April 4, 2007



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


Comprehensive High School Program of Studies Recommendations: The High School Program of Studies is reviewed on an annual basis to ensure the Division is meeting the needs of all students, reflective of changes in Virginia standards for public schools, and positions our programs among other top performing programs in the educational marketplace.  The School Board received and approved revisions to course offerings for the 2007-08 school year in December 2006.  However, it was determined that additional time was needed to further review recommendations related to grade point average, class rank, weighted grades, grading scale, course levels, and exams and exam options.  Dr. Moran presented her recommendations on these issues at the February 8th regular board meeting.  At its March 8th meeting, the Board voted to approve the Superintendentís recommendations for changes to the High School Program of Studies, which are:


  1. Use a weighted scale for students entering the 9th grade (or taking high school courses in middle school).
  2. Continue identifying and recognizing the top 10% of each graduating class as honor graduates.
  3. Change the Divisionís grading scale to a 10-point scale.
  4. Instructional staff will develop Division performance standards and grading criteria representative of rigorous course standards.
  5. Instructional staff will implement instructional practices that set high expectations for and support all students to master course content consistent with the Divisionís Vision, Mission, and Goals. 
  6. Individual high schools will use school improvement planning to determine course levels that can be combined to increase opportunities for students to participate in higher course levels.  Elective courses will remain unleveled.
  7. Final exams will continue to count as 20% of the final semester grade.
  8. Attendance requirements for exam exemptions will be removed beginning with the 2007-08 school year. 
  9. Schools have the option of allowing students to substitute an SOL end-of-course exam for the final exam.
  10. High school staff will use the school improvement process to determine second semester exam practices and will communicate exam expectations and procedures to students and parents at the beginning of the second semester.


Redistricting: On November 29, 2006, the School Board revised the timeline of four CIP projects and indicated that it would be necessary to redistrict students in order to alleviate overcrowding at Crozet. 


After the meeting in December, staff began work to develop a proposal for moving students from Crozet Elementary School to other elementary schools in the western feeder pattern.  Principals from Crozet, Meriwether Lewis, and Brownsville met with staff to discuss the process and helped with getting informational letters and newsletters to their communities. 


Staff met to review data and discuss issues regarding capacity of each of the three elementary schools, Brownsville, Crozet, and Meriwether Lewis; the numbers of elementary students in areas of proximity to Meriwether Lewis and Brownsville; and the projected enrollments for the next several years.  On March 8th, staff provided the Board with the following recommendations for redistricting for Fall of 2007.


         Transfer students from Crozet Elementary to Meriwether Lewis Elementary who live on Browns Gap Turnpike and Garth Road, from White Hall to Albemarle Lake Road. 


         Transfer students from Crozet Elementary to Brownsville Elementary who live on the south side of Jarmans Gap Road and Crozet Avenue, from Jarmans Gap Road to Route 250. 


After receiving the recommendations, the Board held a public hearing on the proposed plan on March 15th at Crozet Elementary School.  On March 22nd, the Board approved the redistricting plan as presented for the Fall of 2007. 


School Board Meetings:  The next regularly scheduled School Board meetings are April 12 and April 26.  There are two budget work sessions scheduled for April Ė April 19 and April 24.  In addition, a third monthly meeting is tentatively scheduled for April 23 to handle student conduct/discipline issues. 


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