Friday, March 18, 2011

School Board Update

TOMORROW, 1-3 pm, Sat. March 19,  
Falls Church High School

Town Hall Meeting: To hear more from the Mason District community on how to help troubled teens and on student discipline issues, I will be holding a joint Town Hall Meeting with Supervisor Gross from 1-3 pm Saturday, March 19 at Falls Church High School, 7521 Jaguar Trail, Falls Church, in the Little Theater.
Special invited guests include School Board Member Tina Hone (at-large), who has led the effort on the School Board to review discipline policies; Supervisor Cathy Hudgins (Hunter Mill) and Del. Kaye Kory.
Student Discipline: The School Board held its first work session on the student discipline issue on Monday, March 14. To see some background materials used, as well as specific issues identified by School Board members, please go to this link.

We will be continuing our review and revision of these policies and practices in the coming months. I look forward to hearing your views. Whether or not you can attend the town hall meeting, you can always let me know your opinion by writing to me at

In addition, I've asked the Public Engagement Committee, on which I serve, to develop a strategy for including the public in the dialog on this important issue as we work on it in the coming months.

Annandale Regional Study: I'm delighted to let you know that the School Board agreed on Monday to pursue nonboundary options proposed by the Ad Hoc Committee on how to deal with overcrowding at Annandale High School (see link to report in left column), at the same time we investigate potential boundary solutions.  This is an unusual parallel track approach, and I applaud School Board members and school system staff for embracing and recommending it. I will have more to report about this important issue, but for now you can see both the recommendation for how to proceed, including an excellent outlining of the issues:
Also, a report on our decisions from the Work Session (note: I had to cut and paste this into a browser other than AOL to get it to work):

We will be continuing work on this and the boundaries for the new elementary school at the Lacey center site in April.

AP/IB Fees: A majority of the Board also agreed at the Work Session that we should refund AP and IB fees collected this year. I strongly support doing this, as well as removing these fees in the future. That determination will be made as part of the FY 2012 budget decisions in May.


Tom Shadyac, graduate of JEB Stuart HS and successful Hollywood Director (Ace Ventura, Nutty Professor, Bruce Almighty) is coming to Stuart on Wednesday, March 23rd at 7:30pm for a screening of his new documentary, "I AM".    To see a clip of it go to:

The movie will be shown in the Stuart Auditorium and admission is free - no tickets needed.
Everyone is welcome to come - students, parents, teachers, alumni, neighbors, family, and friends.  We want a big crowd to give Tom a warm homecoming welcome - so come join us and bring the family!

The film explores what is right and wrong with the world and how we can change it.  It is a bit autobiographical as Tom explores his own life, which has changed in recent years.  (He sold his mansion and lives much more simply).  Tom will be here for questions and answers after the film.

Tom has generously agreed to allow the JEB Stuart Educational Foundation to accept donations at the event.

Please mark the date on your calendar - this is a BIG event for the Stuart community.  Any questions please contact Susan Tull O'Reilly at .  

All the best,