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September 26, 2011

For several weeks now there has been information streaming out of Washington, D.C. regarding the future of No Child Left Behind (NCLB). It appears that states can request flexibility from specific NCLB mandates that are stifling reform in education. States can receive waivers if they are “transitioning students, teachers and schools to a system aligned with college-and career ready standards for all students, developing differentiated accountability systems, and undertaking reforms that support effective classroom instruction and school leadership.” States may request flexibility:

  • Regarding the 2013-2014 timeline for achieving 100% proficiency.

  • Considering district/school improvement and accountability requirements.

  • Relating to the use of federal education funds.

What does all this mean for Pittsylvania County Schools? We are awaiting direction and leadership from Richmond. It is my understanding that this flexibility will begin to have an impact during the 2011-2012 school year. However, until we receive further guidance from the Virginia Department of Education, it remains to be seen what changes will be implemented. Stay tuned for more details as they become available.

In a related note, Governor Bob McDonnell recently addressed the State Board of Education. His message was that improving public K-12 education would be a priority in the upcoming 2012 General Assembly legislative session. The Governor highlighted several areas in education in which he intends to focus during his remaining time in office, which includes:

  • Continue to raise the rigor of course work and hold students to higher standards so they can compete with their counterparts from other states and other nations;

  • Promote the STEM fields – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – as well as business and health care;

  • Support innovations in dual enrollment and early college credit courses;

  • Continue to examine new pilot teacher merit-pay programs; and

  • Improve or increase instructional time, including considering flexibility with the school calendar.

This office is encouraged that the Governor is focused on education. However, the following comment indicates that a careful and thoughtful approach to education funding is necessary. The Governor said, “We are going to have to be very prudent and conservative, as we’ve tried to be these first couple years, in how we budget.”


The Virginia Department of Education, in collaboration with the Education Commission of the States, encourages all parents, teachers, and caregivers to join them in celebrating Read for the Record, October 6, 2011. Read for the Record is a national campaign designed to encourage hundreds of thousands of children and adults to read the same book on the same day, October 6, 2011. The ability to read is the foundation of literacy and the single most important activity for building knowledge for personal success; therefore, individuals in Pittsylvania County Schools are urged to set aside time to read to a child. It is our hope that reading to a child will provide a reading role model and that it will help motivate all children to develop a passion for reading, a love for books, and an appreciation for lifelong learning. Read for the Record website On this website you can register to read to a child, obtain information on the selected book, and find out ways you can share your involvement with friends, family, and your community.

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is partnering with Radio Disney to bring the Get Active, Get Fit School Challenge to students throughout Virginia. This free program encourages healthy, active lifestyles. The goal is to motivate families to take a closer look at their lifestyle and incorporate more activities into their daily lives. The deadline to register for this program is September 30, 2011. To register go to http://www.GETACTIVEGETFIT.com. After completing the online registration form, schools can download the student tracking chart, classroom tracking chart, school tracking chart, and the "Get Active, Get Fit" school challenge poster.
 

spotlight


Regular attendance in school is very important to the academic success of our students. The research is clear – students who attend school regularly do better academically and are more likely to establish work habits that help them succeed in life and work. Studies show that children who miss just one day of school fall two days behind in their school work. Students who are absent an average of fifteen (15) days a year miss a year’s worth of school before their senior year, and students who miss eight (8) days or more each year are at risk of not graduating with their class. I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the kind words of support and encouragement offered to our students from certified and classified staff with regard to the importance of school attendance. Your efforts have not gone unnoticed, and our students are reaping the benefits. Included for your perusal are the three (3) highest percentages of school attendance by level for August.

Placement

Elementary

Middle

High

August – 1st

BES – 98.39

TMS – 98.17

CHS – 97.06

August – 2nd

UHE – 98.37

GMS – 98.16

THS – 96.93

August – 3rd

SSE – 98.35

CMS – 98.00

DRH – 96.90

Please join me in congratulating Ms. FreAnda Glass, Guidance Counselor at Gretna Middle School, on her selection as Pittsylvania County Schools’ Employee of the Week. Please click on the following link to find out what our employees do to make this A Great Place to Learn and Work! http://www.pcs.k12.va.us/staff/employee-of-week/2011-2012/

Visit http://www.pcs.k12.va.us/media/index.html to (1) request media presence on site to cover an upcoming event or (2) to request media coverage (without media on site) of an upcoming event or (3) to report news from a past event. Thank you for identifying the great things happening in our schools!

mark calendars

The Teachers’ Advisory Council will meet on Monday, September 26, 2011, at 2:00 p.m. The agenda includes discussion items from all departments including Business, Human Resources, Information Technology, Instructional Services and Support Services. Should you wish to have your comments heard, please be sure to consult with your building representative.

 

The Concussion Management Team (CMT) will meet on Friday, September 30, 2011, at 9:00 a.m. at the Pittsylvania County Schools Administration Office in Chatham, Virginia.

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