Virginia Board of Education President David M. Foster continues his listening tour of state school divisions this week with a two-day visit to Hampton Roads.
The tour is designed to give parents, teachers, local school board members, administrators and interested citizens an opportunity to express their views on issues facing the commonwealth’s public schools.
“I look forward to hearing from Hampton Roads educators, parents and other stakeholders about how we can help more Virginia students achieve college and work-force readiness,” Foster said. “I also look forward to a dialogue about the policy work before the Board of Education as it implements legislation from the 2013 General Assembly.”
Foster and fellow board member Oktay Baysal will host a forum on education issues on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at the studios of WHRO in Norfolk. The forum, scheduled to last two hours, will begin with a brief presentation by Foster on the Board of Education’s role and goals. The public is invited to participate and share views with the board members.
On Friday at 9:15 a.m., Portsmouth Superintendent David C. Stuckwisch will lead Foster and Baysal on a tour of Victory Elementary School and its center for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and introduce the state board president to faculty and students. The tour is expected to last approximately one hour.
Foster and Baysal will then travel to Norfolk for a tour of William H. Ruffner Middle School led by Norfolk Superintendent Samuel T. King. Ruffner Middle is seeking to regain state accreditation this year by raising student achievement in English, mathematics, science and history as required under the board’s accountability standards.
The Constitution of Virginia vests the Board of Education with primary responsibility for setting policies for the commonwealth’s public schools, subject only to the authority of the General Assembly. This includes establishing curriculum and accountability standards for schools and licensure requirements for teachers, principals and other educators.
Foster began his listening tour with a visit to Franklin County in March. He plans to visit the six remaining Virginia educational administrative regions by the end of the year. Details of future listening tour events will be available on the Virginia Department of Education website in the public meetings section.