Our last PTO meeting of the school year will be on Tuesday, May 16. In addition to electing new officers for next year, we will have the opportunity to hear from Mary McIntyre, a candidate for the Rio District of the School Board.
Parents, guardians, grandparents are encouraged to attend. We hope you can join us for this information-packed meeting! We will meet at 6:30pm in the school library; meetings generally don’t last longer than one hour.
A message from ALBEMARLE COUNTY SCHOOL DIST
Dear Members of our School Community:
This November, in addition to electing a new president and a new member of Congress, Albemarle County voters will have the opportunity to cast a ballot that will directly impact 25 of our schools. For the first time in more than 40 years, voters will be asked to consider whether Albemarle County should issue general obligation bonds to finance capital improvement projects for local schools.
Each of these projects is approved by the Long-Range Planning Advisory Committee, our School Board, and the Board of Supervisors, and is included in local government’s present Capital Improvement Plan. Among the problems these projects will address:
- The need for more classroom space: We have added more than 1,000 students since we last built a new school, and today, more than 30 percent of our students are in overcrowded schools. We are using more than 40 trailers across the county to help meet instructional needs.
- The age of our current facilities: The average age of our core buildings exceeds 40 years. Many science labs have not been updated since the parents of today’s students attended school, and many classrooms lack adequate electrical power and even natural light.
- The urgency of improvements: Voting for such projects as security upgrades will allow this work to go forward as soon as possible.
- The cost of improvements: Approval of the bond referendum allows the county to issue general obligation bonds. Albemarle County is the only AAA bond rated municipality in Virginia that does not issue such bonds to finance capital projects. Because general obligation bonds carry a lower interest rate than currently-used revenue bonds, financing the projects in the referendum through general obligation bonds could result in a savings of at least $1 million.
In conjunction with the League of Women Voters, three community forums have been scheduled to provide you with the opportunity to learn more about the referendum and to ask any questions you may have. These forums are on October 4 at Western Albemarle High School; October 11 at Monticello High School; and October 26 at Albemarle High School. All three meetings will begin at 6 p.m.
Spanish interpretation will be available at both the October 11 (Monticello High School) and October 26 (Albemarle High School) community meetings.
I hope your calendar will allow you to attend a forum. You also can visit the Bond Referendum 2016 website for more information. Thank you for casting an informed vote on November 8.
School Board Chair
Please contact your School Board member and ESPECIALLY your district’s Board Supervisor!!! Phone and email are both acceptable. (Even text works!) As county residents we deserve the opportunity to have a say on this issue!!
You may have heard that a referendum may go on the November ballot intended among other county needs to help improve existing schools and add elementary and high school capacity to address overcrowding at Albemarle High School and several urban ring elementary schools. I believe that our county is currently neglecting its responsibility related to devoting funds to area schools. This issue is not just for currently enrolled kids but our entire community who relies upon schools for jobs and as a draw for commercial businesses, government and University jobs. In the long run it is also necessary to be sure that our next generation is given the best opportunity to be intelligent and responsible stewards of our community, our infrastructure, our environment and aging populations.
We already have a crisis with close to 200 kids over at AHS and the same at urban ring elementary schools. Without new school capacity planned literally within the next 3 weeks we will not have the space for our own existing population or the natural growth rate of anticipated kids coming in the next 5 years—not to mention the new neighborhoods being built.
Our natural growth rate is 10% which means in 5 years given our current situation, we will be over by as many as 300 kids at AHS and nearly 150 over at Woodbrook, Greer and Agnor-Hurt WITHOUT accounting for new development to include the 850 new family units being built at Brookhill.
Our community needs to be aware of the circumstances we are facing. We need help to get the word out and tell our officials that we desperately need additional capacity to ease current and future overcrowding and we need improvements to existing schools to be sure our kids are getting the education we expect to create the next generation of smart, responsible citizens.
Who is the School Board? Click here for more info.
Ok, so the budget isn’t the most exciting topic, but it is pretty important. Here’s some info about the process, sent to us by the ACPS Parent Council:
* School Board Public Hearing on Thursday, February, 4th at 6:30pm
* County Executive’s Budget Proposed to Board of Supervisors, Friday, February 19
* Board of SupervisorsPublic Hearing on County Executive’s Budget, Tuesday, February 23
* Board of Supervisors Meeting to Approve Advertised Tax Rate for 2016-17, Tuesday, March 8
* Board of Supervisors Public Hearing on Proposed Operating and Capital Budgets, Wednesday, March 30
*Video of Dr. Moran’s explaining the budget: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hh4s5lQN2NM
2016-17 Budget Fact Sheet
- Proposed budget is $174.1 million, a 4 percent increase
- Nearly $5 million of the $7 million in increased expenditures are for directed or mandated costs such as compensation, employee health care and retirement funding
- A total of $900,000 is related to growth—just over $500,000 for special education, $430,000 for modular classrooms at Albemarle High School
- Less than one percent of the budget is for new initiatives, mostly to restore professional development funds. If approved, professional development would for the first time approach the 2008 budget when the school division had 1500 fewer students
- Not fully funded is world languages in all elementary schools, instructional coaching program
- Projected revenue is $172.6 million, a 3.3 percent increase
- State revenue increase of $2.9 million to $48.8 million moves state share of per pupil funding to 28 percent, below the 32 percent of ten years ago
- Local government transfer of $116.9 million is a 2.5 percent increase
- Funding deficit is $1.5 million
School Board Will Accept Public Comment on Redistricting Options on November 5; Community Members May Attend Meeting Virtually
WHAT: Public Hearing on Redistricting Options
WHEN: Thursday, November 5, 2015, 6 p.m.
WHERE: Lane Auditorium, County Office Building, 401 McIntire Road, Charlottesville, VA 22902
WHO: This Thursday, November 5, beginning at 6 p.m., the Albemarle County School Board will accept public comment on redistricting proposals to address overcrowding at Albemarle High School and Greer Elementary School. This public hearing follows three community meetings held by the Redistricting Advisory Committee over the past several months.
Community members are welcome to join the meeting virtually. The public hearing will be live-streamed at:
HOW: More information on the work and recommendations of the Redistricting Advisory Committee can be accessed online at: