Prince William County School Board Meeting

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Prince William County School Board Meeting (march 26, 2012):

Presented By: Rosa Chiarello-Ugarte Viewed at: Prince William County School Board Meeting (march 26, 2012)

School Board Members:

School Board Members “School-board members experience considerable pressure as they listen to and weigh the competing demands of citizen advisory groups, the business community, parents with special concerns, the teachers’ association… some decisions have winners and losers…(Ornstein, Levine & Gutek , 2011, p. 211).


The Prince William County School Board makes the policies that govern the school division. There are eight members on the School Board, one from each magisterial district and an at-large member who serves as chairman. Prince William County residents elect their School Board representatives, who serve four-year terms. The policies developed by the School Board for the operation of the school division cover instruction, administration, personnel, students and other areas. Copies of the Policy & Regulation Manuals (select) are available on-line, at the county libraries, the school division's central offices, and all of the schools. DESCRIPTION OF PWC SCHOOL BOARD

School Board Meeting Agenda (Summary of Issues Discussed):

Discussion of Sale of Excess School Board property. Naming of Courtyard at Hilton High School. Discussion of 7.5 hour teacher work day. Budget Review FY2012. School Board Meeting Agenda (Summary of Issues Discussed)

1. Sale of Excess School Board Property:

Meeting began with M r. Mike Marsden and Dr. Sean Landry presenting their proposal to purchase Pace West. **Later in the broadcast, Ms. Satterwhite expressed her concern over “adequate notification for purchase of Pace West”--how this sale of property was being advertised (private or public), and expressed concern over only one company being represented that evening. **Important point made by Superintendent was that the sale of property was not being voted on that evening. 1. Sale of Excess School Board Property

2. Naming of Courtyard at Hilton High School:

Members voted unanimously to name the courtyard after Wayne K. Mallard, former teacher and first principal of this school. * This was the only decision reached at this meeting. 2. Naming of Courtyard at Hilton High School

3. Discussion of 7.5 Hour Workday :

Meeting began with Citizen’s comments (6 individuals’ spoke). Most speakers discussed concern over addition of 30 min./day for PWCS teachers as well as concerns with the budget. Many teachers expressed feeling blindsided by the change in work schedule, claiming it ‘came out of left field”, and urged board members to rethink their decision. 3 . Discussion of 7.5 Hour Workday

Budget Review:

Budget was discussed, STEP increase, teacher pay increase, 7.5 hr. workday. Review attached links for breakdown of budget: http:// http :// Budget Review

“Superintendent’s time” :

Dr. Steven L. Walts , Superintendent of Schools, Discussed 7.5 hr. workday, and answered 3 Primary Questions Raised: Who is affected: All “certified instructional personnel”. Implementation: 30 minutes may be added to beginning/end of day, or split between the two. Discussed that “site based decision making should be utilized to determine how each individual will make up the time, not to disrupt day care, etc. Impact on Leave Time: Leave is based on hours, not days, so it will not change. **Superintendent discussed this change was made since PWCS’s are the only schools in Northern Virginia not working 7.5hrs. Also discussed the debate over whether this was implemented after the retaliation of ‘work to rule’, insisted it was not. **All Board Members agreed with the 7.5 hr. workday, and all expressed their approval of this decision, most stating that teachers are already working this amount of time. “Superintendent’s time”

Overall observations:

The main ‘heated’ issue for this evenings School Board Meeting was the introduction of the 7.5 hr. workday. During the Citizen’s Comments, teachers expressed resentment and hostility towards this new implementation. Although Board Members welcome speakers, it is evident that when a motion is passed, they will probably not reconsider the motion, even when it is unfavored by participants. Similarly, Ornstein et al discuss that “funding constraints frequently mean difficult, (and occasionally unpopular) decisions” (Ornstein, p.211 ). As Budget contrainsts remain, issues like this will arise, causing unfavorable decisions to be made. Overall observations


Ornstein, A.C., Levine, D.U. & Gutek , G.L. (2011). Foundations of Education. (11th ed.). Belmont: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning . References

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