Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Email

Good afternoon! While I won't officially be on the School Board until Jan. 1, my new School Board email address is now active. You can reach me at preitinger@fccps.org.

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Input Welcome

Hi everyone. On January 1, Erin Gill and I formally join the Falls Church City School Board. Thank you for your support and input so far!

There are a variety of things I am interested in doing, and I hope to continue to hear from you - both your feedback on the schools and Board, and your ideas about the path forward. I'll publish my School Board email address here when it is activated so you can reach me directly. And I will be out and about in the community and at school functions, so I hope to see you there.

Happy holidays!

phil

Policy 5.12

(These are my personal vuiews and not the official statement or records of the Board.)
The School Board held a special meeting this morning to discuss a couple of changes to policy 5.12 to clarify the role of the School Board liaison to an advisory committee. You can find the proposed text here: http://www.boarddocs.com/vsba/fccpsva/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=A5BNHQ5BC404 (as part of the agenda for the meeting).
The Board also discussed a proposal from member Susan Kearney to also clarify the roles and responsibilities of the advisory committees, in the third paragraph of paragraph (B) of the policy. After a long discussion, the Board approved a clarifying change. The approved change was in addition to the ones included in the document referenced above.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Tonight's Meeting

(These are my personal views and not official statements or records of the Board.)
Good afternoon. I wanted to apologize that I can't write a report about tonight's meeting. The MEH Chorus Concert is this evening and I will be there.
For those of you interested in attending, the meeting is at 7 pm at the school central offices on the second floor of 800 W. Broad. The agenda looks full, including discussion of the policy concerning advisory committees (Policy 5.12), and the capital improvements plan (that is, the facilities plan) for the schools. There is also a closed session where GM/MEH and Mt. Daniel will be discussed, according to the agenda. http://www.boarddocs.com/vsba/fccpsva/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=A5432J6EA17D
Enjoy your week. I am traveling the next few days but hope to listen to and report on the meeting when I return.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Thank you to Susan Kearney and Kieran Sharpe – the Dec. 8 School Board Meeting

(These are my personal views and not official statements or records of the Board.)

On Tuesday evening, December 8, the School Board held a marathon meeting starting at 6 pm and ending around 11 pm.  There were open and closed sessions for the School Board, and open and closed sessions with the City Council.  This is a quick summary of the open sessions. 

The largest part of the School Board meeting was devoted to thanking Kieran Sharpe and Susan Kearney for their years of service.  I won’t repeat all the well-deserved tributes – I will only say that Susan was personally responsible for leading the Board and the schools through some of their most difficult times, and Kieran’s personal example of self-sacrifice on behalf of his community – on the Board, on the City Council, and through his personal life – sets an standard that can only be emulated, not equaled.

Something most of you will want to know – the School Board approved one of the two options presented for next year’s school year.  It approved the option that has a shorter winter break and starts summer vacation a few days earlier.  The approved calendar is here: http://www.boarddocs.com/vsba/fccpsva/Board.nsf/files/A4W85Q704397/$file/Draft2016.2017FCCPSCalendarOptionBRevised.pdf

There was some discussion of Mt. Daniel and George Mason.  With regard to Mt. Daniel, one board member raised the need to consider moving forward with safety and security upgrades at Mt. Daniel, if the construction there were further delayed.  The GM discussion was about the HVAC system, how long it would last, and how much it would cost if the large parts of the system failed (the whole system would be $6.5M, not including ductwork).  The administration also presented the draft capital plan, which includes contemplated school facilities construction.  http://www.boarddocs.com/vsba/fccpsva/Board.nsf/files/A4ZPHP5A92A2/$file/DRAFT_2016-17CIP%20(2).pdf

The three school employee advisory committees, for support staff, professional staff, and administrators gave their budget recommendations.  School staff were concerned with many of same things we would all be, such as ensuring fair pay and benefits, including for part-time employees.  The speakers emphasized the importance of small class sizes.  And the Professional Employee Advisory Committee also emphasized the value of communication and other intangibles – I am sure we all agree that teacher retention is not all about pay and benefits.

Last, the joint meeting with the City Council focused on the budget and school enrollment.  To make a long story short, the City expects that the funds available for expenditures will grow 2.3%, if keeping the current tax rate.


[One other note – early in the meeting there was a presentation of the Apple Distinguished Program Award to FCCPS.]

New Title and Purpose

Hi everyone. Sorry to have been offline for so long. I have now changed the title of this blog and my Facebook page, www.faceblook.com/phil4fcc, to "Phil Reitinger's Personal Falls Church CIty Schools Blog." I hope to continue to use both of them to continue to report on School Board meetings, so you can stay informed and provide the Schools and Board with your views. Of course, the views expressed on this page and in my blog are my personal views, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the School Board or FCCPS. Now with the disclaimer clear and done, let's get to work.