York County School Board Newsletter

YCSD School Board Notes - October 2013


I am writing to share information with you regarding our most recent School Board work session, held on Monday, October 14.

Operational Matters

Over the last several months, the School Board has engaged in several conversations regarding school start times. We discussed research regarding the ability of adolescents to fall asleep before 11:00 p.m., the sleep needs of adolescents, and the amount of time average adolescents sleep. We also discussed the impact of insufficient sleep and the potential benefits of later school start times, particularly as it relates to student performance.

At our meeting on Monday, the Board asked staff members to focus on the assessment and consideration of two options for adjusting school start times. Neither option includes start times prior to 7:50 a.m. for any level.

Elementary, High, Middle Sequence
Elementary Schools 7:50 a.m. to 2:26 p.m.
High Schools 8:30 or 8:35 a.m. to 3:15 or 3:20 p.m.
Middle Schools 9:10 or 9:15 a.m. to 3:55 or 4:00 p.m.
   
High, Elementary, Middle Sequence
High Schools 7:50 a.m. to 2:35 p.m.
Elementary Schools 8:30 or 8:45 a.m. to 3:06 to 3:21 p.m.
Middle Schools 9:25 a.m. to 4:10 p.m.

The Board asked that staff members conduct further analysis of these two options, including implications for specialized programs, such as New Horizons Career and Technical Education Programs and the Governor’s School, as well as athletics and before- and after-school programs operated by Champions. The Superintendent and Board members have expressed interest in surveying parents and other stakeholders after additional analysis of the options occurs and details of the options are communicated. The school start times documents we received at this meeting are available on our website.

Staff members also provided the Board with updates on the 10-Year Facility Master Plan, which provides core information for use in developing the division's Capital Improvement Plan. We received information regarding planned development in York County and its potential impact on enrollment in our schools. We also received information regarding capital improvement projects that the Superintendent plans to propose as part of the Capital Improvement Plan. For example, the Superintendent plans to recommend that construction of a ten classroom addition to Waller Mill Elementary School start during the next fiscal year due to anticipated increases in enrollment. Additional information is available on our website.

The School Board received a report from representatives from the division's new Food Service Vendor, Sodexo. The report highlighted some of the new food options and serving lines at each school level. The new menus have been submitted to be certified as compliant with new USDA standards for school food programs. The company is working closely with schools to gain feedback from students regarding the new menu options.

Following up on a request from the School Board, staff members presented policy and procedure options that would provide clarity to parents regarding transfer waivers for Virginia High School League extracurricular activities. The Board will consider these options further in the coming months.

Academic Matters

Staff provided more details on progress towards several of the objectives set forth in the Strategic Plan. The updates pertained to class sizes, enrollment in advanced courses at the middle school level, magnet/thematic programs, industry credentials earned by our students, and technology. The full strategic plan and updates provided this year are available on our website.

Several months ago, the Virginia School Boards Association and the Norfolk City School Board filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn a new law that would allow the state to take over operations of individual schools within a school division. The legislation, approved by the General Assembly and Governor McDonnell, created the Opportunity Educational Institution (OEI) to take over the management and budget of local public schools denied accreditation or accredited with warning for three consecutive years. More than 50 school divisions in the state have expressed support of the lawsuit. The School Board plans to vote on a resolution expressing support for local control of schools and the lawsuit at our next meeting.

Financial Matters

We also discussed our plans to meet state requirements relating to disability retirement benefits for employees hired after the start of the new school year.

Our next School Board meeting will be held at York Hall at 7 p.m. on Monday, October 28. I look forward to additional opportunities to share important information regarding our schools.

Upcoming Meetings

Our next School Board meeting will be held at York Hall at 7 p.m. on Monday, October 28. Agendas for the meetings will be posted prior to the meetings on the School Board meeting page of the division website. I look forward to additional opportunities to share important information regarding our schools.

 

Thank you for your support of our students and staff!

Barbara S. Haywood
School Board Chair
On Behalf of the York County School Board


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