November 1, 2006



A monthly communications report from the Albemarle County School Board to the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors


Making Connections Conference: The 2006 Making Connections Conference will be held on Monday, November 6, at Monticello High School, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.  The focus for this year’s conference is Eliminating Gaps in Achievement through Rigor, Relevance and Relationships.  If anyone is interested in attending, please contact Becky Fisher, Assistant Director for Best Practices, at 296-5820.    


Hollymead/Sutherland/Baker-Butler Community Forum: The principals at Hollymead Elementary, Baker-Butler Elementary and Sutherland Middle School hosted a Community Forum in conjunction with Charlene Green, Equity and Diversity Coordinators and PTO representatives.  Facilitators created an opportunity for open dialogue on tolerance, appreciation of diversity and helping our children prepare for a global society. The forum was held on October 16, 2006 with more than 100 stakeholders participating. 


Charter School Review Committee: The School Board is seeking applicants to serve on a Charter School Review Committee.  Members of the Committee will review charter school applications, conduct applicant interviews, and make recommendations to the School Board.  There are five non-staff positions open to the public: three community members, one local business representative, and one qualified educator with specific knowledge of charter schools.  Applicants must reside in Albemarle County.  Those interested in serving on the committee are asked to submit a letter of interest (no more than two pages) and a one-page resume.  Deadline for applications is November 10, 2006. 


Murray High School Charter Renewal: In the spring of 2000, Murray High School began to discuss the possibility of becoming a charter school, and by the fall of 2000 it was the consensus of the staff, students, and School Improvement Team that Murray should seek charter school status.  The reasons that Murray sought charter status were: 1) to have more flexibility to meet the needs of students who are at risk of graduating below potential or of dropping out, 2) to increase enrollment, and 3) to be more cost effective. On February 7, 2001 the School Board approved Murray’s application to become a charter school, effective July 1, 2001.  Annual reports on the status of Murray High School have been presented to the Board.  At the October 12th meeting, the School Board voted to renew the Murray High School Charter for five years effective July 1, 2007.


School Health Advisory Board Report: The Albemarle County School Health Advisory Board assists schools with the development of health policy in the school division and the evaluation of the status of school health including health education, the school environment and health services.  The Health Advisory Board reports annually to the School Board regarding health issues in the schools.  As a result of last year’s presentation, the School Board included funding to increase elementary nurses to six hours, provide for coaches education, and to continue the position of Division Cafeteria Manager in last year’s budget.  The School Board received a report from the SHAB on October 12th that included the following recommendations: removing Driver’s Education from Health Education and teaching it as a separate course; discontinuing the $75,000 fee charged to the Child Nutrition Program; continuing consideration for switching the County bus fleet to biodeisel fuel; requiring ongoing research into the use of bio-based cleaning products in schools; encouraging all schools to participate in the Governor’s Scorecard; and replacing the “Perfect Attendance Award” with awards for excellent attendance.


School Division 2007/08 Funding Request: During our October 26th work session, the School Board will begin initial discussion on areas of focus for the 2007/08 funding request preparation.  In addition to this discussion, the Board will be reviewing recommendations for Capital Improvements from the Long-Range Planning Advisory Committee. 


School Board Meetings:  The next regularly scheduled School Board Meetings is November 9th.  The next Closed School Board Meeting is scheduled for November 20th at 5:30 p.m. (time is tentative).   


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