May 2, 2007



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

Resource Utilization Study: During the June 2006 School Board Retreat, the Board reviewed the basic tenets of the Baldrige Performance criteria and discussed the relationship of these criteria to the continuous improvement of the school division. These criteria include: Leadership, Strategic Planning, Customer and Market Focus, Measurement, Analysis, and Knowledge Management, Human Resource Focus, Process Management, and Business Results.

Through discussion of these criteria, Board members clarified their commitment to examine the allocation and alignment of resources to determine whether improvements in financial effectiveness and efficiency could be realized. The Commonwealth Educational Policy Institute (CEPI) associated with Virginia Commonwealth University contracts specific services with School Boards across Virginia. School Boards may determine specific areas within the Division’s and schools’ operations that can become a focus for a resource utilization study.  The outcome of such a study would be to gain efficiencies and improve the effectiveness of how resources are allocated, aligned and used to support strategic work towards achievement of Board-adopted goals.

At the April 12 Board meeting, Dr. William Bosher, executive director of CEPI,  provided an overview of the scope of services provided for school resource management reviews by CEPI. He also described how the data generated through such a resource utilization study can contribute to the continuous improvement of the Division through alignment of resources to the Goals of the Board.  


Based on the discussion with Dr. Bosher, the School Board asked that Dr. Moran work on developing a proposal for services with CEPI.  If the Board were to accept the proposal, it is anticipated that the study would be completed and presented to the Board prior to the next budget cycle.

Dr. Bosher’s credentials include executive director of the Commonwealth Educational Policy Institute and Distinguished Professor of Education and Public Policy at VCU. Past positions also include superintendent of Chesterfield County Public Schools, superintendent of public instruction for the Virginia State Department of Education and Henrico County Public Schools superintendent.

2007 -2008 School Division Budget: On April 19, 2007, the School Board adopted a budget for 2007-08 school fund budget of $147,950,352 and a self-sustaining budget of $15,254,196 for a total budget of $163,204,548. 


Student Behavior Management Work Session:  In the spring of 2006, the superintendent charged a committee to review current disciplinary and student behavior management strategies and procedures. In the first phase of its work, the committee identified best practices and procedures that result in students who value and demonstrate safe and respectful behaviors. When students form a community in which safe and respectful behaviors are routine, the school climate supports learning for all, inappropriate behavior decreases, and students understand the positive and negative consequences of their choices and the impact of those choices on others.  As a result of its broad research and analysis of Division student disciplinary and academic data, the committee evaluated student behavior management strategies that would form an improved continuum of K-12 prevention and intervention services and provide a more systemic response to the needs of students within their learning community. The committee considered the following essential questions throughout the first phase of their work and will continue to address ongoing considerations in future work related to student behavior management:


1)      What assumptions and beliefs about young people and learning should drive our recommendations for changes in our current K-12 practices and procedures associated with “behavior management and discipline?”   


2)      What are the key strengths of our current management and disciplinary systems? Challenges? What actions should we take to ensure that strengths and current best practices are diffused across the system? What actions or changes should occur to address challenges? 


3)      How do we differentiate prevention and intervention services to address the continuum of inappropriate behaviors that may occur in school? How do we ensure that all staff understands expectations for using both prevention and intervention practices that are respectful and developmentally appropriate?


4)      What best practice and procedural concepts should we introduce into the continuum to ensure that all students are given opportunities to learn and use normative school community behaviors? How do we use intervention to teach replacement behaviors to students who need mentoring, coaching, and opportunities to make restitution for their behaviors? What steps should we take to keep students connected with schooling and in school that are not being used or available now?


5)      What are your recommendations for a pilot Board Disciplinary Committee? What functional procedures would be put in place in this pilot to hear student disciplinary cases?


6)      What needs to change to make Board hearings more effective? Increase consistency of procedures and processes used by school administrators across schools? How do we ensure that all administrators are knowledgeable of and responsive to meeting expectations of the Board regarding disciplinary background materials and communication with the Board during hearings?


Over the course of the past year, the committee has added parent and community representation and has sought feedback from students. The committee engaged Board members during its work session on April 26 to discuss and review draft of information and recommendations. 


School Board Meetings:  The next regularly scheduled School Board meetings are May 10 and May 24.  In addition, a third monthly meeting is tentatively scheduled for May 21 to handle student conduct/discipline issues.


Graduation Dates:


 May 31, 2007             CATEC Graduation, 7 p.m., Martin Luther King, Jr. Performing Arts Center


June 4, 2007               Post High Graduation


June 7, 2007               Murray High School Graduation, 6 p.m., Burley Middle School Auditorium


June 8, 2007               Western Albemarle High School Graduation, 8 p.m., Warrior Stadium


June 9, 2007               Monticello High School Graduation, 9:30 a.m., Monticello Football Field


June 9, 2007               Albemarle High School Graduation, 1 p.m., John Paul Jones Arena


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