Virginia Board of Education President David M. Foster concludes his listening tour of state educational regions December 12 with a visit to Region 1, which comprises 15 school divisions in the Central Virginia area. The tour is designed to provide an opportunity for parents, teachers, local school board members, administrators and interested citizens across the state to express their views on issues facing the commonwealth’s public schools.
Foster will host an education issues forum on Thursday beginning at 6 p.m. in the auditorium of Colonial Heights High School in Colonial Heights. The forum, scheduled to last two hours, will begin with a brief presentation by Foster on the Board of Education’s constitutional and statutory responsibilities and its goals for the commonwealth's public schools.
“As with all the other listening tour venues, I look forward to hearing people’s thoughts on reforms the board has made to the SOL testing program in recent years, the shift to college- and career-ready standards for those graduating from our public schools, and other major issues before us,” Foster said. “It has been a privilege to travel the state and listen to concerns that people have about education in the commonwealth and to provide information about the Board of Education’s goals and mandates.”
On Friday morning, Colonial Heights Superintendent Joseph O. Cox Jr. will accompany Foster on an 8 a.m. tour of Colonial Heights High School led by Principal Kristin Janssen and a 9 a.m. visit to North Elementary School led by Principal Travis Ridley.
Region 1 includes Charles City, Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, Goochland, Hanover, Henrico, New Kent, Powhatan, Prince George, Surry and Sussex counties as well as Colonial Heights, Hopewell, Petersburg and Richmond.
With this visit, Foster will fulfill his commitment to travel to all eight of Virginia’s educational administrative regions by the end of the year. Since March, he has visited Region 2 (Tidewater), Region 3 (Northern Neck), Region 4 (Northern), Region 5 (Shenandoah Valley), Region 6 (Western), Region 7 (Southwest) and Region 8 (Southside).
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.