School Board Report – April 3, 2013

School Board Report for April 3, 2013.

All members were present.

Consent Agenda

All items on the consent agenda were approved unanimously. The items on the agenda include the following:

  1. Local Special Education Action Plan
  2. FY 2013 State Technology Grant 0 Intent to Reimburse
  3. Renewal and Addition – Dumfries Elementary School
  4. Special Warrant for School Board Review and Approval of Feb 2013 Payroll
  5. New Course Offerings for 2013 – 2014
  6. VSBA 2013 Business Honor Roll Recommendation
  7. Multi-Disciplinary Habitual Runaway/Victim Review Team Memorandum of Understanding
  8. Confirmation of Board Poll dated March 8, 2013 – Carry Over the March 6, 2013 School Board Agenda to March 13, 2013
  9. Confirmation of Board Poll dated March 8, 2013 – Parkside and River Oaks Addition Contracts
  10. NatureBridge Agreements for Field Science Program
  11. Approval of School Board Meeting Minutes for March 20, 2013

Citizen Comments

Eight citizens addressed the school board.  Board policy is to allow 30 minutes of citizen comments at this stage with other speakers allowed to address the board after board comments.

Speaker #1:  a student at OPHS addressed the school board about being allowed to attend the BCS National Cheer competition.  Student thanked her coach and team.

Speaker #2:  three students from Woodbridge Middle School addressed the school board about the recognition Woodbridge MS recently received and programs offered at Woodbridge MS.

Speaker #3: a student from FPHS addressed the school board about programs at FPHS and Rainbow Riding Center.

Speaker #4: a student from Hylton High School addressed the school board about Rainbow Riding Center.

Speaker #5: a student from FPHS addressed the school board about Rainbow Riding Center.

Speaker #6: a nurse and wife of a teacher addressed the school board about the Learn and Serve program at FPHS and jobs students perform at her business.  She provides a scholarship to Learn and Serve students because their service is invaluable.

Speaker #7:   a student at FPHS addressed the school board about the Learn and Serve program at FPHS.

Speaker #8:  a teacher at FPHS addressed the school board about the Learn and Serve program at FPHS. L&S students provided more than 6,000 hours of community service this year and more than 54,000 over the past 9 years.  Students serves at tutors, aides, and mentors with a long list of partnerships.

Issues Before the Board

Revision to Policy 662, “Graduation Requirements” – First Reading

  • Changes are necessary to ensure that PWCS is following new guidelines and requirements from Virginia Dept of Education.
  • Questions:  No questions

Eighth Grade Student Participation in VHSL JV – Freshman Sports – Action

Discussion:

Trenum – I think this change provides Principals and Athletic Director’s (ADs) some additional flexibility to fill teams.  Have been concerns from folks about implementation.  Will be challenging to do this division wide, would suggest that we try this as a pilot at two schools this Fall, subject to approval from the Principals and AD’s at those schools.

Walts – this has been done in a limited way on a few occasions in the past.  To try this as a pilot is something we’d be willing to do so that we can address the concerns that have been expressed.  Administration will work with any interested Principals and schools.  Hope is to provide increased opportunities at schools.

Trenum – Do we need a vote on this or n0t as it’s a pilot?

Walts – It would be at the board’s pleasure.  I am willing to work with any interested Principals and report back to the board on the progress of the program.

Keen – Does Superintendent need board’s approval to do this?

Fagan – Superintendent has the authority to pilot, pursuant to the regulation.

Covington – I was in favor of this at first, especially as a pilot.  I got feedback from the Principals and AD’s in my district because of concerns.  I’m glad we won’t do this division wide because one size doesn’t fit all.  I think the pilot is a wonderful idea.

Bell – I thought it was unanimous across division that this was a safety issue.  How will we define this program as a success or failure?  Will it be injury or lack of injury?

Walts – given that this will be a pilot, measurement tools and ways we’ve proceed would be carefully consiered.  I would have Mr Milbert personally involved in developing metrics and measuring the success of this program.

Bell – I know that for the traditional schools and K – 8, middle school sports programs were given up.  Will those students be allowed to participate now?

Walts – we haven’t done a survey yet so I wouldn’t say it whould preclude that from occurring.

Bell – when does a student starts eligibility? Would participating in HS sports at the MS level count towards high school experience?

Trenum – as far as VHSL, this isn’t a new or novel idea,  We’ve done this before and other school divisions’ do as well.  I’d defer on details regarding eligibility to Mr Milgram.  I think eligibility applies to varsity sports.

Walts – It would be 8th graders for JV and Freshman level sports.  I’m sure Mr Milgram would keep eligibility in mind.

Bell – are we setting a precedent for student transferring into school to participate in this program?

Walts – I think those things need to be worked out in advance.  Part of the proposal for the regulation was that we wouldn’t be spending additional money on transportation.  A pilot is something we try and bring back after evaluating it.

Johns – don’t think we need a motion.  Will be happy to take a motion preventing Superintendent from doing this.  Is anyone willing to offer such a motion?

No hands

Jessie – have questions about metrics.  In regulation stated that would be as discretion of Principal.  What if Principal is reassigned or leaves?  Also, how will this be managed equitably for students without transportation?

Walts – Absolutely,  sll of these points are valid and will be part of the evaluation of the program once it’s ended.  For the sake of a pilot, this would be a one year pilot that all would agree on.  If Principal left we’d continue the pilot.  I will discuss equity with Mr Milbert and Principals to ensure that no one is being excluded because of transportation issues.

Johns – no motion to prevent Superintendent from doing this.  I think we need some concluding thoughts.

Covington – Have concerns about eligibility.  Would 12th graders be ineligible?  Could students participate in different sports at different levels?

Walts – can get that answer, but I don’t recall that specifically.  I don’t think that would prohibit students from participating at middle school and high school level sports.

Covingston – I trust your judgment.

Otaigbe – I support the pilot program.  I know we discussed this a few meetings ago.   It appears that we have the staff’s buy-in,  Piloting this program is a big part of what we do in giving choices to parents and students and site based management.  This is the genius of our system.

Johns – I support the pilot program.  I support rolling the program out county-wide.  I know we hared from some AD’s.  I’m troubled that we would be worried that our coaches would make such a terrible decision that would cause harm to come to our students.  I know what mismatches of size can do, I hope coaches aren’t put into positions where they think students will get hurt.  That’s a fundamental coaching decision.  I think it’s a great program.  I have full confidence in the Superintendent and staff.

Board Comments (comments are paraphrased)

Keen – thank staff at Featherstone for SOE celebration.  Congratulate Leesylvania staff for SOE celebration.  Thank students from Woodbridge MS single gender program.  Dr Walts, what is the annual cost of the FPHS Learn and Serve program?  Can we find a way to continue funding that program.  Thank students for speaking about Rianbow Riding Center.

Satterwhite – Welcome back to everyone  Hope you had a great Spring Break and are ready to begin prep for SOLs.  Thank you to students for coming out tonight.  Remind folks of PWCS Arts festival this weekend.

Bell – Welcome back to everyone.  Been out of the country.  Looking forward to summer.

Otaigbe – pass.

Covington – Did attend Leesylvania celebration in Mr Keen’s place.  It was a nice event – congratulations to team there.  Thank you Dumfries for School Board appreciation month.  Gave me a mug with pictures on the mug that were really nice and something I can keep forever.  Thank you to students and parents from coming out tonight.  Learn and Serve sounds like a wonderful program.  It would be nice if it could continue.  Thank you students from the Rainbow Center.

Trenum – Did that mug have a wanted sign on it?  This is SOE time of year. Attended celebration at Victory and will attend celebration at T Clay Wood.  Welcome back from Spring Break.  Thank 17th year old for reminding me that some of life’s lessons are best learned first hand.

Jessie – Congratulate Chairman and Mr Cline for representing us at the BOCS meetings.  VA Board of Ed recently held conference on college and career readiness.  Couldn’t attend conference but did obtain a handout.  We have to change how we teach kids and what we’re doing in classrooms to address workforce needs.   We need college / career readiness to be paramount.  Need to train teachers to teach differently.  Congratulate Vaughn Elementary for taking 5th graders on annal field trip to Va Tech.  While students are there they get to conduct experiences and are encouraged to go to college.

Convington – Thank you to Woodbridge MS students and parents.

Johns – can we have all of the students and parents and staff from Woodbridge MS stand up for us.  It is 8:10 PM.  Mr Cline – thank you for your hard work during this budget season.  I thought you did a phenomenal job.  More questions than ever before, you folks did a great job.  Thank you for writing my script.  Congratulations to teachers who have just achieved their Doctorates.

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2 Responses to “School Board Report – April 3, 2013”

  1. Greg B Says:

    VHSL JV Sports and PWCS Policy and Regulation – just in case anyone’s actually interested, PWCS Policy 612 and PWCS Regulation 612-2 govern the planning, implementation, and evaluation of innovative programs. Both of these are very easy to find on the division’s website, and spell out the actions necessary to plan, implement, and evaluate innovative/pilot programs. Links to the policy and regulation are: http://pwcs.schoolfusion.us/modules/cms/pages.phtml?pageid=149430&sessionid=58aecc6c39bd3ef5910cb3db3c05d0c8 and http://pwcs.schoolfusion.us/modules/cms/pages.phtml?pageid=153275&sessionid=920fa70236eea66a5632ca1574cc86fe respecitvely.

    In answer to Ms. Jessie’s query regards “metrics” for pilot programs – she need not worry about the impact of a potential Principal reassignment or departure provided the division takes an interest in following the policy and regulation to implement a VHSL innovative/pilot program in PWCS Middle Schools.

    The recent historic challenge befalling PWCS and Pilot programs has been the willingness to simply “wing it” without bothering to follow the procedures set forth in the Policy and Regulation e.g. Math Investigations and Middle School Block Scheduling pilot programs – neither of which had any followed the very Plan-Do-Study-Act requirements of the existing PWCS Regulations.

    One would like to hope something like this would actually follow the procedures – especially given the potential for student physical injuries.

    • pwceducationreform Says:

      Part III of Regulation 612-02 states the following (emphasis mine):

      “When innovative programs are developed at the school level, it is recommended that these programs follow the same procedures as centrally developed programs. They shall be planned and evaluated as part of the school planning process. Schools shall request a waiver when an innovative program deviates from existing policy, regulation, or standard operating procedure. Programs and practices that deviate from current regulations on which the School Board has previously voted shall require School Board approval.

      The existing policy on Interscholastic athletics is Regulation 648-1. Part III of that regulation states the following:

      “Due to differences in social, emotional, and physical development as well as difficulties in logistics such as the scheduling of practices and competitions due to differing school time for attendance, middle school students are not and will not be allowed to participate in high school club sports or interscholastic athletic activities.”

      This regulation was last approved by the school board on January 13, 2010.

      Allowing 8th graders to participate in high school level sports, even as part of a pilot on a trial basis at selected schools, violates regulation 648-1. Per regulation 612-2, a program allowing 8th graders to participate in VHSL freshman or JV level sports at selected schools, even as part of a pilot, would require the approval of the school board as the school board had previously approved regulation 648-1 on January 13, 2010.

      I know Mr Fagan said the Superintendent could run the pilot without board approval, but I think Mr Fagan was incorrect.


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