Team Chesterfield celebrates School Board Appreciation Month

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The public service of more than 850 School Board members across Virginia will be celebrated throughout February as part of the Virginia School Board Association’s annual School Board Appreciation Month.

This year’s theme, Leading for Success, reflects a top responsibility of local School Board members as they advocate for public education with local, state and federal leaders.

“Being a School Board member is more than just coming to a several-hours long meeting the second Tuesday of each month,” Chesterfield County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Merv Daugherty said. “Our School Board members contribute hundreds of hours each year leading the school division, identifying opportunities for enhanced operations and responding to constituent concerns. Chesterfield County Public Schools joins school divisions across Virginia in thanking School Board members for voluntarily tackling the enormous job of governing our local schools.”

The month-long School Board Appreciation Month observance is an opportunity for the community to build a stronger understanding of the crucial role School Boards assume in a high-functioning school division. For the past three-plus years, the current Chesterfield County School Board has worked to support the needs of all students through the strategic reallocation of resources, through a focus on equity and safety in creating high-quality learning environments, and through continued work to reduce achievement and opportunity gaps.

Nearly 10 years after one of the most damaging recessions in recent memory, the School Board strategically has reinvested in public education in Chesterfield County. In support of a five-year plan created to operate Chesterfield County Public Schools from Fiscal Year 2016-20, Chesterfield County Public Schools received a total of approximately $3.1 billion during that time.

With that funding, the School Board has

  • Differentiated academic supports and student support services based on a child’s or school’s need;
  • Increased teacher pay, reduced salary compression, supported health-care costs and stabilized the Supplemental Retirement System;
  • Reduced class sizes and offered more course opportunities (Early College Academies, CodeRVA, Phoenix Academy, etc.);
  • Offered additional supports to students with special needs and students learning English;
  • Increased college and career readiness initiatives that prepare students for success after high school;
  • Started to address major maintenance concerns at some of the county’s schools, while addressing growth through the construction of a new school and rebuilding some of the area’s older schools;
  • Enhanced administrative support at the elementary, middle and high school levels;
  • Provided wellness supports in recognition of healthy lifestyles for students and staff; and
  • Reinstated tuition reimbursement for staff, increased academic and coaching stipends

“As a result of this investment, all of our schools are fully accredited by the Virginia Department of Education, our on-time graduation rate is better than the state average and our students fare extremely well when compared to others in terms of student achievement on state-mandated test rates,” Dr. Daugherty said. “But the School Board went further, addressing the health and well-being of our students by backing a number of initiatives designed to support the whole child.”

In recognition of these efforts, Chesterfield County Public Schools celebrates the contributions of these Chesterfield County leaders:

  • Rob Thompson, Matoaca District, Chair
  • Dr. Javaid Siddiqi, Midlothian District, Vice Chair
  • Carrie Coyner, Bermuda District
  • Dianne Smith, Clover Hill District
  • John Erbach, Dale District

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