October 16-2019 PWCS School Board Meeting


– This meeting to order. A motion is in order for the approval of the closed session agenda. Can I have a motion?
– Mr. Chairman moves that the Prince William
County School Board approve the closed session
agenda as recommended. – Do we have a second? Miss Raulston.
– I second. – Discussion. (coughing) Please vote. – Well. (clicking) (throat clearing) You’ll be all right. – Where’s the reverb? (beeping) Great, six yes.
– Six yes to pass it, motion passed.
– Excellent, very good. Moving on to the motion to enter closed session, motion in order. – Mr. Chairman.
– Mr. Wilk. – I move that, pursuant to Virginia Code sections 2.2-3711 that the school board enter closed session for
the following reasons: one, to discuss and consider
the assignment, appointment, performance, disciplining,
and resignation of specific employees, appointees or
officers to our school board under Virginia Code
sections 2.2-3711A, 1 and 8; two, to consult with legal council regarding specific legal matters and actual and probable litigation under Virginia Code
sections 2.2-3711A, 7 and 8; and three, to consult
with staff and discuss the qualifications of the candidates for the student representative
to our school board under Virginia Code
sections 2.2-3711A, 1 and 2. – I second.
– Second by Miss Raulston. Any discussion? Please vote. (clicking) – Where are you, you thing? Just a moment, there we go. (coughing) Vote is six yes, two absent. Motion passed.
– The Prince William County School Board will now enter closed session and return to open session
in approximately one hour. (gavel banging) – The Prince William County School Board will now enter, I’m
sorry, is now returning to open session from closed session. There are no closed session
action items, I don’t think. Correct?
– Correct. – Correct, and so, we will be
moving to 8.01, the adoption of closed session consent
agenda, a motion’s in order. – Mr. Chairman.
– Mr. Wilk. – I move that the school board approve the closed session and
consent agenda as recommended. – Second.
– Mr. Chairman. – Raulston.
– I second. – Discussion. Please vote. (sniffing) – Vote is eight yes, unanimous. Motion passed.
– Moving on to the closed session certification,
a motion’s in order. – Mr. Chairman.
– Mr. Wilk. – I move that, pursuant to
Virginia Code sections 2.2-3712, the closed session of
our school board meeting of October 16, 2019 be certified by adopting the following resolution now. Therefore, be it resolved that the school board hereby certifies that, to the best of each member’s knowledge: one, only public business matters lawfully exempted from
open meeting requirements were discussed in the closed meeting, to which the certification
resolution applies; and two, only such
public business matters, as were identified in the motion convening the closed meeting were heard and discussed were
considered by the board. – Do I have a second?
– Mr. Chairman. – Miss Raulston.
– I second. – Second from Miss Raulston. Any discussion?
– Mr. Chairman. – Mr. Trenum.
– I wasn’t here for that, so I’m gonna abstain.
– Excellent, sir. Please vote. (pen clicking) – The vote is six yes, two abstentions. Motion passed.
– Okay. So next, we will move to our
Positively PWCS presentation. I am very proud of the
continued effort we’re makin’ to improve the education of our
students with disabilities. Tonight’s Positively
PWCS highlights the work our schools are doing
with assistive technology. Superintendent Dr. Walts will
introduce our presentation. Dr. Walts?
– Thank you, Chairman Lateef. I am very proud to have
Michelle Roper, Dr. Roper, Director of Special
Education, here tonight to provide you with an update on assistive technology
within our school division. She’s also joined, as
you can see out there, by her tremendous staff who are out there workin’ with our students every day. They work very, very hard to
give every student a voice. Dr. Roper.
– Good evening Chairman Lateef, school
board members, and Dr. Walts. This evening is an excellent
opportunity to share the positive things that are going on in Prince William County Schools
with assistive technology. As you can see from our t-shirts, we believe that everyone deserves a voice. Standing with me, I have just some of the dedicated staff members
in Prince William County who are carrying out
this message every day. Lauren Fenner is a
special education teacher at Swans Creek and Debbie Magill, who’s right here, is a special education teacher
at Fitzgerald Elementary, and they utilize a variety of
assistive technology to ensure their students have the tools
they need to be successful. I personally have seen the impact that these two teachers have had in giving their students a voice and we are grateful to have them here along with the strong leadership
teams that support them. In a moment, we will hear
from both of these schools and we’ll see a video of
the innovative ways in which they are using assistive
technology in their classroom. Also standing with me, I
have our Augmentative and Alternative Communication
Team, AAC Team for short, who last year completed
over 200 school visits to review specific student needs. This team has also led in the training of hundreds of Prince William County staff. Earlier this year, this team received a visit by Dr. Walts and Mrs. Huebner and the team had an opportunity to share many of the devices that our students use, examples of which are laid
in front of you to view. If we could imagine for a
minute what it would be like to have limited ways to
communicate with others and then envision how
important these devices can be in empowering our students
to communicate with us. We are clearly passionate about meeting the needs of our students in this area and I am grateful to this team and all of Prince William County’s staff, parents, and community members who
share the responsibility in ensuring that all of
our students have a voice. I would also like to take this moment to recognize October as
Dyslexia Awareness Month. We are committed to meeting
the needs of our learners and tailoring instruction based
on students’ individual needs. In the past two years,
Prince William County Office of Special Education
has provided training to over 1,500 teachers in
explicit reading instruction in order to support students who struggle in reading, spelling, and comprehension. We remain steadfast in our efforts to ensure our teachers
have the tools they need to support our students with
dyslexia and are partnering with colleagues in student
learning like Elizabeth Davis, our dyslexia coordinator, to
continue to move us forward. Lastly, a tremendous thank you to our board members and
Dr. Walts for the support you agreed to in the current
budget and future budgets, which will enable us to continue to meet the growing needs of our
students with disabilities in the area of assistive technology. As a small token of appreciation, and given that this is AAC
and Dyslexia Awareness Month, we have a shirt and
bracelet for each of you to help us share the
message that all students in Prince William County
Schools have a voice. Now please welcome Lauren
Fenner and Debbie Magill as they share their experiences
with assistive technology. (paper rustling) – Assistive technology makes
a difference for my students by giving them a voice
in their own learning. AT allows my students
with communication delays the freedom over their
choices and opinions and a way to advocate for themselves instead of being dependent on others to know what they want, think, and feel. It’s also a teaching tool to use for students with limited language to be able to communicate their ideas, teach vocabulary, and
respond to academic content. Having access to AT for my students has allowed me to give students a way to communicate their wants and needs, participate in large and
small group settings, and to show more independence within their school environment. (clicking) – Building on what Lauren said, it would really be impossible for us to measure the impact that AT has had on our students throughout the years and throughout their school experiences. To witness the joy of true
authentic communication is what continues to drive our passion. There’s a lot of catch phrases
related to AT out there. “When you know better, do better.” “Inspire, not require.” “Always presume the highest potential “of each of your students and believe “that they have something that they “truly want to be able to share with you.” So we strive for purposeful yet
fun and engaging activities. We’re never about drilling
or mastery but about truly allowing that
student to utilize a voice, just not in a traditional manner. (paper rustling) – Thank you both so much. Now we’re gonna roll tape so
you can watch a little clip of what it’s like in these classrooms. (gentle acoustic music) – Yay!
– Yay! (gentle acoustic music) (keys jingling) – Where’s N? Good. C’mon. (gentle acoustic music) – Oh, good job!
– Excellent job! (gentle acoustic music) – [Teacher] Yes, good job. (gentle acoustic music) – [Teacher] Good. – [Teacher] Green color. (gentle acoustic music) – [Teacher] There. – Good. (gentle acoustic music) (clapping) (paper rustling) – [Dr. Roper] I think
we’re gonna take a picture? Take a picture? – [Attendee] I can do it outside. – [Dr. Roper] Okay, all
right, thank you very much. – Dr. Walts, is there
somethin’ over there? Do you wanna tell us about
what’s over there, or Dr. Roper? I’m sorry, I didn’t–
– I would love to. – Yeah.
– So we have a device in front of each of you with the instructions on how to use it and then over there, we
have some eye gaze devices and devices that read aloud
for students with dyslexia, as well as some cause and effect devices to help students learn that when they do something, there’s an action. – Thank you.
– You’re very welcome. – Thank you very much. Mr. Wilk.
– I just wanna thank everyone for being here. I was actually, it was
over the last four years we’ve been using assistive technology ranging from the basic form of using the Velcro books and the
pictures and stuff like that to upgrading to the actual tablet itself. It’s amazing what technology has done, how my family’s been fortunate
that we’ve been able to get this through Medicaid
and support with that ’cause these are very expensive tools and I often hear from parents, you know, we wish we could do more, get
more of these with our system. And I think what I would say to people is we are trying, as we’ve seen,
we’ve, as a school system, have invested in these
resources and it is critical, it is, you know, for non-verbal students, whether it’s on the
autism spectrum somewhere, having the lack of communication is a huge barrier to growth and success and so, I’m committed
and I think this board and this school system
continues to remain committed to expanding these opportunities
for these students. And they’re amazing and what we’ve seen, just with my own son,
in the last couple years in the advancement in
his growth, it’s amazing, also Swans Creek is here, which
is a school in my district, to go into these buildings and watch these kids use these devices, so. Thank you all for being here tonight. This is a very important topic for me. Miss Jessie.
– I also wanted to thank you for the presentation. I was at Antietam, I
think it was last year, and Denise and I were there and they have several devices in their school and I have a personal
friend who has a grandchild who really needed a very expensive item and we were able to do
that, so I wanna thank you. And I love your t-shirts, by the way, thank you.
– Thank you. You can wear yours with us. (laughs) – Miss Williams.
– I just wanted to say thank you because this also is very near and dear to my heart and I think this technology is amazing and I know there’s more coming out. But the time and energy
and love that you spend working with these children
is absolutely fantastic. And to Ms. Roper, every school I went to for back to school night,
they just completed the sentence with, “Miss
Roper was just here.” And, you know, special
education is almost like its own world and to
see you in the schools and the appreciation from the staff that you take time out to
really work with everyone, to be trained, to make sure people have what they need to do their
jobs, is absolutely fantastic. I hear so much more positive
things with each passing year. Just spent another, a morning running, excuse me, commuting with a woman whose daughter goes to
Kilby who’s dyslexic. She was talking about all the services that she’s getting for her daughter and how nice it is that
the school’s recognized it and now she as a parent knows what to do to help her daughter,
and I think that’s also another component to that puzzle piece. And I just wanted to say thank you to you, to everybody in special education, it’s so much appreciated and, again, it’s very near and dear to my heart and I love, love your t-shirts ’cause that’s, like, my thing, so. Thank you again.
– Thank you. – Miss Raulston.
– Thank you. I wanna thank you very much. You did something special
in my heart and in my space. (laughs) You know, I always
tell kids, “Here’s my space.” My grandson, he’s my god-grandson, and when I first came on board, the way you were operating was different from what I had seen before. So, one day, my goddaughter called me and said, “Listen, I don’t know what to do to help him.” I’m going, “Okay,” I said,
“but I tell you what: “hold on, lemme call the school district.” I called the school district here and whoever I spoke with
gave a whole rendition of things that we could do to help him by telling the teacher and
all the rest of the people. So I said, “Okay. “But lemme tell ya, sometimes places “aren’t as happy as they
should be with good news.” So, it became a big thing
that I was talking about and it was happening in Virginia. So finally, my grandson
goes up in front of a TV and he can tell you what it is. (claps) I thank you so very much and you’re sweet in my heart. – Thank you. – Okay, thank you very much.
– Thank you. Really appreciate it, wonderful. (clapping) (gavel banging) I would like to call this meeting of the Prince William County
School Board to order. Pastor John Clements of the
One Word Community Church in Woodbridge will give the invocation at the request of William
Deutsch of the Coles District. Mr. Clements, can you approach the mic? Thank you. (clattering) – Hello Mr. Chairman and board members, it’s an honor, a pleasure to be here. Thank you for the opportunity
to cover you all in prayer as you go forth in these meetings. Would you all stand with me
for a word of prayer, please? (chairs creaking) Well Father, tonight, we count
it an honor and a privilege to be able to bring
our request before you, to present our cases before you. And so, tonight we ask for
wisdom, we ask for understanding in everything that is said and done, we ask that you would be glorified in the midst of this meeting. I pray, Father, that ears
and eyes would be opened, that our understanding
would be enlightened. And then I pray, Father,
that we would be able to make the right decisions
regarding the children, regarding education, and
regarding those things that you have for this particular district and for this school board district. So we give you glory, we give you honor, we count this year, Lord,
as a year of success for our students, for our teachers, we cover them with prayer. Father, we thank you that
there shall be safety with them and we thank you that they shall come to no hurt, harm,
nor danger this year. In Jesus’ name, amen. Would you remain standing
for the Pledge of Allegiance? – [Chairman Lateef] Would
you like to lead us, then? – Sure.
– Okay. – I pledge allegiance– – [All] To the flag of the
United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. – Thank you.
– Thank you. Thank you, sir. Okay, next we’ll move on to the approval of the public meeting agenda. A motion is in order.
– Mr. Chairman. – Mr. Wilk.
– I move that the Prince William County School Board approve the public meeting
agenda as recommended. – Do I have a second?
– Mr. Chairman. – Miss Williams of the
Woodbridge District. – (laughs) Second.
– Any discussion? Please vote. (paper rustling) – Vote is eight yes, unanimous. Motion passed.
– Moving on to the adoption of the consent
agenda, a motion is in order. – Mr. Chairman.
– Mr. Wilk, Potomac District. – I move that the school board, or Prince William County School Board, approve the public meeting
consent agenda as recommended. – Do I have a second? – Mr. Chairman.
– Mr. Chairman. – Uh, I’m gonna give it to Miss Raulston of the Neabsco District. – I second.
– Any discussion? Mr. Deutsch of the Coles District. – Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I asked Keith Imon if he could speak. Just wanted to, we’re appointing
a whole bunch of people to the Superintendent’s
Advisory Council on Equity and it’s kind of a new
thing and just wondering if he could just come
forward and just explain what this council, what we’re doing. – So, we’ll defer that to Dr. Walts and he can answer the question. – Mr. Imon, do you have
a couple remarks for us? Thank you. – Good evening Chairman
Lateef, Vice-Chairman Wilk, members of the board, and Dr. Walts. Yeps, I’m happy to provide a little bit of information for the public. As the school board was
initially informed last Spring, Dr. Walts is launching our Superintendent’s Equity Advisory Council. Under Dr. Walts’ leadership,
PWCS has long been committed to fulfilling
our mission statement of providing a world-class education. The purpose of this new advisory council is to identify exemplary
division practices and review division-wide
data, resource distribution, and educational opportunities and access, all while advocating for
practices that result in increased student
achievement with the goal that all students achieve our
vision that every graduate be career and college ready
and prepared to compete in the 21st century global community. At the quarterly meetings,
the council will review data, identify potential priorities,
and make recommendations. An update from the council will be provided to the board this Spring to inform you of the plans and priorities for the 2020/21 school year. – Thank you.
– Yes. – Miss Jessie. – I noticed that your, you have a proposed equity council members, does
that mean it’s proposed that other additional
individuals will be added? And I’ve noticed that there’s a lack of regular
teachers on this advisory council and also a representative from the board. So, will this be something
that we can discuss later? – Ours are separate.
– No, no, no. I’m talking about his representative, for the Superintendent’s board. I have my own representative
for the equity. I’m speakin’ of your equity council. Can we discuss this later? – I mean, we can certainly look at the representation to
make sure that we have plenty of teachers
representing the district. Now, on the Superintendent’s
advisory councils, we don’t have board members on those.
– Okay. When, how will the board–
– It would come to the board and any recommendations that would affect the budget or any of
that, as would the report. – Well, I’m on the
challenging school’s committee for the Virginia School Board Association and I’ve been doin’
this for quite some time and in most instances, there’s some way for board members to be represented. I would like to have a discussion with you later about that so we can discuss that. – Well certainly, board
members are welcome to any of those meetings and– – I would like to discuss it.
– Okay. – And Dr. Walts, there’ll be a period for input from people
who are in attendance at the front end of the
meeting, so there’s always that. – I would like to have
to have a discussion with him later, rather, thank you. – Miss Satterwhite.
– Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Since we’re on the topic, I
do wanna thank my appointee, Pastor Juan Hernandez, for agreeing to represent the Gainesville
District on this new council. My comment is directed toward the Northern Virginia Community College dual enrollment agreement, number 14.08. I am always thrilled to see
dual enrollment classes added and we’ve got a long list of classes, we’ve got a great cooperation
memorandum of understanding with Northern Virginia Community College and we’re providing
opportunities for students at many of our schools for dual enrollment and I’m very excited about that. I remember soon after I got on the board, I had a conversation with Mr. Mulgrew after I’d been to a presentation at the National School Board Conference and there was another county in Virginia who was graduating students
with an associate’s degree and I am so excited that
we are doing that now in Prince William County
schools and I wanna thank all of you so much for
your hard work on this. I do have one comment,
and I know I’ve gotten answers on this before but it still keeps coming up with parents,
there is still concern that, with dual enrollment classes
and degreed programs, students are only getting
.5 of weighted credit as opposed to one weighted credit for AP and there’s still concern
that that’s just not right when you’re, it’s college class,
college class, so to speak. So, anyway, I just wanted
to put that out there. But thank you all so much
for working hard to get us this agreement with Northern
Virginia Community College. I know it’s taken a
tremendous amount of work and I thank you all for that. (microphone being bumped) – Alyson, those are good
points and I think we’ll, we can ask that question
and I’d love to hear the answer on that, the
.5 and the one, as well. Miss Williams.
– I had a few questions but I wanted to start, just to piggyback on Miss Satterwhite’s comments,
is there something different between this dual enrollment agreement and what we’ve been doing
already with our students who have been enrolled
in NOVA for classes? ‘Cause I know this is not brand new. Was there something that we, so this, it’s a continuation of
what we’ve been doing? Okay, ’cause it, the
way it was referenced, I thought maybe it was something new and I know from working with Mr. Mulgrew that some of the classes
were changed last year so that they were getting
that full credit, one point, but I’m happy that we’re continuing– – [Chairman Lateef] Dr.
Walts, are they getting one full credit at any part of this? – I think it depends on the class. – It does depend on the class. – So there are dual enrollments
with one extra point, not just the .5?
– Yeah, ’cause Lee, my son had a dual enrollment credit for English, he got the full point. – Great.
– I think, like, History sometimes it’s
.5 because of the way the class is designed,
from a college level. I love it, so–
– Sounds good. – That’s probably why I’m a
little bit more knowledgeable. But I also wanted to bring attention to School Psychology Awareness Week and just take the opportunity to thank all of our school psychologists
as well as my appointees for the Gifted Advisory Council
and for the Equity Council. I’m really excited that
we’re rolling this out as a school division, I think
is a wonderful opportunity for us to move in a direction of equity for all of our students and staff, so I just wanted to say thank
you very much to Dr. Walts for rolling out this program,
and all of your staff. I know there’s a lot
of work on the back end to get us where we are
now and I’m excited to see how this works out for us, division-wise. – Kay, great. Any further discussion? Okay, please vote. – Vote is eight yes, unanimous. Motion passed. – Thank you, Miss Urban, Deputy Clerk. Clerk, sorry, sorry,
sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry. Thank you for that
correction, excellent, okay. I was looking at Deputy Superintendent, number 16, when I said that. All right, we will move
on to citizen comments on the agenda and non-agenda items. It looks like we have about nine or ten, eight or nine here, nine folks. And you can all come up to
the front and grab a seat. You will each have three minutes to speak and the clerk will keep the time. The lights on the monitor
will indicate your progress. The yellow light will signify that you should sum up your position, red indicates that your time
is up and you should stop. Please use proper decorum and
manners while at the podium. If you do not do so, you’ll
be asked to step aside. Please give your name and
address for the record when you approach the podium. Our first speaker is (paper rustling) Vanessa Olson. (paper rustling) – Good evening, my name is Vanessa Olson and my address is on file. The topic I would like to
discuss is advisory councils. Over the last 15+ years, I have had children in Prince William County schools, I have been fortunate enough to serve on school advisory councils
at every school level, and on the Superintendent’s
Advisory Council on Instruction, where I am currently serving as Secretary. This Council on Instruction
has parent representatives from every school in the division. Over these years, I have
learned of some of the many wonderful things that are going
on throughout the division. We hear about and discuss amazing programs and teachers and the
impacts they are making. Our students are fortunate in so many ways to be in Prince William County schools. Of course, with an organization
of this size, especially one that seeks to serve the
educational needs of so many, there are also areas in need
of growth and improvement. We discuss those at length as well. At the end of every year, we generate a report which highlights both areas of commendation and areas of growth. I would like to thank
this board and Dr. Walts for the support of these advisory councils and the opportunities that
they provide for parents to learn about programs and
practices within the division and to have a voice in the process. It might be at this local school level, at the Principal’s Advisory Council, where there’s the opportunity
to contribute to the formation and monitoring of the
school plan and a chance to really get to know the
administrative team, or on one of the many division-level advisory councils, such as the Superintendent’s Advisory
Council on Instruction, where our concerns are heard year after year and taken seriously. The report we generate is studied and action items are drawn from it. Dr. Walts himself spends hours with the representatives from our council going through the report, line by line. I have been fortunate enough
to have sat in on this meeting and I can assure you,
careful consideration is given to the topics
we address in the report. We have added a strong
voice to the discussion on topics such as mental
health, homework, grading, the strategic plan, and
even substitute teachers. I am currently working on
compiling a report examining the topics we have covered
in previous annual reports and any results I can identify
from these discussions. Yes, sometimes the answer
to our request is, “No.” Other times, it’s, “We wish we could, “but the budget doesn’t allow for it.” Other times, we learn that what we want is already happening, we
just weren’t aware of it. Most of the time, however,
our voice plays a major role in the discussions held at every level. So thank you, thank you for
listening to the parents and inviting us to have
a seat at the table and to be a part of the process. And I would like to publicly
thank the many parents who take the time outta their schedules to serve on these councils. I look forward to the next
14 years and continuing to be a partner in my children’s
education, thank you. – Excellent. Tiziana Bottino. – Good evening, board members. My name’s Tiziana Bottino
and I’m a community leader and, above all, a mother
of two small children, back there, who are my entire world. I want to first thank you, Mrs.
Jessie and Mrs. Satterwhite, for responding to our
invention to the tour of Virginia’s first net zero
school, Discovery Elementary, and thank you for your genuine curiosity into wanting to learn more
about fossil-free schools. To those of you who haven’t
responded and are interested, I’d like to remind you
that this invitation to tour Discovery Elementary
on October 25th at 10:30 A.M. is extended to you and we’d
love if you could join us. I certainly appreciate
that you listened to us during the last meeting two
weeks ago, but it seemed like it had the opposite of
the intended effect. When we testified two weeks ago, your website stated the following: “One of our goals is for PWCS
to become carbon neutral. “Thus, total emissions would
have to be at net zero.” After our testimony in
favor of your very own goal, it appears you backtracked
and now the very same page states, “One of our goals is for PWCS “to reduce its overall carbon footprint.” The website now lists
switching to LED bulbs as having a huge impact on
the environment and bills and while that might be true to an extent, it’s far too little to make
a real dent on our emissions. While other local government
like Arlington and Fairfax are pushing the limits by
setting ambitious goals of 100% clean energy within a decade, we are backpedaling and
intentionally underachieving. I ask that you revert the
language on your website to its previous goal of net zero and aim at achieving net zero speedily. On your downgraded webpage,
you now state, quotes, sorry, “While achieving carbon neutrality “for a large school division is possible, “it will be a complex, prolonged process.” And I beg to differ or, actually, Mr. Knox of VMDO
Architects, which designed Discovery Elementary in
Arlington begs to differ. He says, quote, “There is
no reason that we can’t use “public schools’ construction
anywhere in this country,” including here, that’s my
addition, “to advance zero energy. “Costs really is not
the reason,” end quote. A matter of fact, in
Arlington Elementary School, energy cost intensities on average between $1 and $1.20
per square foot per year while Discovery Elementary’s
cost is 11 cents. Internationally, Discovery is one of the largest building of any
kind anywhere in the world to receive net zero certification. I’m not gonna go through
the rest because I have, I’m running outta time,
but I wanna close saying I just wanna strongly
encouraging you to aim much, much higher than
what you currently are. It’s not the technology or the cost that is stopping us, but
the political will alone. Thank you so much for your time. – Darnell Poage. – Hoo, all right, um. Good evening, members of the board and thank you for
letting me speak tonight. My name is Darnell Poage,
I live in Woodbridge and I’m here to stand behind the mothers that have been presenting in
support of net zero schools. I’m a father two energetic
and wonderful small children and just like any other parent out there, I want the best for them My four year old daughter
Adriana, right here, will commence the long journey through the public
school system next year. I am anxious for her future. And as we have seen from the
recent climate school strikes, millions of other children feel that same anxiety about their future. There is a lot you can do to reduce toxic greenhouse gas emissions that are harming our planet, but you must act now. This is why us parents and students want you to invest in new school plans for net zero buildings
as soon as possible. Our children deserve the healthiest school environment
possible, especially since they are spending most of
their childhood in classrooms. Net zero schools are
powered by clean energy such as solar and geothermal, which can significantly improve
our children’s health. They provide unique learning
opportunities for students as they can learn first
hand how energy is produced and observe their class in-school
energy use in real time. Students will take
ownership of their future and acquire a sense of pride
in their progressive school. I am also aware that
you were in the process of updating our strategic plan for Prince William County Public Schools. As you think about what
you might want to achieve in the next four years and beyond, I urge you to prioritize clean energy and strong, bold, sustainable goals. Recycling and LED bulbs will
be great for first steps in the next decade or so, or
in the past decade, excuse me, but we are at that tippin’ point and need to make up that time fast. According to the best world scientists, we must take aggressive steps to reach net zero emissions right now and net zero schools are the only way to achieve that within our school system. We are hoping you will
take this matter seriously. Our childrens’ future is at stake. My wife and I certainly
take this seriously because even today, on our anniversary, we are here to speak to you. (sighs) Sorry. So please, with everything you have, please take this serious,
please understand our concerns because we believe in you,
we believe in this county, and we truly value our
children, not just ours, but all the children in this county. Thank you very much. – Joseph Ampuero. (paper rustling) (microphone creaking) (throat clearing) – Hello, my name is Joseph Ampuero. I am from Beller Elementary School. I am representing the
Green Team from my school to help save energy and stop pollution. We had an Earth Day Night last year. I got to teach teachers,
parents, and students how to create new items
from reusable materials. It was a lot of fun, thank you. (clapping) – Thank you. Malik Allen. (microphone creaking) – Lower this too.
– Okay, thank you. – That’s as low as it goes. – Hello, my name is Malik Allen and I’m a member of the Green Team. I have been on the Green Team
for the past three years. We are trying to save the Earth by recycling glue sticks, paper, markers, plastic bags, plastic
bottles, cans, and cardboard. We’re reusing bags, water
bottles at our school. At our school, we are conserving energy by asking teachers, students, and staff to turn off their smart
boards, lights, computers, and anything not used during the day. We are having Save Energy Fridays. On this date, we are only using half the lights in our school. Thank you. (clapping) – Thank you. Rich Darius. – Davila?
– Darius? – D-A-V-I-L-A? – Mmhm.
– This is– – Yeah.
– Sure, yeah. – Misprint. – Yeah, must be. – Okay, good evening,
my address is on file. My name is Rich Davila. Until recently, I was
the JV Baseball Coach at Patriot High School. I’d like take up a couple
minutes of your time to speak to you about
Coach Josh Steinberg. I’m not here to bash anybody about this situation was
handled. (clears throat) I’m here for my sons, one
of which graduated from Patriot High School this
past year and the other one is an eighth grader at
Marstellar Middle School. I have taught my sons
to stand up and be heard when you an injustice
being done, so here I am. Josh is a great educator and coach, as both of my boys will tell you. My oldest took his economics class and loved every minute
of a very dry subject. My youngest is coached by Josh
on his travel baseball team and I’m sure some will think
that this is the reason that I support Josh, to get
better playing time for my boy. I can’t honestly tell
you that I’m above that, but my boy plays what he earns and that’s why I support Coach Josh. When I heard about Josh’s dismissal, my first thought was that,
was of both of my boys and how I was gonna explain
to them that you can be better than just about
everyone in your field, earning multiple Coach of the Year honors, be a credit to your school and community, treat everyone, from parents to umpires and opposing coaches and
players, with the utmost respect, and still get fired for such petty things as weeds in a warning track, excuse me, which the players and coaches picked sometimes by hand
multiple times during the season, and not attending a
Booster’s Club meeting. A side note about that meeting, I believe that meeting fell on a night that Coach Josh had a family event having to do with the
birth of his first child and he asked some of his
coaches to cover for him. “Whenever you have a chance
to make things better “and you don’t, you’re wasting
your time on this earth.” That’s my favorite quote, spoken by Hall of Fame player Roberto Clemente. I’m not sure if I’m makin’ things better by speakin’ to you tonight and
there’s a pretty good chance that I may have made things
worse for my youngest son, who is still hoping to
play high school baseball in the area, but I couldn’t
stand by without being heard. Coach deserved better than what he got. Thank you. (paper rustling) – Alice Crowe. (clicking) – That’s okay. (low electric buzzing) (clicking) Good evening, my name is Alice Crowe. I live in Woodbridge, Virginia. I am an attorney, the mother
of two grown children, and I will have my first grandchild on or around October 29th. Of course, I’m very excited about that. But I’m also concerned about
the future of my children and their children because
of the climate crisis. Children all over the globe
are in psychological despair because of the inaction of
adults on the climate crisis. They are being diagnosed with anxiety, depression, PTSD,
phobias, sleep disorders, attachment disorders, and substance abuse. Obviously, this will adversely affect their academic performance and their mental health as adults. Young adults in their early 20s are pledging not to have children because they have no hope for the future. They’re starting movements, how sad. Thankfully, Governor Northam
has issued an executive order requiring that Virginia shall
be 100% clean energy by 2050. The Mothers Out Front
Net Zero School Campaign is consistent with this executive order. Recognizing that there will be questions about how to fund such schools, I want to talk about the Power
Purchase Agreements or PPAs. There is a feeding frenzy for
solar PPAs around the state. Fairfax County, Loudoun
County, Virginia Beach, and Charles City County
have request for proposals on the street for PPAs to provide clean renewable solar
power for their schools. Why the rush? Solar is cheaper than
ever, a solar PPA allows a school system to purchase
power rather than panels using the same operating
funds that they use today to purchase electricity
from Dominion Energy, and the solar installer gets
a 30% federal tax credit, which means lower and more stable electric bills for the schools. This drops to 26% by 2020. Another reason for the rush is the arbitrary limit in
Dominion’s service territory of 50 megawatts for
systems financed by PPAs. It is anticipated that there will be another 30 megawatts installed by 2020. Solar companies spend a lot
of time and marketing dollars to win these contracts
and they will go elsewhere to sell systems before the
cap is actually reached. This is not good for
school systems who want the cost savings and academic advantages afforded by installing solar. There may be the possibility
of expanding this cap but no guarantee, therefore
I urge the school board to commit to zero emission schools for Prince William County
as quickly as possible. This will give our children
a hope for the future and a chance for the earthly
inheritance that they deserve. Thank you. – Ricardo Blende. – Hello, thank you guys for having me. (thumping) Dr. Lateef, Dr. Walts, Miss Jessie, my friend, Justin, nice to see you. Thank you for having me. – You can’t carry–
– Sorry, guys (chuckles) My name is Ricardo and
I’m a father of two. One of my kids is already
in Prince William County and the other one will be. I am concerned about climate
change on behalf of my kids and for their health
and even future safety. Why we need fossil-free net zero schools in Prince William County. Schools are a unique opportunity
to teach children about the energy sources of
the future and technology and public health and, most important, that’s an opportunity to show children we care about their future. With public education as almost
half of the county budget, over 90 buildings dedicated to it, the school buildings themselves stand as monuments of our values. I strongly urge you that,
to live up to the goal of the school system as stated on the website, or previously stated, as
well as the state-wide goal set by the governors to go green by 2050. Sorry, as you guys can tell, I’m not the greatest at readin’, but I’ll try to get through this. You know, this is very dear to my heart. You’ve heard Mothers Up Front members here talkin’ about why we need this action and I want to share some facts. There’re huge financial benefits of transitioning to clean energy. For example, one net zero
elementary school in Arlington, Discovery Elementary, which you guys have already heard about,
saves $100,000 a year, enough to cover the salaries
of two school teachers. I know that I’m not gonna be
able to get through the rest, I’m sorry guys, I know that I planned on going through all this,
but I do wanna add that we will save so much money
in the future with this and my son has some special needs. I’m very proud of the presentation
about the AT earlier on. Communication devices are very, very important to me as well,
my son is non-verbal and I do believe by going green, we will have enough money to
provide these accommodations to special needs children that need it. My son went almost four years now without having a
communication device at home and it’s right there for me. Within that, we will save
enough money and, you know. But thank you guys for having me. – Thank you. Chrissy Falls. – Good evening, Dr.
Lateef, Dr. Walls, board. I’m here to speak to you
about Red Ribbon Week, as I do every year,
which officially starts next Wednesday the 23rd. It is also the day that
participating schools across the county will be
wearing red for Red Ribbon Week. It’s easy for you ’cause you should already be wearing red for ed. You all have a red swag
bag from our local DEA who has now joined us at
the Prevention Alliance of Greater Prince William Coalition. Its contents include educational material, some fun swag, and a flyer for our upcoming event called
Above the Influence. That is this Saturday, October 19th, from 3 to 7 at Harris
Pavilion where you can come and learn about the dangers of being under the influence,
primarily for our youth. There’ll be informational tools there for you to educate
yourself and educate others during your part in Red Ribbon Week. I ask that you not only
encourage your schools that are not participating
but also your community and help us send a message about the dangers of drugs and alcohol, which is the theme for this
year’s Red Ribbon Week. It’s simple and you can almost get all of those messages from
your swag bag or at our event. During Red Ribbon Week, we should be talking more about Juuling and vaping, as it has gotten out of control,
especially in this county. Each pod of a Juul is equivalent
to a pack of cigarettes and most kids that Juul are up to the equivalent of three packs a day. Nicotine is the number one
most addictive substance and we see it in the middle schools. These children have
now started the process of wiring their brains for addiction. I grew up in the Just Say No era and it’s really that simple. Or, “Nah I’m good,”
just like on my t-shirt. I hope to see your participation
beginning next week. Red Ribbon Week should give our children the tools to easily just say no. Thank you. – Thank you. Okay, that will conclude
citizen comment time. We will move on to 16.01 –
the annual school calendar. This item is on for action, we had the first reading last week. Do I have a motion? – Mr. Chairman.
– Miss Williams. – I move that the Prince
William County School Board approve calendar option A for the 20/21 annual school calendar. – Do I have a second? – Miss Jessie.
– I second. – Miss Jessie seconds. Any discussion? Please vote. (clicking) (paper rustling) (clicking) (thumping) (pen clicking) – The vote is eight yes, unanimous. Motion passed.
– Thank you. Next, we’ll move on to 17.01, update on stream monitoring in
Jenkins Elementary School. Dr. Walts? – Mr. Cheroke. (microphone being bumped) – Mr. Cheroke. (paper rustling) – Good evening Mr. Chair,
members of the board, Dr. Walts. It is my pleasure to introduce,
actually to update you on the stream monitoring process and I also have Mr. John Windley, our Director of Facilities,
who will be able to assist at the conclusion of our update if there is any specific
questions that you have. Before I begin, I want to
kinda give a disclaimer. Some of the terms that
I’m gonna use this evening are not terms that you’re
probably most familiar with and you’ll see words such as SWD, BMP, which are best management practice, storm water retention devices,
storm water protection. I’m gonna try to use layman terms so that we can, you will
best understand this. But at the same time, I do wanna start off with, in updating you. As you’re aware, at the
beginning of the school year, there were some concerns that were shared with the school
division about sediment that had potentially run downstream from where we had built Jenkins Elementary to, ultimately, a pond or a BMP that’s within a neighboring subdivision that’s about 9/10 of a mile
down from our school site. So, with that information, in working through a construction process, we work with the county as far as reviewing our plans before we build. We get approvals on designs, processes that they want us to follow. And in that process, when
you conclude the project, you have to go back to the county and have them do reviews and inspections. And when the school opened, we had just concluded the
construction of the school, we were right at the point
where we needed to work, in this case, with the
Watershed Department, with the Environmental Services Division, with the county for them to be able to look at the environmental
controls that we had agreed to during the public review
process, the PFR process, which many of you are familiar with. And in doing so, we have
received updated information as far as what we committed
to and what the findings are, as far as did we meet
what we had agreed to do. So with that being said, (mouse clicking) need to make sure I can click this. (mouse clicking) Okay, it’s not moving. Chh-chh-chh. There we go. What I’d like to do is
I have a visual that I can show you today and I
would like to show you today, but there’s some things
I’d like to walk through as far as the commitments
that we made with the county so that we can have it on record to know, and there are multiple
commitments that we provide during the PFR process,
after which I wanna show you an aerial shot that shows
our construction site and the stream that’s in question so that you can get a holistic picture
of what I’m referring to, and then ultimately
I’m going to talk about the findings that the county came across. So, with that, the Best
Management Practices, that’s a fancy word for a retention pond. Many times if you go into new
communities, shopping centers, you will see that ponds
have been developed. These ponds are designed to
be able to catch sediment that comes from storm water run off in order to catch it before
it gets into our streams. So, we had agreed at the
very beginning that we would install a BMP actually
on the construction site. In building one on the
site, all of the water from the construction would all
go to this pond and it would capture the water and any
sediment from the construction before water was ultimately
released into a stream. It was a way of us
controlling all of the water and keeping it on site and,
in the construction phase, keeping it out of the stream,
that’s the ultimate goal. We also agreed that we would document the existing conditions of the channel at the start of the school
construction and then we would restore any damage that’s
caused by its construction. And again, that’s where
the county comes in, they look at our reports, they review it, they do on-site walks,
and they determine if it is what it looked like
from a pre-observation and then, ultimately, when they’re looking at it with a post-observation. The condition of the offsite stream, from the proposed storm water
outfall to the confluence, the area of creek that we were
responsible for monitoring is the creek that is directly
adjacent to the construction, but this stream has close to eight streams that connect to it between our site and the community’s
BMP that’s in question. So, we were responsible for the creek that we are directly connected to but when there are other streams that are not associated with our site, we’re not responsible for anything that comes from those other streams, and you will see that in
the graphic that I have. We agreed that the stream
monitoring would be conducted from the start, once per
year during the construction, and that we also agreed to
monitor it for two years after. We know that our site
is very close to a creek and at the very beginning, working with our designers and the
county, we recognized that the creek was very
sensitive, being very close, and we wanted to ensure that
even after we built our school and grass begins to grow and all of the storm water protection
measures are in place, that it is functioning as its designed. So that’s a big agreement that we have committed to for the next two years. We were also required to submit a report to the Environmental
Services Division to document all of our monitoring and
if there were any indication of an impairment where
something had occurred, we would have to give that to
the environmental department, show corrective action, and
they would have to approve it and say that that was
the best course of action before we actually did
any corrective measures, meaning if you had a large storm and any sediment did get into
the creek and we noted that, we would have to report that to the Environ6mental Services
Division, they would review it, we would give a plan
of action to correct it and they would have to
approve it to ensure that we were in accordance
with the regulations. And again, I, there we go. So the findings from our
Public Works Division, the Watershed Management
Department, is ultimately that the school site is in conformance
with the approved plan. That is the information that we received from the county department,
that what we agreed to do and what we monitored and
what information we provide, the county went back and
did a field assessment on two occasions, looking at our data, pre- and post-observation
information, and concurred that we met the conditions
that we had agreed upon. The data also showed that the
banks that we were monitoring, the creek banks, they did remain stable, and again, these are quotes directly from the communication with the county, and that there was little
indication of degradation and that the channel
had varying degrees of sediment deposited and the removal is a typical function of a stream. So what I have to explain to you here is the nature of the stream, streams do change over time as it rains, streams are not something where
it just remains one shape. So when you have rainfalls, the shape of the creeks do change. The Watershed Department said that they did not see anything
that was atypical between the pre- and
the post- observation. Now, there were areas where we had to do corrective measures during
the construction process for the area that we were responsible for, so this is a validation that we did what we said and we did it correctly. At the same time, the
county watershed department indicated that they are
working on a comprehensive plan that may involve stream
restoration, pond retrofits, dredging, and other techniques to address the sediment leaving the site. In doing so, and this is where the aerial that I have is gonna be very beneficial, what they’re talking about is
from the length of the creek from where we stopped monitoring to the actual BMP for
the adjacent subdivision, and you will see that section. So, they acknowledge
that beyond our point, there are other factors that they need to look at developing a long-term plan. There is no question that downstream, over the course of time, there has been sediment that has gotten into a BMP. So it’s not a question,
“Did sediment get into it?” It’s just, “Where did
that sediment come from?” The county’s analysis is
that the school division did not contribute to the sediment that’s associated with what is in the BMP at the adjacent homeowners group. So I’m gonna skip over the
summary real quick and go to the aerial so you can see
what I’ve just discussed. Okay, you have this
before you, and this is a very detailed aerial so I
wanna walk you through this. And I’m gonna start at the bottom left and I’m gonna work my
way up to the top right. At the bottom left, you
see the yellow lines. That is the boundary for the
Jenkins Elementary School site. And you can see this aerial was taken when the school was just beginning its early stages of construction. If you go all the way up to
the top right, the blue circle, that is the adjacent community’s, they call ’em a BMP, a
Best Management Practice, that’s their pond, their retention pond. The first thing that I’d like to say is when we talk about retention ponds, retention ponds are a
maintenance technique that’s used to capture sediment that
comes from when it rains. The ultimate goal of the
BMP is to catch the sediment so that it does not go,
ultimately, into the body of water that is in the watershed
for the area that we are in. In this case, it’s the
Chesapeake Bay, ultimately. So BMPs are designed to capture that. So if we go back down to the
bottom left, you’ll see that there is an orange,
yellow-ish line with red dots. That is the creek that we were
responsible for monitoring. And when you look at
that, you can readily see the creek connects to
the construction site, it’s adjacent to it. That’s Chinn Park and
there’s a huge retaining wall that is right there on
the back of the school. In doing so, those red dots are areas where we were required to
do cross-sectional surveying where we actually look at the creek and take visual inspection,
take visual pictures, and document is there any sediment that is changing over time. So those portions, we
were responsible for. But as you work your
way up from the end of the yellow line on the
far right, you’ll see that there is what’s, you’ll see
it’s labeled as PWC BMP. That is a county owned BMP, a pond, but it’s called a dry pond. It’s not wet except when it rains. When the rain stops, the water
drains, it becomes dry again. It’s not a permanent
wet pond like you have for the subdivision
that’s up to the North. If we were to have breached
our stream monitoring plan, any sediment that would’ve
come from our site would have reached the county’s BWC BMP. That is the catch all to be able to stop any sediment from going
further downstream. So, when you follow the
stream, the blue line, up to the adjacent subdivision’s pond, notice how you see other
blue lines connecting. They call that the confluence. They’re points where
other streams connect to the primary stream, if
you wanna use that term. We were, again, only
responsible for the one stream that came off our site and the reason why that we’re not responsible
for anything beyond that because we can’t control what
else comes into the creek from these other adjoining creeks. So what I will tell you is
the BMP that the county owns as well as the one that is
on the community’s property, those are probably
close to 20 years of age and they have been in use for many years, so over time, there has
been natural sediment that has collected in both of those ponds. And what the county has said
is, knowing that those ponds that have been built
have collected sediment, they’re not able to quantify
if we added to it or not. And it’s because there’s
other contributing factors. And, you know, we’ve talked about Jenkins being under historic rainfall. Just imagine, yes, we had
erosion control measures in place for our site,
but at the same time, these creeks also experienced
tremendous rainfall and when you have large amounts of water going through natural creeks,
you do have natural erosion. Those creeks did change shape as well and there’s sediment that
would have added to the creek that ultimately would have gone about 9/10 of a mile downstream to
the adjacent community’s BMP. So, I don’t wanna go too
far into that because that is not an area that we
have been asked to study, but the county watershed department has. So, again, I think the message today is the county has agreed
that what we agreed to, we followed through with it, and that they cannot contribute any
of the sediment concerns that are beyond the county’s
BMP to the school division. So they have acknowledged
that there is a lot of work that has to be done on the county’s side to develop a long-term plan to be able to address the sediment
that has been deposited, but it’s our opinion that
the sediment that’s deposited is not only with the adjacent community, it’s also with the county’s own BMP. Both of those have had
substantial amount of sediment over a period of time added to them. And the county has indicated that as well. – [Chairman Lateef]
Thank you, Mr. Cheroke. Any questions? Mr. Deutsch. – Thank you and thank you very
much for this presentation. It definitely helped
share some perspective. Just two questions,
just for clarification. The pond on site at the school, is that still in existence
and where is that on the school site?
– It is not. There was a temporary pond
that was built on the site. We have now converted that pond to an underwater storage
system that filters the water before the water then goes into the creek. So part of our monitoring for two years is to ensure that the
underground storage facility that we’ve created, that it is working. So that pond now, it’s a grass area. – Cool, and then the second question, on the bottom of slide
three, you said that we’re gonna submit a report to the Prince William County
Environmental Services Division documenting findings and monitoring. How are we making sure that
that’s report accurate? Is there anyone else that
kinda double checks that or are we kinda just self
policing or how does that work? – Great question, so
we as a facility staff are not the environmental
experts, we contract that out, so we have a company
called Wetland Studies that we contract out to
maintain and do the monitoring. They actually submitted
the report to the county but the county watershed
department takes their report, takes the data, the observations, and then actually does field observations where they validate that what we did is in conformance with what we agreed to and that what we put on paper
is what they see visually. – Miss Jessie. – First of all, I wanna
thank you for meeting with me and reviewing some of the
terminology and all the acronyms and also for sharing the map
with me earlier this evening. I did meet with the HOA
at, I looked at that site and the sediment in
that pond is tremendous and I think it’s perhaps going
to become a little bit worse. I want to go back to slide three. – I’ll do my best–
– I mean slide four. (coughing) – Which one?
– Slide four. So slide four indicates
that the school site is in conformance with the approved plan, so the plan that we had
in place did really work, according to them at this point in time. Will there be any review of that? Because I know there’s
another meeting coming up. – The county has agreed that
what we submitted to them in advance and what they
said that we needed to do, it’s not a one-way plan, you
know, when you submit the plan, they’re able to give feedback to say, “No, we think you need to do more, “we think you need to do this.” So that plan, the county has agreed that we’ve done what we’ve committed to. As far as, as the county works to develop the long-term plan for
the remaining portion of the stream, our data may be used. I don’t wanna speak for how the county’s gonna use it beyond,
but I think it would be, what they have indicated to us is they cannot attribute the concerns that are further downstream
to the school division. So our data shows that
the amount of sediment that was coming during
our monitoring point was reduced over the distance. So, in their world, I
think they’re gonna be looking at how can they help restore the other streams that are tying in and to be able to either
dredge or clean out their BMP as well as working with
the other community. And again, I don’t know
who’s responsibility it is with the other community, if the county has any
responsibility there or not. But they’ve gotta work
on a plan on how they can minimize and how they
can improve that stream, just to minimize the amount of sediment that’s going through. – Ah, as I talked to those
persons that were concerned, they indicated that this sediment, which is quite comprehensive,
to be honest with you, that it was, it happened
after the building of Jenkins. Are you saying that,
perhaps, that is coincidental but that, perhaps this, the rain during that period of time may have made this coincidental
incident take place? Because that’s the only thing they, at this point, can tie it to. And are they aware of the various, HOA, are they aware of all the
streams that you’ve shown us on the map?
– They should be. And they’ve also been in contact with the watershed department as well. Our direction would be, to the HOA, if they were looking, I logically can see, if you see a change in your pond and you know that there’s construction on the other end, one would think that. But given the fact that,
with the amount of water, the volume of the rainfall,
I think you can attribute, and again, I don’t wanna cross lanes here to the county’s side,
but I think they agree that there was substantial earth movement with those creeks beyond
our responsibility that could have played a role in this. So the report indicates that we are not, we cannot attribute our monitoring to any damage that occurred,
that’s what the report says. And the county has acknowledged that they will need to
work on a long-term plan in able to address the issue as whole. Because it’s not just their BMP, there’s also the BMP that the county owns, and then everything in between. – Are there any pre-/post-
photographs of this pond prior to your beginning the
construction at Jenkins? – The county’s pond?
– Mmhm. – That I don’t know. I would have to defer to the county. The HOA would be able to
speak with the county, they would be able to provide what type of maintenance did they provide and did they have any documentation
to show what their BMP. You know, we have BMPs on
many of our school sites and we have a responsibility
to maintain those as well, so we end up having to do maintenance and repairs and dredging at times with even some of our own
BMPs as they get older and sediment does get into them over time. I think the county acknowledges that there are some concerns between
their BMP and the HOA’s. And again, I don’t wanna keep
repeating the same thing, but it’s a matter of they’re
working on a long-term plan and they know that there
will be a multiple strategies that will be implemented to correct it. Again, the finding just says for schools, the HOA needs to work with the county, that schools is not attributable to it. – Okay–
– I just wanna use the language that’s in
their communication, I wanna try not to cross over into getting into something
that’s the county’s domain. – Well, I just wanna
thank you for your report, it’s very comprehensive and
very thorough, thank you. – And I will say this: we have
made all of this information, to the best of our ability,
available to the HOA. We have always told them that, and we will continue
to work with the county as they develop their long-term solution, but we have always shared with
them everything that we have, so what you’re seeing, the information, these reports or emails
that I’m referring to, we have actually provided
that all to them so they can review that when they meet
with the county as well. – Well, I didn’t get the sense that they were trying to point fingers, but they are very concerned
and they should be, for what’s happening to that pond. – It is, and they’re
looking for resolution, they just wanna know
how much responsibility do other people have because the property, we own some of the property,
but then the county owns the remainder of the property
along the length of the creek, so they’re looking just, who
do they need to talk with to come up with a resolution
and, in able to resolve it. – Thank you.
– Miss Raulston. – Hi, I just wanna know what is the cost to all of this labor that
we’re looking at and the, okay, go ahead, I’m sorry. – I don’t know the scope of the plan of what the county is
gonna have to implement– – Yeah, but what about
us, instead of, you know. – For what we did?
– Yeah. I have to defer to Mr. Windley
to see what, ultimately. The cost for us would
have been what we paid the Wetland consultant to monitor. – Okay.
– And I don’t know if we can give you an exact,
if we can just give you an approximation, but we can
always get you exact amounts. – I would imagine we probably encumbered about $30 to $50,000 to
Wetlands to do the initial, back in ’18, 2018, to do the initial monitoring, picture takin’, documentation, put all that into a report,
come back out and do– – Another report?
– During construction, and then post-monitoring,
post-construction monitoring, so. I don’t know the exact figure
that we’ve encumbered to them. – Do we look solid as a organization that can take care of
this kind of situation? I don’t think that you were
expecting this much rain, you know, at all, so what,
are we prepared for this? – We are, I believe that we
had a good plan in place. Again, working with the county, again, this is not a one-way process,
this is where the county, because stormwater is a
huge, huge sensitive issue when you do any type of development and that’s why we have
rules and regulations within our county that
require all developers to work in accordance
with those requirements. So, I do feel as if we’re at a good point. And when it comes to the
maintaining of existing, I think that we are staffed appropriately and we are able to maintain. Because when you build a BMP, it’s not you do it one time, you
do have to maintain it. As I was saying earlier, we have had BMPs where we’ve had, we do
have to clean ’em out. BMPs only have a life of 20, 25 years. So when you reach that
point, depending upon the amount of sediment or rainfall or whatever occurrences have occurred, you do have to clean them out to get them back to
the original condition. They do fill up.
– Thank you very much. – ‘Kay great, thank you. Any other questions? So the county will be working
on this, right Mr. Cheroke? – The latest communication is the county’s workin’ on a long-term plan
and I’m sure that they– – I look forward to seeing what the county, you know, comes up with. Thank you.
– Thank you. – Thank you.
– All right. We’ll move on to Superintendent’s Time. – Thank you Chairman Lateef
and members of the board. In addition the good news we shared at the last board meeting
about our school accreditation, I want to share that the
on-time graduation rate in Prince William County
Schools continues to increase. The 92.4% on-time graduation rate for PWCS surpasses the overall
state rate of 91.5% and is higher than the graduation
rate in neighboring Fairfax. The 2019 graduation rate marks the 12th consecutive year of improvement, increasing more than
nine points since 2008. The on-time graduation
rate of African American, Hispanic, White, and
economically disadvantaged students surpasses the state rate. PWCS has the highest graduation rate among school divisions with
100 or more English learners and students with disabilities in PWCS surpass the state average
by two percentage points. This continuous improvement represents the amazing work of
our teachers and staff, beginning in pre-kindergarten
through 12th grade. I congratulate our students and staff on their dedicated work. I am proud to share, (clapping) Yes, thank you. (clapping) It’s very exciting. I am proud to share
that nine of our schools were awarded recognition
as Purple Star schools for being military-friendly schools by demonstrating a major commitment to students and families connected
in our nation’s military. PWCS now has 12 total schools with the Purple Star designation. The nine schools in PWCS
that recently earned the designation are
Henderson, Fitzgerald, Pattie, Kyle Wilson, and Springwoods
Elementary Schools; Benton and Gainesville Middle Schools; and Forest Park and
Woodbridge High Schools. The three existing schools include Ashland and Penn Elementary
and Porter Traditional. Congratulations to all 12 schools for this prestigious recognition. Thanks to the generosity
of our outstanding staff, PWCS is leading the school
divisions in Northern Virginia for giving to the United Way. Our annual campaign is
currently in progress and I hope you will consider
giving again this year to the United Way to help
those who are hungry, homeless, victims of violence, and those who need a helping hand, as well as many other
non-profit organizations. Foodservice Director, this
is a national magazine, it’s considered the go-to magazine for food service in the United States, has named Prince William County Schools the Foodservice Operation of the Month. Adam Russo, Director of Food
Service and Nutrition Services, and the outstanding food service program are featured in a two page
story in the magazine. Congratulations for serving up success. Last Thursday night, I had the pleasure of presenting at this
year’s first meeting of the Superintendent’s Advisory
Council on Instruction. The room was packed with
new and returning parents. I want to express my appreciation for the tremendous
engagement of the parents during the town hall-style
question and answer session. Thanks for working collaboratively
to improve our schools. Yesterday morning, I attended
a fantastic celebration at River Oaks Elementary School. The school, in collaboration
with Amazon Web Services and SPARK, our education foundation, cut the ribbon on the new Think Big Space. Educational activities that
take place in this new space are designed to promote career awareness, engineering design,
coding, and gamification. The students were very
excited about the space and we had a little fun bringing a cell to life using augmented reality. And I just wanted to
say, this is the first school classroom, this big
space, of its kind in the world. So, again, thanks to Amazon
and our partnership, thank you. (clapping) – Outstanding, thank you, sir. Moving on to 19.01, revision of Policy 124, student reps to the school
board, first reading, Miss Goss. – Good evening Chairman Lateef, school board members, and Dr. Walts. Tonight, there is a proposal
to update the language in Policy 124, Student Representative(s)
to the School Board. You may remember that on April 24th, 2019, that Division Council McGowan worked with the school board and the board approved the waiving of the
provisions of Policy 124 relating to the timeline for the selection of the
student representative. Based on benchmarking of
other school divisions with a successful student
representative program, feedback from the former
representatives and alternates, as well as overall lessons learned, there’s a recommendation
to change the process of appointing one student representative and instead appoint two representatives who will alternate on a monthly basis. The proposal has, on a monthly basis, one representative sitting at
meetings with the school board and the other leading a newly organized student representative
senate for the purpose of obtaining ongoing broad student input on agenda issues before the school board. The student representative senate would be composed of students from each high school that applied for the student
representative position. At this time, Mr. Jeff Girvan, Supervisor of History and Social Science, will provide some additional details regarding the proposed
changes to Policy 124. – Evening, Chairman Lateef,
school board members, Dr. Walts. So, as Miss Goss just stated, basically the recommendation changes are based on exit interviews from the previous student
representatives and the alternates and then also feedback from the division selection committee members from the past and ourselves with our work
with those students, so. We wanna make this a more, you know, deep learning experience for the students and so we’re trying to make
some changes to the policy that will basically allow for more mentoring of these students, working more closely with
these students on public policy so they can learn how public policy works and how you build consensus
and things like that, and especially to try to get back to, I think of what the
board a couple years ago, when you first wanted this, you know, great program to be implemented, that the student representatives
basically get more student feedback on matters
in front of the board, right, so you can hear student input on the matters that you’re
actually voting on. And so, that’s what we’re trying to help the students to engage more and we believe the student senate that we’re going to try to
create from these students will allow for more of that as well. Another reason for the student senate is the past couple years, the
teachers involved at the local, at each school at the selection committees and then the division selection committees have had a wonderful time looking through these applications and then especially the interview process with these students. These teachers always leave, even though it’s two
full days of interviewing and they start at eight o’clock and they don’t get done ’til three. We give ’em a little bit of time to eat and use the restroom, things
like that, but other than that, it’s pretty much straight
through doing interviews. And I’ve done interviews myself and I know that can be tiring, you know, you know, doing that all day. They come outta there very,
you know, really charged up and excited about all
the wonderful students that come before them and
they get to listen to. And so, they have often proposed, like, “Can we do something more to
have more of these students “involved in leadership opportunities?” So that is really also a
driving force behind that idea. – Miss Williams.
– First, I wanna say thank you very much for all the work that you’ve done on this policy and I absolutely love the
idea of the student council. I deeply appreciate and value that our students’ voices are being heard. As someone who piloted
this idea and went to NSBA and learned about it, I am
in love, I think this is one of my favorite accomplishments
from being on the board. One of the things I’m going to be doing is sending some recommendations
based upon this first policy because I’m concerned that we’re getting a little exclusatory in what we’re doing. Because it started with the idea that this would be
something open and available to every student who wanted to apply. I understand that there are restrictions and that you do have to have
some sort of requirements but what I also understand
as a person of color is history is a sensitive subject and I think that there’s
a lot of leaning towards History teachers and
Social Science teachers, which I know through my own research and through my own personal experience is not always the favorite
class of students of color, and I’d like to see that opened broader and not be so dependent
on our History teachers. It’s, if you’re not learning
something that you’re in love with but you have
a contribution to be made, maybe you’re a music student or maybe you’ve done your
three years of, you know, you’ve done your History
requirement in order to graduate and now you don’t have a History teacher. I know there’s a clause in there for other teachers as available and I’m not negating the importance of having a History teacher involved because I think it’s an
integral part of the process, but what I do know from additional
experience of being a mom is that we graduate a lotta
students, just in general, who aren’t aware of some of the local, how Robert’s Rules of Order work, they don’t really get that opportunity and I just don’t wanna see it be another position that’s filled with all of our 3.0 students
or all of our students who are determined to
go into public policy. I’d like to make students
who don’t fit that mold or who would see this application and think it’s gotta
be this type of person feel welcome in this process as well. That’s really important
and valuable to be able to gain a full perspective
of our student body, which was the purpose of this. And I’m not being critical, I’m just sort of a
reminder as this process. When I look to this and
see 2.5, I’m thinking, I would have loved to apply for this, I’d have never made the cut
as a high school student ’cause I hated some of my classes so I just didn’t do the work. Wasn’t that I didn’t have a
contribution but I had a 2.0, so I would have been
able to fit this mold. Or if I was a student who was
maybe in special education who’s never gotten higher than a 2.5 but maybe is a policy genius,
they’re not gonna apply. And so, I just don’t wanna
miss those kinds of students and have those of
opportunities available to them and, again, I’m gonna send in
my comments on this policy, but I didn’t wanna say
all this to be critical, I just wanted to keep in mind that that’s a core foundation to this position because we miss a lotta those students when we have these roles that sort of highlight the kids who
are gonna go on to be future leaders and public
policy and sit on future boards. I wanna make sure that we’re capturing those students who don’t
have that confidence and this is a good opportunity for them to explore something new
’cause I think we do that in such other fantastic ways
in this school division. I’d like to see that fermented and rooted firmly in this position
as well for our students. And then, just another request is that, as a student senate or
council gets formed, if we could get updates or maybe sit in on a meeting or
something like that, just to see the other side of the process. ‘Cause they get to see ours, I
think it would be really nice for the board to be able
to see what they’re doing because I think sometimes as adults, we get in the way of our students and all the genius that they have, so I just would like to add that on. And again, thank you, this was not a take away, just an add on. (beeping) – Miss Raulston. – Thank you. Where I come from, the city and the state, they all have a students, high
school students, with them. There is some difference, and
I guess I’m gonna ask you, what is the difference
between the students that should work with any of these people, should work with them? First is the ones that you tell them where they need to travel to, you know, maybe it’s this side of the room. I know that it’s not clear ’cause it’s not real clear with me. So, what I’m looking
for, just me personally, is to make sure that the
students that come before us and take a seat over here
with the Superintendent, I’m with you, they don’t
have to be straight A, they don’t even have to be straight F, they have to have a
desire to want to do it. You know, it sounds crazy,
but you’ve gotta, you know, sometimes we’re gonna have
to take a step backwards and talk about the kids
that we don’t talk about. But they need to know
that it is perfectly okay to come and stand there and
tell us what it is they want. I’m not clear about who we pick, I’m with ya, I’m really
not clear with that and I don’t really know
exactly how it’s done, so if you, are you the picker? – (laughs) No, I’m not, no.
– You’re not the picker? – No.
– Okay, well when you figure out who the picker is, would you tell them to call me? You wanna say that?
– Dr. Walts. – If we could just provide to the board the actual written
regulation that lays out exactly how the student is selected? Great.
– That makes sense to me. Thank you very much.
– So, just like with anything else, this is a first reading, so offer your amendments,
revisions to the policy over the next couple of weeks, get ’em to me or Mary and we’ll get them in there. I have one, I’ll make one
sorta quick statement on, that I am concerned about
and I’ll recommend a change, it’s on 124 where it says, “Student voice by sharing ideas
and concerns at appropriate “times regarding current
issues before the board.” I would, I’m gonna ask that we strike “regarding current
issues before the board.” I think they should be able to speak on what they wish to speak on. So, anyways, that’ll be one
of the amendments I offer. But I think, Mr. Deutsch.
– Thank you. Thank you for your y’alls work on this and for bringing this together, involving more students
is always a benefit. Can you walk through how we’re gonna be selecting members for the student senate? – Yes, so, in the process
that’s laid out right now, basically students apply for the position, it’s a blind application process, and once the selection
committee at each school selects two students from the
pool of students that applied, then they get the names and at
that point, we move forward. So, for basically each school this year had two students who were
put forward to interview. Of those, the division selection committee was asked to choose one of the students, of the two from each
school, to say which one you felt would be better
at doing that position, and so that’s where we
get the senate from. So every school will have a
representation based on the– – [Mr. Deutsch] So every
school will have two members in the student senate, assuming
two or more people apply. – I’m sorry, what’s that, sorry? – Every school will have two
members in the student senate, assuming two or more people apply. – They would each have one, based on, but it’s taken from the pool of two. – [Deutsch] All right, so then
the interview panel, then, is gonna select one of the two people from each school to be
on the student senate. – Correct, and they already
did that to be prepared in case the board chose
to add that to the policy. – Awesome. We can, maybe some of the particular
standards get adjusted, etc., but I think we did have a
very thorough discussion around the importance of
having some grade standards and other standards for
qualifications for people to apply, back when we first approved this policy. You know, I know in life
there have been some things I haven’t been able to
apply for because of grades, there have been some things
I haven’t been able to. But having a set of standards
for people to apply for is definitely critical as we
work through this process. (beeping) – Okay, Miss Williams.
– Miss Jessie was– – Oh, Miss Jessie.
– Hi. I have a question: is there a way for us to
begin this process earlier so that when we meet at the beginning of the school year, we
have a representative, a student representative, on the board? Or is that possible? – Well, the reason that we had asked for the waiver last April was because the feedback we were getting
from the high schools was that was not a good
time for them to be, first of all, we have to have teachers out of the building for a couple days, students, same thing,
getting prepared for exams and things like that, they felt that that was not a good time to
do that, begin that process, so we basically reverted back
to what we did the first year, which was start that process,
the application process to start at the end of the school year and then throughout the summer, the schools have time to
review those applications and present us with who they selected at the very beginning of the school year so that we can begin that process. And that’s basically
why we did it this year because we were taking feedback from the high schools themselves that they felt the early part of the year was better for the schools. – I wanna share some thoughts
that Miss Williams made. She did a great deal of leg work on this. We’re both very interested in student representation on the board. You know, I’ve worked with MLK for over 30 years, to be honest
with you, we’re coming up on the 30th anniversary
for Martin Luther King, and the one thing I’ve learned is that the GPA does not necessarily,
is not the full story. There are kids who are verbally gifted. There are kids, when I was at Potomac View as an Assistant Principal and I tried, I was putting together
a discipline committee, a teacher there said, “I’m
gonna get you some real kids “to be on the discipline committee “because if you put
all the straight A kids “or the kids who are lookin’ at GPA, “there are kids who need a voice “and I’d like for us to
really look at that.” The other item, at the, there’s a, in the operation statement, it says that, “the student will act as a conduit “between the student body
and the school board.” The thing that I’ve noticed
is that these students go out and they get this
information from the school and they come back and they give a very comprehensive report and they say, “Students are concerned
about this, this, this, this” and I’m not sure that they
have the right to vote but I think we need to find a mechanism to respond to when they come
back with recommendations, this board, I think,
needs to have some way of responding to those recommendations, otherwise it’s just you go out, you collect the recommendation,
you’re on the board, you’re heard, but nothing happens. And maybe that’s something on our end that we really need to think about. And also, I want to, I think that your rotation, the rotation idea is a good idea and I think
that that gives both students an opportunity to have
a voice on the board. And I also wanna thank you
for the work that you’ve done, but I do think we need to
re-look at the timeline. Thank you.
– Miss Satterwhite. – Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you for all the work
that went into updating this. I mean, this is just year
three that we’re entering, this is all new for us still, we’ve compiled information
from lots of other divisions. You know, the comment on the GPA, it’s a GPA of 2.5, which
is a C, solid C GPA average and one of the reasons we did that, and I remember we went back and forth and we were all discussing
what level to make it at, but we have to remember
that these students, first of all, are students
and we wanna make sure that they’re keeping up
with their coursework. We all know how much time it takes to do the work of the school board and so putting on students
school board on top of the list of other activities that
the students might list, or the things they’re involved in, we wanna make sure they
keep their grades up, and I think that’s really important and should be a top priority. One little comment I
wanted to make on page, I’m looking to see, um,
top of the fourth page, there was the last little dot there, right before section six, it says “Student representatives and
alternates are introduced “at the last school board
meeting of the school year, “in which they are selected and are “seated with the school board “for the first meeting
the following year.” I sent in an update to Miss McGowan today and then I know it’s been
shared with our staff, it just didn’t make it in here, but that statement was not consistent with the rest of the policy and so, that has already been updated and we’ll see that later on. So I just wanted to mention that. But I’m very interested in the
alternating with two members, I think that’s a great idea, I think it gives two members,
two students, that way, the exposure of being
able to sit on the board. I like the idea of the senate and I appreciate how
we’re phasing into that with what we already have, I think that was a good
plan, so thank you. – Miss Williams.
– Thank you. I just wanted to, well first, I’m never gonna change my position on GPA, as someone who graduated from
Prince William County Schools with a 1.9 rounded up with a 2.0 so I could gain admission to Mason. I think I did okay ’cause
I’m sittin’ here now and I continue to do these things and I am exactly that student
that would have been excluded and it wasn’t for lack of smarts or ability to get in college, my son just applied to a very prestigious culinary school and
their GPA minimum is 2.0, so again, I just wanna, you know, I’m never gonna let go of that because I know what it is to be that student and I know there are so
many more of them out there and I know there are so many things that impact your students’ GPA and their ability to
learn may be part of it but it may also be their home condition, it may also be the supplies
and resources that they have, it may also be the classes they have, it may be the teacher,
it may be their attitude. There’s so many things
that revolve around a GPA and it’s not indicative of a
whole student and who they are. So I just ask the board
to keep that in mind, considering that I was
the one that piloted this and I am never gonna let go of that because I don’t wanna miss those students. With the student representative board, I know the schools already
have SCAs and things like that, my question is, is Independence gonna get representatives to that board as well? Because they’re a school
and I just wanna make sure that there’s gonna be a
student sitting on there. And then, how are we being reflective or inclusive of our
students with special needs? Because they’re often left
out of this conversation because they don’t fit the requirements. And I wanna make sure,
because the purpose, again, was to hear from the whole student body and I fear that, with this
council, that, you know, our student representatives may not be doing those town halls because now they have a substitute
mechanism in place, and I just wanna make sure that we’re capturing the entire student body because that, like I
said, that’s the reason why I pushed so hard for this. And I wanna make sure that
students don’t feel excluded because, again, you know, this is a, the title of the position,
having a council, if you don’t feel like you fit that, you’re not gonna speak up
and I just wanna make sure that the students on the fringes or the students who don’t
normally fit those molds feel comfortable coming and speaking their mind and their opinion
and are able to participate and feel like they can participate. Because a lotta times it’s, again, it’s those students who are
already doing leadership, already active in clubs, already having and sharing their voice
that get these positions. Those are not the students
that I’m lookin’ for ’cause they’re already
sharin’ their voice. So, everything that we
can do to facilitate that. And also, I wanna be
sensitive to our students who are in the lower
socio-economic run because we don’t have good public
transportation in this county, we know we have a 40% free
and reduced lunch rate, and that affects students choices. So I just wanna make sure that
as we advertise these things, I mean, you can’t specifically
say, “I’m targeting to this,” because we don’t want to be on
the opposite end of the coin, but that there are some sort of systems or things in place so that these students feel like it’s something that they can do. ‘Cause a lot of the
times, you get a student who doesn’t have a car,
doesn’t drive to school, mom and dad don’t have a car, and they immediately
write this opportunity off because they think,
“Well, how can I do that?” And that defeats the purpose. So, I just wanna be, sorry
to be so harsh about it, but I think it’s important. Thank you.
– Mr. Trenum. – Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I wanna follow up a question regarding to the student representative senate which is, I guess, mentioned in the list but we don’t really have
a section on it, I think. What is it we expect the student representative senate to do? – They will act as, well, for one thing, to actually to go to
what Miss Williams said, that’s one reason we
want to do that as well, they can be ambassadors to the school to help promote this
program at the school level, but they are going to be
the ones that we’re hoping work with the student representatives to gather student input in a much more efficient manner that
we’ve seen in the past. And again, this is based on
some of the exit interviews that we’ve gotten from the alternatives and the representatives and also from what we’ve seen ourselves, that some, at least from what the student
representatives told us, and alternates, and other
students who applied, actually have continued to apply, they don’t feel like they
get to have their voice said to the student representatives
because they say, “Nobody’s asked us. “There’s no one at my school
that asked me anything about, “so if I didn’t go to the town meeting “or if I didn’t do, answer a Google Doc, “then my voice was left out.” So what we would like
to see is each school has a person that is
represented on a board that basically will meet with
the student representatives to make sure that they are,
in a more efficient way, getting some student input to you. – So basically, it’s just a, it’s a, an advisory board to the
student representatives, is that what it is? I mean, do we have any
specific official functions that we expect the student
senate thing to do, or? I’m just curious.
– Yeah, that is the, that’s the primary purpose,
but we’re also, we wanna leave that open to that
body of students to kind of, when they get together and meet for the first time, what
they feel that they will want to accomplish, but it
is mainly an advisory board. – [Mr. Trenum] So they’re gonna have regular meetings as well, as a body? – Yes, with a mentor, yes, sir. – Okay, okay, thank you.
– Okay, great Mr. Girvan. So, just to point out, you know, Susanne Faraj, who was our rep last year, put together sort of a ad hoc group of I think it
was student council presidents from around the county
from all the high schools and they put together that
all for one prom last year by getting all student councils involved and so one of the things
I had asked them to do is consider getting a council of councils or council presidents, which would be an easy conduit to get
to the student reps. So I think the student
senate’s a great idea and also, it gets more people involved, and I think, as Miss Jessie pointed out, as they come to us, we
have to do a better job, and this has all been sort of new to us, but as they bring these
concerns to us, you know, we certainly can add their concerns to an agenda item for
addressing, that is certainly, just like we do with normal constituents. So anyways, thank you
very much, Mr. Girvan. Miss Goss, always a pleasure. Thank you all. We will move on next to the 19.02, Endorsement of Board
County Supervisors Letter and Legislative Position Restoring Funding for Cost of Competing Adjustments. I put this on at the request of the county board of
supervisors who last week voted on a letter that they
would like the school board, the chair to sign, but clearly, we should get board buy in before we sign anything. That should be on item 19.02. I think Mr. Westcott’s here. You wanna come up, Mr. Westcott, and sorta give us a quick
rundown on what the county wants? – Thank you Mr. Chair
and members of the board. David Westcott,
Legislative Affairs Liaison for the County of Prince William. Just wanted to give y’all an update. So, in the past two weeks,
the Northern Virginia Legislative Liaisons met and
COCA funding and NVTA funding for the upcomin’ General Assembly session was a major topic in our last meeting. With that bein’ said, other municipalities around the Northern Virginia region are sendin’ a letter to the
Governor’s administration that speaks on COCA funding. Now, obviously, the NVTA
funding is more directed for Prince William
County Board Supervisors, but tonight, I bring forth a letter that Chairman Stewart is
askin’ for the signature of the Chairman here at Prince
William County School Board. And what the letter really states is that we’re askin’ and we
understand the challenges that the Governor faces
as he’s puttin’ forth this next biennium for
the General Assembly and that we ask that he
restore funding for COCA to support positions partnering with us to address education needs
within our communities and that we appreciate his commitment to Prince William County and its schools here in the State of Virginia. So, may I ask for the endorsement– – Dr. Walts, is this part of
our legislative priority to– – Yes it is and this is something that we have had in the past and
we have fully supported. – Fantastic.
– The board and the administration and I would highly recommend that it be signed. – Okay. I think we can put this on,
this is, is this on for action? – Yes it is.
– Okay, can I have a motion? – Mr. Chairman, I move
that the school board sign on to the COCA letter as presented. – So that was Mr. Deutsch of the Coles District.
– Mr. Chairman. – And do I have a second?
– I second. – Miss Williams of Woodbridge seconds. – Any discussion? Miss Satterwhite.
– Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I am very happy to see that Prince William County Board of Supervisors is very interested in this because this has been a legislative
priority of ours for years, I think just about ever
since I got on the board, and we still haven’t had
that funding restored, so I appreciate the Board of County Supervisors getting involved. Thank you.
– Mr., anybody else? Okay, uh, Miss Raulston.
– I just want to ask how soon will money transfer? – Well, this will, they’ll just give us the, you know, heave ho one more time. Hopefully not.
– I hope not. – Miss Williams. – I just thank the county
for this opportunity. I’m wondering, in addition
to sending a letter to Mr. Northam, will we
be, will the county be sending any letters to our representatives to the General Assembly where they generally make that decision? – Yes, Member Williams, we also will, as soon as the Chairman and the Chairman here on the school board sign the letter. A copy of those letters will be sent to not only our delegation,
also the letter will also go to the Secretary
of Education as well. We thought it would be very important that we send that letter
to the Secretary as well. – And just one question, just for my own, I just wanna hear you say
that you’re gonna actually go and lobby on behalf of
the county for this as well. ‘Cause we do that, we
don’t hear very much– – Absolutely.
– From the county side. – We sent a package last year, in 2019, that was in our legislative package and then also this year, in
our draft legislative package, this is also a priority of ours as well. – Great, thank you, I think it’s important for our public to hear that,
that it’s on both sides. Thank you.
– Please vote. (clicking) Please convey our thanks to the County Board of Supervisors’
Chairman Stewart. It’s nice to have you come
over and ask for things nicely. (chuckling) You can give the message
directly back to them, thank you. – The vote is eight yes,
unanimous, motion passed. – Excellent, we will
move on to board matters. We’ll start with Miss Satterwhite. – Thank you, Mr. Chairman. As Dr. Walts has mentioned, River Oaks Elementary School yesterday, we had the Amazon Worldwide Services with our fabulous, fabulous
first Think Big Space and there are two rooms
completely outfitted by Amazon. Amazon’s going to be sending technology and supporting for this year
as they get it kicked off. I wanna thank Mr. Nau, I wanna
thank our folks with SPARK, Miss Williams, the Principal,
and also Miss Robinson, Miss Cornelia Robinson, Senior Manager of Global Community Engagement
for Amazon Web Services. The space was phenomenal,
we got to watch students working with the augmented reality and see their faces
when they saw their cell that was flat on paper come
to life through the use of the Kindle with that and the software. So it was very exciting
and looking forward to seeing what our students
will be doing there. Miss Williams joined us and she’ll talk about that, too,
the way she joined us. Also, wanna make sure to
give another shout out for the Above the Influence
that’s going to be hosted by Why, Incorporated,
the Harris Pavilion this Saturday from 3:00 to 7:00. We definitely have some major problems with our students with
Juuling and substance abuse and I appreciate everybody who’s involved in sponsoring this and thank you for the goody bags that you gave us. Also wanna thank our
folks at Special Education for the bracelets and the shirts we got. One little cool thing about the bracelet, it’s heat responsive so you
can read the letters better after you’ve been wearing it for awhile, so just a note after playing with it. Um, (clicks tongue) let’s
see, and that is it. Wanna wish everybody a
very good fall season. Lots of our schools are
having fall festivals. Make sure to get out
and support our schools, support our PTAs, PTOs, they’ve got some amazing events planned for our
kids over the next few weeks and wanna give them all a shout out. Thank you. – Sorry, Mr. Trenum.
– Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I just wanna point, an
article was actually pointed out to me in
InsideNoVa from a few days ago and it is an article about
high school football players in Prince William County
being able to purchase their own football helmets
and then after the season is, after their career is
done, they can keep them. I think this is a, I
think it’s a good thing, it’s not a requirement and
certainly not everybody takes advantage of it ’cause we do provide good helmets for our kids,
but I think it is nice that we provide our parents that option. It allows for, if there’s a
specific fit that works better or if they’re concerned
about some of the safety and they want the latest in safety, it allows parents to have that option. I think it’s nice that we support that. The article mentions that
this has been going on for seven years, it started at
Patriot High School, and so. Actually, there’s a lesson
here for our students as well because I was part of that
conversation seven years ago and it wasn’t, and it was somewhat of a contentious decision seven years ago, so I’m glad to see we’ve
gotten beyond that. And for all our students, just
the lesson you can take away is bureaucracy is not always right and if you beat hard enough, you can actually bend it a little bit, so. (chuckling) Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
– Miss Raulston. – Thank you. I’m gonna change subjects. It is my understanding
that our graduation rate, as was announced, this year is 92.4, which is the highest we have ever had and higher than the school
division to the North. So, do we understand what this means? So, Miss, hi. Is it possible that the staff person can come up and explain it? – Not at this time.
– Not at this time? – [Chairman Lateef] No,
you can certainly ask and send an email but we can have a presentation at a later meeting. This is board matters, we’re wrapping up. – Well, this is board matters. Is that what you said? I’m sorry.
– Yeah. I mean, we’re not, we,
you’re asking for a staffer to come up and answer
a question right now? – Yeah. I don’t think we’ve ever
done that, Diane, we can– – Really?
– No. We’ve never done that. We–
– It’s usually pre-planned. – Go ahead.
– All right, sure. Go ahead and ask the question. You can ask the question of Dr. Walts. – Dr. Walts, do you,
what is it that changed our numbers, what did we
do that was so different? – Well, that’s a complex question. I guess I would say that what we did is we worked with students to
improve the ability of them to graduate on time and more
of them to graduate on time. So, the more you have graduating on time, the harder that is, and by on time, I mean they have to
graduate within four years. So that’s a state and
a federal measurement. And so, every time we increase, that represents more and more students, when you think of us as
having over 91,000 students, every time you improve
the graduation rate, that means fewer kids
fall through the cracks or don’t graduate or whathaveyou. So there are a lot of things we do with professional development,
many things that we do with going back and doing
re-teaching to ensure that students are going to
do well and are going to pass these benchmarks that
help them to graduate on time. – Thank you, thank you very much. And the only reason I
brought that forward again was because when I listen
to some of our members here, you know, I think they forget that there were some people
who had difficulties, other than Miss Williams,
and what you have said today, I think needs to be said many, many times. Thank you very much. – Miss Jessie. – I’ve had an active site visits, have had
several visits with just PTOs trying to meet with my schools and get a sense of where
they are and what their concerns are and to talk
about various issues. I’ve met with the PTO at
Old Bridge Elementary, a very exciting school, as you know, it’s a very high performing
school and, as are all of the schools in the
Occoquan District, fortunately. And I also met with the
Parent Advisory Council for Woodbridge High School. While there, they announced
a Purple Star school status and that award apparently requires quite a bit of documentation
and she gave credit to her Assistant Principal
there, who is Sheila Coleman. Woodbridge High School
also had Senior Night where they recognized all
the graduating seniors, not only for the football team but for the dance team
and the cheerleaders. Lake Ridge, I went to
Lake Ridge Elementary’s Parent Advisory meeting. And I think, if, did my slide show up to date, is it available? I want to, there it is. I walked into that school
and I walked through the parkin’ lot and I thought,
“Wow, you know who did this? “Mural Mural on the Wall.” And these guys can do anything and if you go inside the, inside the lounge and
look at the lounge area, they had all sorta things going on there and also in the library and there are just too many photographs to share. I also want to share something
I thought was very unique. The cheerleaders at Woodbridge High School are District Champions and
second place, it’s Colgan, so I have another slide which I think. This is Woodbridge, I think
there’s another slide. This is the slide that
everyone’s talkin’ about because Woodbridge High
School was number one but they came together with Colgan because Colgan was number two. And I think these cheerleading squads, I don’t know how they do what they do, it looks very dangerous to
me, but it’s all synchronized and Dr. Walts, I watched the dance, all the dancing at Colgan High School and I’m just saying your
daughter’s on that dance team, she’s gonna be a part of
the dancing program there. These kids are doing some wonderful things and I think that sometimes we get so caught up in the
academics that we forget that there are kids who
are gifted in other areas. Thank you. – Miss Williams.
– Thank you. I just wanna give a
shout out to Miss Ralph on Woodbridge’s Senior High
School’s cheerleading team. She is a, I think, third generation now Prince William County student. Her grandmother subbed at
Prince William County schools and her uncle Rodney Ralph was one of the first representatives
at Lake Ridge Middle School, I went to high school with him. So big news, we have
some just exciting events going on in the Woodbridge
District this year and, as Dr. Walts alluded
to earlier, I am so excited that one of my schools, River
Oaks, is pioneering the way in Think Big Space in
coordination with Amazon. I think that there’s been
so much said about that, I can’t add very much more
accolades other than to say the really cool part for
me was I FaceTimed in. So I thought that was really interesting and I’ve been asking for a few years and on occasions, I’ve
been able to do that, but I think when we
expect high expectations and have high goals for
our students and technology that it’s nice to be a board member who’s able to do that in reverse. I did it before with Freedom’s Soul Squad and still hear from graduates
who were so thankful for the opportunity to
speak to me via FaceTime, they thought it was really cool. And it was really neat to see our elected officials interact
and our staff interact with the assisted technology,
interactive technology. I had the opportunity to tour the space in person prior to the event, but I think that’s something that all of us, as adults, can do a little bit more ’cause the kids are
definitely leading the way and it’s a nice thing for us to
be able to model back to them. And I just wanted to
thank the ITC coordinator, Miss Kelly Sells, she set it up and did a test call with me on her day off, walked me around to make sure
that the camera was focused. I know it makes them a little nervous ’cause it’s like holding a
board member in your hands, but she did a fabulous
job and I was able to see everything and participate
and I think that’s awesome. Something else I wanted
to highlight is there was a young woman there named Adanna Hammond, I believe is her last name, and she was interviewed
by ABC7’s news reporter and that girl took the
mic and ran with it. Talk about a future news
reporter, it was fabulous. No fear, she just, I mean, she rocked it and I just have to give
her a big shout out because, again, and I say
it time and time again, when we as adults step out
of the way of our students, ’cause they’re awesome, they
take the lead and run with it, and she was just stellar. Really quickly to finish
up, I just wanna give a big shout out to Kilby Elementary. They have the 21st Century
Learning Grant there and Miss Plum, for short,
was able to bring in Captain Barrington Irving, excuse me, to give a speech in front of the school. He is the first and the
youngest black pilot to ever fly around the world
in a single engine plane which he actually built himself. Very cool, very appropriate
for the students. I was a total nerd, geeked out there, and I just think that that’s awesome and thank you Miss Plum for
all the work that you do. (clicking) – Thank you, Miss Williams. Mr. Wilk.
– Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Highlights, um–
– Oh, I’m sorry. – Who? Oh.
– Mr Deutsch, sorry. Sorry.
– We’re all good. Thank you all very much. First of all, just have to congratulate everybody who’s excited
about last night’s win. The Nationals are going
to the World Series and making history and I
know, as a life long Mets fan, the emotion and joy I had in 2015 and I’m sure all across the region, people were excited about something that is a once in a lifetime thing, so far. With the way they’ve built this team, maybe it won’t be a once in
a lifetime in the future, but congratulations everybody, it’s an exciting time for the city. Looking forward to the Nats
winning the World Series. We had a very fun time on Friday over at Colgan for their football game, celebrating homecoming and they just, they did a beautiful job with
the band out on the field, basically being a couple of walls for our homecoming
committee and it was just, it was a beautiful time there
and a great time had by all. You know, today is actually a little bit of a bittersweet day. It’s four years that we’ve
all been working together, serving together, and we’ve
gotten a lotta good stuff done. You know, I was just reminded, the presentation today
is one more reminder of some of the accomplishments
that we’ve done, you know, working together as a board on that special ed audit or
special education audit, the incredible job that
Michelle Roper’s done, the incredible job our new attorney’s done on the special education
front, all the training. There’ve been significant
improvements on that side combined now with
showcasing the technology we’ve brought on board as we’ve brought on technology,
additional positions. It’s been a incredible
highlight and thank you to everybody here who’s
worked so hard on that. We’ve done a lotta work
to improve school safety, whether it’s adding
additional security officers, increasing our physical security. And we’ve reduced trailers,
we’ve added schools, we’ve added additional
positions for counselors, social workers, psychologists, a lot of our mental health support staff. There’s been so many things
we’ve done together as a board and, you know, we’ve had our crazy, we had our ups and downs, there have been a lotta memorable long
nights in this board that have definitely been memorable. But four years is a long time and it’s been an honor to serve and I think we’ve gotten
a lotta good things done. – Now Mr. Wilk. Sorry about that, Mr. Deutsch, thank you. – Mr. Deutsch, we have
three more meetings left. (chuckles) You’re rushin’ outta here. Highlight a couple things. The Friday after our last board meeting, so I had the pleasure of visiting Graham Park Middle
School on another one of my visits and rounds
and touring classrooms. Later that day, I had
the pleasure of attending Forest Park’s homecoming
pep assembly with Dr. Walts, he was there in attendance, Miss Gulotta, a number of other team members, Dr. Roper, where the unified banner was presented to the Forest Park students
and the awesome program set up by Miss McCann and her team, that was a cool assembly, very good event. That evening, I went to share my duties of two homecoming events, that
evening I actually went to Potomac High School’s
homecoming football game to support the Panthers in that event. Smart Beginnings, Tawnya
Solstis and her team, there was a great event, I
was invited to be a speaker at the celebration of the
Washington-Reid pre-K program, this is a program that I pushed and I was able to get
the support of this board for an expansion of 120
additional pre-K seats in the Potomac District
at Washington-Reid. Great event and wanna thank Miss Solstis and her team for that. Had the pleasure, last week, of filming my board brief
highlighting Forest Park, some of the new technology
acquisitions for the IT program, and also giving a preview to the new innovation and program happening with the turf field and the outdoor track. Also that day, was able
to visit Graham Park on a very sad day, a very tragic day, Graham Park lost one of their
cafeteria workers that morning and she had grandkids at the
school and in Forest Park, so my prayers go out to that family and her longstanding service
to our school system, but was able to be there and be at the building that day and talk with staff. Wrap things out, that last Friday, I was able to be at the Colgan
High School with Dr. Walts and the Forest Park football team, which was able to easily dismantle the Colgan Goldfish and
their football program. – Not the spirit.
– No, not the spirit, they definitely had the spirit hands but not the football team. Finally, Ashland Elementary,
I attended Trunk or Treat, which is a great PTO event
put on by their program. I was able, my son dressed up
as Batman, I was the Riddler. That was a great event
and we had a great time. – Somebody find the blazer.
– Yes, no, I took, well, I was gonna, (chuckles)
I do not have the blazer, people asked me to wear it tonight, but the Riddler blazer is
being retired, but anyways. So thank you all and looking forward to our meeting in two weeks. Thank you. – Outstanding. Well, I wanna just echo Miss
Loree Williams’ comments on Kilby Elementary, I was invited over there by Principal Najjum and
by our school board rep Loree Williams in the Woodbridge District to attend a fantastic program. They have a grant over there, a federal grant that supports
an after school program that goes from September to May. They call the program Tiger 21? – [Miss Williams] It’s a
21st Century Learning Grant. – 21st Century Learning Grant
from the federal government that is available for 180 children every day after school
from September to May and the kids get fed dinner as well and they do all kinds of STEM+ activities. And we had an opportunity of tour some of the great activities they do, see some of the projects
they’re workin’ on, meet some of the students who are involved in that program,
and the teachers. It is a fantastic program, it’s a, I would consider it a best practice. Fred Lynn and Gar-Field do it as well. It is exactly the kind of program in exactly the kind of schools
that I think will help us achieve higher levels of
success across the board, whether it be your grades
or your SAT, your PSATs, getting more kids in
the Governor’s School, IB Programmes, and Cambridge Programmes. Sparking interest at STEM at that level is exactly what I think
we ought to be working on and I hope to see that program replicated across the division, it
is a fantastic program. So that was exciting. Thank you, Mr. Cheroke, for
the update on the creek. I think that was very
important to have this evening. I think there’ll be some exciting news that I’m not allowed to
share coming from Dr. Walts and John Wallingford on
some of the VSBA stuff that we’re working on with
with our bonds, so that’s exciting, comin’ up in the
next few days, hopefully. And then, um, what else? Today was the day most of the students, a lotta students took
PSATs across the division. I am thrilled with Dr. Walts’
commitment to putting together a committee to study SATs
and improving our scores. I am so impressed with what we’ve been able to do with graduation rates. I have no doubt we can turn our attention to student success by other metrics and I’m looking forward
to hearing all of that. Seniors, take advantage, seniors, juniors, all high school students, take
advantage of your counseling, I’d like to remind you
about our counselors. We did hire 47 new counselors
as Mr. Deutsch pointed out and I’ve met with some of our counselors across the division, they’re very excited with the
extra help they’re getting but I’d ask the students to take advantage of the counseling, take advantage of Naviance,
and take advantage of the other opportunities
that our school division has that will help you succeed better. Have a wonderful, safe rest of the month and meeting adjourned. (gavel banging) (upbeat music)

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