Corrective action plan reviewed

Published 9:58 am Saturday, March 22, 2014

FRANKLIN—In absence of public comment at the public hearing for the proposed FCPS Corrective Action Plan, School Board Chair Edna King was full of questions.

With a liaison to the Virginia Department of Education present, the Franklin City Public School Board discussed the corrective action plan. It was up for first reading at the board’s regularly scheduled meeting. A draft is due to the VDOE’s Office of School Improvement on April 1.

“One of the things desired is to obtain input from the community and stakeholders,” said Dr. Shannon Smith, director of instruction. “We’ll listen to that, and then take it in to VDOE.”

The Office of School Improvements could have additions, deletions or corrections. From there, it goes to the VDOE Board of Education for a first read, which is projected to be on the April 23-24 meeting.

The Corrective Action Plan is a requirement of the Memorandum of Understanding that the board of education is anticipated to vote the Franklin school division into at the March 27 meeting.

Ultimately, the board voted to make this its first and second reading, and unanimously approved the draft to be submitted to the Office of School Improvement.

King’s first concern was about item 1.4, which deals with observation reports by the director of instruction. “Does the director of instruction ever just randomly collect observation reports?”

Smith said the answer was yes, that there would be random and scheduled meetings with principals. The report would be given to the board quarterly.

Smith also addressed item 1.6, which named stakeholders as a part of the revision process for lesson observation.

“I am thinking that one of the things we want to do is to not just include staff,” she said. “We should take it beyond the staff, like, put a parent or someone else to give input on revising some of these forms.

“One of the things we need to do is make sure it connects with the curriculum audit, which talks about alignment between the written, taught and tested curriculum.”

About item 1.7, which deals with the academic review follow-up, King thought monthly updates would be better than quarterly ones.

Superintendent Dr. Michelle Belle said this item was just talking about an aspect of the curriculum audit, but that regarding updates with the essential actions, the superintendent was required to give the board weekly updates.

Director of Human Resources Gail Wade clarified that that item 2.1, which deals with practices and procedures to revise to ensure administrative personnel hold or qualify for the appropriate license and endorsement before an offer for employment is made was something they already do, so there would be no change.

Recently, the board voted to require that potential employees would have to hold the appropriate license before employment, but the language in 2.2 did not reflect that.

Cathy David, the OSI liaison between FCPS and the Board of Education, explained that item was changed by VDOE, and that they would get clarification on why the change was made.

The verbiage was added that a potential teacher could also hold a letter stating they are eligible, David said. She added that the concern was that not including teachers fresh out of college who could become highly qualified teachers might put the division at risk.

“We are kind of held hostage by the state until they release it,” said Ward 2’s Nancy Godwin. “If they don’t get to the paperwork, they don’t get to it.”

The last item looked at was in regard to raising the pay of the speech pathologist and school psychologist. It’s not listed as an immediate concern, but King wanted to get it taken care of, figuring that this may not break the bank, and could get them ahead.

Ward 3 representative Johnetta Nichols thought it might be better to look at this more closely before raising the pay scale.

“How many students do we serve, compared to others? I think this may be something we ought to take a look at before we up the salary, and find out they only do 10 cases a year,” she said. “We are a small school division.”

Wade said she’d have that comparison by the next meeting.

Overall, King was pleased with the work that went into the plan.

“You did a wonderful job,” King said to Smith. “I commend you for that.”

To view the draft plan, click here.