School Board Report – April 17, 2013

School Board Report for April 17, 2013.

Ms Jessie (Occoquan District) and Dr Otiaigbe (Coles District) were absent. All other members were present.

Consent Agenda

Mr Trenum – Want to comment about Bill Teel.  He passed away in 2012 and it is appropriate that this field be named after him. He spent years at Brentsville and affected many lives at Brentsville.  I’d like to recognize the folks from Brentsville here for him.

The consent agenda was approved by all members present.

  1. Declare May 5 – 11, 2013 as Exceptional Children’s Week
  2. Proclaim May 5 – 11, 2013 as Teacher Appreciation Week and May 7, 2013 as Teacher Appreciation Day
  3. Proclaim May 5 – 11, 2013 as Teacher Assistant Appreciation Week
  4. Award bids for upgrades to the kitchens at Gar-Field and Woodbridge High Schools in the amount of $1,394,000.
  5. Name the Softball field at Brentsville District High School in honor of William “Bill” Teel Senior, a former teacher and coach
  6. Approval of the minutes to the April 3rd meeting

Citizen Comments

Six citizens singed up to speak.

Citizen #1 & #2– two students addressed the board about science programs at their school and being selected as finalists for a NASA science challenge.  Students traveled to MIT to apply their code to simulate its function.  {Editor’s note:  Unfortunately the volume on PWCS TV was not working for part of their presentation, so I can’t report what school they were from or what program they participated in that enable them to attend the event at MIT.}

Citizen #3 & #4 –  two students from Buckland Mills Elementary School addressed the board about the robotics program at their school.  One student’s team came in first and the other student’s team came in second.  They’ll get to referee the competition that will be held in PWCS soon.

Citizen #5 – a student from Swans Creek Elementary School addressed the board about the SIGNET program, Math Club, PTA enrichment program,  Chorus, and Art Club at Swans Creek.

Citizen #6 – a citizen, and the Librarian at Yorkshire Elementary addressed the board about the Library at Yorkshire Elementary school.  She was here in celebration of School Library Month.  School librarians are teachers.  We teach 4 or more classes each day.  We are powerful collaborative partners for teachers.  We teach every student in our schools.  Libraries level the playing field by affording all students access to resource rich materials each and every day.  Our students check out more than 300 books every day at every school.

Johns – before we move onto Superintendent’s time, I wanted to make a few comments on the budget.  We’ve reached an important milestone in the budget,  The BOCS has approved a measure to fully fund the budget we approved a few weeks ago and presented to the BOCS.  The tax rate was reduced a bit from where it was proposed, but we are grateful the BOCS elected to give the school system a slightly larger slice of the smaller pie so that there would be no further cuts to budget.  We are committed to the efficient use of taxpayer dollars and to reducing class sizes.  Not all issues are settled, but we have a budget decision and can move forward.  We thank the BOCS for giving us some certainty in these uncertain times.

Regular Agenda

Revisions to Policy 662 “Graduation Requirements”

– revisions are necessary to comply with state mandates.

Ms Satterwhite – Under policy, we’ve taken out the section on advanced studies but added a section on special ed.  Why?

Answer – Healey – staff interpreted that there are more details in this policy than there should be that should be in the regulation.  The bold line talks about standard and verified credits.  The paragraph you’re talking about with the special diploma is for students who achieve a special diploma.  We left that in so that parents knew this option was available and to make sure those students get the rights associated with being part of a senior class.

Ms Satterwhite  –  page 8 paragraph 2 of the regulation talks about transfers from outside Va.  Regarding military students, are we in line with VA Code with regards to the interstate compact for military children?

Answer – Healey – Yes – the policy we’re asking you to adopt says that we will follow the policies and regulations passed by the state, so we will be in line with honoring that compact.

All members present voted for the revision.

Board Matters

Mr Johns – Dr Otaigbe and Ms Jessie send their regrets.  They both had travel requirements and could not be here.

Mr Trenum – Thank you to Piney Branch and Bristow Run and T Clay Wood for allowing me to attend their SOE celebration.

Ms Covington – Since our last meeting I did attend the EATS for education sponsored by SPARK.  I want to thank the staff and folks at Mateos for holding this.  Money that goes to SPARK go right back to our schools. I attended the county arts festival at Hylton HS.  I was amazed by the outstanding work our students do.  It was a wonderful full day that they were there.    I attended a Chamber of Commerce luncheon.  The program was Smart Beginnings and the emphasis being placed on early childhood education.  I’d like to congratulate a student from FPHS for being named the Washington Post’s track athlete of the year.

Ms Bell – We don’t sign enough praises enough times,  There are a lot of the senior staff here and we couldn’t do our jobs without them.  We rely on them and we don’t get a chance to thank them, and I want to thank them.  Gar-Field is having an college fair.  Enterprise is holding a 5K.  Fitzgerald and Henderson are having a collaborative choral concert.  Kindergarten registration runs for one more day, so please register!

Ms Satterwhite – want to thank students from Battlefield for talking about robotics program.  I want to send out a congratulations to teachers at Battlefield for earning national awards.  Alvey and Gravely have a family fund run and 5K.  Just returned from NSB conference,  Our speakers did a great job we have three presentations from PWCS.  I’m excited about what I’ve learned.

Mr Keen – Thank staff a Gar-field for inviting me to conference this year.  This is the VHSL’s 100 anniversary.  Want to thank PWEA folks for showing up to support us at BOCS meeting.  Thanks to the Chamber of Commerce for the today and for awarding scholarships.  Thant you to Mr Johnson and staff for supporting me.

Mr Johns – thanks to our students who came out to talk about robotics.  So much support for this program – keep up the good work.  Attended Bristow Run SOE ceremony – did not have to wear the panther costume, thankfully.  It was a wonderful ceremony.  As Mrs Satterwhite pointed out, several of us returned from the NSBA conference.  PWCS gave three presentations.  You have to apply and be vetted to give these. We had presentations on STEM in the classroom,  Bring Your Own Device program, and Education Foundation presentation.  All of these were completely full.   I was very proud to be associated with PWCS.  The rooms were packed, people stayed afterwards, and it reflects well on our community, staff, and school system. Thanks again to out BOCS for approving the tax rate that will fund our budget.

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