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Fluvanna School Board Reviews Classroom Quality Standards - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Fluvanna School Board Reviews Classroom Quality Standards

Posted: Updated: Jan 9, 2013 04:53 PM EST

The Fluvanna County School Board kicks off an evaluation of the county's classroom standards Wednesday. The 6-month process will set the school system's standards of quality (SOQ) for the next two years.

Fluvanna County is beginning a full review to rewrite its standards of quality. The standards are rewritten every two years in order to meet state requirements. In a tough budget time for Fluvanna, teachers are getting involved to make sure the bar is not being lowered.

Fluvanna County Middle School counselor Lynn Jenkins helps her students in and out of the classroom.  

"I have fifth-grade families, not just the students," said Jenkins.  She'll follow these fifth-graders until they leave for high school. Jenkins is one of three counselors at the school - that's more than state standards require.

"We're interested in teaching the whole child and making it an experience that's valuable to them. Minimum does not do that for our students," she said.

Jenkins is helping set the county's standards for these students. She's volunteered, for the third time, to serve on Fluvanna's SOQ Committee.

"We're really looking at what can we do next to make this a better experience for all students in our community," said Fluvanna County Schools Director of Secondary Instruction Brenda Gilliam.

The 34 teachers, parents, and community members will set the county's goals to meet state SOQ for classroom instruction, Standards of Learning tests (SOLs), and staffing levels. 

New state requirements could force Fluvanna to add data coordinators and reading and math specialists.

"Those are positions we don't have in place right now that we'd have to look at readjusting if those were approved by the General Assembly," said Gilliam.

The schools are also concerned they'll need to add courses and cut others to meet changing graduation requirements. "It also can impact other programs that aren't necessarily required but you'd want to have in place for students," said Gilliam.

Jenkins worries that student electives – like the arts – will be affected in the shift to meet the state's minimum standards. "We're striving for excellence and opportunities for our students that they wouldn't have if we had to follow the SOQs," said Jenkins.

The SOQ Committee will review and set goals for nine different standards. Members meet for the first time at the end of the January.

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