25, 27 kids. But many of us, what have we
heard a lot about tonight? Special programs,
other things we want to offer our
kids in our schools. Those classrooms don’t
always have that many kids, and our special needs
classrooms by law cannot. When you get to the high school,
you cannot have in our CTE programs that many kids. So my first comment is a general
comment and a comment more to our citizens. Is that really the kind of
schools that we want to be– is that really
the capacity level we want to operate every
school at our community within? That being said, we
are not in a position to completely change that
number, I don’t believe, tonight. Right now I would
like to see– and I know that it has been
provided, but right now we do talk about Margaret
Brent Elementary School sits at 926 kids, which
is 97.4% capacity. That’s a lot of people. And that’s not going to
be the only school that’s going to be operating high. I do believe as part
of this redistricting, we need to help alleviate some
of that to Margaret Brent. I would like– Mr. Horan,
I believe I saw the New Membership Report dated– I believe it was included on
Friday, the March 27 report. Because I know when we do the
projections for our numbers, we use what are our
projections for next year and what are our projections
maybe for starting this year? We have Margaret
Brent at 895 students. The difference between 895 and
926 is a pretty big number. So I want to make sure
that the board is also looking at this too
through a reality lens. I know our projections
are very good, but we also have to have the
reality lens that we are trying to get from our community. With regard to Title I, we
have seven elementary schools that are Title I.
Right now, based on the March 27 report, our
current Title I schools range– excluding Falmouth, yes, sorry– range anywhere from
84% to 93% capacity. That’s a lot of people in
those buildings with our kids. It’s 84, 85, 84,
87, 93, and 91% is where our current– and that’s
just using today’s figures, not the projections. Falmouth sits at 67.7, according
to the numbers of March 27. I don’t want to move. I would like every
Title I school to have those spaces
and those capacities. However, I have to
say, when we start to look at how we’re going to
be building into the future and what we’re
going to be doing, we are right now looking at
this 90% figure, or some kind of high-level figure. So I do believe
we’re going to have to move kids because we are
being handed that requirement. So I would like– I mean, I can share
them, but I think that we should have the current
capacities of the schools that are Title I using
a recent forecast. The 27th is the one I
think that was shared with the board on Friday. So those are just
some broad comments I have in general
on redistricting. I know you’ve heard
enough about it, so I apologize for going on. But I think there’s
a broader issue here than this particular
move, which I know does impact people–
please know, it’s very important to me. I’ve gone through it. However, I would
like to say, I think we have a broader
issue of how full do we really want
the schools that we have in Stafford County. Mr. Hirons, I’m sure
you have comments. Yeah. Just my closing comments
here, or for this go round. We do have to be concerned about
students all across the county and at every school and make
the best use out of our schools as we can. And that’s why I asked for– when it is brought
to my attention by one of my constituents
about, as she calls it, the England Run jigsaw
puzzle, because England Run, Plantation Drive– we touch almost every
school in the county, it feels like, off
of Plantation Drive. It’s the puzzle piece part. And I know this term
is used way too often. It’s used and it’s used to
be negative, as a Band-Aid. That’s our Band-Aid there. That’s our wound, if
you will, that we always are going– always going
to have to move around, always going to have to
fix, because we frankly don’t have some schools in the
right places geographically to really be the most benefit
to the entirety of the county, especially there off
of Plantation Drive. And it’s difficult. I did
hear from my constituents an awful lot through
this process, mostly of course from the
folks at Falmouth Elementary. So I’ve been very
concerned about the effect at Falmouth Elementary. As Mr. McOsker puts
it, yeah, they’ve enjoyed having in the
mid-70s high-70s percentage of capacity. That’s kind of done on
purpose because Falmouth has a lot of neighborhoods that
are growing feeding into it. So it is one the schools that
is growing significantly. In fact, that one– if you look at our
color chart, you know, it does increase
every year because we do have neighborhoods
that are producing a lot of children that are
feeding into that school. So as we started looking
at Plantation Drive, the neighborhoods that go
to Margaret Brent kind of highlighted to me
and to the folks that I’ve been working with
in the Falmouth District. And you want to talk about long
bus drive and a dangerous bus drive, going from Plantation
Drive to Margaret Brent Elementary School, frankly
I don’t know how they do it. That’s not a pleasant drive to
do in a car, middle of the day, with no traffic. Doing on a bus, I
know we transport a heck of a lot of
children on that road, both to Margaret Brent
Elementary School from Truslow and Plantation Drive and to– and we move kids, we bus kids
up to Colonial Forge, of course, as we’ve talked a lot about
over the last couple weeks. We’ve got kids that
go to Mountain View, I think, somewhere around there. And my opinion, doing the
best for the children, doing the best for the
children throughout the county, is thinking about transportation
as well, and not only shortening bus rides but also
making them safer bus rides. I did have a conversation with
our transportation department a little bit about, can
we get some statistics, some information about
where we see the most accidents of our buses? And you know, he didn’t
have any empirical evidence at the moment. But he did say, we’re actually
collecting that type of data right now. And yeah, the routes between– if you’ll say England
Run-ish to Margaret Brent, those are some of the most
dangerous roads in the county. And we do see a significant
amount of accidents. So that’s why it
was highlighted. And then Ms. Hazard
and I chatted about Margaret Brent and the
growth at Margaret Brent. You know, our little color
chart really [INAUDIBLE] will need some significant
updates with Margaret Brent, because we are seeing a lot of
this [INAUDIBLE] growth going on out in the areas that
feed into Margaret Brent. And they’re in the 90s and
growing, probably over 100% here pretty soon. So while I appreciate Ferry
Farm’s concern for space and the use of space
there, frankly Ferry Farm is not growing
significantly as much as neighborhoods that
feed into Margaret Brent and feed into
Falmouth Elementary. So my concern there is lessened
on the capacity side of things. I do think we need to
do some things there at Ferry Farm in the
not-too-distant future. Rebuild or renovation
is absolutely going to stay as important to
me, as is getting high school number six. And I’ll support Mr. McOsker
on his thoughts and ideas there, to make sure
Ferry Farm does see the improvements they need. But where I’ve come to in
my own mindset is try to– I wish we could move both of
the Margaret Brent neighborhoods into Falmouth. The numbers just don’t
work out unfortunately. I think as a board, I would
recommend scoping it down to between the option that
just moves the Ferry Farm neighborhood and the option that
moves the Manor of England Run Apartments which currently
attend Margaret Brent to Ferry Farm. That’s the one that
projects 65 students out of that neighborhood. I share the concerns that
Mr. Peabody brought tonight and all of the
residents have brought, all the Falmouth Falcon
family have brought. I really hope the impact there– you always hate to say
hope or use terms like hope in situations like this. But there are some
unknowns there. And we do have a
brilliant administration. I know Sally is going to do a
great job in making the best use out of her space there. And I hope the impact is
as minimized as possible. But we most certainly
have the space in Falmouth that we can get
some students moved. And from my perspective,
it’s a much better move to move students out
of Margaret Brent and free up some space there
and get them a better, shorter, safer bus ride. Again, not only shorter bus
ride but a safer bus ride. That’s really significant. So going forward,
I’m going to be supporting option three within
our redistricting proposals. And again, I would
encourage the board to– unless somebody really wants
to defend the option that moves two neighborhoods at once
or all three neighborhoods, we may as well not even consider
those, unless you really want to defend it. But that’s where I’m going to
be, supporting option three. Madam Chair, can I just ask? I just want to
clarify something, because I don’t know the layout
of Falmouth Elementary School. If we move 90 or more
students, then there are no other options for
moving that musical classroom? These issues that
he brought up are going to happen if we move
more than 90 students. Again, we would have to
look at how many per grade level to determine. We average kinder
through third about 22, 23, approaching 24
students per classroom. So we would have to look
at which grade levels. I would try to spare us
from having to do that. But again, we would have to
look at the equity of having a bathroom in your classroom,
pretty significant for kinders, and looking at our special
education classrooms. Again, that would relocate
the preschool classrooms and the sensory room. And so we could try to
see, according to the map, trying to keep grade
levels together. But would it be possible? It could be if we look at
the numbers of students per grade level. OK, thank you. Ms. Healy? I am not sure if this
is for you or Dr. Clark, but the preschool classroom
that we just added, is that in the size of a
classroom that would be equivalent of the music room? Both preschools that were added
are full and at capacity now, both the three-year-old program
and four-year-old program. They are in a general
education classroom space. And they have a bathroom? They do not. My wish for next year–
because we did add them late. My wish for next year would be
to relocate them to our kinder hallway, so they’re
with kids their size, and also have a
bathroom in their space. Currently they are
using a hallway bathroom and sharing that with
second and third graders. We do keep our second
and third graders out while the preschoolers
are using them. So there are empty
classrooms in the kinder? What I would do is– we have one empty classroom
that’s a resource room. And depending, again, on how
many students per grade level, I would relocate one preschool
there, hopefully both. Well, I think Dr. Clark
said that they’ve already potentially identified
some space in Head Start. And I know when we put these
classrooms in Falmouth, I was particularly
concerned in recognition that this redistricting was
under review and was coming up. But I was assured that
it would not be a– well, I’ll use my words. And if they’re
incorrect, let me know. But it wouldn’t be a
traumatic experience to have to move this, because
these are not students that are vested in the school. I mean, they’re here
just for preschool, and then they’re going to
go to a home school which may be somewhere else. So that was a concern I had when
that came to the board asking us to put them in
Falmouth, recognizing that we were going to
be looking at putting other students in Falmouth. But it sounds like there
are some possibilities. And I have not taken a position. I’m not supporting a
particular option at this point because I do want to
hear all the information and probably get some more
before the next meeting. But am I hearing correctly,
or understanding correctly, that there is room, more than
just a slight possibility, that the music could
either remain where it is or go in a comparable
type space that is not adjacent to the library? Depending on the number
of students, yes. And to share with you
about the preschool, we are very fortunate that
many in our Falmouth community have peers now as peer
models within that program. And because we do house the
LS2 program as well as MD, several of the students
that do participate in our preschool program would
be at Falmouth for LS2 and MD. I think it’s terrific. But I did have these concerns
when we put that class there, because I’m always
concerned when we start something, what’s the
impact if we have to change it? Because often we do have to
change because of space issues. But I mean, this redistricting
is coming forward for a vote now. But it really started back
before Falmouth was renovated, before your time. But at the time Falmouth
was being renovated, the school board then had
wanted to move these students from England Run to Falmouth. But there wasn’t room
at Stafford Middle. And Stafford Middle
very graciously hosted all our elementary
schools during the renovation. But there wasn’t room
at Stafford Middle. So the thought was, well,
we’ll put them in Ferry Farms. But eventually we’ll
put them back somewhere closer to their home. Because I don’t care what
free or reduced or what– I don’t want kids on longer bus
rides than they have to be on. I think it’s a disservice
to the community. And in this
particular community, we’ve seen there’s
not a lot of feedback. Unlike our redistricting
for the high schools, we had a lot of community
feedback and information presented to the board. And I think that the
families in this instance are willing to go where the
county says that we can best take care of these students. So you know, I
think it’s our job to look out for them as well. So I’m not predisposed
here, but I do want to consider all the facts. And I certainly wouldn’t
want to have a music room next to a library,
although it might be kind of nice in some instances. But we talked about
the librarians reading. I know they have the specials. And a lot of students
just go to the library to have that quiet time. So that to me is just– it’s not something I would
even want to consider. So I would want to know
that there is somewhere, if the music room
has to be relocated, that it wouldn’t have to
be next to the library. I’m not interested in
spending $10,000 on a maybe, soundproofing it. Although like I said, I remember
the days back in Gator land where everyone was
entertained by the music, because you literally
walked through the hallway and the kids were on both sides. And they made this little path. It was not ideal,
not at all ideal. But it sounds like there
are some possibilities. And I would like to get
some more information for the next meeting
about specifically the preschool move. Dr. Clark said, it sounds
like there is potentially room at Head Start for one
of the classes and perhaps somewhere else. Ideally we wouldn’t
have to move anybody, including the preschool. But unfortunately,
that’s where we are. That’s why we’re here. So let me summarize
what I think I’ve heard of the items that have
been requested by the board. A description– Mr.
Hirons, correct me. A description of the rooms
that would maybe need to be requisitioned under
each of the options. Is that correct, or
something along that line? Yeah. And I know it’s
difficult because you don’t know what next year
is going to look like. And you don’t know what
she is thinking on what next year might look like. But a general idea, if we
could, of this is likely. And this is an estimated cost. And what the highest
estimated cost is going to be, so we’re fully aware. You know, drawing
$10,000, obviously that’s not a huge impact. But as we were talking
throughout the process, some of the special
needs classrooms, if they had to be
moved, it sounded like it was going to be a
heck of a lot more expensive. OK. Item one. Next, using real numbers
with a date certain, just so it’s consistent– I know you don’t know that– just to kind of show where
we are with the projections. The Title I percentage of
each of the schools, again, using whichever date we use. Do you mean the free and reduced
numbers, Title I percentages? The Title I– the percentage
of students at Title I schools. That came up in some
of the public comment at our public hearing. And I just thought it was
illustrative for the board to know. I think I would also like
to have the free and reduced at each of our schools,
because the Title I percentage of the schools is
somewhat arbitrary because it’s set by this board. We identify what the
Title schools are, and we draw a line on
what that percentage is. So if we had the free and
reduced at each of the schools, I think that would give us a
bigger picture, if that’s OK. Those numbers are
in there already. Some time we’ve just
gotta pull them back out. They’ve already been provided. OK, free and reduced. The impact on the preschool. I have that as
kind of a separate. Number of elementary schools
currently without computer rooms, or just some
broad idea of how space is used among the
element– not everything, but computer lab or
music, something to that. And I know it is ready
for spring break, but I would ask if board
members for some reason would like to go and tour the
school for any, if you could coordinate with our super clerk,
because most of the schools will be closed next week, so we
only have a few days before– and Friday– How’s tomorrow? The problem is, if there’s
more than three board members, we will not be
able to notice it. If people are interested
in the Monday or Tuesday that we get back, it could
be noticed if three board members would like to go. I don’t know if there
is that interest. I was sort of hearing that. So if you have that
interest, can you let Roberta know,
and then we’ll see if we can come up
with a date that doesn’t violate any
of our Sunshine Act but also gets that? We certainly don’t want to
come and impact in there, but if there is that
interest, I would like to make sure that the
board has that opportunity. Did I cover everything, I hope? You covered everything
we talked about. But I’d also like
to specifically get the bus ride numbers from Ferry
Farm to the districts there, as well as the districts
proposed to be moved out of Margaret Brent. I’d just like to know
the average time, or whatever information
they give us, with respect to those bus rides,
because that’s been brought up more than once. And I think that’s
an important element. And also, I would like
to ask Dr. Benson to have these projections reviewed in
light of the current numbers because, just looking at them,
if I’m reading this correctly and I’m looking at
Stafford County Public Schools at a capacity table by
level design capacities, 2016, I don’t see the
percentages here. But just looking at
the numbers starting at 2017-18, which is the
coming year, up to 21, 22, which is, I think, a
reasonable range of time to look at, it
looks like Falmouth is projected to be
52 students less, and Ferry Farms is projected
to be 45 students less. Now, Mr. Hirons talked
about the neighborhoods. I’m sure he’s much
more cognizant of those because he drives
by them every year. But these show the numbers going
down at both of those schools. So I would just
like to be reassured that we’re comfortable with
these projections here. I know I keep asking
about numbers, but I think it’s important. Margaret Brent
also, if you look, is also 51% students less. So it looks like there’s a
trend in all three schools to either stay in the green. Margaret Brent, of course,
is a little bit yellow. And that’s the numbers
that I was going by. I heard 90-something percent. Yeah, that’s just Margaret
Brent going there. That’s not– I’m looking at the
chart that was provided. Well, I’m looking at the
chart that was provided, and it’s showing green
across the board, except for a little
yellow in Ferry Farm and a little yellow
in Margaret Brent. But Madam Chair, since we’re
engaging a little bit more in this discussion, I would like
to have Dr. Clark, or whomever, take a look at the support
for the special education folks at Ferry Farm and make
sure that we’re in compliance. And I’m sure we are
because we’re wonderful. I just want to make sure, are
we the only school division that are having people couple
up and are in windowless rooms, as reported by the school? So let me just– I would like to know that. All right. I don’t even want to ask if
there’s anything else, but– Best to move on, unless
Chris wants to say something. If we can get that information
before the meeting, it would be helpful. Thank you. And I appreciate the
board members’ comments. Even if it’s a Friday before. I’d like to have a chance to
go through it and digest it. I need a five-minute break. All right. Moving on to 9.02, Approve
Courthouse Manor Subdivision as a non-transportation walking
zone for Stafford Elementary. Are there any questions
concerning this item? I will just make
a broad comment. As I recall, when
this particular– when Courthouse
Manor was approved, and Mr. Horan may
correct me, I remember when this went
before the planning commission and
across the street, it was deemed it was going to
be a walking zone, I believe. That was the intent. Well, it certainly
was the intent. It was some of our negotiations
to put the pedestrian access to the school off
of Courthouse Road. So I think that was the intent. So is that the case,
that pedestrian access from the neighborhood
to Stafford is just on Courthouse Road? No, negative. It is actually– we put
a special sidewalk in to negotiate as part
of that sewer easement. And it’s supposed to be
lit, a lit sidewalk, that goes– it’s interior
to the subdivision, probably about two house
lots off of Courthouse, and it goes right into the
side door at Stafford El. Who’s maintaining it? Well, we’ll maintain our half. The light is a
Virginia Power light. And the other half
of the sidewalk on the development’s property
would be part of the HOA. Do we have that in a memorandum
understanding or something? You know what’s gone on at
Conway and Leland Station. We have that one stretch of
sidewalk that the HOA pushes, and that’s the schools deal. School says no,
that’s asphalt trail. That’s part of Leland Trails. And I know there’s been a
search for documentation, but nothing has been found. There was some thoughts there
was some sort of written agreement at one point. Sure. I’ll go back and look at
the actual agreement that was agreed upon by the developer
to ensure that’s the case, but I’m pretty sure it is. All right. Let’s make sure those
documents don’t get too buried. Yes, sir. They have a way of coming up. All right. If there’s no further on this,
then we will move on to 9.03, about our Career and
Technical Education Local Plan and Budget. We’ll bring forth Dr.
Streich and Ms. Robinson. Good evening, Madam Chairman,
school board members, and Dr. Benson. Forgive my voice,
but I’m recovering. Thank you for the
opportunity to present our Career and Technical
Education Local Plan and Budget for 2017-2018. This is an annual
application for federal funds as provided by VDOE, in
compliance with the Carl Perkins CTE Act of 2016. The plan allows for
expansion and improvement of CT programs at
the local level as required by
federal regulations. This year’s plan
must be approved by the school board for
Stafford County Public Schools and submitted to
VDOE by April 28 in order to receive
the federal funds. The template for
this year’s plan did not change at
all, which always makes my job much easier. In fact, we do not have the
new Perkins or state funding allocations yet. Therefore the numbers used
in the budget sections are identical to last year’s. VDOE instructs us to
use last year’s numbers until the new ones
are released, which is usually around the end
of April or the 1st of May. Therefore, other than a few
minor changes for clarity, this is essentially the
same plan as last year until the new budget
allocations are released. If you have any
questions at this time, I would be glad to
answer them for you. Are there any questions? Yes, Ms. Healy? You mentioned this needs to
be submitted by April 28. Yes. Mr. McOsker. There shouldn’t be any
more local funding match. Is our local funding match
going to stay the same? Should. It should stay the same. And should those
numbers change, I’m sure Mr. Fulmer and Munic
will have it all figured out, how we move forward. As noted by Miss– go ahead. I was going to say,
there was a request to move this to
action if we’re done with questions and comments. I will move to move
9.03 to action. Second. It’s been moved and seconded. This will be to
move 9.03 to action. Any discussion? If not, all those in
favor, please say aye. Aye. Any opposed? Is there a follow-on motion? Move to approve 9.03. Second. Been moved and seconded. Any discussion? All those in favor,
please say aye. Aye. Any opposed? Motion carries unanimously. Thank you, Ms. Robinson. Thank you. All right. Well, moving on to another
transportation zone. This is regarding Spartan Oaks. I believe this is also one
that, as it was being approved, was also envisioned as
being a walking area. I would hope so. Their monument sign is
right next to our sign. I know. Exactly. That’s the brand new one with
the house right behind it? Yeah. I don’t know if it has
a house, but I just remember driving down
the road, and it’s like, oh, OK, there was a housing
sign, development sign. I mean, you can’t label Stafford
County any better than that. All right. Go ahead. Madam Chair, when
this comes back to us, I would like to have some
information about what we’re going to do to help
with the crossing the street. Because I see this says
that most of the homes are across the street from
Stafford Middle School campus. And I know we have
paras or other support at our elementary schools. So I just want to
make sure somebody is going to be there
to help with traffic and getting these middle
schoolers across the street. Yes, ma’am. And again, you’re correct. There are no sidewalks
on that particular road. There’s 15 homes that go from
the beginning of the street all the way to the
new cul-de-sac that was built further back than
what the existing one was. So there are 15 homes,
and that’s probably the most difficult issue. There’s no sidewalks. It’s kind of the– the developer didn’t put it in. But does it make
sense to have buses stopping right there to go
to Stafford Middle as well? And we’re requesting this
for Brooke Point too. The high school students are– once they get onto
Stafford Middle campus, there’s infrastructure there
to get them to Brooke Point. So it is a concern. And we talked about it
during the safety group. But because of
the small number– and we don’t know that, this
is just projected numbers of students going to Stafford
Middle and Brooke Point– we felt that that small distance
to get there and that type of street– the majority of the street
the buses will not be on, our buses will not
be on, probably about 30% of the road– that we certainly– now,
the school administration will know who’s walking. And they’ll certainly–
I’m not sure, but I’ll talk to Principal
Smith about some of the things we may be able to do to ensure
an added level of safety for those few students that
would walk across Spartan Lane. But I’ll certainly
gather that information, ma’am, and bring some
of that back to you. I’m always concerned
about safety. And if you can tell me it’s
not going to be an issue, I’ll trust you on that one. But I think it’s
got to be something I have to know before
I could approve this. No sidewalks is
tough, especially when we have snow and ice. It is. It is just really hard to– you know, you can flip a
penny from some of the houses and hit Stafford Middle. So they’re that close,
as you well know. [INAUDIBLE] Yes, ma’am. Well, my comment will be– as
this is in Ms. Egan’s district, I want to make sure
we defer to her for her input at
the next meeting, and if she has
anything further we can have it be shared
with the board as well. I just want to make sure
she has that opportunity. Absolutely. Madam– oh, go ahead, Scott. Is Spartan Lane a
publicly maintained road? It is. It’s VDOT. VDOT’s all good with
this idea as well? They were part of
the safety meeting. Yes, sir. Just as long– are all
questions done on this topic? Quick point of privilege,
Madam Chair, if I may ask, I know we talked a
little bit– switching a little bit to redistricting. We talked about redistricting
once neighborhoods were dropped and approved. We talked about the possibility
of coming back and having the staff maybe think about
presenting to us maybe semiannually or whatever,
here here are all the approved plots and the number of houses. And specifically with the– hey, it makes sense that this
one is going to Brook Pointe. But if this one here
is maybe on the border, let’s say this
subdivision X, could that come back to the board? Do you think the board would
have value, that coming back to the board to
say, hey, we know that Colonial
Forge is full or is going to be full based
on our chicklet chart. This needs to go here, and
that be a board decision, something maybe called
a spot redistricting, whatever we would call it. Maybe we do three or
four of those a year where we don’t really care what
the builder is telling them where they’re going, once they
drop the 35 houses or 50 houses or whatever, we make a
decision on, no, I’m sorry, that makes sense that it
goes to Colonial Forge. Unfortunately, it’s full. So my question is,
would that be something that, Scott, would you guys– would that be difficult
for you guys to come? No, not at all. And I think that’s what
I heard the board has asked us do that as part
of the whole dialogue of the redistricting. Because I think it might
have to be a policy and just kind of look at it, make sure– of course it’s going to be
legal, because we have– but I think we should need it– Well, and because these will
be homes with no people, then it can be done
on our authority. Well, right. As soon as the
first house is sold, we go into a different
criteria for maybe– I say the board can do it
even before the first house is built. Once it’s been approved
and once you start looking– Whenever you think. I appreciate the
point of privilege. I was just thinking about it. And I think going forward,
we will be doing it that way. So I appreciate it. All right. Moving on to textbooks. Are there any questions of
Dr. Duffy or Dr. Streich? OK. Not hearing anything. All right. Well, I believe Dr. Clark is
up next with our Annual Plan for Special Education, 9.06. Tired of seeing me up here? We know we won’t be seeing
you next year at this time, I’m sorry to say. Yeah, it’s our last annual plan. Are you going to miss us? The annual plan actually
hasn’t changed much over time. It definitely does
not look like. No, not with much increase
in funding either. But anyway, you do
have for information the Special Education
Annual Plan. And for those of you
who’ve been here, you know this is our
annual application for federal funding. It flows through
the state and is known as our Title VI-B grant. I’d like to highlight just
a few things in the plan. And as we go through, I’ll
highlight a couple of pages so you can read when
you get a chance. The plan does
certify that we have local policies and
procedures that are current. It ensures compliance
with federal law, such as the IDEA, the
McKinney-Vento Homeless Act, and our state’s special
education regulations. Pages two through
five really give you a glimpse of those mandates. When we talk about
this is mandated, that is mandated, that speaks
to some of those issues, such as staffing, how we
spend funds, class sizes, what is the least restrictive
environment, IEPs, et cetera. The plan also
indicates how we will use the expected $4.6 million. And as long as I
have been here, we have used these federal funds
to partially fund teaching positions, specifically
learning disability teachers, diagnosticians, and those in
the role of department chair, whether they have many teaching
responsibilities or not. So partial funding for about 159
LD staff for this next school year. The grant and
application also includes our request and justification
for preschool funds– a popular topic, not nearly
enough flow-through money for preschool programming. About $80,000, that is it. And the rest is locally funded. That’s not very different
than any of our surrounding divisions or school
divisions across the state. And again, unfortunately,
we don’t expect an increase in the preschool grant. And perhaps a little
bit in the large sum– it could be anywhere from 50 to
$200,000 increase in the larger federal portion. And then finally,
the plan as required was shared with our Special
Education Advisory Committee for information on March 21. They were here earlier. I don’t think they are now. We have one– They’re smart. They got out of town. Molly is back there, one
of our preschool teachers. So do you have any questions,
as this is information tonight? The annual plan I
probably won’t miss. It is just regulatory. It’s that compliance
side of everything, and it really is just
a funding application. And I wish it were more. Maybe in retirement I’ll do some
work to work for more funding. So anything else? I’m going to miss Daryl Nelson. Oh, you didn’t know
you were leaving? Just kidding. I was just trying to wake you
up, make sure you’re awake. I thought I missed something. I will get info to
you, Mr. McOsker. You’re going to miss
me a little bit? I could probably answer
your question right now. Offline? Oh, my. All right. Moving on to– another plan that
we have is our Head Start plan. And I know Kathy
Massey, and I hope she brings those friends
with her up front and introduces them. Some of my favorite people. I have the honor of serving on
the Head Start Policy Council with these wonderful
people, and they do a wonderful amount of work. And Madam Chair, members of
the board, and Dr. Benson, I am pleased to bring
two members of our policy council with me tonight. Frank Moss is a grandparent. And we also have
Edna Jackson-Jones, who is a foster parent
and is our chair of the Policy Council. Don’t know why
it’s not showing– I don’t see the
normal place to start. It’s not showing like
it normally does. Of course. All right. We’re just going to
roll through this. If you click here, is that
what you’re looking for? OK. Here we go. All right. Thank you. I do know how to use
technology most of the time. These are our goals. And we are very
excited about the fact that we’ve been able to make
a lot of progress on those. For instance, for our facilities
for a number of years, we’ve had a handicapped
entrance, accessible entrance that is now installed. We have also been
working diligently with maintenance and
construction on our roofs. And we, by the
end of the summer, will have all new
roofs on our buildings, so we’re excited about that. And then we’ve been
able to add a bus with federal funds this year as
well, as funds were available. We still need to work
on our clock system. We still need to– the new regulations
for Head Start that came out in November, we
need to add self-closing gates to our fencing. And then we also need to add
shuttered electrical outlets to our program. We were able to meet
our academic goals. We’ve been able to add
more bilingual staff. We’ve been able to increase
the services for our students with special needs. And then we were,
with federal funding this year, able to expand four
classes to a 180-day school year. That only leaves
us with six classes that are going the 160-day
school year at this point. So we are hoping to add a
Virginia preschool initiative class for the coming year. And we’re always interested in
expanding our Early Head Start program. We have had to turn away
four of our high school young teen moms this
year, which we hate to do, because we do
support them so much. And miss Edna has a child
in Early Head Start, so she wants to speak
to that, I think. Hello, everyone. As Ms. Massey said, my
name is Edna Jackson-Jones. I do have actually two
little girls, foster girls, that are in Early Head Start. That program is amazing. Our Teacher of
the Year this year was miss Rebecca Carmody, a
very special person to my heart because she works with my girls. She is the home
visiting teacher, so she goes out to our homes. And for my case, she’ll also
go to the daycare center, if I need her to go there. She works closely with
the high school counselors to make sure many of the teen
moms are staying in school, they’re getting their grades,
and everything is on time. So she works with that. She also works with
the grandparents. We work with the grandparents
of those teen moms to make sure that they are
there to support the children and are not there to take
over, but they’re there to support the girls and raise
their children on their own and giving them those
types of those skills. And so Early Head
Start is fantastic. So hopefully whatever Ms.
Massey asks for, you can help us with please, thank you. And I recognize a few faces. I’m also on the Parent Advisory
Committee with Dr. Benson. Thank you so much. Good evening, Madam
Chairwoman, Dr. Benson, School Board members. My name is Frank Moss. I am a great-grandparent of
two children that are currently in the Head Start program. A third has graduated and
is doing really quite well over at Grafton kindergarten. So I’m very pleased with
what this Head Start program offers these children. It’s certainly a
multi-generation thing, for young women that are
pregnant to six month to two-year-old children that
are in the Early Head Start program, to the three and
the four-year-old programs, and to the parents of
these children that have help that they
could not normally get, such as help finding a job,
or even attending GED classes. This past January, we
had the opportunity to join hundreds of
other Head Start people up in Washington DC to
meet with our legislatures, both incumbent
and newly elected, to tell them about the
Head Start program. And we certainly were touting
the fantastic Stafford Head Start school program. Some of the incumbents,
both Congress and Senate, they were familiar with
the Head Start program and seemed to be
supportive of it. It was very
disappointing, though, that some of the newly elected
legislatures and their aides didn’t even have the foggiest
idea what Head Start was. So this became an excellent
opportunity for us to explain what Head
Start is and the benefits that it has to all of these
children and their families, especially here in
Stafford County. It also gave us a chance to meet
with other Head Start groups from around the country. And we have something that
is, I think, rather unique. Our Head Start program
is centrally located. A lot of others are not. They’re spread out throughout
their whole county. I talked with one person,
they live with gunfire all day long, sometimes a bullet or
two coming through a window. We don’t have that problem here. So we have an excellent program. I do want to thank you
for your support on it. And we hope to have your
continued support in the coming school year. I met a lot of you when you came
to our standard Monday night family meeting, and
you brought dinner for all the parents
and the students there. We look forward to
seeing you again for the next coming school year. Again, thank you very
much for the time. And as you can see,
one of our goals is to provide training to you
all and to the policy council and to parents and staff. Our demographics stayed
about the same last year. We were able to get
10 of our families that were homeless
into some housing. So we were excited about that. The children who receive
treatment from us, you can see that asthma and
obesity continue to be issues that our children have. We were very excited, though,
that 40% of our children who are overweight actually
reduced their body mass and disease this year. We get a grant from
Stafford Hospital Foundation for registered
dietitians who work hand-in-hand with the
parents on those issues. And then we had 29 who received
mental health services out of 32 referred. And that’s a good
high number for us. Again, we have a lot of children
who end up getting glasses because they are diagnosed and
Head Start is needing those. Our social and emotional– we do
a lot for social and emotional development. And we also added–
that’s not on this list– we added the Focus
Five Techniques for focusing and self-control. The DECA measures, how
our children come in to us in three areas that are
critical for handling issues and difficult
times in later life– attachment, initiative,
and self-regulation. And you can see where
our students that had red issues or blue
typical move from those into either typical areas
or areas of strength in those areas. Our WIDA W-APT we
give to students at the end of the
school year to measure the ones who came in speaking
little or no English. We measure their growth in
English speaking and listening. And you can see
that they leave us in the high and exceptional
range, which again, is savings for the county when
they don’t need those services. We measure Head Start
family outcomes. 287 of our families showed
overall improvement. They set goals with their
family service workers and work all year on their
goals in the areas of, again, housing, finances,
employment, transportation, getting their own
education, and supporting their child’s education. We had 98% felt their
parenting skills improved, and 53% attended a
parent education workshop in our program. These are our PALS pre-K scores
and our PALS kindergarten scores. They should be scoring
in the yellow bands when they leave us. And you can see in
November, the blue bands, after being with us
for several months, are already getting
into the yellow. And then when they
leave us in the spring, they’re at the top of
the yellow or well above. And when they
enter kindergarten, they’re passing the
PALS kindergarten at a 93% pass rate, as compared
with the average 85% for all of kindergarten. One of the things
that we’re required to train you all on as
a board are the roles and your responsibilities. And so these are found in
your Program Governance Plan. I’m not going to
go through those. But you’re certainly welcome
to read that part of the plan. And then there’s an impasse
procedure in there as well. We’ve got all new performance
standards in November of 2016, and we rewrote all
of our plans that are in your packet to meet
those new goals and objectives. One of the other things that
we’re required to train you on is the eligibility, recruitment,
selection, enrollment, and attendance guidelines
for our program. And so the income
calculation worksheets shows you that for
Head Start, they have to be 100% poverty
level, for VI, 200%, or they are categorically
eligible, be it homeless or foster care or something
like that, that we don’t consider income for. And then our selection
criteria, because we have more than we can serve by slots, we
have to rank the candidates. And so we rank them based
on the community assessment. For instance, in our
county, transportation is not available publicly
throughout the county. So not having a personal vehicle
gives our families points because they don’t have
a way to get to work. Of course, being homeless
or in an abusive situation gives points as well. And again, the ECLKC
website has all you ever want to know about Head Start. And the community
assessment in your packet has lots of information
about Stafford County that you probably know, but
some of it might be eye-opening. And then we just
have a few students who are in a
breadmaking study, where they were doing all of
their academic goals in a breadmaking project. And then Miss Preston’s class
was exploring moon rocks as part of a space
exploration unit they were doing while they
learned all their skills and objectives. Again, I can’t thank you
enough for your support for this program that does
so much for our students and gets them ready for
kindergarten and later life. Thank you. Are there are any
questions for Ms. Massey? Oh, sorry. Any questions? Chris? Or Mr. Connelly? Sorry. Thank you. A few slides back, the PALS
data, the yellow line I thought was interesting, the yellow
line being the base line. What’s the criteria
above and below that? Is it passage of tests? Is it grades? What’s the criteria? The PALS pre-K looks at
that their name-writing, their uppercase
recognition of alphabet, lowercase recognition,
letter sounds, their ability to recognize beginnings
sounds, their print and word awareness, their rhyme
awareness, and their nursery rhyme awareness. So they have a set score
that they are supposed to meet in each of those areas. Evaluation? Right. It comes from the
University of Virginia. And so all of our students, I
believe, still in kindergarten through third grade, have
this assessment to look at whether they need extra help
in their reading skills or not. So when our children
pass this well, that cuts down on the number of
services they need to help them and allows more children in the
county to get those services, since ours don’t. Does any of this continue into
the summer when school’s out? Or is this just strictly
within the school year? This is just strictly
during the school year. The new performance
standards do allow us to do a little bit more. Again, they’re really pushing
that extended school year so that there’s not that
drop over the summer. So if funds are
available, then we can start looking maybe
at some summer things. So that is something
I’m looking into. We don’t have a ton of funds
to do something like that with. But we certainly are
thinking about what could we do to help support
not only our children but all children in the
county that are getting ready to go to kindergarten. Thank you. Thank you. Just a comment. Mrs. Massey, you thanked us. But I think we should
be thanking you. I know from reviews in the
past that this county is really on the map with the federal
government because of our Head Start program, and it’s
a reflection on you and your leadership for
what you’ve done there. I think the gentleman mentioned
that people were aware of us when he was up on the Hill. That’s not at all surprising. Because every time the federal
government comes in here, you get pretty much close
to if not a perfect score. And I think they
use us as a model here in Stafford County for what
a Head Start program can do. And the only thing I
wish for the program was that we had more resources
so that we could take everybody that’s on that waiting list. Because years ago, when
we used to do meetings with the principals, I’ll never
forget the elementary school principals said, if you
could do anything for us, we’d like to have more of the
students attend Head Start, because they are so
well-prepared when they come. And that makes it so much easier
for the kindergarten teachers to begin their job. And I know from tracking in
the past that not only are they prepared for
kindergarten but they continue to excel throughout
the elementary school years because you and your staff
do such an incredible job. And the leadership from
the council is amazing. I mean, what our policy council
does, and the example it sets and the resources it gives
to the families I think is invaluable to this community. So thank you. Thank you so much. And I want to give a big
shout out to my staff, including Molly
Cobb who joined us this year as a preschool
special ed teacher. They’re incredible. And what they do with their
children is outstanding. And I just came from a
National Head Start Association Conference. And I was so proud of what
we’ve been able to accomplish, because we are up at the
top of what we’re doing. So thank you. Thank you all very
much for staying. I’ll see you all tomorrow. All right. Moving on to our 9.09, Proposed
Amendments to Policy 21.03, student transfers. I believe this is Mrs. Kahle. And Mrs. Kahle. Good evening, Madam
Chair, Vice Chair, members of the School
Board, and Dr. Benson. Tonight we’re
discussing policy 21.03. And in order to codify
existing practices and further define
eligibility for transfers, we’re requesting
additional verbiage to be added to number four
under this section, Reasons for Student Transfers. Number four addresses
one reason to transfer, which is allowing a student
to enroll and remain for the year in a sequential
multi-year curricular program, which is not offered at their
base school, for example IB. Request for IB program, if
it’s not at their base school, they can request a transfer
to go to an IB school. What we wanted to
qualify and to clarify is we would like to add
the following verbiage. Half-day programs, for example,
Commonwealth Governor’s School or STAT, are not considered
sufficient justifications for approval of a transfer
due to transportation being provided from the base school. That is a current
practice and it has been a practice
ever since I’ve been doing this and way before. But we just realized
that we needed to make sure that is in there
to make it clear for everyone. I’ve got a question. Thanks, Mrs. Kahle. Please. So no, that makes sense. Now, of course,
if transportation changes for some
reason, then of course this would change, right? We can always come back
and revise our policy, yes. OK. Because in the IB program
is only 11th and 12th grade, is that correct? Our IB program, they’re
allowed to transfer if they’re saying they’re
going to be full IB starting in ninth grade. But it is only an 11th
and 12th grade program. Well, they start
pre-IB 9th and 10th. And then they go into a full IB. Now, when they go into full
IB, in order to stay at this school, they have to either be
full IB or meet the requirement that our IB principals at the
time had agreed upon to make sure that they’re staying
at least four IB classes, or they cannot stay at
that school for transfer. So I mean, and the
reason I bring this up is, I’ve never heard of pre-IB. But I know there’s 11th– I guess Dr. Stemple said
there’s no such thing as pre-IB. So I don’t know. I don’t know what that means. Well, they call them pre-IB– Well, they call them pre-IB,
but in the catalog, he said, there’s no such thing
as pre-IB classes. So there’s IB classes that
are 11th and 12th grade. So I guess my concern
would be that– so I don’t like my
school, I’m just going to say I’m going to be IB. And then I go in ninth grade
because I like Mountain View. Is that– Well, excuse me. Like I stated
though, the catch is, when we have our student
transfer it does say on there if the reason for
transfer no longer exists, then they cannot stay. And our high school
principals do check. For example, we have checked in
the past regarding ROTC if they have not been in the program. And at our IB schools, if they
have not stayed in the program, if they say that they’re
there and then all of a sudden they’re not doing it,
well, unfortunately then they have to move back. OK. I mean, I just think
as a board we need to make sure that we know– you know, we went through
a lot of gyrations over this redistricting about
what school we’re going to, and now we’re just allowing
kid– hey, I want to be IB. They don’t graduate
with an IB diploma, they don’t even take IB classes. I’m just saying,
we need as a board to make sure we get that data. That’s not what Mrs.
Kahle said, though. Mrs. Kahle said, they may get
to stay there those first two years. But if they’re not registered
in a full IB program that junior year,
they’re out, right? Exactly. Unless it’s also– I just need to see that. I would like to see that data. That’s all. And the same would go for APPX. Right. Exactly. You know, maybe it would
be helpful to those who apply to put some of
that information in here so they’re not in a shock mode
when they get to be a junior and decide, full IB is too
much work or not for me, and then they’re sent back
to their other school, which could affect their eligibility
under VHSL or something. So maybe we could footnote
that or put something in here so people know they’re
not going to get a– [INAUDIBLE] I’d just be very interested. You know, that’d
just be interesting, to see– if you have
200 kids transferring, then it’s not that many. If you have 200 kids or
you have 100 kids transfer from Brooke Point to Mountain
View saying they want IB– Well, they can’t because
IB is at Brooke Point. OK. Very good. North Stafford to Brooke
Point, and we find out that 100 kids from
North Stafford transferred to Brooke Point,
and only 10 IB diplomas came out of those kids. Would that be of
concern to the board? Well, that wouldn’t happen
under this new practice. Mrs. Kahle said we weren’t doing
this particularly in the past– Well, I’m encouraging
her to do that. They’re going to be more strict
with it, as I understand. Well, they have been strict. To my knowledge, they
have been strict. And the catch is, the criteria
is what they’ve established as either full IB, or
they’re taking enough classes they almost could be full IB. And that’s what I
said originally. OK, sure. Ms. Kahle, on page three of
four on the current policy, bullet point three actually,
I think, addresses that. Let’s see. Initial approval of the
student transfer request or continued student
enrollment at a school outside of a designated tenant zone will
be contingent upon attendance and behavior. I think the last line goes into
about remaining in the program. Maybe not. A transfer may be revoked if– Shall be. There you go. Right? Shall be revoked. –be revoked, number four, if
the reason for the transfer is no longer valid. Maybe that sentence needs to
be expanded to really say– I think families need to know. They need to know, if
they go to Mountain View or they go to Brooke Point with
the intention of being an IB student, if they do not register
and satisfy those courses, then they’re going to be
back at their other school. Because that will
make them think twice about the commitment
for the four years. Now, we’re not going to
be approving transfers because someone wants to be in
a different branch of the JROTC, correct, now that Mountain View
is going to be the Marine Corps JROTC? Because that was something
that we had done in the past. Right. OK. That’ll help some too,
because I didn’t realize this, but in the past if somebody
wanted to be in the Navy or the Army or the
Air Force, they could use that as a
rationale for going to a different school. But no longer. Good. Madam Chair, I have
a quick question– Ms. Decatur? –about number five. Is there a reason that
students can’t participate in VHSL sponsored activities
for a full calendar year after transferring? I’ll refer to Mr.
Nichols with that, but that is usually
the VHSL rule. Oh, it’s a VHSL. [INAUDIBLE] There is a possibility
for a school board to approve exceptions
to that, but I don’t recall we’ve ever done it. But that is the only exception. Our superintendent
can approve those, and he does, when needed. It. Madam Chair, if I may
real quick, while we’re on this subject, back
to what Mr. McOsker had said regarding the past
high school redistricting, I’m hearing from a lot of folks
who have to change schools. And I want to raise again– I know earlier in late
winter we talked about it somewhat about
currently there not being proof of residency
when students enter a school. I know that the idea of
costs were brought up about trying to implement a
stricter policy countywide, and I understand that
that could be the case. But one thing I’m
going to suggest and we can continue to talk
about as we move forward is, as we look at the Colonial
Forge situation coming up this fall, I do think we should
figure out a way where students show a proof of
address moving forward, because we are moving a lot
of kids out of that school and sending them
to a new school. And I think it’s only fair
that we make sure that kids who qualified one, two, three
years ago in the school and haven’t shown
proof of address since, that we just get a
little stricter on that. So I just wanted–
while we’re talking, I guess we should bring that up. And that is certainly
something to be considered. That is not under
transfers, but definitely understand what you’re saying. I think they’re being
looked at very strictly is what I’m being told. Yes, we are. All right. Any further questions there? If not, let’s move on
to health insurance. 9.10. I’m sure that’s Ms. O’Brien. Does anybody have any questions
regarding the health, dental, and vision plans for next year? Or do you have any
broad comments? I don’t have any broad
comments other than– Money? Is it going up or going down? Stay the same, right? All the rates will stay
the same for employees except for the high
deductible health plan, and that will go down. Go down. Yes. Good news. And there really
will be no major– That’s so nice to hear
something like that. It doesn’t happen often. Go down– i mean, really. Yeah. I don’t get to say those
words very much here. Ms. O’Brien, I know
that you sort of talk with your co-patriots. Is that sort of the trend? I had heard
different percentages nationwide for what–
health care was going up. It is different than trend, yes. It was double digit trend. But obviously the
implementation of the new plans has made a difference in terms
of what our trend was here. And I believe at this
point the county is also going to keep their
rates fairly flat, as they were last year as well. We like hearing those. Thank you. All right. Moving on to 9.11, Approve Job
Classification Salary Scales. I believe that will
be Mrs. Boatwright. OK, let’s see if I
can make this work. OK. So let’s try at a
different angle. There we go. Good evening, Madam Chair,
School Board members, Dr. Benson. Tonight I would like to
present the job classifications and the proposed salary scales
for the Department of Learning and Organizational
Development’s reorganization. The new categories
of positions are leads, teaching and
learning facilitators for specific content areas, and
two STEM/CTE support positions. In developing the proposal, we
looked at the qualifications as well as the scope of
responsibilities and duties for all of these new positions. For the lead
positions, we proposed the instructional
supervisors lane on the administrators scale. And you’ll see the
range of that up there. For the STEM/CTT
support positions, we propose a grade 25
on the service scale. And the attachment to the agenda
item I didn’t make that clear. But I do want to make it clear
that it’s the service scale. By way of background,
there are currently two positions in there. It’s the community
involvement specialist, which is a grade 24, and a
school to career specialist, which is a grade 25. But in looking at
the new positions, a grade 25 is the
most appropriate. For the teaching and
learning facilitators, we were not able to find
an existing scale that fit the scope of
responsibilities and the duties, so we
propose a new scale. This proposed scale
does a couple of things. First, it’s attractive to
mid-career teachers who desire to broaden their
impact beyond the individual classrooms but remain
in the teaching arena. And number two, it values
teaching experience by crediting one level for every
three years of prior full time teaching experience. I would like to note that
in determining placement, crediting teaching
experience is added to prior
administrator/coordinator experience on a
one-to-one basis. And that is the scale along with
the guidelines for placement before you. Are there any questions? Hearing none, I
know this is an item that we would like to
keep moving with regard. I know that we are– We’re trying to fill
these positions, right? Yes, we are. We’re interviewing now, yes. Madam Chairman, if there’s
no objection from the board, I’d like to move this to action. Second. It’s been moved and seconded. Any discussion about
moving this to action? If not, all those in
favor, please say aye. Aye. Any opposed. Motion carries unanimously. Follow on? Move to approve. And I would just like
to make one comment. I’m impressed that you
made up a new scale because one didn’t fit. You know, so often we try
to fit something in the box, and you recognized that we
needed to go outside that box. So thank you. Thank you. All right. It’s been moved and seconded. I just want to say, Dr. Streich
and Lisa, thank you guys. And Dr. Benson. This is kind of
the last action we need on this reorganization
and the significant improvement we’re going to have within
our Department of Learning, correct? Thank you, guys, for all the
hard work and time and effort you’ve put into this. And I think this board is
going to be anxiously awaiting great results. And just a follow-on
comment to that. I talked very much
in our budget request going forward that we
have dealt with a lot of operational issues since
Dr. Benson’s arrival here. And we’re now moving into
that instructional arena, which is the most
important thing that we do. We had to have our ducks
in a row in our operations. And this one sort of spans
two pieces, the instructional and the operational. And I am very excited for us
to be moving in that direction and get started on this
deep instructional work. And from my perspective,
that will impact every student in our community. We can sometimes focus
on our high achievers and sometimes our achievers
that struggle to learn, but we have we always
have to make sure that we are reaching out to the
average student and making sure that we push some
of those students to reach beyond themselves,
that they are not forgotten. And I really hope
that as we implement this, that will become not
a focus but making sure that it’s not forgotten. And with that, I will
call for the vote. All those in favor,
please say aye. Aye. Any opposed? Motion carries unanimously. All right. Moving on. Oh, Mr. Horan, I’m sorry you
had to stay there till the end. This is his. He’s doing summer school? No, we’re we’re doing the roof. This item, I know, is
coming to the board. I believe that there was
discussion in the FAB committee meeting about the
prioritization of projects and where this fell. I don’t know– Dr. Benson, do you
have any comment or that that will be shared
with the board going forward? Because this project is
one of those on that list, as I recall. Is that correct, Mr. Horan? Sorry. I’ll let you come up, Scott. Yes, ma’am. If you’ll indulge me,
we had that hailstorm not too long ago in the county. Did we have any of our roofs
checked by our insurance companies? Do we have insurance on that? I mean, so many homeowners
had damage to their roofs. We do have insurance. And that was brought up several
weeks ago about discussions. And we are looking at
our roofs specifically. Well, not us– I
mean, put in a claim. But we are seeing
if our roofs were impacted, because there are
certain areas of the county. Not every roof, not
every sheet roof– Well, I can tell you,
up in North Stafford. Right. So we are. So we are looking at that. And the way it was explained
to me by one of the insurance adjusters, inspectors,
whatever, was you can’t always see the damage. And there’s more damage to an
older roof than a newer roof. And it’s not that
the roof is going to start leaking right away. It’s just that it doesn’t
have the same lifespan. That’s correct. So we might want to see if we
have some insurance coverage. I mean, this was an
exceptional time. And I mean, you drive through
the neighborhoods up off 610. And I don’t know if they’re– I know Aquia Harbor had it. Did you have it in Widewater? You have signs everywhere. People were getting
basically free roofs, you know, for advertisement
of these roofing companies. So it would be worth
checking into it. Yes, ma’am. Yes, ma’am. So this particular section
of roof at Hampton Oaks goes over the kitchen. And there’s a little bit that
goes on to the adjoining area. So it is certainly a project
that we identified a few years back as needing. We designed it this
fall and winter, and it is on our
FY17 end-of-year list that was presented to
the FAB this evening and discussed about. There’s a lot of
competition, a lot of good pricing in the roof
by bidding these projects out. So we bid it out. And it is now–
we’ve opened bids, and we have another follow-on
project that we are also doing at Gary [INAUDIBLE]. Cathy mentioned that
during her presentation. So those two roofs are both
on the list of projects. I believe Dr. Benson showed an
initial version of that list during the budget
presentations that he was going to try to use FY17
operational savings to help fund that. And again, these roofs
are high on the priority, and they’re above the proposed
funding line, our savings that we’re trying to achieve
at the end of the fiscal year. So information only. Hopefully we’ll have further
information to you on this list that I talked about,
this funding project list we’re going to provide
to you on Friday as part of the update and we
have more discussions at the next meeting. This would definitely
be one we would like to have done over the summer. Because I mean, I know we like
to have as much done as we can, certainly. We prefer most of
our roofing work to be done during
the summer when the schools are unoccupied. So I know that we are
very much watching how much we should dedicate
at the end of the year, talking with Mr. Fulmer. But OK, that sounds great. And that list, the
list shared with FAB will be shared with the board,
which I think is important. So thank you. Yeah, sure. This is actually about
the Head Start roof. Mrs. Massey does
an incredible job of getting the federal
government to pay for repairs. Is that roof at Head Start going
to be paid with federal funds? Not this particular one. Or is that our funds? This we have to pay for? This one– That’s a first. –that we will bring to
you will be paid with– we’re proposing local funds,
annual operating funds. Kathy was not able
to secure that. I was going to
say, sh got a bus. That’s good. She’s been very good in
the past, absolutely. She’s been very good. You know what I have
never seen over the years? And I know you all
have it, but I’ve never seen– so how many kids do
we train at summer school? We always go in to
approve summer school, and we approve it. And you guys do a wonderful job. But we never see how many
kids that are trained. Well, I suspect that Jan
Streich will be able to– So Dr. Streich is
responsible for that. I like the pass the buck. But I certainly would try
to answer that if I could. But I don’t know. You can report on all
facility kids that are– That’s right. He just gets them
there on the bus. I know. OK. Sorry. Random thought, but I
would like to see that. But we have entertained having
a classroom on the roof before, but you know, not there yet. Stafford High School we
still have a roof that can– we can have a Coke
party up there. All right. Well, our staff report next
does deal with summer school. So we will bring Dr. Streich. We will have Dr. Streich
come up and tell us a little about summer school. Good evening, Madam Chair,
members of the board, Dr. Benson. I’m going to go
ahead and pull up a brief slide stack regarding
our summer school programs. We really wanted to focus on
this particular presentation this evening on our
summer school programs because it’s a
tremendous program. I am new, and I know we
have two new board members. And summer school can
be daunting because we have such a variety in
the learning opportunities that I thought a staff
report would be very helpful. And I want to thank– in advance of the
presentation, I want to thank the
Chris Fulmer team, because they help
with some analysis that I was asking about
with summer school. So I’ll start by answering
Mr. McOsker’s question. We served in the
state-funded program 2,026 students, K
through 12, last summer. That doesn’t include the
tuition-based enrichment programs and the
Governor’s School programs. So little piece of
information there that I didn’t have
tucked actually in the presentation
as we look forward. OK. So really good opportunities. And I also wanted
to talk about some of the funding sources
for the program. And let’s go ahead
and get started here. So I have two circles that
are enhanced with a border. And I will spend a little time
later on in the presentation talking about those particular
learning opportunities. I wanted to focus
on the circle that’s actually called summer school. So in order to get my
head wrapped around this, there are three types of
learning opportunities. There’s the Summer
Enrichment Camps, and I’ll explain
those in detail. But there’s the
description for you. And those do have a
nominal fee, or a tuition fee associated with them. Then we have the
summer services. Mr. McOsker mentioned
the Governor’s School and some of the Focus
programs because we’re starting to advertise
those for registration. Part of the summer school budget
does fund some of the Focus, some of the Governor’s
School pieces. I did want to mention that. And I separate those services
out because some of them are funded through
our local budget. And then, of course,
summer school. Now, summer school is the
largest part of all three of these programs, and I want
to dedicate some time to that because that’s
the funding piece. And the summer
school program that really focuses on K-12 academic
remediation or prevention or loss of learning
over the summer is associated with state dollars
and the guidelines associated with using those state dollars
for that particular program. And in addition, we have
a local piece to that. And I wanted to go
into some detail because within just
the summer school K-12, if you’ll notice in the white
box, you have elementary, you have middle, you have high
school remediation programs. You have Dr. Clark and her
team’s ESY, Extended School Year programs and offerings. We also offer summer school
for our English second language learners. And then of course
with the competency for the financial literacy,
we offer some remediation associated with that. And then we have some
transition academies. To talk about the
funding for all of this, using our new MUNIS system,
this is the upcoming budget for this year. So the title of the slide, I
have 2017-2018 Summer School. We call it our 2017
Summer School Program. But it’s important for
all of us to remember that we’re using
approximately $50,000 left from last year’s
summer school, FY17. And after July 1,
because summer school crosses two fiscal years, you
move into your FY18 budget. So other than that startup
funds that we currently have in FY17, part
of your FY18 budget that you’re all looking
at right now and studying, it is dedicated to your upcoming
summer school, or the summer school part after July 1. So with the help of
MUNIS and Kate Gilliam, I put the state funds that we
are receiving for our summer school program this year,
you’ll see that up on the slide, is 605,251. And our local is 375,829. And included in that, I also
included transportation. That’s a big piece of
these remediation programs. A total of 230,950. Just looking at that
budget a little differently for this upcoming
summer school year, it’s just a different way
of looking at the numbers. And you can see that I want to
make sure you all understand that in the summer school
budget that’s coming up, that amount includes
compensation, which is the largest part of your
summer school for your summer school teachers. And then transportation
also includes the pay for the drivers,
not only the fuel. And we have it broken out again. So in other words,
the state funds that fuel and fund our
summer school program can only be used for
remediation and prevention. This year, just a brief summary. The high schools that will
be hosting summer school are Brooke Point High School
and North Stafford High School. And that will be
recovery courses that are associated with a
verify credit and an SOL. And it’s mainly to focus on
that on time graduation piece. We will also offer
initial credit. And to cover all the
cost, we are right now in the middle of deciding
what is our tuition rates for our high school credit
recovery and our initial credit programs. There’s a middle school program,
and all of our middle schools offer that. Except this year, because
of some work that’s being done at HH
Poole, HH Poole will attend Rodney Thompson
Middle School’s summer school programs. So they’ve merged those
two, and those students will attend at the
Rodney Thompson site. Every elementary school offers a
remedial summer school program, and we’re still in the process
of finalizing whether or not any of our elementary schools
will be merged for our summer school program. The high school
program begins June 26. So the other reason
we’re before you tonight is so many parents
are beginning to ask. And it starts up really right
at the same time as the summit. So Learning and
Organizational Development, along with Dr. Clark’s
team and other folks are very busy
transportation planning for upcoming summer school. And then your middle school
and elementary school dates are July 17. They all end August 3. That was the largest
part of your summer school learning opportunities. I wanted to spend some time
on the enrichment camps for our summer school. So really fabulous
opportunities that we have. And these enrichment
camps, there are some examples of
them in the white box. And the costs range. So Learning and Organizational
Development, the staff and I sat down and really
worked on, what are we going to charge for
these to kind of come up with a reasonable tuition or
fee for these opportunities. I’m going to attempt here to
zip out, see if we can get– and we’ve already started,
mainly because of the demand, advertising our programs for
our Summer Enrichment Camps. So this will give you some idea. So we all we have
right now Melanie Daniel, and a lot
of her opportunities are on the website,
with regards to Focus and some of our Governor’s
School programs. This is the fine
arts summer camps, which are pretty
extensive for K-12 folks. And our athletic camps just
also were posted to our website. So we continue to work at
advertising because these are very popular programs. And finally, I want to include
what I mentioned earlier, the summer services. I’ve already mentioned the
Governor’s School and the Focus program. We still continue to
offer Behind the Wheel, because we can’t get all the
students in Behind the Wheel during the regular school year. So Behind the Wheel is
our driver’s ed program. That will be the same price as
the year-round program at $225. And then we offer
the Bridge program for math, which will be back at
Rodney Thompson Middle School. And that is $200 for certain
middle school students who want to learn new opportunities. Excuse me, want to learn
and accelerate in their math in the middle school range. So to review,
these are the dates that are proposed for summer
school and the locations. And I wanted to mention that
some of those enrichment camps do extend beyond August
3 a couple of days. Finally, because you all
approved and supported MUNIS and supported the
adoption of Synergy, really identifying data
points to really measure the impact of summer
learning opportunities and the value of our summer
learning opportunities has been part of a big
conversation for us this year. So it was exciting for
me to be able to sit down with Kate and with Chris
and really do an analysis of last year’s program. Now we’re really
going to be focused on student data learning
points to really look at the impact and the evaluation
for our summer school. And that’s my overview. Do you have any questions? Any questions? Ms. Healy. I’d just like to get
some more information about that transportation cost. I mean, given the amount of
students that were serving and the amount of the
total program, that seems rather high. So I don’t need
it right now, but if we could get that
before this comes back. I’m assuming that’s serving
more than the 2,026 students you told us were in the
state-funded programs. I can get you the details on it. Because $230,000
for transportation, I’d like to know how many
students we’re transporting and just try to break that down,
because that just sounds high. We can do that Ms. Healy. But I would note that
this is a staff report. There’s no action required
by the board for– I know. I’m just curious. I’m being a good fiscal steward. There is action, because we
have to approve the budget. No, absolutely. We’ll get it broken down. A lot to do with
the FY18 budget. I’ve got a question. The Summer Enrichment
programs and the tuition that is charged, does that cover
the cost of those programs? I’m assuming not. My conversation with the folks
who are creating those programs and designing those programs,
that tuition as students join and pay that
tuition, it covers the cost of the teacher
and the materials. That’s what I’ve been told. It does cover compensation
and all the materials? Yeah. The courses won’t– you know,
all those camps won’t go if they don’t have
enough enrollment. So there’s that point
where a class will go so we have a net zero balance. And there was in there something
about a discount opportunity for those who qualify. Yes. I’m sorry, I didn’t
mention that. So for families that
can’t afford or qualify, either reduced or free, that is
also taken into consideration when they’re registering. And that’s in all the
programs that have a tuition associated with them. And so with that
in particular, I would like to see how many
students we have that fit that and that are discounted. Because my only concern
with the enrichment there– I hate to say it, but they’re
kind of nice to haves, and they’re nice to
haves I want to support. But if they cost us
too much, I don’t know how long we can
continue to support them. Does that makes sense? Yes, definitely makes sense. But I’m going to clarify that
we would have to go back and do that analysis. And I can attempt to get
that analysis in the back– No, this is going forward. Because no, I like this. I’m going to support the budget. I’m sorry. But those data points
going forward I think would be important. Because also, it’s
also really important to see how those filter
up to our strategic plan and make us a better
schools and do the things that we say we’re going to do. Yeah, that’s one of
the reasons we’ve been having a conversation about
making sure we have data points and we were measuring the
impact of all the effort that we’re making
throughout the summer. Absolutely. Thank you. Any other questions? Ms. Decatur? Dr. Benson, isn’t the
library renovation scheduled for this
summer at North Stafford? It is. You don’t foresee that being
a problem as far as the noise? Because it’s going to be a
really big, awesome renovation. It might be noisy. Have we not told her, it’s
only the corner of the library? I mean, like, the whole
thing, the locker bays. It’s all getting done. So I just wanted to mention– So we had this
conversation already. You did? I figured you did. Yes. A number of folks were
involved in that conversation. Most of summer school
was taking place in a laboratory environment,
a lab environment, because the model that we’re
using at North Stafford High School was a blended
learning model. And from what I
understand, we don’t feel that there’s going to
be an interruption with that. Just checking. Yeah. Good check. Because I just know it’s going
to be such a big renovation. Tom Nichols has
old sound barriers that he can put
up in the locker– planet locker hood. Are there any other questions? I have one, but it’s
probably for Mr. Fulmer, I’m sorry to say. So I’m so glad that you stayed. About two years ago, I remember
in summer school we had a big– or at least with my
constituents, about how they could pay
for summer school. It had to be by a
certified check. It was, I have to say, at the
time, absolutely ludicrous. How do we pay for summer
school going forward? He’s coming forward to
take you off the hook, if you don’t want– OK. Well, summer school
enrichment camps is an online payment, which
is right off the website. But if you want to discuss– This was a big deal to
a lot of people for me, and I got a lot of complaints. So we do require
the certified check. I believe we’ve opened it up
to online payments as well. The issue there is,
there is a fee involved. So if they get– the reason for the check,
and we issue reimbursements quite often for summer
school, because kids sign up thinking they need to
take summer school, find out at the end of the
year they don’t have to. So we have to cut
checks back to them. And sometimes there’s
a delay there. And so we’re trying
to speed that up. It’s been something we’ve
targeted over the last two or three years, since I’ve
worked here, to expedite that. But I believe starting
last year, we offered it. I’ll have to confirm that. And if not, we can
probably do it this year. We have an OSP, which you can
do online registrations through. And you can pay online. But there is a percentage
fee, like a credit card fee, that we can’t pay. So it’s like a convenience
fee, basically, for the student or
the parent to pay. But when we issue
reimbursements, they would not get that
fee reimbursed to them. They would have to
forfeit those funds. So that’s the only
challenge there. I think when then
classes were closed and staff had became very
messy and how they transferred, I had so many complaints. I can look at it
separately, but the more we can do to make
this not difficult. Because certified checks and
all that stuff is difficult. Well, couldn’t we have
an option if they wanted to pay by personal checks,
if they got a refund, they’d have to wait
until it got processed? I know the checks have
to clear and sometimes that can take a little while. But I know what
you’re talking about, because people just
don’t understand. I mean, if you’re
working up north, you may not have time
to get to the bank to get a certified check. And then meanwhile, the
class is filling up, and your child gets left out. I guess if we could just push
that option to sign online. But just if we can work with
families, because if somebody is taking multiple
classes that can be a lot of money for multiple students. You’re correct. It’s not cheap. And the reason Ms. Healy
stated is the exact reason why we require the
certified checks, is because the turnaround
can be quick and we want to get them
their money back quickly. But we have to verify with the
bank that the check is clear. And so that causes challenges. We can meet again and review
and see what other options, and make sure it’s
available online as well as the certified check. OK. It’s just something that
has been raised in the past. I’m sorry you’re
kind of taking it. With a personal check,
they’ve got to wait 30 days. Yeah. Exactly. All right. Moving on to our close session. Close session, Mr. Hirons. Whereas the Stafford
County School Board– I’m sorry. You already jumped out. I got it. Madam Chairman, do you want
to announce our next meeting before and after? Because a lot of
people will probably not stay tuned or
stay around for us to come out of our session. Our next official meeting
will be April 25, 2017. The main meeting will
start at 7 o’clock. I believe we have
heard from the board, and I believe at that time our
funding body will have approved their budget, or at
least is planning to, on the 18th during spring break. I would suggest that
we probably need to have a work session that
night regarding the budget of where we’re going forward. Dr. Benson, would you 5:30– 5:00 I know is pretty tough
to get our board members. Is that sufficient,
do you think? 5:30 to get us started? Or Mr. Hirons? I mean, I think
we’ve got to start. We can certainly start at 5:30. I don’t know if we’ll be able to
bring it to some closure prior to the board meeting, but we
certainly can start at 5:30. We need folks to be here. No, I think 5:30 is good. OK. So then the work session
5:30 on the 25th. OK. Now I’ll turn it over. All right. Pursuant to section 2.23711(A)
of the Code of Virginia, I move that Stafford County
School Board convene a closed meeting to discuss an employee
disciplinary matter pursuant to the personnel exemption
at section 2.23711(A)(1) of the Code of Virginia
1950 as amended. Is there a second? It’s been moved and seconded. All those in favor,
please say aye. Aye. Any opposed? We are in closed session.


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