School Board Report – Nov 7 2012

We live blogged the November 7 2012 school board meeting on our facebook page (see here).  If you want more information about any item that was discussed, go to the agenda for the meeting and click on the link on the PWCS web site (here).

Below the fold is a summary of the meeting for those of you who don’t have access to facebook. 

The meeting began at around 7:15.  All members were present.

The consent agenda was approved.  The items on the consent agenda were:

  • International Education Week
  • New Course offerings for 2013 – 2014 school year.
  • Appointment of the Gifted Education Advisory Committee.
  • MOU between PWCS and PWC Community Services.
  • MOU with NVCC for dual enrollment.
  • MOU between PWCS and Dept of Veterans Affairs.
  • Approval of Sept 2012 payroll.
  • Storm Sewer easement at Rockledge Elementary.
  • Deed of dedication, division, and easement at UVA site in Haymarket.
  • Confirmation of board poll approving appointees to Compensation Committee.
  • Approval of minutes of Oct 17 2012 school board meeting.

One citizen spoke – a student from Forest Park praising her teachers at Forest Park and from her elementary and middle schools.

Strategic Plan

Tim Healey reported on the Strategic Plan.  The detailed report on the strategic plan is over 74 pages long.  Mr Healey’s presentation was only 10 slides highlighting the school divisions major strategic accomplishments.   {Editors note – thank you Mr. Healey!  10 pages is much easier to digest and pay attention to than 74 pages}

Measure 1 Measurable Objectives.  {Editor’s background note –  Prior to June of this year, schools had to meet both NCLB annual measurable objectives and state standards.  Virginia was granted a waiver from NCLB’s accountability requirements this summer and issued revised state objectives that are aligned with the new Math and Language Arts SOLs.}  PWCS met 43 of 45 objectives and improved performance in the 2 we did not meet.  62 PWC schools met their objectives and schools that did not meet their objectives are improving.

Measure 2 – Reading SOL Pass Rates.  PWCS matches state averages in reading proficiency at all grade levels tested.

Measure 3 – Math SOL Pass Rates.  There were new Math standards and exams this year.  PWCS met or exceeded state averages in Math in grades 3, 4, 5, 6, and 8.  {Editors note – This means that PWCS did not exceed state averages for 7th grade, Algebra 1, Algebra II, and Geometry, something Mr Healey did not mention.  Algebra I, Algebra II, and Geometry are the high school level courses that count towards graduation and provide the competencies that are tested on the SAT and ACT}. 

Measure 4 – Qualifying scores on AP, IB, and Cambridge Exams.  PWCS continues to improve on these exams and exceeds national averages. We will be receiving an award next week for our participation rate in AP, IB, and Cambridge programs and exams.

Measure 5 – SAT Scores.  PWCS SAT scores are unchanged.  Over a 5 year trend, PWCS is unchanged while US and VA averages are down.  {Editor’s note  – we can not substantiate this claim that PWCS’s SAT scores are unchanged while VA & US averages are down.  It appears to us that PWCS, VA, and the US are down somewhat overall, with PWCS’ declines exceeding VA’s decline and almost mirroring declines across the nation.}

Measure 6 – Algebra I Qualifying.  The number of students passing the Algebra I exam AND their Algebra I class is increasing.  More than 50% of our students take Algebra I in 8th grade. {Editor’s note – your child must take extended Math in 6th and 7th grades in order to qualify for Algebra I in 8th grade.  Math Signet students are automatically placed in extended Math in 6th grade.  Non-Signet students must qualify for extended Math based on their 4th and 5th grade Math SOL scores, grades in Math in 4th and 5th grades, and teacher recommendation.}

Measure 7.  Percentage of students taking at least one AP, IB, or Cambridge course and exam.  This percentage is increasing and exceeds our target percentage.

Measure 8 – On-time graduation and federal graduation indicators.  Our on time graduation rate and federal graduation indicators are increasing.

Measure 9 – Parent, Teacher, and Student Satisfaction.  More than 85% of parents, students, and teachers are satisfied with PWCS.

Measure 10 – Quality of PWCS.  More than 85% of stakeholders are satisfied with quality of PWCS.


Trenum – Why did AP and CTE percentages jump?  CTE office worked with students to make sure they completed 2 year program and exams for certification.  Spikes were across the board.

Otiagbe – What are we doing to improve our SAT scores in coming years? SAT scores are complicated and sometimes fixes are delayed in showing results. PWCS pays for all students to take PSAT, had teams learn how to use PSAT scores to improve individual students, pay for access to SAT online prep course, sent letter home communicating that to parents, continues to emphasize rigorous course work, exposure to upper level course work will pay off in the long run.

Otaigbe – SAT online- can we monitor whether it is being used? Hope is that increased awareness will increase use. Have worked with schools to have teachers incorporate into classrooms. Challenge is trying to meet academic needs and do SAT prep in class. 11th graders feel fully engaged.

Otaigbe – Can we do practice tests for credit or something like that to help? Will need to talk with teachers and staff to determine. Real improvement will be best realized with increased rigor.

Wooten – Is SAT data on subject scores for math, reading, writing, with comparisons to state and national averages available?  Will have to find that data and get it to you. {Editors note ~ You can find this on the PWC Ed reform web site under the test scores tab (see here). We have data back to 2009 for all students and by racial group. Math is not one of our counties strengths}

Wooten – How do we compare in terms of participation? Is our increased participation possibly the reason our SAT scores are lower overall?  Participation was 60 percent last year. Will need to pull data to provide comparisons to state and national rates.  {Editors note ~ this data is available on the WABE comparing PWCS to other area districts regarding participation. Participation rates for the class of 2012 are as follows:  VA 68%, Fairfax 73%, Loudoun 80%, Manassas 36%, Manassas Park 42%, PWCS 57%}

Trenum – SAT versus ACT. Can we track ACT performance like we do with SAT scores? Full report has ACT score. {Editors note ~ So does our test scores link.  Our report includes other area school divisions. }

Satterwhite –  Is this all test takers or just one grade level? This is what college board reports for graduating seniors in their latest test scores which is not necessarily the student’s highest score.

Covington –  Confirm latest score, not highest score from college board? Correct. Students can give colleges their highest scores but college board reports latest scores.

Otaigbe – Students who take class at governors school get into great colleges and students should take advantage of that. May even get money from GMU.

Wooten – Are home schoolers incorporated in the report? Don’t know and will research to determine answer.

Otaigbe – What are we doing to promote Algebra 1 in middle school?  Half of our 6th graders are taking extend math which is the gateway to algebra in 8th grade.

FY 2013 Budget Update.

Numbers include ending balances for last year and actuals for this year. Ending balance last year was $80 million,  $32 million of that is excess from FY 2012 that was carried forward to 2013, $13 million is set aside for FY 2014, remainder is for undelivered orders, commitments, and grants from FY 2012 which have to be carried forward into the next year’s budget per accounting regulations.


Johns – Please explain the 80 million as I can see bloggers in their Mother’s basements already typing away. {Editors note ~ I’m not in my mothers basement. My sister lives there. I’m in my living room. Thank you. Oh – and I already knew about the 80 million. 48 million was needed for undelivered orders or commitments, grants, and 304 savings. 32 million was the excess that was carried forward. And 32 million is a lot of money. I wonder how much we could reduce class sizes with 32 million?~} Most of the funds are dollars that are already spent for stuff that was ordered but not received and not invoiced at the end of FY 2012.  That’s about 21 million. 9.3 million is for grants and 3 million is a fund balance policy. Only 32 million was excess that is carried forward for 2013.

Trenum – Policy 304. Can you explain how this differs from reserves? 304 money is money we’ll have on our balance sheet for fund balance. We should have this practice for emergencies.

Trenum – How does this differ for reserves? We can’t use the 304 money but can use reserves. {Editor’s note ~ we have 45 million is reserves, 32 million left over, and another chunk in 304 emergency savings. That’s almost 100 million.}

FY 2013 Actuals to Date

PWCS had lower enrollment than projected. That reduced our state revenue by 1.2 million but also resulted in savings of over 3 million with reduced expenses due to decreased enrollment.  Net effect is about 3.8 million in savings due to enrollment change. Money will be used for Schools SPED, paying back county and providing 304 savings.

FY 2013 Budget Outlook

Need more money for next year’s beginning balance. Revenue forecasts are a bit ahead. May have more if economy improves. Budgets are always changing.


Covington – Is the $4,247 what the state contributes per pupil? Yes.

Covington – We spend $10,163 per student on average? Yes.

Covington – State doesn’t give us much per student. We pay about 6000 more per student that the state gives us. Education money is well spent and good education costs money.  “To get quality, you have to pay for it.”

Wooten –  21 million carryover is for undelivered orders and commitments? Stuff we’ve ordered but have not received. Has to be carried forward because accounting rules won’t allow public entities to have money left at end of the year.

CTAC Appointments.  Approved.

Revision to Policy on Administrating Medication.  Approved.

Superintendent’s Time

Piper just got back from Russia and did great! On time graduation rate is 89 percent. This is a five percent increase over that’s 5 years. Robotics is thriving at all schools and is a centerpiece of our STEM Training. 22 vocalists from PWCS qualified for state choir. Thanks to Dr Wooten for service last several months. Welcome Ms Jessie to board.

Board Matters

Johns – Echo thanks to Dr Wooten. Welcome to Lillie Jessie. Should be sworn in in a day or so. Will celebrate Veterans Day holiday on the 12th.

Otaigbe – Recommend that place advisory committee on budget in the next meeting. Budget discussion will be tough and should have citizen committee. Don’t want to be school board that encouraged the community to be divided. Would be good if have people with different ideas and backgrounds looking at the information. Thanks to Dr Wooten and welcome and congratulations to Lillie Jessie.

Satterwhite– Thanks to Dr Wooten and welcome to Lille Jessie. Will be at Battlefield for letter ceremony. Great to see how many people voted yesterday with long waits.

Covington-Congratulate students from Henderson robotics team. Team won first place for project presentation and core values. Thank you students and parents. SPARK is county education foundation. Farewell to Dr Wooten and welcome to Lille Jessie. Known her for many years and worked closely with her. Lillie is great and doesn’t take no for an answer.

Covington-Forest Park has instructional tech program and is overcapacity. School will have to go to a lottery and students will be denied access to a program they want to attend. How many students will be turned away?  Answer from Mr Mulgrew -Once students have gotten their schedule then lottery will be done. Historically will take as many as we can but anticipate turning away a number of students.

Covington – can we offer another program like this at Potomac?

Bell – Thank you Dr Wooten and welcome to Lillie Jessie. Please come to parent resource center. Chairman Johns can we have a presentation at an upcoming board meeting on test retake and grading policy from Mr Bassett?

Trenum – Welcome Delegate Anderson. Echo Betty’s comment about need for more IT programs. Can we look at extending IT program at Battlefield as well? Farm to school week at Piney branch. Marsteller Ruri-teens partnering with 4-H for wreaths across America to place wreaths on markers for fallen soldiers at Quantico. Need donations. Spent day at SJHS yesterday and chorale is raising funds for trip to London. Students were outstanding and entertaining. Recognize Cole Stoy place first in FFA tractor driving competition. Thanks to Dr Wooten and welcome to Lillie Jessie.

Ramirez-Apologize for missing meetings. Appreciate staff working to keep informed. Thank Catherine Cook out of school board office for Operation Turkey. In collaboration with good friend at Salvation Army to make sure kids from struggling families get turkeys. Will give out 150 turkeys this year. Job fair right around the corner.

Ramirez – Been on the board for a while. Appreciate friendship and commitment on this board. Have an opportunity to work full time in state in Richmond and will be giving up seat and have turned in resignation effective November 30. Look forward to making more remarks and thanks at the next meeting. Been pleasure to serve.

Ramirez – Thanks to Dr Wooten and congratulations to Lille Jessie. Ditto to everything Ms Covington said about Lillie.

Wooten– Serving was a great experience. Lets use Lillie Jessie’s experience and perspective. Welcome her to the board. Thank his family for their patience.


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