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November 9, 2010 Parent Council meeting

Albemarle County Public Schools - Parent Council

November 9th, 2010 Meeting Update

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

Noteworthy Dates

December Parent Council meeting


December 7, 2010

7 pm


Request $50 donation from PTO/A.



Representatives: Anita Karadia (Baker-Butler), Tara Mincer (Burley MS), John Lewis (Greer), Jason Buyaki (Stony Point), Cindy Baber (Woodbrook), Cathy Sanders (Cale), Stacy Walker (Monticello), Cathy von Storch (Red Hill), Stephanie Morris (Scottsville), Rhonda Angel (Stone-Robinson), Jim Stern (Walton), Charles Lewis (Yancey), Ian Sole (Brownsville), Dave Oberg (Crozet), Robin LeGallo (Henley MS), Mary Huffard Kegley Scott (Meriwether-Lewis), Ann DeJong (Murray Elem.), Jane Kulow (WAHS), Debbie Chlebnikow (Community Rep), LaDelle Holland (Community Rep)

Staff & Guests:  Pam Moran, Superintendent, ACPS; Matthew Haas, Dir. Secondary Instruction, ACPS; Bruce Benson, Asst. Supt., ACPS; Wally Adesina, President, AEA; Frank Podrebarac, AEA; Robyn Sealey, CASE; Carmen Garcia, CASE; Paul Halliday, CASE


                                                                                                        Standard Business Procedures

1.      Call to Order 7:00 PM by Jane Kulow

2.      Registration of attendance.

                                                                                                                     Opening Exercises

3.      Expectations – Update on Calendar; review of Presentation Guidelines

4.      Debbie Chlebnikow acted as proceedings observer for the meeting.


                                                                                                    “Lightning Round”:  PC Reps Report

Jane Kulow opened the lightning round of 30 second status reports from each representative. Many of the reports again focused on PTO fund raising efforts, with some highlights including a successful auction at Stony Point that raised over $11,000; family night and silent auction at Baker-Butler; golf tournament at Brownsville ES which raised over $10,000; and several Halloween centered events. Several announced they had settled on a budget for the year. Other concerns raised:  one school’s loss of several strong contributors as a result of redistricting; two recent bus accidents; middle school “Before School Enrichment Programs”, requesting input from other MS as to best use of funds and/or other ideas for handling students between 8.00am and 9.00am, and questioning liability issues associated with any change; and HS concerns over increased class sizes, scheduling changes (4x4), problems with scheduling software, and related stress on teachers. Finally we welcomed Stephanie Morris as rep for Scottsville which means every school now has representation on the PC.

Albemarle Education Association

Wally Adesina, President of the association shared a video that highlighted the history of the association and identified four ideas for how the PC could support their efforts to protect education in Albemarle County. These included:  encourage tours of schools by county leaders; invite all stakeholders to a roundtable discussion; urge BOS to raise adequate revenues to fund the school budget; and to run for office in the next election when three Supervisor positions will be open.


Paul Halliday and Carmen Garcia of Citizens of Albemarle Supporting Education presented their concerns regarding the impact on student performance as a result of a change in the scheduling system introduced this year at AC High Schools. They explained some of the differences between the two systems and cited research studies on the impact of the so called 4x4 Semesterization schedule.They requested the PC take several actions in support of their position. They also stated that there will be a special working session of the Board of Education that will include CASE and members of the AC Administration on November 16th.

Calendar Committee Report

Stacy Walker gave an update on the calendar process, informing the group that there would be no significant changes to the calendar for next year. The committee has recommended developing a two year calendar but will wait until the conclusion of this year’s calendar before requesting input on the following year which may result in more significant changes but if this happens will provide plenty of advance notice to parents, students and teachers. The next meeting of the committee is Nov 16th.


       PC Issues Update.

There followed a brief update on each of the 4 issues being addressed by the PC.

Class Sizes

The team is in the process of setting goals and collecting data on the impact of, and ideas for, dealing with changes in class sizes. They distributed a survey and requested feedback from PC reps.

Exploratory Learning

The team have not yet had a face-to-face meeting and explained that they were still in the process of trying to better define their team charge.

Fine Arts and Language

The team is in dialog and starting to develop the goals and objectives of the team. The question has been raised as to why Fine Arts and Literature are linked together?

Intergenerational Experiences

The team has met briefly to better define the goals and objectives of the team, but will be include identifying needs and opportunities for volunteering and better understand and communicate what is already available and working in the area.

Division Report – Budget Update

Bruce Benson provided an update and discussed several of the variables included in the complex process of establishing a budget, including factors such as enrollment increases; reductions in capital budgets and the importance of maintenance programs; funding changes etc. He explained that they had already met with the BOS and recommended the PC encourage their BOS rep to visit their schools.

School Board Reports

There were two School Board meetings reported on.

Jason Buyaki reported on the regular SB meeting held on October 14th; he explained a large number of parents there spoke up about the change in the scheduling system; the SB announced a change in the formatting of the long range advisory committee to ensure they were addressing the right issues with the right representatives; the state is moving to link student performance with specific teachers and will be requiring schools to report this data. Pam Moran explained some challenges with this initiative but that the state is working on refinements and expected it will be a requirement next year.

Jane Kulow reported on a working session of the SB held October 21st, which gathered representatives from across the spectrum, including Chamber of Commerce, State Farm, BOS, DIA and under the heading “Aligning Albemarle” and focused on understanding the value of education to our community. Jane mentioned that the rep for DIA told the group that they expect to create 1,000 jobs in the county and that the top issues for employees planning to move here are: Can I sell my house? Will there be a job for my spouse? What is the quality of the schools?

Q & A with the Superintendent

Dr. Moran took questions which focused entirely on the change in the scheduling system and explained some of the background behind the change, the challenges they had expected and the process she proposes they follow to reduce the tension and move forward. She expected there to be some adjustments towards a more hybrid system that would combine the benefits of both semester and year-round learning. While recognizing they had made some valid points, she challenged some of the research findings presented by CASE and explained that the School Board had requested she provide a balanced report at the upcoming meeting on Nov 16th.


President’s Report

The minutes from last month’s meeting were accepted and will now be posted on the website. Jane Kulow reminded reps that $50 dues should be submitted by check from each school for this year.

Jane briefly reviewed the guidelines for presentations and invited any feedback or questions on these be submitted to her for review.

Jane reiterated that the location for our next meeting on December 7th has not yet been confirmed and that the meeting following that will be held on the first Tuesday following our return from the holidays, on January 4th.The PC proceeding observer, Debbie Chlebnikow reported that we met our expectations and that the process worked well, running just slightly over the allotted time schedule.



The meeting was adjourned at 9:05 P.M.

The next meeting is scheduled for 7 pm, 7 December. Location to be confirmed.