School Systems – Tesoro High School Fri, 17 Sep 2021 17:30:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 School Systems – Tesoro High School 32 32 2021 Alexandria District A School Board Candidates Fri, 17 Sep 2021 17:22:22 +0000

In November 2021, voters in Alexandria will choose from 15 candidates for nine positions on the Alexandria City School Board. There are five candidates vying for three seats in District A, which covers the eastern part of Alexandria.

Click here to access the profiles of candidates running in other districts of Alexandria, see the district map and find out more.

The following candidates run for the District A school board. They are presented in alphabetical order of last name.

Willie F. Bailey, Sr.

Bailey is no stranger to Alexandria. He is the product of the Public Schools of the City of Alexandria and served on the Alexandria City Council from 2015 to 2018.

He is no stranger to service, either. He spent 21 years in the service of the United States Army and spent over 30 years as a firefighter in Fairfax County where he is currently the Deputy Fire Chief. Bailey founded the nonprofit Firefighters & Friends to the Rescue, which works with local schools, shelters and churches to identify children in need and donates thousands of winter coats, bags to back and school supplies every year. In addition, he is a coach and involved with a number of other charities and organizations including Carpenter’s Shelter, Operation Warm, Toys for Tots, and Alexandria Redevelopment Housing Authority (ARHA).

“I have supported the education of children in our community for decades and come to the school board to make sure we are doing what is right for our children,” Bailey told Alexandria Living magazine. “What sets me apart the most as a candidate is that I will always do what’s right for our students with a track record to prove it. “

Bailey said if he is elected to the school board, he is committed to doing what is in the best interests of those he represents, including parents who have lost faith in CSGA over the last few years. year and a half.

Bailey’s main priorities are:

  1. Navigate safely in situations of COVID-19 and its impacts on students, parents and educators.
  2. Expanding access to preschool education, developing mentoring programs and closing the achievement gap so that all of our students have the chance to succeed.
  3. Prioritize addressing capacity issues to ensure our facilities keep pace with our growing number of students.
  4. Fight to ensure that our teachers and support staff receive fair compensation for all they do for our community.

When it comes to student and educator safety, Bailey said, “I am committed to an evidence-based approach that relies on advice from the CDC and medical experts, and I will do what is right. for all stakeholders in our education system. . As a health and safety officer, I understand what it takes to keep our community safe. “

Aloysius “Ish” Boyle

Boyle has lived in Alexandria for over a decade. His two sons are students at Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) and his wife was a finalist for Fairfax County Public Schools Teacher of the Year.

Boyle served as a Marine for seven years and now works in cybersecurity. He has served on the board of directors of the Travis Manion Foundation and Dog Tag Bakery.

According to Boyle, he will bring strong leadership, common sense and the ability to ask and solve tough questions if elected to the school board.

“I offer diversity of thought to the school board, immense respect for teachers and administrators and the perspective of a parent who wants the best education for their children and all the children of Alexandria. “

Boyle said some parents have expressed frustration and a loss of confidence in CSGA leadership over the past year.

“Parents of CSGA students can trust me because I have a record – as a parent myself, a member of this community, and as a Marine Corps and business leader – to serve with transparency. , responsibility and purpose. “

Boyle’s three main problems are:

  1. Improve academics. “We need to address the learning loss that has occurred over the past 18 months, but also look for ways to improve academics at all levels. We need to make sure that every learner is challenged and thrived and has access to differentiated courses. “
  2. Keep school resource officers (SROs). “I stand in solidarity with our directors and administrators. We need to create an atmosphere in which our teachers and students are safe and can do their best. “
  3. Retention of teachers. “We will never attract or retain the best talent in our schools if we cannot provide a safe and positive learning environment where teachers feel supported and empowered. “

The COVID-19 pandemic is a dominant topic in this school board election and Boyle has said he supports law enforcement, social distancing and having lunch outside. However, he believes that students should be able to get medical exemptions for wearing the mask and that parents should be given the option to pursue distance education, if they have safety concerns.

“We can navigate this pandemic together safely AND provide our students with a high quality education. Let’s tap into our community’s well of innovation, intelligence and problem-solving ability, and work together to find solutions that meet everyone’s needs, ”Boyle said.

Deanna MR “D” Ohlandt

Ohlandt is the parent of three CSGA students who attend the Cora Kelly School for Mathematics, Science and Technology and a long-time resident of the Lynhaven neighborhood.

“I also have experience in administration in educational and non-profit contexts, and I have specific experience in forming leadership teams in policy-based governance, which is the system. governance used by the Alexandria City School Board, ”Ohlandt told Alexandria Living Magazine. .

Ohlandt knows firsthand what it has been like to address the unique challenges the COVID-19 pandemic has posed for CSGA students and families. “As a member of the school board, I will advocate for clear communication and transparency in decision making at the highest level. “

Ohlandt has four priorities if she is elected to the school board:

  1. Give parents a voice within the school board.
  2. Promote clear and transparent communication with families, students and teachers about school division policies.
  3. Ensure equitable access to resources.
  4. Connect our communities to our schools and schools to our communities.

Ohlandt strongly supports maintaining an in-person option for students as we continue to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and its variants. At the same time, she is committed to making school buildings as safe as possible and to following the most recent guidelines to include wearing masks, social distancing, asymptomatic testing and clear quarantine procedures until. all school-aged children are eligible for the vaccine and transmission rates drop.

Michelle rief (incumbent)

Rief has been a member of the school board since 2018 and has lived in Alexandria for 15 years. Her three children attend public schools in Alexandria. She is a former university professor and an executive in the nonprofit education field. She got a doctorate. in African American Studies and taught history and sociology at the Borough of Manhattan Community College in New York, and later at Northern Virginia Community College.

When asked why voters should re-elect her, Rief said, “I have worked hard to represent students, families and teachers while guiding our school systems through the pandemic. The crisis has highlighted the importance of informed, trustworthy and responsive leadership. I will continue to ask tough questions and push for viable solutions to the challenges that lie ahead. “

Rief plans to continue to prioritize communication and collaboration with families and the community.

Its main priorities are:

  1. Protect the health and safety of CSGA students and staff.
  2. Support the transition to in-person learning for students and staff.
  3. Complete capital projects on time and on budget and ensure routine maintenance of existing school buildings.

Rief believes in following the guidelines provided by the CDC, the Virginia Department of Health, and the Alexandria Health Department. This includes masking, vaccination promotion, and physical distancing. “I think children learn best in person,” Rief explained, “but I support giving families the opportunity to learn virtually during a public health emergency.”

Jacinthe Greene (incumbent)

Greene is currently completing her first term at the School Board and has lived in Alexandria since 2002. She started her own business as a freelance market consultant and meeting planner after working 10 years in Corporate America.

When asked why she should be re-elected, Greene said: “I firmly believe that every child in Alexandria deserves a high quality education, regardless of where they live, their family’s economic status, their race. , ethnicity, gender or unique learning traits. “

Her passion is defending underprivileged women, children and civil rights for all, which she believes her record at the school board demonstrates. She fought for equity in education for all students, increased salaries and professional development for teachers, and the retention of long-term custodial staff as CSGA employees instead of l outsourcing.

She intends to continue to provide opportunities for parents, teachers, community members and students to engage in their native language, including outside of working hours, and to effectively communicate expectations about life. learning of their child.

The main issues that Greene runs on are:

  1. Closing the achievement gap that has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic which has particularly affected Latino, black and disabled students.
  2. Create community schools by listening to the voices of students, parents, teachers and community members.
  3. Achieve educational equity for the most vulnerable students in Alexandria.
  4. Commitment to our teachers by ensuring that Alexandria is competitive enough to retain and attract the best educators and support staff for our children.

Greene believes in keeping students in school in person and supports all mitigation efforts to keep students, teachers and staff safe.

Click here to access the profiles of candidates running in other districts of Alexandria, see the district map and find out more.

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Texarkana Arkansas School District Seeks Roofing Problems Fri, 17 Sep 2021 05:11:45 +0000

TEXARKANA, Ark. – The Texarkana, Arkansas School District Board of Directors heard a presentation Thursday evening from Lewis Architects Engineers on roofing improvement projects at the June Little Center, the district maintenance complex and the professional building in the ‘Arkansas High School.

During the presentation, Steve Lewis said the materials and insulation for the projects would not be delivered until May or June 2022 if ordered today. Due to pricing and delivery complications, the bidding process for these materials has not yet started.

Barry Murdock, director of support services, said the district did not yet have a price estimate on what the roof renovations would cost, but he said material costs for the projects continue to rise.

The roofs are said to be in poor condition in these places.

It remains to be seen how these potential projects would be paid for. Superintendent Dr Becky said the only building that could possibly qualify for elementary and secondary school emergency relief funds would be the high school vocational / body shop building.

The Interlocal and Texas Arkansas purchasing systems were also mentioned as potential financing options.

Council was also treated to a presentation of the district ACT Aspire test results by the district program team.

Scores are a little lower than the state average in most cases, with Grades 3 and 10 being the most affected by declines from 2019 to 2021.

The main areas of growth celebrated were fourth and fifth grade reading scores in Union, sixth grade math scores and eighth grade reading scores – all increases of at least 6%.

The score drops have followed a statewide trend due to the learning loss caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, but board member Glen Spears has expressed his particular displeasure with these results. “What frustrates me and disappoints me is the gap between our scores and those of the State,” said Spears. “And I don’t know what the excuse is, but it shouldn’t be there.”

Some of the grade 3 and grade 10 drops were up to 20%.

“It’s a tough place to live right now, in education,” Kesler said. “Nothing can replace face-to-face education. Students and parents have struggled, and teachers have struggled. But we have several interventionists in each school trying to help these children. I have walked through several. campus today, and you’ll see a teacher sitting down with one or two kids, helping them read. And that’s what it’s going to take, one kid at a time. “

The board ended the meeting with a budget workshop.

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2 Bay Area School Systems Mull Vaccine Mandates for Students | California News Thu, 16 Sep 2021 17:54:00 +0000

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – The boards of directors of the two largest school districts in the San Francisco Bay Area are expected to vote next week on whether to make COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory for all staff and students aged 12 and over.

Members of the board of directors of West Contra Unified, which serves more than 28,000 students in Richmond, El Cerrito, Hercules, Pinole, San Pablo and several unincorporated areas, will vote on the policy on Tuesday. Meanwhile, board members for the Oakland School District, which serves about 50,000 students, plan to accept the proposal on Wednesday.

In August, the district saw an increase in the rates of coronavirus cases among college students, 40% of which were in middle and high schools, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Thursday.

If approved, the districts would become the first in northern California to issue one of the most stringent anti-COVID warrants. Recently, the public school systems in Los Angeles – the second largest in the United States – and Culver City have required injections for eligible students.

California will require public school staff to be vaccinated or tested weekly starting next month, but there is no similar statewide rule for students.

Political cartoons

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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School Board Approves Vaccination Mandate for WCS Staff and Student-Athletes | New Wed, 15 Sep 2021 12:33:00 +0000

As the delta variant of COVID-19 continues to spread statewide, the Warren County School Board, in a special meeting on September 8, unanimously approved a recommendation requiring members of the Warren County schools staff and student-athletes get COVID-19. -19 vaccine.

At the same time, the board also approved a voluntary COVID-19 testing program for other staff and students that went into effect on Monday.

One in progress challenge

Acting Superintendent Keith Sutton told the board that the first few weeks of the 2021-22 school year resulted in a “relatively soft opening,” but included a number of challenges due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. He said the positive test results had led to hundreds of quarantines.

The impact of the virus has been felt throughout the Warren County school system. Vaughan Elementary School and Warren County High School returned to in-person teaching last week after staff shortages linked to COVID-19 forced schools to switch to distance learning for several days.

Two medical professionals took to the board virtually to discuss the impact of the delta variant of COVID-19 and suggestions for reducing the spread of the virus.

Dr Kanecia Zimmerman of The ABC Science Collaborative reported that the delta variant of COVID-19 is as contagious as chickenpox.

According to its website, The ABC Science Collaborative is a program that pairs scientists and doctors with school and community leaders to help understand the most recent and relevant information about COVID-19. The program is funded by the National Institutes of Health and coordinated by Duke University School of Medicine and Duke Clinical Research Institute.

Zimmerman said measures such as wearing masks and staying home when sick have helped many schools slow the spread of COVID-19. However, she recommended COVID-19 vaccination as the best way to reduce the number of COVID-19 cases.

“If you are vaccinated you are much less likely to spread COVID-19,” she said.

Zimmerman also recommended other precautions, such as finding alternatives to the traditional lunch where students sit with their classmates in cafeterias. She said that because the students are close to each other when they take off their masks to eat, anyone who is sick could easily pass the virus on to others.

Zimmerman also said student-athletes should be a top priority, citing data indicating that much of the transmission of COVID-19 in high schools comes from sports.

Warren County Health Director Dr Margaret Brake told the board of directors that people in the 25-29 age group accounted for the most cases of COVID-19 in Warren County, followed of the 50-64 age group.

She noted that as of September 7, 50% of Warren County residents had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 47% were considered fully immunized.

However, Brake warned that only 3 percent of young people aged 12 to 17 had been vaccinated and 38 percent of young adults aged 18 to 24 were vaccinated.

“I support universal masking,” she said. “More work is needed to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Warren County. “

A multi-faceted response

Sutton told the board last week that schools in Warren County need to consider a number of strategies, in addition to the precautions already in place, to keep students and staff safe this year. However, he said vaccination must be the top priority.

At the start of the meeting, Board Chair Jennifer Sims read the public comments that had been submitted electronically. Several parents have expressed concerns about COVID-19 and have called for Warren County schools to revert to system-wide virtual learning or the staggered schedule used in the spring when half of a school’s students were in school. class on some days and the other half was in class on the other days.

Sutton told the council that recent legislation passed by the General Assembly and signed by Governor Roy Cooper, Senate Bill 654, says schools can use distance learning for up to five days at a time. in emergencies such as the staff shortages created by COVID-19. However, he indicated that the new legislation does not give school boards the power to close schools and switch to long-term virtual learning . Sutton noted that the legislation provides for a process to request long-term school closures that would involve the school system, the Warren County Board of Commissioners and the Warren County Department of Health.

He added that legislation does not allow school systems to follow a staggered schedule in which students are in class.

Sutton reiterated the goal of Warren County schools to offer face-to-face instruction while minimizing the spread of COVID-19 and quarantines.

“Virtual education does not provide an optimal environment for learning,” he said.

Sutton said school systems may not adopt a staggered schedule under the new legislation.

H said students and school staff are required to wear masks indoors whether or not they have been vaccinated against COVID-19. He said schools also use air purifiers and daily ventilation and temperature checks.

Sutton added that all schools have been asked to provide space to eat their meals outside, indicating that if a student seated at a cafeteria table with classmates tests positive for COVID-19, all students must be quarantined.

Vaccinations and tests

Sutton said that with these precautions in place, a vaccination and voluntary testing plan remains the best option to ensure the safety of students and staff.

“Our plan is focused on vaccine-eligible adults and student athletes who account for the majority of the spread and are at high risk,” he said.

In a survey of teachers and school system staff, 213 of 245 responding employees have already received the COVID-19 vaccine, Sutton reported.

In response to the continuing dangers of the virus, especially the potential for spreading in schools and at sporting events, the school system has developed a recommendation for a mandate to vaccinate school system employees and student-athletes.

Under the plan approved by the board, school system employees and unvaccinated student-athletes would have until October 9 to receive the first dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine or to obtain a single-dose vaccine. . They will have until November 8 to receive the second dose of a two-dose vaccine.

Exemptions can be requested for medical or religious reasons and would require employees to be tested once a week as part of the school system’s new COVID-19 testing program, and would require student-athletes to be tested twice a week .

The Warren County Schools Voluntary COVID-19 Testing Program, known as WeCare, applies to both school system employees and students, whether or not they have been vaccinated.

Heather Lawing, head of school system communications and engagement, explained that testing will be done weekly at schools and work sites with the district. Students and staff will dab the inside of their mouths. Laboratory results should be available within 24 to 48 hours. The tests will take place on Monday.

Sutton said parental consent forms were distributed last week.

In response to questions from the board, Zimmerman said that the risk of vaccinated people developing the Delta variant of COVID-19 is much lower than in unvaccinated people. However, she recommended testing for vaccinated employees and students as another way to keep everyone safe.

The school system plan requires that student-athletes be tested. However, those who are vaccinated will only be tested once a week.

Sutton said the Warren County community as a whole will play an important role in maintaining the health of students and staff in the school system. He urged the general public to get vaccinated.

He said the education council’s action will show how serious Warren County schools are in their work to slow the spread of COVID-19 and that the school system believes slowing the spread of the virus is a achievable goal.

“We can still slow this down,” Sutton said.

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A look at the Ada School Bond show | Local News Sat, 11 Sep 2021 08:00:00 +0000

Editor’s Note: As the September 14, 2021 bond election looms, occasional Ada News contributor Pat Fountain recently sat down with Ada City Schools Superintendent Mike Anderson to talk about the issuance of bonds that voters are invited to adopt. Today we will look at the process that led to the upcoming vote, the need for new facilities and what will happen to the old school centers.

Before I could barely pull out my yellow notebook, put my pens away, and get comfortable in Mike Anderson’s modest office at the back of Ada City’s central school systems office, he said one thing very clearly. . The first thing we were going to talk about was the cost of what the project would be for the citizens of Ada. Because, he says, it’s the most important thing people need to know.

“People need to know what they are being asked to do,” he said.

“We have been completely transparent and do not try to hide anything from anyone,” he said. “It’s not something I invented myself and that will be up to the voters to decide.

“It’s something that will come at a high price, but many believe it’s something we need to do now for the future. This bond initiative is an investment in our students, in our schools and in our community.”

To his dismay, I told him we would get there and asked him my first question. And we will get there.

The process

“This proposal is the result of a broad strategic planning initiative that has included input from parents, teachers, staff and community stakeholders,” he replied when I asked about the process to arrive at the bond proposal.

He explained that the process started just over three years ago and that the plan was unveiled during the 2018-19 school year.

“The strategic plan that was developed provided for the creation of two new elementary-level centers, as well as improvements in all sites in the district,” he said. “The plan also included vehicles to better meet our transportation needs. “

State law requires carriage obligations to be voted on separately, so there are actually two proposals to be decided on in the vote.

Anderson said the process began with the Strategic Planning Committee reviewing past strategies and practices with the aim of identifying successes and failures. A thorough examination was then launched on the current state and what the district hoped to become.

By doing this and listening to stakeholders, the committee was able to identify and develop key areas, goals and actions to help move Ada City schools forward in the effort to achieve the school system’s mission. .

This mission is: “To prepare all students to be engaged and successful citizens with the social, academic and professional skills necessary for success in a global society”.

And now, on Tuesday, September 14, 2021 and in early voting, Ada voters are being asked to approve two bond proposals totaling $ 74,160,000 for facilities and $ 400,000 for transportation needs.

For local taxpayers, the cost will be $ 1.00 per month for $ 100 of 2020/2021 property taxes paid.

Why do we need new schools?

Anderson explained that it’s not because they’re old. But because the number of rooms in school buildings, the purpose for which the rooms were built in the 1950s and 1960s and what the rooms can be used for limits the ability of the school system to expand what they are capable of. do for students.

“Our teachers do amazing things with what we have,” he explained. “We are ranked 22nd best high school in Oklahoma by US News and World Report.

“We continually have students and groups receiving national and national recognition for their accomplishments in music, drama, speech, theater and our new aviation program.”

He assured me that nothing was broken and that all was well with the Ada town school system and its students. The “system” is doing much better than just getting out of it.

So why are new school buildings needed now?

The answer was simple, honest, realistic and sincere.

“In today’s world, if you are still, you are going backwards,” he explained. “To move forward, to continue to improve and to see our students continue to do great things and reach even greater heights, we need new facilities.”

“And the longer we wait, the more it will cost,” he continued. “It is now.”

Ada students successfully learn in educational environments designed to teach six grade levels of ‘reading’, writing and ‘arithmetic’ using technology including chalkboards, film strips and, up to in the 1970s, handouts.

When the Washington and Willard school centers were built, most students walked to school, and field trips were rare. There were no thoughts or dreams of science labs, calculators or computers let alone flight simulators. (NOTE: For readers unfamiliar with film and handouts, ask your grandparents. For readers unfamiliar with flight simulators, ask your grandchildren!).

After listening to Anderson speak to a local civic group, one listener compared it to a car race because, well, he said, “Life is a race and those who are best equipped to race will do better.

“Those who are best equipped for the race will win the race,” he explained. “We expect our students to win a car race in the future when they are driven in cars over 60 years old.

“You won’t see 1960s cars in the Indianapolis 500 this year, imagine taking a 1960 driver and putting him in one of today’s race cars and expecting him to do well.

“This is what we do to our students. When they go to a university or to a trade school, to the military or to a job, they will be far behind those who have been trained in schools with the latest designs, security and functionality ADA and Technology. “

“Ada’s students win races and compete, but imagine how much better they could be if they could be on the same level of play as these runners with the best equipment.”

What will become of the old schools?

Anderson laughed as he answered.

“It’s pretty simple when you think about it, but pretty complicated to explain without a blackboard,” he said.

After talking with him, I went home and turned what I thought he said into a painting. (NOTE: he checked and made some corrections. So now that’s really how he explained it.)

Who is going where and when? In three easy steps (to explain anyway) here is what will happen.

Step One) When the new school for first, second and third year students opens, these classes will meet there.

Stage Two) During the Washington demolition and construction of the new school for the fourth and fifth graders, the fourth graders will be in Hayes (the third graders will be at the new school).

Step Three) When the new school for fourth and fifth graders opens at the old Washington site, fourth and fifth graders will meet there, and sixth graders will likely move to Hayes while the Current Willard building is undergoing renovation and modernization. It will depend on the amount of work to be done and when the work can be done at Willard. We hope that much of this can be done in the summer.

When completed) Grades 1, 2 and 3 will be in a new school on a new site. Fourth and fifth graders will be in a new school at the current Washington site, and sixth graders will be in the current Willard building after its renovation and modernization. Seventh, eighth and ninth graders will be in current middle school and 10th, 11th and 12th graders will be in current high school.

Why keep the old Willard Building and not start there?

We can only ask Anderson for so much explanation. He said a lot of what is done at Willard will depend on the project budget and the funds available.

“It was the building best suited to be modernized and renovated to be comparable to new buildings,” he said. “It will be a great home and educational facility for our sixth graders.”

He added that the building has a great location in the center of Ada and across from East Central University.

“Our students are on the ECU campus several times a year for a variety of cultural, learning, athletic and other activities and we want that to continue,” he said.

“Few schools can send their students across the street on the inexpensive, valuable and educational field trips that we can organize with East Central or that they invite us to take our students to.”

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Edison School in Erie to get ventilation upgrades in the future Wed, 08 Sep 2021 10:44:14 +0000