Thursday, November 4, 2010

Sandy Evans School Board Report

Dear Friends,

It's hard to believe we're already at the end of the first quarter of the 2010-11 school year! Here is an update on a few School Board items.

Budget:  We have started the task of developing next year's budget, and I welcome your input on what is most important to you as we start this process.  My priorities include keeping class sizes down, efficient use of resources, and a pay raise for our dedicated teachers and other employees, who have gone two years without one. Timing: the Superintendent will release a proposed budget, based on School Board guidelines, in early January; we will hold public hearings on Jan. 24 and 25; then we will hold work sessions and approve a budget in early February.

Lacey Site Elementary Construction: Demolition at the Lacey Center site (3705 Crest Dr., Annandale) is just about completed, and we will be breaking ground soon on this project. The new elementary school is scheduled to open in Fall 2012. Please join me for a groundbreaking ceremony at the Lacey site at 1 pm Friday, Nov. 12.

Annandale Regional Study:  The ad hoc committees continue to work on ways to relieve overcrowding at Annandale High School and how to draw boundaries for the new elementary school at the Lacey Center site.  The committees are to develop options and bring them to the School Board in January.  

A boundary study is expected this spring. Anyone who has gone through a boundary study knows they tend to be contentious. But the more informed we are the better able we will be to weigh different proposals.

It's too soon to tell what the exact impact will be, but it is bound to be significant. Schools that feed into Annandale or that border on Annandale or the Lacey Center site could be affected, either directly or indirectly. At this point, my main goal is to make sure all these school communities are paying attention and voicing their views as this process moves forward.

The schools with representatives to these two committees include: Annandale, Stuart, Falls Church, Lake Braddock, Edison, Lee, Woodson, West Springfield high schools; Poe, Jackson, Glasgow, Holmes and Frost middle schools; Beech Tree, Annandale Terrace, Belvedere, Braddock, Columbia, Sleepy Hollow, Westlawn, and Woodburn Elementary Schools.  In addition, I am urging those at Bren Mar Park ES, Weyanoke ES and Parklawn to send observers to meetings to keep their communities informed.

To see background documents, Frequently Asked Questions and who represents you school on the committee, go to this link:

The Annandale study committee will meet at Annandale High School on these Wednesdays, 7-9 pm.  All are in the Lecture Hall, except Nov. 10, which is in the cafeteria: Nov. 10, Dec. 1 and Dec. 15. All meetings are open to the public.

Discipline Policy and Practice Review: The Board is considering doing the first comprehensive review in years of our FCPS discipline policies. As a first step, we have asked the Superintendent to provide data and research on this issue. When we have seen his report, we will decide whether to pursue a more thorough look at discipline issues. I support such a review. We need to make sure our policies and practices are those that work to keep our schools safe while being fair, reasonable and consistent.

School Supplies Needed at Stuart High School: Do you have spare school supplies-notebooks, binders, pencils, etc.? If so, please donate them to Stuart High School for use by their students.