Saturday, January 29, 2011

School Board Report

Dear Friends, 

I hope you're all keeping safe and warm and have power.  I know I very much appreciated getting mine back!
Snow Day Make-Up: Because of the snow days this week, school will be open on Monday, Feb. 21 (which was to be a holiday). Because of the missed time this last week, principals have been told they may extend grading and reporting timelines for the quarter and/or semester that ended today. All grades must be completed no later than Friday, Feb. 4.
Pre-Labor Day Start Survey/News: FCPS conducted an online survey to get parent and teacher opinion on starting school before Labor Day.  Those answering the survey supported the change, 64% of parents and 71% of staff.  However, we have also been informed that bills required at the state level to allow the a pre-Labor Day start have all been killed in committee. So for the time being, no change is in the offing.

The FY2012 budget will occupy most of the School Board's attention in the next week. Our Work Session on the budget, originally scheduled for Jan. 27, will be held at 7 pm Monday, Jan. 31, at Luther Jackson Middle School.  At our regular meeting at 7 pm, Thursday, Feb. 3, the School Board will consider amendments to the Superintendent's
FY2012 Proposed Budget and approve an Advertised Budget. It then goes to the Board of Supervisors, which determines in April how much the transfer to the school system will be. The School Board adopts a final Approved Budget in May, after making any needed adjustments.

The Superintendent's budget includes no increase in class size while giving our dedicated teachers and other employees a step increase and 2% salary increase.

Both the Jan. 31 and Feb. 3 budget meetings will be televised on Channel 21. Please contact me if you'd like to share your views on budget priorities or amendments.

Background materials and budget questions and answers are posted on the FCPS website.

A public Budget Forum will be held from 9 am to noon Saturday, Feb. 26 at Falls Church High School. The forum will include information about the budget, with opportunities fro the public to ask questions and raise issues. I urge you to attend.

Annandale Regional Study: A reminder that you can still weigh in on options for dealing with overcrowding at Annandale High School and Poe Middle School in a survey.  A high school/middle school ad hoc study group gave its report earlier this month, with many creative options.

A new survey is also available at the FCPS web site about proposed options for drawing boundaries for the new elementary school being built at the site of the old Lacey Center in Annandale, due to open in fall 2012. The elementary group in its report provided six boundary scenarios.  The schools with the most potential impacts from various scenarios are Annandale Terrace ES, Beech Tree ES, Belvedere ES, Columbia ES and Woodburn ES. One scenario (A1) would affect Sleepy Hollow ES, Westlawn ES and Pine Spring ES.

Thank you! To The Falls Church (Episcopal) for its generous donation of school supplies to Stuart students.  After reading here about the need for these supplies at Stuart, Nancy and Jim Councilor consulted with Principal Pam Jones and organized the contribution of these items: 17 scientific calculators, 120 mechanical pencils, 120 ballpoint pens, 96 highlighters, 24 spiral notebooks. Their generosity is much appreciated!