Virginia Board of Education President David M. Foster continues his listening tour of state educational regions May 16-17 with a visit to Region 4, which comprises 19 school divisions in Northern Virginia. 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.
“Northern Virginia is a diverse area that stretches from the lower Shenandoah Valley to the suburbs of Washington,” Foster said. “I look forward to a frank discussion that includes rural, suburban and urban perspectives on how the Board of Education should move forward on legislation from the 2013 General Assembly, the Standards of Learning program and other important work before us.”
Foster and fellow board member Winsome Sears will host a forum on education issues on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. in the auditorium of Kettle Run High School in Nokesville in Fauquier County, which is close to the geographic center of Region 4. The forum, scheduled to last two hours, will begin with a brief presentation by Foster on the Board of Education’s role and goals.
On Friday at 8 a.m., Fauquier County Superintendent David Jeck and Principal Roger Sites will lead Foster and Sears on a tour of Fauquier High School in Warrenton. The school’s nationally recognized sustainable-design features will be highlighted during the tour.
Foster and Sears will then travel to neighboring Rappahannock County. There, they will join Interim Superintendent Kathleen Grove for a tour of Rappahannock County High School that will include a presentation on the school’s farm-to-table program that provides students with school meals made from fresh, locally raised ingredients.
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’s goal is to visit all eight of Virginia’s educational administrative regions by the end of the year. Region 4 includes Arlington, Clarke, Culpeper, Fairfax, Fauquier, Frederick, Loudoun, Madison, Orange, Page, Prince William, Rappahannock, Shenandoah, and Warren counties and the cities of Alexandria, Falls Church, Manassas, Manassas Park, and Winchester.
Details of future listening tour events will be posted on the Virginia Department of Education website in the public meetings section as they become available.