September 6, 2006


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


VSBA Media Honor Roll:  The School Board nominated Charlottesville Newsplex for this award at their August 10th meeting.  On August 24th representatives from the Charlottesville Newsplex attended the School Board meeting and were presented with a resolution of appreciation.  The Media Honor Roll recognizes media representatives in three categories: print, radio and television.  Criteria for honorees include: (1) make the effort to get to know the superintendent, board chairman, divisionís mission and goals; (2) report school news in a manner that is fair, accurate and balanced; (3) give a high-profile position to good news about schools; (4) visit the schools; and (5) maintain a policy of no surprise by sharing information with school representatives. 


New Teacher Academy:  School Board members, the Superintendent, and other instructional staff, officially welcomed 132 new teachers to the division at New Teacher Academy on August 9th and 10th at Western Albemarle High School.  These two days of instructional orientation provided new teachers with specific professional development designed to introduce them to key strengths, challenges, and values of our school division. 


Teaching American History Grant:  In partnership with the University of Virginia, Charlottesville City Schools, Greene County Schools, Madison County Schools, and Orange County Schools, the division was awarded a $1,000,000 Teaching American History Grant by the U.S. Department of Education.  The Virginia Experiment:  Growing Seeds of Democracy in Four Hundred Years of American History has one overall goal:  to improve student achievement by providing high-quality professional development to teachers of American History.  Two Teaching Fellows from each school division have been selected to work closely in partnership with the University of Virginia and visiting historians from all across the country.


Compensation for Coaching:  The School Board began a review of compensation for coaches.  As the Athletic Programs have expanded, the subjectivity and administrative time required for the Athletic Director to calculate the coaching stipends is no longer an efficient method to arrive at appropriate compensation.  In accordance with the Joint Board adopted Compensation strategy to pay employees at market, a Coaches Scale based on market data has been developed and will be developed annually based on competitive market data.  At the August 24th meeting, the School Board adopted changes to Policy GCBAA regarding stipends for coaches.


Preliminary 2005-2006 SOL and AYP Information:  The Division has received preliminary student and division-level SOL data.  Based on preliminary analysis of available data, Assessment and Information Services staff has recognized some areas of success and some areas that are in need of increased attention and improvement.  Preliminary data show that the Division continues to make gains with Reading and Writing pass rates.  Division pass rates in mathematic at previously tested grade levels are in line with previous levels of achievement.  However, the preliminary results from the new tests in 6th and 7th grade math are much lower than expected.  A formal analysis of the Divisionís SOL data and AYP status will be presented to the Board at the September 14th meeting.


Legislators Meeting:  The School Board met with five of the six local legislative delegation-Senators Creigh Deeds and Emmett Hanger and Delegates Rob Bell, Steve Landes, and David Toscano-on August 25th to discuss legislative issues specific to Albemarle County Public Schools.  These issues included:


          Teacher & Administrator Shortage/Cost of Living Index

          Scholarship for Disable Students Program

          Regulations on Notification from Court System Regarding Albemarle County Students

          Notification to School Authorities of Arrest of Students


School Board Meetings:  The next regularly scheduled School Board Meetings are September 14th and 28th at 6:30 p.m.  The next Closed School Board Meeting is scheduled for September 25th at 5:30 p.m. (time is tentative).


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