Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Mt. Daniel, Priorities, Superintendent Contract, and Enrollment

Good morning!  Here is a summary of last night’s School Board meeting.  It was the best attended School Board meeting I have seen in the last few months, with seven out of eight school board candidates in attendance for at least part of the meeting.

Mt. Daniel – The issues with HVAC and the fire alarm were covered by @erin gill in her post here:  Dr. Jones also talked briefly about the Sept. 17 Fairfax County Planning Commission meeting, saying that the commissioners were asking questions and that was good – I think asking questions cuts both ways but for another week we have to wait and hope.  Dr. Jones did not discuss Plan B if the Commissioners do not approve.

Enrollment – Enrollment is up 3%.   Thomas Jefferson has 785 students currently.

Superintendent Contract – Dr. Jones’ contract was extended to June 30, 2019.  I had written a letter to the Board asking that it not extend the contract at this time in order to obtain additional public input, and because extending a contract for that length of time would limit the ability of a new board to make decisions.  http://www.boarddocs.com/vsba/fccpsva/Board.nsf/files/A275LC7B0097/$file/Superintendent%20Contract%20LetterReitinger.pdf.   The contract was extended unanimously.

School Board Priorities – Two priorities are to be added or significantly changed.  Kieran Sharpe recommended that a new priority be added on engaging the community, with support from Susan Kearney and Margaret Ward.  A new priority for this will be added – and that is an important success if followed by action.  The technology audit language that had been included will now be focused on information security, an issue raised by Susan Kearney and in my letter to the Board here: http://www.reitinger.org/2015/09/open-letter-happy-friday-here-is-my.html.  Last, Dr. Jones made it clear that the Administration is concerned with the teacher pay gap with Arlington primarily, as opposed to Fairfax County. 

Directions to Advisory Committees – The School Board also unanimously approved the proposed directions to Advisory Committees.  The School Board views these has helpful guidance to make sure Advisory Committees work on matters of importance.  Based on the comments at the start of the meeting, and what I have been told outside the meeting, the guidance has not universally been perceived that way.


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