Albemarle County Schools have issued a request for proposals for a firm to better understand why many students consistently remain behind. (view the RFP)
“Results for our students of color are not the same as other demographics groups,” reads the background for the request for proposals. This is what Ellen Osborne was referring to earlier in this newsletter.
Geothermal drilling at Buford
The city has issued an invitation for bids for the modernization of Greenbrier Elementary School.
“Project involves renovation of parts of Greenbrier Elementary School, including but not limited to flooring, ceiling replacement, minor HVAC duct work, storefront glass and finish work,” reads the bid description. “Project will require coordination with other work on related and unrelated projects on the school site.”
There is a 456 page manual for the project. A pre-bid conference is scheduled for November 29, 2022. Submissions will be received through December 14, 2022. Work is expected to begin June 12, 2023 with substantial completion on August 11, 2023.
There were two oversights in this week’s Week Ahead newsletter.
First, the Charlottesville School Board will meet at 5 p.m. in the Booker T. Reaves Media Center at Charlottesville High School at 1400 Melbourne Road. You can register to participate via Zoom or watch along on Facebook.
Items on the agenda include an allocation from the state for a one-time bonus that comes from the federal American Rescue Plan Act. Charlottesville gets $414,603.21 for the effort, and is kicking in funding of its own.
“Charlottesville City Schools has 793.32 [full-time equivalent] instructional and support positions including custodial and nutrition workers,” reads the agenda item. “The total cost of the one-time bonus payment is $854,009.”
There’s a new person in charge of Piedmont Virginia Community College. Dr. Jean Runyon became the sixth president on July 1 and she addressed the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors earlier this month.
“Before coming to Piedmont Virginia Community College I had the privilege to serve at three comprehensive community colleges, two in Maryland, one in Colorado, and coming back to Virginia is like coming home,” Dr. Runyon said.
The names of several schools in Albemarle have recently been changed to new ones per a policy initiated by School Superintendent Matthew Haas in October 2018. Now Charlottesville City Schools has resumed the process of determining whether its own facilities are appropriately named and Clark Elementary and Venable Elementary are up first.
“Like many communities, universities, and K-12 schools across the country, Charlottesville City Schools is aware that our schools’ names send a message to our students, staff, and community and should therefore reflect our values,” reads a webpage on the topic on the school system’s website.
An elementary school in Ivy is the latest in Albemarle County to go through the process of determining whether its name is appropriate in the 21st Century. A committee is being formed to review whether Meriwether Lewis Elementary should continue to be named after the 19th century American explorer.
“This is a great opportunity for Meriwether Lewis Elementary School families to gain a greater understanding of their school’s namesake and to build community in the process,” said Karen Waters, the director of community education for Albemarle County Public Schools.
Work continues on plans to renovate and expand Buford Middle School in Charlottesville to accommodate the city’s sixth graders as part of the first phase of a major reconfiguration. The School Board got an update on the project Thursday night.
In April, Charlottesville City Council adopted a budget for FY23 that includes $2.5 million toward reconfiguration with $66.3 million in funds projected for FY24. That gave enough of a greenlight for the project to move forward.
“After the City Council approved the project and moved forward, we worked out the next phase and started working about May 1,” said Wyck Knox, a project manager with VMDO. (review the presentation)
We are now five days away from when school will go back into session in Albemarle County and Charlottesville. There will be some new faces at some schools.
Rashaad Pitt took over as the principal of Charlottesville High School earlier this week after serving most recently as assistant principal of George Wythe High School in Richmond. Pitt began his educational career teaching history in Petersburg City Public Schools and has also worked in Chesterfield County, Hampton City Schools, and the Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice. According to a release, his area of expertise includes community outreach, restorative justice, instructional leadership and professional development.
The state agency that serves as the official humanities council for Virginia has made its latest round of grants to nonprofit organizations that seek to tell new stories about the people who have lived in the Commonwealth.
“We want Virginians to connect with their history and culture and, in doing that, we hope we’ll all get to know each other a little better,” reads the About section of the website for Virginia Humanities.
Last November, voters in Pittsylvania County on the south side of Virginia’s Fifth Congressional District had on their ballot a referendum on whether or not to approve a one percent sales tax increase to fund school improvement projects. The measure failed on a 23-vote margin according to election night results from the State Board of Elections.
This Tuesday, the seven-member Board of Supervisors got an update on a campaign to try hold the referendum again this year, based on enabling authority that passed the General Assembly in 2020. Martha Walker is the chair of Pittsylvanians for a Brighter Future, an advocacy group that seeks passage this time around.
“One cent, one penny, will generate $3.8 million each year for the 19 years that we will be allowed to have that one cent sales tax added,” Walker said.