Board Matters: An Update from the Most Recent School Board Meeting

Today, we will be launching a new regular item in ACPS Express. We want to make sure our community is kept up-to-date with the discussions that take place at the School Board meetings and the decisions that are made there.

We know Board meetings can be long! You can still watch any meeting either live or recorded whenever you want to on ACPS-TV. We also want to give you the option of staying up-to-date with the big decisions through this summary.

You can watch any of these individual presentations on the ACPS website by selecting the date of the meeting you wish to access then the title of the presentation.

Opening of School Report from Dr. Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr.

Dr. Hutchings highlighted the preparation that took place to get schools ready over the summer, the highs of opening schools and the challenges the division faced. Preparations included hosting a three-day Leadership Institute, where staff built 40 bikes for 40 children as part of a team-building project in collaboration with the Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority as well as getting our facilities up to standard.

View the Opening of Schools Presentation (PDF).

Budget Priorities

The Board discussed priorities for the FY2019 Combined Funds Budget (PDF). Dr. Hutchings told the Board that his goal was to ensure consistency of goals from year to year.

Budget priorities include:

  • customer service for external and internal groups
  • safety
  • mental, physical and nutritional programs
  • leadership development
  • specialized instruction
  • English learner services
  • gap group achievement
  • math
  • literacy
  • writing

Capital Improvement Program priorities (PDF) were also listed. The priorities were not listed in any particular order or priority.

SOL Assessment Update and Next Steps

Fourteen schools within ACPS are anticipated to be fully accredited for the 2018-19 school year, two more than last year. William Ramsay Elementary School and Francis C. Hammond Middle School both attained full accreditation status for the first time in several years. Both were previously accredited with conditions.

T.C. Williams High School is expected to continue to be accredited with conditions this year and needs to improve in the areas of math and subgroup performance for the Graduation Completion Index and dropout rate.

Jefferson-Houston School, the only International Baccalaureate (I.B.) World School in ACPS, will move out of accreditation denied status this school year and will be accredited with conditions. It has shown exponential growth over the past five years but missed the benchmark in the areas of achievement levels for black students and students with disabilities. The school met or surpassed all other state benchmarks including English, science, chronic absenteeism and all student benchmarks. The school offers both I.B. Primary Years and Middle Years Programmes, which encourage students to think independently, drive their own learning, work cooperatively with others and draw connections between what they are learning in the classroom and the real world.

Next Steps, which outlined how ACPS will work on areas that still need improvement, were introduced by Dr. Terri Mozingo. 

View the SOL Assessment Update and Next Steps (PDF).

Board Bullets

Policy FF: Non-sponsored Naming and Renaming of School Division Facilities

A petition of 100 signatures for renaming a school or existing facility will now be required to consider renaming a school or facility. The updates to this policy were approved by the Board.

Advisory Committee Appointments

The Board appointed and reappointed several members of the community to the Athletic Hall of Fame Advisory Committee and Budget Advisory Committee. For a full list, please see the consent calendar.

Budget Calendar

For those of you who like to follow the budget process closely, the budget calendar was updated slightly. The employee compensation study was moved from the work session on September 20 to the work session on November 13.

Performance Audit Staff Update: Payroll Process

The Payroll Office recommended the installation of direct deposits for all employees, in line with audit recommendations. The Payroll Office also recommended that supervisors be tracked to ensure that timesheets are submitted on time, in line with audit recommendations.

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