York County School Board Newsletter

YCSD School Board Notes - November 2014

I am writing to share updates on the work of the School Board from this week’s Work Session. This meeting also marked our first official Work Session with our new division superintendent, Dr. Victor Shandor.


Financial Matters
CIP & Proposed New Elementary School

Dennis Jarrett, Chief Financial Officer, provided an overview of the draft Capital Improvement Program (CIP). The Capital Improvement Program is the division's ten-year plan to address long-term facility maintenance and construction projects. The CIP once again requests funding from the Board of Supervisors for a new elementary school. The school division has proposed this construction project to address projected enrollment increases due to new home construction within the county.

The School Board will hold a Public Hearing on the CIP on November 17, then adopt a Proposed CIP and forward it to the Board of Supervisors for consideration. A copy of this proposed plan is on file and may be viewed online or at the York County Public Library, the Williamsburg Public Library, the James City County Public Library, and the York County School Board Office, 302 Dare Rd., Yorktown, VA, during regular business hours.

Instructional Matters
Alternate Assessments

New legislation from the General Assembly has eliminated several Standards of Learning (SOL) tests at the elementary and middle school levels. As a result of this legislation, the VDOE has developed guidelines for school divisions to implement alternate assessments for the following areas: Grade 3 History, Grade 3 Science, Grade 5 Writing, United States History to 1865, and United States History: 1865 to the Present. Dr. Stephanie Guy, Chief Academic Officer, provided the School Board with the implementation plan for the first year of this alternate assessment requirement.

As the goal of the new legislations was to provide assessment opportunities beyond testing, YCSD has chosen to allow our teachers to use a combination of different assessments. We believe this approach recognize s their professionalism and the knowledge that our teachers have taught and assessed these standards and will continue to do so, even with the elimination of the SOL test. A committee will also review and establish how the alternate assessment expectations will be met in future years.

Operational Matters
School Start Times

During our Work Session, Board members reiterated their commitment to a thorough review of school start times. As you may remember, we spent several work sessions last year discussing alternative s that would allow a later start time for high schools. While we have not approved any changes to school start times yet, we will discuss this topic more in-depth in the coming months.

Strategic Plan Status Update

The School Board received updates regarding progress toward several objectives of the Strategic Plan, including objectives regarding the percentage of advanced studies diploma graduates achieving the “College and Career Ready” standard on the SAT as well as efforts to facilitate effective two-way communication with families.

Upcoming Meetings

Our next School Board meeting will be held at York Hall at 7 p.m. on Monday, November 17. All School Board meetings and work sessions are broadcast live on YCSD-TV, Channel 47 (Cox) and Channel 39 (Verizon). Meetings and work sessions are also rebroadcast on alternating nights at 7 p.m. Additional programming information is available online. I look forward to additional opportunities to share important information regarding our schools.


Thank you for your support of our students and staff!

Mark Medford
School Board Chair
On Behalf of the York County School Board

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