The APS board met on Tuesday, July 1st, conducting its first business meeting of the 2014-15 school year. Your PTA board president and two Jamestown parents spoke during the public comment period on the topic of the 2014 Capital Improvement Plan, all emphasizing the Jamestown community’s concern over the removal of construction funding from the CIP. The PTA board’s statement is here. We will continue to be active on the CIP over the coming months and wish to express our appreciation to the many parents and community members who have stepped up to express their views to the School Board and County Board on the need for new middle school capacity to offset serious overcrowding at Williamsburg and Swanson (and later, at Gunston).
The board took a number of potentially significant steps on a range of other APS matters:
• The new board chair is James Lander. Dr. Violand-Sanchez is Vice Chair.
• The board voted 4-1 to extend Superintendent Murphy’s contract for four years. His contract was not up this year, but the board acted to extend his contract ahead of schedule “in the interest of continuity and stability”, according to outgoing Chair Abby Raphael. Mr. Lander expressed objection to the extension on procedural grounds, and was the lone dissenting vote.
• Board member Noah Simon resigned effective August 1st, citing his responsibilities to his children following the death of his wife last year. The Jamestown PTA issued a statement thanking Mr. Simon for his service.
• It appears that outgoing board member Sally Baird has been assigned to be the board’s liaison to Jamestown (the docketed table of assignments is mislabeled and a bit confusing. It is possible the assignment will be affected in some way by Mr. Simon’s resignation, and certainly will be affected by the end of Ms. Baird’s term at the end of 2014).
• The board received a staff presentation on potential changes to bus service to lessen the distances considered “walkable” for APS students. The presentation is posted here and makes interesting reading for those intrigued by transportation logistics and costs. No immediate changes in bus transportation zones are planned, though changes in bus stops appear to be under active review. This subject will receive greater treatment in a future PTA newsletter.
For additional information, contact Tom Jensen at firstname.lastname@example.org