May 2008



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


Work Session on Student Engagement: On March 27, 2008, the School Board held a work session on student engagement measures within the division.  The Divisionís mission is to establish a community of learners and learning, through rigor, relevance, and relationships, one student at a time. At the center of these 3 Rís (rigor, relevance, and relationships) lies student engagement. The Divisionís vision is that all learners believe in their power to embrace learning, to excel, and to own their future.  Student engagementólearning at high levels, retaining what has been learned, and transferring what has been learned to new contextsóis requisite to achieving this vision.  Recognizing this, the School Board adopted Superintendent/Board Priority 1.2: All students embrace rigorous learning through high-level, student-centered work representative of the Divisionís Lifelong Learning Standards. One of the outcome

measures for this priority is that current and former student, parent and staff survey information indicates high levels of engagement and rigor.  During the work session, Board members received input from students, parents, staff and community members on the following areas: 1) Classroom Engagement, 2) Transitions and Relationships, and 3) Athletic and Extracurricular Participation. 


Work Session on Closing the Achievement Gap: The Albemarle County School Board establishes the vision, mission and goals for the school division. Recognizing the critical importance of education for all children, the School Board has identified Eliminating the Achievement Gap as Goal 2 of its mission.

The achievement gap is a matter of race and class. Across the United States and in Albemarle County Public Schools, a gap exists between the performance of some ethnic groups and socioeconomically disadvantaged students and their white counterparts. This gap has persisted for many years, and research has identified both school-related and home/community factors that impact the academic achievement of students. It is imperative that school divisions focus their attention on and engage in deep inquiry around the school-related factors that impact student performance.  Research indicates that academic resources, curriculum, and teacher quality are critical predictors of student performance. The School Board and Superintendent have developed priorities to address the elimination of the achievement gap.


The achievement gap is the persistence of performance and achievement differences between students largely according to demographic differences. The definition is predicated on an underlying assumption that all students begin with the same scholastic ability and that environmental and educational factors shape the degree to which students are successful. The achievement gap describes the phenomenon that occurs when students from similar families who attend the same schools deliver markedly different performance results on nearly all employed outcome measures. All school divisions show signs of the achievement gap; however, some are beginning to abate the gap through sound curriculum, instruction, and a shift in accountability.


May Work Session on Compensation: On May 22, 2008 the School Board will be holding a work session on compensation and benefits.  Those Board of Supervisor members interested in attending the meeting are welcome to attend and participate.  The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. in Room 241 of the Albemarle County Office Building.




Graduations: The following is a list of graduation dates:


May 21, 2008              CATEC Completers Ceremony


May 29, 2008              Post High Graduation, 5 p.m., Post High House


May 29, 2008              Murray High School Graduation, 6 p.m., Burley Middle School


May 30, 2008              Western Albemarle High School, 8 p.m., Western Albemarle


May 31, 2008              Monticello High School Graduation, 9:30 a.m., Monticello High School


May 31, 2008              Albemarle High School Graduation, 1 p.m., John Paul Jones Arena


May Meetings:  The School Board will hold its Regular Board meeting on May 8, 2008, its Regular Work Session on May 22, 2008 and its student conduct meeting is scheduled for Monday, May 19th.


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