Essex County School Board FY 2014 Adopted Budget
PowerPoint Budget Presentation
Oral Budget Presentation
Students Recognized for Participation in 2013 VSBA Eastern Regional Art Show
Local school board members were treated to an impressive display of creativity and faced some tough decisions in selecting the 2013 winners in the Virginia School Boards Association Eastern Regional Art Contest on March 5, 2013. Student art from the elementary, middle and high school levels represented each school division in the competition, which was judged at the regional forum for area school board members.
The VSBA Regional Art Contest was started in 1989 to promote the artistic talents of Virginia’s public school students. For each of the nine VSBA regions, a winner is chosen for the elementary, middle and high school levels. The winning art is framed and displayed in the offices of the VSBA in Charlottesville and the Richmond offices of the State Superintendent of Public Education.
The Essex County School Board recognizes Aliyah Taylor, Jordan Fauntleroy and Diana Dillon for their participation in the 2013 VSBA Eastern Regional Art Show.
Essex Teams Compete In Odyssey of the Mind
Saturday, March 2 marked the culmination of six months of hard work and practice for 42 students and 6 coaches in Essex County. Six teams competed in the annual Region 10 Odyssey of the Mind Competition in New Kent. Odyssey of the Mind is an international educational program that provides creative problem-solving opportunities for students from kindergarten through college. Team members apply their creativity to solve problems that range from building mechanical devices to presenting their own interpretation of literary classics. They then bring their solutions to competition on the local, state, and World level. Thousands of teams from throughout the U.S. and from about 25 other countries participate in the program. Teams also complete a spontaneous problem the day of the competition. Essex County Public Schools had 2 teams finish in 1st place for their division. Essex Intermediate School Team B finished first in Division II for their performance of “It’s How You Look at It”. Team members were: Claire Wilmore, Elliott Watkins, Cole Bristow, Silas French, Travis Schneider, Hannah Swann, and Legend van den Ende. Their coach was Louisa Magee. The Division III team with members from Essex High School and Essex Intermediate School finished in 1st place with their performance of the same problem. Those team members were: Laura Herring, Robin Covington, Mathilde French, Taneya White, DeAira Harvey, Heather McMahon, and Jewel van den Ende. Their coach was William Tucker. These two teams will advance to the state competition on Saturday, April 13 at John Champe High School in Aldie, VA.
Superintendent's Proposed Budget
Attached is the power point and the oral presentation of Superintendent's proposed budget that was presented to the Essex County School Board on February 11, 2013. Also available is a summary of capital improvement projects for divisions facilities. The budget is based upon the needs of the division. As you will see, revenue loss due to a declining enrollment and to one time federal funds have a major impact on available funds. Essex County Schools have worked hard to meet the state and federal accountability measures. We must protect our instructional program and provide support to our teachers so that we can meet the academic needs of our 21st century learners. The board will hold a public hearing on February 20, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. at the School Board office to receive your comments on budget items.
Power Point Budget Presentation
Oral Budget Presentation
Capital Improvement Estimates
Development Budget Calendar
The Essex School Board approved the division’s development budget calendar for the school year 2013-2014 at the board meeting on Monday, November 12, 2012. The board also approved Raymond Whitaker, Vice Chairman, and newly elected Liz Martin, Central District Representative, to serve on the budget committee. Click Here to view the calendar.
Advisory Committee Spring 2013
The school board, this past July, passed the Essex County Student Code of Conduct Handbook. An advisory committee was formed and worked diligently on the revisions of this handbook. This advisory group was in addition, tasked by the board to review the handbook yearly to ensure that the community remained involved. The group will meet again in the spring of 2013, to review the handbook for discussions, and revisions if needed. Any needed changes to the advisory group will be addressed by the school board in early 2013.
Advisory Committee Members: Dr. Joseph Melvin, Superintendent, Keren Ellis, Darnell Carter, DeAnne Compton, Veronica Donahue, Denise Hammond, Arnie Holmes, Reverend Vernon Keeve, Dave Rector, Joey Reinhardt, Russell Smith, Craig Washington (deceased), Raymond Whitaker
Instructional Updates on SOL Scores, Accreditation, and AMO
At the September Board meeting on September 10, 2012, Stephanie Bassett, Assistant Superintendent of Instruction and Federal Programs presented instructional updates. The presentation contained overall SOL scores along with state accreditation ratings and the new federal annual measurable objectives (AMO). The presentation also provided updates on the approval of Virginia’s flexibility waiver and the instructional focus for Essex County Public Schools. Additional information on the waiver can be found under “NCLB Waiver for Virginia Approved by US Department of Education.” Click here to view the School Board presentation.
NCLB Waiver for Virginia Approved by US Department of Education
Virginia schools and school divisions will no longer have to meet the arbitrary and unrealistic No Child Left Behind (NCLB) benchmarks in reading and mathematics or the federal law’s mandate that all students regardless of circumstance achieve grade-level proficiency by 2014 as announced by the Virginia State Superintendent, Dr. Patricia Wright. The flexibility is the result of United States Secretary of Education Arnie Duncan decision on Friday, June 29, 2012. Virginia will continue to hold schools accountable for closing achievement gaps but schools will not be subjected to NCLB’s Adequate Yearly Progress mandates. The state will develop annual benchmarks with the goal of reducing the failure rate in reading and mathematics by 50 percent overall and of each subgroup within six years. Read More
Professional Development 360 (PD360)
The school division is initiating a new professional development technology program for teachers. The new online program is called PD 360. PD 360 is an on-demand professional learning system for teachers and educators, with a series of tools built around a library of video segments. The videos are streamed into the teachers’ computers using progressive streaming technology. Streamed videos feature teacher topics ranging from differentiated instruction, math instruction, classroom management, and also data decision making. One of the features is that it provides a variety of videos on instructional strategies useful to teachers in all content areas. This technology can link teachers nationally to facilitate online instructional discussions. Teachers will be trained on PD 360 in September, and will begin utilizing it immediately. Observation 360, the administrative version of PD 360, will be utilized by school principals. Observation 360 is a sister product to PD 360 that allows principals and administrators to do an observation or walkthrough of a teacher using an iPad. Observation 360 is linked to PD 360, so that as teachers get the results of their observation, they also get prescriptive guidance on what learning video segments they should use in PD 360—based on the results of the observation.
PD 360 Administrative training took place August 7th and 21st 2012.
School Board Approves Revised Student Code of Conduct Handbook
The school board approved the revised version of the Student Code of Conduct Handbook at the July school board meeting. The revised version handbook will be distributed to students during the first week of school. Parents and students are asked to read the handbook thoroughly and understand the code of conduct. Signatures are required on the Parent and Student Acknowledgment Form at the end page of the handbook. The Parent and Student Acknowledgment Form is to be returned to your child’s school by Friday, September 14.
New Traffic Pattern at Essex High School
Due to the renovation at Essex High School there will be a new traffic pattern in place for the 2012-2013 school year. Please click here to view the updated traffic pattern.
New Administrators to Essex County Public Schools
Effective July 1, Dr. Anthony Walker was named Director of Special Education. Dr. Walker recently served as Regional Coordinator for Special Education for Roanoke County Public Schools. Dr. Walker received a B.A. degree in Speech Pathology from Marshall University, and master’s and doctoral degrees from Virginia Tech in Special Education.
DaShan Turner was named Director of Student Services. Mr. Turner previously served as principal of Washington District Elementary School in Westmoreland County. Mr. Turner graduated from Liberty University with a B.S. in Physical Education and master’s degree in educational leadership.
Sinclair Harris is the new assistant principal at Essex intermediate School. Mr. Harris recently served as a middle school teacher in Norfolk Public Schools. He was recently named the” Middle School Teacher of the Year” in Norfolk. Mr. Harris has a B.S. degree from Norfolk State University, and master’s degree from Old Dominion University in educational leadership.
We welcome the new administrators to the school division and Essex County.
Joint Construction Committee Meetings
The Joint Construction Committee was formed to provide progress and oversight on the Essex High School renovation project. The committee includes Loughridge Construction contractors, certain ECPS staff members, a Board of Supervisors member, and representatives from Ballou Justice Upton Architects. The meetings are scheduled on the second Wednesday of each month. Location: School Board Room at 10 a.m. The meetings are open to the public.
Division Goals updated at School Board Retreat
At the July School Board Retreat the board established the following division goals.
1. Ensuring full accreditation for schools
2. Improving academic achievement for all students while closing achievement gaps among subgroups
3. Improving safety for all, increasing student attendance, and providing a strong disciplined environment
4. Supporting timely communication to all stakeholders
5. Building 21st Century technology for students, staff and parents
Special Announcement: July School Board Meeting Retreat in Williamsburg
Essex County School Board will hold its first annual school board meeting retreat on July 19th beginning at 9:00 a.m., at The Kingsmill Resort, 1010 Kingsmill Road, in Williamsburg, Virginia. This meeting will be a working session and combined meeting for the school board. The retreat is in place of the July 9th board meeting date that was rescheduled at the June school board meeting.
Tappahannock Elementary School's Summer Literacy Initiative
Tappahannock Elementary School’s Literacy Coaches piloted a Summer Literacy Initiative. The purpose of the initiative was to provide TES students with a “Literacy Bag” of activities to keep them reading and writing over the summer. Our goal was to help students be better prepared for school in the fall. Contributions from the community, businesses, churches, and organizations in the form of supplies, tote bags and money made it possible to assemble 722 bags. Because of this heartfelt community generosity, each student at TES, from Head Start through 4th grade, went home with a bag of reading and writing materials, activities, workbooks and two books on the student’s level.
We have already started collecting for next summer!
Student Code of Conduct Handbook being revised
The Policy and Procedures Committee’s draft of the Student Code of Conduct Handbook revisions were given to the School Board on June 12th. The revisions include four months of work by the committee. Our intent is to have the handbook ready for school board action by the July school board meeting. The approved handbook will be published and distributed to students at the beginning of the school year. You may post your comments on the handbook revisions for the school board by clicking the feedback area above. The updated draft version of the Code of Conduct can be found Here.
Essex High School Graduation
Dr. Melvin spoke to the graduate candidates during their annual practice, the day before graduation on Friday morning, June 8th. He congratulated the Class of 2012, and used their words written in their 2012 yearbook to inspire them. He stated that his words will soon be forgotten but their words in the yearbook will live with them forever. He acknowledged several students, and asked them to stand as he read their yearbook quotes to their peers. On Saturday, June 9th, 103 students graduated from Essex High School. There were 44 scholarships from various organizations awarded to students of the Class of 2012. Mr. Bullis, our school board chairman was the keynote speaker. Pictures of the event are located in our picture gallery Here.
Congratulations to our 'Teacher of the Year' Recipients
We are very proud of our teachers of the year. While all of our teachers are to be celebrated for their work throughout the year, the Teacher of the Year from each school is chosen from their peers. We proudly recognize Maureen Dunn, Jill Gilbert, and Jo Ellen Andrews. Ms Dunn is the literacy teacher at Tappahannock Elementary, Mrs. Gilbert is a mathematics teacher at Essex intermediate, and Mrs. Andrews is a history teacher at Essex High School. Congratulations!!!
left to right, Mrs. Andrews-Essex High School, Mrs. Gilbert-Essex Intermediate School, and Ms. Dunn-Tappahannock Elementary School.