FCPS has public hearing on Corrective Action Plan

Published 9:32 am Wednesday, October 22, 2014

While there were many community and business leaders in attendance for Thursday’s Corrective Action Plan Public Hearing, no one had any questions for the Franklin City Public School Board or superintendent once the presentation was over.

Even though they didn’t, Superintendent Willie Bell said there were still some finalization steps to be made to the document before submitting it to the Virginia Board of Education on Friday, Nov. 7.

“Even if you don’t have any questions tonight, my door is always open,” Bell said. “You can call me at 569-8111. Or you can get my email address off of the website and email me.

“You still have time to present us with any comments you have as you look through the document.”

Even though the community didn’t respond that night, they have been involved in the Corrective Action Plan process. Soon after Bell arrived, he put together a community advisory council to go through the document and simplify some of the wording, while also defining several terms at the bottom of the page.

According to consultant Michelle Hairston, who facilitated the CAP revision process, it was to make it easier to understand.

“Everyone knows that sometimes when you go to the doctor and they give you some information and you think, ‘What does this mean?’ She said. “We don’t speak medical language.”

So, over several meetings in August and September, they broke into groups to tackle each of the four sections of the CAP — Curricula Alignment, Human Resources Management, Purpose and Direction and Leadership and Governance.

Katherine Conner was one such member of the council, as both a parent and an assistant teacher at S.P. Morton.

“I’m involved in my children’s education, and before, I had only briefly glanced at the Corrective Action Plan,” she said. “I welcomed the opportunity to get involved in this. And going through it, it was confusing.”

Conner also said it’s important for the public to stay involved.

“Read about the schools and ask questions,” she said. “Keep them accountable. Keep your eyes on the deadlines, and find out where they are. The success does rely on everyone being involved in the efforts.”

Mary Hilliard was another member. She’s a representative of the Franklin City Council.

“Of the whole council, it consisted of some teachers, building administrators, central offices administrators, parents, students, community members, business partners and members of faith-based organizations,” Hilliard said. “We each worked in targeted areas to simplify the wording of the Corrective Action Plan. I chose to work in purpose and direction.

“I think we accomplished it.”

Bell said the advisory council is not done, however, as their next task will be to develop the system’s strategic plan.

“Those subcommittees will start work on various areas as we break it out more in depth,” he said. “We want to give some areas a more laser-like focus.”

The superintendent also added that the advisory council is still open for membership.

“Remember, it takes the entire community to make sure we have success,” he said. “Don’t think those meetings are limited to those persons here tonight. You can join in as well, and we welcome that.”