The last School Board meeting before the holidays included approval of the 2019-20 academic calendars, an update on the Program of Studies, the difference in costs associated with a single high school and a connected high school for The High School Project, and approval of the Capital Improvement Program Budget for the next ten years.
If you didn’t watch the meeting live, you can catch up on all the updates from the December 20 Board meeting online.
We Said Goodbye to Five Members of Our School Board
Here is what a few of them had to say:
I have been amazed by the remarkable people I have met during my time alongside staff at ACPS.” — Hal Cardwell
It’s incredible that people still come every day to work to make it a better place.” — Chris Lewis
I want to tip my hat to the staff. I only see a tiny sliver of the pie of the hours that you put in. You are really helping to build trust.” — Karen Graf
We have some super achievers in our division and we want to make sure we are seeing all our students as achievers. We have opened three new schools in our last term and our focus on our teachers and our staff has been critical.” — Bill Campbell
We are seeing things moving and moving. We have come a long way but there are a lot more things that need to be done.” — Ronnie Campbell
Capital Improvement Program Budget
The Board passed the FY2020-2029 Capital Improvement Program (CIP) Budget for $478.5 million for ten-years and $42.6 million for FY2020. The Board stressed that collaboration with the City will be key to resolving facilities issues and setting the schools on a positive trajectory for the future. They called on the City Council to make both school capacity and upkeep a priority, and identify funds to address urgent needs outside of the budget cycle. They also called on the City to conduct a feasibility study on the possible use of public open space adjacent to Douglas MacArthur Elementary School to speed up the modernization process.
We need to make tough decisions as to what we prioritize. Every item is important but we do have to prioritize. I commend the Board for having an open mind, making the tough decisions and moving things forward,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr.
2019-20 Academic Calendars
The Board voted to approve the academic calendars for 2019-20 with a two-week winter break to support teachers and allow facilities issues to be fixed over that period of time.
The High School Project
Staff presented cost considerations for the high school options. This includes a comparison of the cost of a single high school with a connected high school network using multiple smaller buildings. The Board will discuss the future high school on January 10 with a view to voting on the educational vision on January 24, 2019.