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Tuesday, October 6, 2009, 7pm (MESA & Media Center, Albemarle High School)

Albemarle County Public Schools - Parent Council

October 6, 2009 Meeting Update

“Sharing information and resources in support of better education for our students.”

Noteworthy Dates





PC Meeting

Room 320, COB

Tues. Nov. 10


PC Meeting

Brownsville Elem.

Tues. Dec. 1



Request $50 donation from PTO/A.


Request PTO/A feedback regarding privacy of student information; specific info to come separately.


Representatives:   Debbie Chlebnikow (Comm. Rep.), Mary Huffard Kegley Scott (Meriwether),  Michele Howe (Crozet), Jane Kulow (Murray Elem./WAHS),  Jim Stern (Walton),  Stacy Walker (Monticello HS),  Tara Mincer (Burley MS),  Monica Pawinski (Jack Jouett MS), Jason Buyaki (Stony Point), Rhonda Angel (Stone-Robinson), Matt Kessler (Murray HS), John Lewis (Greer), LeAnn Mitchell (Sutherland MS), Cathy von Storch (Red Hill), Tom Hecmanczuk (Albemarle HS), Cindy Baber (Woodbrook), Ceann Wombacher (Hollymead), Ann de Jong (Murray Elem.), Ian Sole (Brownsville), Anitia Karadia (Baker-Butler)

Staff & Guests:  Pam Moran, Superintendent, Bruce Benson, Assist. Superintendent, Debbie Collins (ACPS Dir. Of Elementary Ed.),  Matt Haas (ACPS Dir. Of Secondary Ed.), Sandi Cararo (Barnes & Noble), John Hunter (World Peace Game), Chris Farino (Rosalia Films, Inc.), Logan Karns (AHS PTO President)

                                                                                         Standard Business Procedures

1.       Call to Order 7:40pm by Jane Kulow

2.       Approval of Meeting Update for September 8, 2009 (Motion by MHK Scott, Second by S Walker).

3.       Thanks for dues received to date: Baker-Butler, Broadus Wood, Brownsville, Cale, Henley, Hollymead, Jouett, Woodbrook, VL Murray, Scottsville, Stone-Robinson.

4.       Request $50 dues from PTO/A.  Mail dues to Jane Kulow, ACPS President, 3310 Rosewood Lane, Charlottesville, VA  22903

                                                                                                          Tour of MESA                                                                       

1.    7:00pm - Jeff Prillaman, Director of the AHS Math Engineering and Science Academy (MESA) provided PC representatives the opportunity to tour the new addition at AHS.  Currently, 50 9th graders and 18 11th graders enrolled in MESA.  Additional information

Parent Council Discussion

1.       PC representatives grouped separately to discuss opportunities for increased parent involvement.

2.       Several issues discussed: Community gatherings for feeder patterns into the middle school; Family support workers in schools to work the relationships with disenfranchised parents; Not all families have computers or English language skills; One-to-one connections key; Involve community and minority leaders; Invite and facilitate in home language; Reinforce school announcements throughout the community (YMCA, Boys & Girls Club, churches, etc.); Seek out relevant topics from diverse communities for school presentations; Two-hour parent commitment at beginning of year; Community center nights/reading nights; Have speaker program at PTO meetings; Develop classroom communicator to connect with each parent in classroom; Focus on parent involvement rather than fundraising; Provide childcare; Rotate location of school meetings to provide better access; Follow-through on volunteer forms; Serve food; Offer full variety of options for parents’ participation, including during or after school; Cut volunteering into manageable time slots; Make parents feel welcome.

3.       More complete listing to be distributed separately; PC representatives are asked to share this information in their school community.

School Book Fairs

1.   Sandi Cararo, Barnes & Noble Community Relations Manager, shared opportunities for school support available from Barnes & Noble.  Services include: book fairs, summer reading lists, author visits, costume characters, institutional discount program, corporate discount card, gift wrapping fundraiser during holidays. Cararo also shared Barnes & Noble commitment to the community by donation of 5000 books to Toy Lift last year. Information:  Sandi Cararo, 434-984-6598

2.     PC representatives are asked to share this information with the appropriate individual in their school community.

World Peace Game

1.     John Hunter, gifted teacher at Agnor Hurt, presented the World Peace Game, which he developed as a curriculum tool. It has been documented through a film produced by Chris Farino. The film is being presented to PBS, and will premiere at the Paramount Theater February 21, 2010, 6pm. It is directed at the educational community as an inspirational message for teachers.

        The film is a celebration of local schools and shares the Game’s goal of serving as a simulation of world affairs. A multi-layered  plexiglass structure provides air, land and sea layers for multiple interactions among countries. Students participate as Prime Ministers and Cabinet members of the countries; the Game begins with a list of current real-world-like crises. The game is won by all when the students have cooperated to eliminate the world crises and to raise the net worth of all participating countries. Information:  Chris Farina, 434-825-0972 (Rosalia Films, Inc.

2.     PC representatives are asked to share this information with their school community and encourage attendance at the February 21, 2010 premiere.

ACPS Status Update

1.       Dr. Pam Moran, Superintendent, reviewed current budget issues are anticipated to deepen as local revenues are reported to be below projection. It is a nationwide issue, and the County is not alone in the situation. Federal, State and Local mandates require action, but usually not sufficient funding to provide the services. She pointed out that ACPS did not lose teachers or programs as a result of budget cuts.

2.       Federal stimulus funds were generally used by ACPS for technology purchases and short term technology contracts, since the funds are available for this one-time.

3.       Fuel costs savings were approximately $300,000 as a result of fuel cost reductions. The funds were shifted to transportation and allowed addition of GPS system to school buses. The GPS system is not the GPS system consumers are familiar with on private cars. It is a system which tracks individual school buses as a tool to determine route efficiency, mileage, and safety.

4.       Dr. Benson reviewed the current H1N1 situation, which ACPS is monitoring and consulting with the Health Department. Individual schools will communicate with their school community to notify of H1N1 vaccine availability.

5.       Dr. Benson reviewed the current policy regarding privacy of student information recorded by ACPS.  Federal law requires information to be submitted if requested, and he requests PC feedback regarding consideration of eliminating this as policy. ACPS generally denies requests for student information due to privacy issues, however, there is concern that it could be required through legal effort.  PC representatives are asked to discuss this issue with PTO/A representatives and share responses with Dr. Benson during the November 10 PC meeting. The Policy is available for review in the School Talk Parent Handbook distributed by ACPS at the beginning of the school year, page 70. Information:  Dr. Bruce Benson,

Meeting adjourned 9:40pm

 Upcoming PC Meetings:

 Tuesday, November 10, 7pm – Room 320 County Office Building

Tuesday, December 1, 7pm – Brownsville Elementary School




MHKScott 10/9/09; JBK 10/12/09