Thanks for reading Fluco Blog. I’m Perrie Johnson, Fork Union’s representative to the Fluvanna County School Board. My goal with Fluco Blog is to let people know what’s going on at School Board meetings beyond the reports available online. Be forewarned, when it comes to discussion, most of the comments I remember turn out to be mine! Here’s the latest…
No votes were taken during July’s morning meeting #2. We discussed common School Board priorities and certain priorities specific to each Board member. Generally, Ms. Pace addressed the importance of meeting the emotional needs of children; Ms. Carr wants to strengthen technology, vocational education, and the gifted program; Mr. Rittenhouse wants to make sure our funds directly support students and quality staff; and I want teachers more extensively involved in decision making. (Teachers know their students and know their content, and I think we can improve instruction, discipline, assessment, budgeting -almost everything- by soliciting more input from the professionals who address all of these every day.)
There’s a long but pretty interesting report online with data about test scores. With Advanced Placement (AP) exams, 40% more students tested than last year, but our pass rate doesn’t look great compared to the state average. SOL scores are generally down, but all schools are still accredited. SAT statistics put us in line with the percentage of students who take the tests statewide -at 54%- and a little above the state average score in reading and math. There’s also a lot of information about Career and Technical Education (CTE) credentialing pass rates, which I need to talk over with an administrator before I spout out about (hehe) possibly incorrect conclusions here.
We heard some numbers I’m not sure made it online, about student discipline and teacher (maybe staff) attendance. To address discipline concerns the administration is considering expanding the PBIS program (Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports) from the elementary schools to middle and high school. Concerning attendance, student att’d is going down but still at about 95%. A real eye-opener (for me) were statistics on teacher attendance. Missing more than 10 days/yr is defined as chronically absent by the state, and the Board was told that 30%-40% of our teachers are chronically absent. The national average, according to the U.S. Dept. of Education, was 27% last year. Mr. Winkler doesn’t assume a problem with Fluvanna’s numbers, but will explore the issue.
We can’t have a meeting without talking budget, and salary comparisons are available among the online reports to start discussions for 2018-19. After seeing some of the administrative comparisons, I commented to the Board that while teachers’ experience generally equates to steps on the scale, our administrator scales carry the footnote that ‘experience may not necessarily equate to steps’. And, in fact, many of our administrators are contracted at a much higher rate than their steps would indicate by experience. I brought it up because, in my opinion, this situation makes comparing our administrative steps to others unreliable.
Finally, on another (short) note… a word about new staff for 2017-18. So far we’ve welcomed almost 40 new members. Of the new teachers, the three largest categories by instruction are special education (7), math (6), and CTE (Career and Tech Ed-3).
No more morning meetings in the foreseeable future, but you can join us at 6:30 on Wed, August 9 (or just look for my next post at some undetermined time after that). Thanks again for reading!
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This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me. The views expressed in this blog are purely my own and do not represent the Fluvanna County School Board, the school superintendent, or anyone else. Comments added by others are not necessarily my opinions and I am not responsible for their content.