York County School Board Newsletter

YCSD School Board Notes - October 2015

I am writing to share updates on the work of the School Board from this week's Work Session.


Academic Matters

Staff provided details on work underway to reach the objectives set forth in the Strategic Plan. The division is committed to increasing enrollment of underrepresented student groups in advanced courses at the middle school level. While progress is being made towards this objective, there is more work to do. Division staff are working with administrators and staff at the middle schools to identify strategies that can be incorporated into School Improvement Plans as well as working with elementary schools to help identify and support students in preparing for the advanced coursework.

Another key objective identified in the Strategic Plan is that 75% of graduating seniors will have earned a career and technical certificate, state license, or national occupational assessment credential by FY17. More than 70 percent of the Class of 2015 earned one or more credential, with more than a quarter of the graduates earning two or more credentials. In addition, all five high schools have been named W!SE (Working in Support of Education) Blue Star Schools for financial literacy based on student performance on the 2014-15 W!SE Financial Literacy Certification test.

Operations Matters

Staff also provided the Board with updates on the 10-Year Facility Master Plan (FMP), which provides core information for use in developing the division's Capital Improvement Plan. There are several new, as well as proposed, housing developments that may affect future enrollment levels at a number of schools, especially Yorktown and Magruder elementary schools. Staff will continue to monitor these developments and their progress closely. Additionally, staff shared strategies that have been implemented to identify savings in the capital programs, such as using a new roof coating process to extend their lifespan versus a complete roof replacement. In all, the draft FMP has identified nearly $8 million in savings.

High School Start Times

Dr. Shandor and Dr. Carl James, chief operations officer, shared information from a recent visit to Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) to meet with the superintendent and executive staff to learn the processes used in addressing high school start times. After years of discussion, FCPS launched a comprehensive effort that involved hiring a consulting firm to research, evaluate and implement a plan for later high school start times.

As Dr. Shandor shared during our work session, this is a complex and complicated process something that does not occur overnight and that’s not done without a thorough review of all implications as well as extensive engagement from our entire community. Our next step will be to identify the scope of work that would be involved in researching and educating staff and the community on this topic.


This is a just a brief overview of our discussions at the October Work Session. We encourage you to watch our meetings and work sessions, which are broadcast live on YCSD-TV, Channel 47 (Cox) and Channel 39 (Verizon), and then rebroadcast on alternating nights at 7 p.m. You can also watch the meeting online. I look forward to additional opportunities to share important information regarding our schools.

Our next School Board meeting will be held at York Hall at 7 p.m. on Monday, October 26.


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

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