York County School Board Newsletter

YCSD School Board Notes - December 2016

I am writing to share information with you regarding our most recent School Board work session held on December 5.


Academic Matters

Recommendations for changes to the Secondary Program of Studies and Course Offerings Guide were presented by Dr. Tony Vladu, director of Secondary Instruction, at the work session. This year, the committee has proposed the addition of one new class, American Sign Language, based on student request. If approved, the class will be offered as an elective through the Virtual High School program. There are also some course changes being made at the New Horizons Regional Education Center and the IB Programme at York High School. The Board will formally approve the revisions to the Secondary Program of Studies and Course Offerings Guide at the regular monthly meeting.

Human Resources Matters

Dr. Jim Carroll, chief human resources officer, shared an update on work towards achieving objectives in the School Board’s strategic plan. Information included details on the division’s FY16 recruiting efforts as well as feedback gained through exit surveys of staff no longer employed with YCSD. Retirement and relocation remain the two largest reasons employees leave the division. Another objective of the Board is to ensure competitive compensation. The division conducted a compensation study of the teacher pay plan in FY15, and developed a 4-year review cycle for non-licensed positions.

Financial Matters

Dennis Jarrett, chief financial officer, provided the FY18 Budget Outlook which gave us our first preliminary look at factors that will likely influence this year's budget development process. Before developing priorities for the upcoming budget, the board reviews actions from previous years.

Beginning in FY10, the Board began addressing budget constraints with a focus on protecting the classroom while also meeting state and federal mandates, such as increased Virginia Retirement System (VRS) costs. As a result, adjustments to the employee pay plan were not available in fiscal years FY10 through FY14. Beginning in FY14, the Board was able to provide a 2% average pay raise for eligible staff, followed by step increases for eligible staff in FY15, FY16 and FY17. Additionally, eligible staff received one restored step in FY16.

While the overall budget has increased, that is largely attributed to the costs associated with state-mandated Virginia Retirement System rate increases. When considering the adjustments for VRS and health insurance over the past eight fiscal years, the FY17 budget is below that of FY07.

There is still much uncertainty regarding funding from state, federal and local sources. The state’s FY16 revenue was lower than projected and is also forecasted to be lower than projected for FY17. The Governor has proposed eliminating the state funding for teacher and support staff pay increases in FY17 and FY18. However, the School Board is committed to following through with the pay raises provided in FY17 and has made contingency plans to maintain the pay raises provided to staff in FY17 if funding for the state share of the pay raises in FY17 is eliminated. At the federal level, Impact Aid funds remain at risk due to the Continuing Resolution passed by the federal government. Without the passing of a federal budget, the school division may need to request temporary use of Revenue Stabilization Funds until budgeted Impact Aid funds are received. The county contribution level remains unknown at this point, but in FY17 the school division accounted for 17% of the total change in the county’s general fund budget.

The School Board has a joint retreat scheduled with the Board of Supervisors at the American Revolution Museum on Monday, December 12, beginning at 4 p.m. The division will provide up-to-date information online throughout the budget cycle.

Operational Matters

Dr. Carl James, chief operations officer, presented information on the development of a food allergy policy which will be presented to the Board at the December monthly meeting. He also provided updates to the division’s contracts to study the medical aspects of adolescent sleep patterns and to balance elementary attendance zones. Last week, two guest speakers presented information and research on the adolescent sleep patterns. This session was recorded by Video Services and will soon be available on the division website and YCSD-TV (Cox Cable Channel 47/Verizon Channel 39).

Upcoming Meetings

Our next School Board meeting will be held at York Hall at 7 p.m. on Monday, December 19. All School Board meetings and work sessions are broadcast live on YCSD-TV. 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.

On behalf of the York County School Board, have a wonderful holiday season!


Robert W. George, D.D.S.
School Board Chair
On Behalf of the York County School Board

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