October 2018 ( I give up on titles )

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…

We talked about three budgets in October, finishing up last year’s with almost $500,000, staying on track for this year, and beginning to look at items and issues for next year.  With the $500,000 carryover from last year, the Board UNofficially agreed not to ask the county for any of it back. During discussion for next year, I asked for feedback about anything we added recently (like the recess aides to increase elementary planning time) so we can “reallocate resources” if changes aren’t worth it.

Testing was a big topic for the evening, but the exciting thing was that the Board unanimously requested the superintendent work with staff to reduce the level of student testing in Fluvanna.  I have a huge speech about teacher feedback, student stress, loss of instructional time, staff survey results… and I said it all.  Mr. Pullen was ready to suggest a vote then and there to eliminate the Measures of Academic Progress test.  We didn’t get that far, but I’m excited for our future.

The only action item that generated much discussion was the superintendent’s personnel recommendation.  The former position of Director of Elementary Instruction and Federal Programs (which was turned down by the Board last month) was revamped as Coordinator of Federal and Instructional Programs.  Although the pay band for coordinator is less than director, I was also concerned that we’re looking at the possibility of adding two other positions that don’t directly affect students (a PR person and an administrative assistant) while the staff advisory notes indicate some very large class sizes at the high school.  And I won’t – but I could – repeat my second huge speech of the evening about the high level of oversight this position places on our K-7 teachers that limits their ability to use their own professional judgement and tailor instruction to their unique learners.

This brought up the issue of micromanaging the superintendent by denying the position, which I get, but one of the reasons I was elected to the School Board was to bring a teacher’s perspective and, ironically, in my opinion, this position micromanages teachers to the detriment of our staff and students.

In the end, the vote was 3-2 in favor of approving the position (I voted yes) but removing from the job description monitoring and overseeing K-7 instruction, leaving these duties in the capable hands of the teachers, principals, and our already existing Director of Instruction.  And because this increases the Director’s level of responsibility, we approved the administrative assistant she requested.

Well, that turned into almost the whole speech after all.  Whoops.  Thanks for hanging in there.

 

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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.

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