School Board Happenings - 2018
A giant THANK YOU!! To every teacher, bus driver, office staff person, cafeteria worker, central office member, principals,.......EVERYONE!! EVERY SINGLE PERSON that was involved in taking care of our kiddos!! We knew about Florence over a week ago, and while most folks may have become complacent b/c we didn't get a direct hit, you guys heeded all the warnings! With the possibilities this week for remnants of nasty Florence, you were totally prepared for her!!! Thank you to all of those who helped get our kiddos to safety during the tornado warning (warning means that the atmosphere is producing, or is ripe for producing such weather). Thank you to those who did their best to communicate our situational reality to parents and caregivers, etc. Thank you to everyone that stayed beyond their contract hours to make sure our babies were safe. Thank you for always going above and beyond what you are paid to do! As a SCPS Mom, and School Board Member, I thank you from the bottom of my heart!!
Thank you also, to the parents and guardians/caregivers who remained calm, patient, and understanding of the challenges our schools have in situations such as these. Please continue to be proactive in these situations - Remember this as we go into the school year:
* Monitor weather, be aware of school policies and procedures
* Stay tuned to social media, the SCPS website and news outlets
*Give staff across the division a break - they typically have kids and/or family members in the system, and are just as worried as you are (except that they can't leave their post to check on them, b/c they're taking care of your kids!).
Again, thank you to everyone today for the help in keeping my kids, my friend's kids, my neighbor's kids and everyone else in our community safe. God bless! We have one more day to get through - please say a prayer for those who were affected in the Carolinas, and those who were hit directly today and lost homes and possibly life in our State Capitol and its suburbs as a result of pop up tornados.
Welcome to my website - A place where you can look for updates and issues that the Stafford School Board is addressing for the current school year (You can also find information on my Facebook page).
The School Board and Dr. Benson are working at making significant operational and educational improvements to our school division. Among them are many of the issues (listed below) that I provided when I ran for my seat 4 years ago - many updates on those items and more are provided. You can see the latest budget priorities approved by the full Board under the Budget Information tab.
- Reducing class sizes: UPDATE: The class size reduction initiative is underway - we recently approved approximately 24 positions to accommodate the growth in the county in an attempt to keep our ES class sizes below SOQ limits.
- Equalizing program parity: UPDATE: We are continuing to work toward each school having (no matter what school your child attends), equal access to similar offerings. It isn't always possible given the preferences of principals and other factors, but we're a great deal closer to the parity we've been striving for.
- Initiating shared services with Stafford County Government: UPDATE: We have signed into an agreement with the Board of Supervisors to begin looking at sharing services between the school division. We're looking for improved efficiency as well as overall cost savings. We have also begun the process of a JOINT CIP (Capital Improvements Planning Process). You'll see links that will go into more detail as we begin this process.
- Updating antiquated financial services software: UPDATE: This was my number one priority when I joined the board - We have now implemented the use of the MUNIS system which has been a Godsend for SCPS. The old Lotus 1-2-3 and spread sheet use for budgets and spending are a permanent thing of the past.
- Cyclical replacement of technology and transportation systems: UPDATE: Nearly completed - We are hopeful that this will become a regular practice of replacing outdated technology.
- Expanding and improving community and constituent communications: UPDATE: Constantly evolving, with a full staff to support the message and the mission of the School Division.
- Bringing educational building specifications up to 21st century and beyond teaching practices: UPDATE: ES Specs are completed and now being implemented with the rebuild of Moncure Elementary School. With the help of our CIP Advisory Committee, we are looking at updated specifications for a future high school.
- Initiating a forensic (deep dive) audit of all financial transactions, communications, etc., to determine culpability and accountability for the $8.3M dollar salary lapse issue: UPDATE: Completed and completely corrected!! The lax controls that were permitted by prior superintendents and school boards is a thing of the past.
- Tightening of all approval protocols and reduction in caps for all financial transactions within the school division: UPDATE: Completed
- Supporting legislative actions to reduce the number of S.O.L tests required in the Commonwealth: UPDATE: Completed, and successful!
- Expansion of existing High Schools to accommodate future growth within the County: UPDATE: Completed - HOWEVER, with the extraordinary amount of growth the county is seeing, it appears we're going to need to start planning for more supporting infrastructure (more schools, more fire and rescue, more social services......)