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September 21 Parent Council Meeting


Albemarle County Public Schools - Parent Council

September 21, 2011 Meeting Update

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



Representatives: Agnor Hurt, Ned Gallaway; AHS, Monica Pawinski; Baker-Butler, Anita Karadia; Brownsville, Ian Sole; Burley, Tara Mincer; Cale, Cathy Sanders; Crozet, DJ Stoberl; Family Support, Debbie Chlebnikow; Henley, Randy Switz; Hollymead, Ceann Wombacher; Jouett, Lisa Brook; Meriwether-Lewis, Mary Huffard Kegley; Murray Elem, Ann DeJong; Red Hill, Cathy von Storch; Stony Point, Kate Barrett; Sutherland, Mary Barrick; WAHS, Jane Kulow; Woodbrook, Lisa Brook

Staff & Guests: Pam Moran, Superintendent, ACPS; Matthew Haas, Interim Executive Director, ACPS; Diantha McKeel, ACPS School Board; Steve Koleszar, ACPS School Board.                              


                                                                                             Standard Business Procedures

1.        Call to Order 7:05 pm by Jane Kulow

2.        Group Meeting norms for the year:  start and end on time (7-9 pm); ask for expectations at each meeting, stay on agenda, hear individual viewpoints, listen – one speaker at a time.

3.        Expectations for this meeting:  meet new representatives, set a good tone for the start of the year, learn ACPS goals for the year.

                                                                                                         Lightning Round

All Parent Council representatives had opportunity to participate in Lightning Round, bringing news from school communities. Many who reported out shared recent events sponsored by their PTO/As. Reports included:

Burley: new track; grade 6 dance; standards-based grading; donation-only model.

Woodbrook: volunteer training sessions; giftwrap/snack fundraiser; Day of Caring brought 2 groups to beautify grounds

Jouett: magazine fundraiser successful; new sound system; promote art

AHS: full slate of officers; teacher appreciation efforts; meetings with themes and guest speakers to bring in more parents

Crozet: re-vitalize PTO; tax-exempt status; Grow Veggies Day; full slate of officers

Agnor-Hurt: new PTO President; Dining Out books as fundraiser; teacher breakfast

Henley: Day of Caring to clean trail; food packages for kids at local hospitals

Murray ES: Flick on the Field; Think Re-cycle; fourth and fifth graders serve as mentors for grade one and two; wrapping paper sale

Stony Point: new playground should be done next week; new tee-shirts; Patriot Day; Nov.11 auction; cell tower will not be erected at school; donation drive; communications workshop for parents/PTO

Family Support: shared story of kindergartner and illiterate mom, family support worker built relationship with teacher and mom

Sutherland: no report

Baker-Butler: meet and greet; Attractions book for fundraiser; giftwrap sale; Day of Caring effort was to collect school supplies for Louisa County schools

WAHS: Oct. 12 Day of Caring, on PSAT day, seniors go to seminars, freshmen do activities; Crozet Trails Day, work to promote multi-use trails in community

Red Hill: Back to School Night, set up like a circle with time for introductions; Halloween Carnival; dining guide fundraiser; new sound system

Cale: Attractions book for sale

Merriwether-Lewis: welcome breakfast for families; PTO hosted a “Chair” orientation/sharing; Fall Fun Fair; Kids Night Out with teachers

Brownsville: 650 plus students; golf tournament; Attractions Guide for sale; year-round sponsorship program has individual business support, so PTO gives them year-round recognition; Bee program after school; new re-vamped website; Day of caring work on grounds

Hollymead: wrapping paper and Attractions book as fundraisers; spaghetti dinner to meet socially

Follow-up questions:  several members would like more information about School-Pooling/Ride Share program, a network of parents for after-school driving to/from activities, each school must register to participate

Safe Schools / Healthy Students work against Truancy

Debbie Chlebnikow reported on this program. Safe Schools/ Healthy Students program cooperates with Juvenile Justice group, supported by grants. What can parents do? This effort is worthy of whole community’s attention. Truancy is linked to problems in adolescence and adulthood. September is Truancy Prevention Month. One goal of Family Support is to reduce truancy levels. Efforts start in elementary school. Flyers are available for parents of students at all age levels, as well as handouts with suggestions for PTO to use to help with problem.

Division Report:  How ACPS Goals and KPIs work

Dr. Haas presented information on ACPS Goals and Key Performance Indiciators. Parent Council had the opportunity to participate in a survey of how the division is doing in the Spring. However, the survey used terms unfamiliar to those outside the division, and the results were confusing. The School Board wants the information to mean something. PC representatives are interested in understanding better how the division measures its performance.

Each of the ACPS Goals are broken down into strategies within each department. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), which are used often in business settings, have been developed so the division can measure specific performances in every department. This is examined by administration and the School Board on a quarterly basis.

To find this information on the ACPS website, visit the home page, go to “current employees” tab, scroll down to “useful links” then “strategic planning” tab.

“Compass” idea used: usually groups use a “road map” model, but the compass is better able to adjust to shifts in goals and priorities.  Work is operational, strategic, innovative.  Decisions are grounded in performance excellence, use cornerstones such as Framework for Quality Learning; Lifelong Leader; Teacher Performance Appraisal; Plan, Do, Study, Act.  Work toward an organizational alignment is part of a Strategic Planning Process. See the website for strategic goals, Board priorities, acronyms and terms.  As part of the discussion in response to this presentation, one idea was to ask parents for feedback, and provide definitions in parents’ own words.

How Parent Council Operates

Jane Kulow introduced Parent Council’s Executive Committee for this school year. Northern feeder pattern, Tara Mincer (middle school); Southern feeder pattern, Rhonda Angel (elementary); Western feeder pattern, Ian Sole (elementary); past President Mary Huffard Kegley (elementary); President Jane Kulow (high school); and future President DJ Stoeberl (elementary).

Finances, Dues, presented by Ian Sole: about $350 currently in PC treasury; funds are maintained for school-related meetings; also purchased car magnets; small reserve of funds to communicate important issues as needed; requesting $50 dues per school.

Notes from meetings, presented by Mary Huffard Kegley: notes are posted on PC website, recorder’s goal is to record general discussions, consensus, motions presented and passed; volunteers are needed, one recorder per meeting, template is provided.

Communications, School Board meetings and work sessions, presented by Jane Kulow:

PC has a limited amount of time per meeting, outsider presenters limited to 2 per meeting; “presentation and distribution” guidelines are available;

ways ACPS communicates with public include:

*YouTube channel, K12Albemarle

*website at

*PC website at

*Facebook:  like ACPS

*Twitter, @k12albemarle

*A number of individual schools are also on Twitter

One PC member should attend each School Board meeting, then report back to PC, provide a short oral summary

School Board Meeting report

Mary Huffard Kegley presented information from the September 8th School Board meeting; Board decided on school calendar for 2012-13, school will begin on Aug. 22. School Board member Diantha McKeel provided background information. Months of discussion preceded calendar vote, Board striving for “educational” calendar, with better schedule for professional development days.

School Board member Koleszar offered: parent portal is coming, fully operational by Sept. 2012, some schools will pilot this in Spring.

PC members agreed that calendar surveys were well-done, except perhaps the introduction, which did not explain professional days.

Q & A with the Superintendent

Dr. Moran reported that she started the school year doing some teaching at Cale; she likes keeping her connection with students; in response to burned-down Meadows of Dan School in Patrick County, ACPS teachers helped send 4 truckloads of supplies to them; Louisa County Schools need help after the earthquake, ACPS sent technicians over to help them set up, ACPS also granting them use of Monticello HS for athletic games; Dark Skies, Bright Kids program was a great activity at Red Hill School; School Board meets tomorrow on “learning spaces,” defining what the best spaces look like, which spaces are best in promoting engaging work, effort to do all we can to support teachers and provide them with supplies; kids need tools as well as power tools; students need good renovatons and wisely-chosen furniture versus random decisions. Dr. Moran also discussed the recent media coverage regarding the purchase of software for a student information system/instructional management system.  

President’s Report (process observer’s report)

PTO Presidents meeting, 7 pm, Oct 24th in Burley’s library; PC has prepared helpful information about parent-teacher conference, send out information to all PC reps; our next PC meeting will be held Wednesday, Oct. 19, at Cale Elementary, start at 6:45 to tour Cale’s re-designed library

As process observer, Ned Gallaway, reported that the meeting achieved all expectations.



The meeting was adjourned at 8:58 P.M. Respectfully submitted by Monica Pawinski.