RICHMOND – Virginia Board of Education President David M. Foster continues his listening tour of state educational regions September 19-20 with a visit to Region 8, which comprises 12 school divisions in central and Southside 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.
Foster and fellow board member Christian N. Braunlich will host an education issues forum on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. in the mini-auditorium of Nottoway High School in Crewe. 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.
“I look forward to hearing citizens’ 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. “Also, I am especially interested in hearing views and concerns related to the A-F grading system. This will help as the board carries out its responsibilities under legislation approved by the 2013 General Assembly to create a fair and informative school-grading scale.”
On Friday at 9 a.m., Amelia County Superintendent B.J. Brewer, Nottoway County Superintendent Daniel Grounard and Amelia-Nottoway Technical Center Director Mary Tisdale will lead Foster and Braunlich on a tour of the technical center.
Region 8 includes Amelia, Appomattox, Brunswick, Buckingham, Charlotte, Cumberland, Greensville, Halifax, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, Nottoway and Prince Edward counties.
Foster intends to visit all eight of Virginia’s educational administrative regions by the end of the year. Since March, he has visited Region 2 (Tidewater), Region 4 (Northern), Region 6 (Western) and Region 7 (Southwest). Remaining tour dates are as follows:
- October 17 in Region 5 (Valley and Lynchburg and Charlottesville areas) from 6-8 p.m. at Skyline Middle School in Harrisonburg
- November 14 in Region 3 (Fredericksburg area, Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula) from 6-8 p.m. at Thomas Hunter Middle School in Mathews County
Details of the last stop on the tour – Region 1 (Richmond and Petersburg areas) – have not been determined, but will be available on the Virginia Department of Education website in the public meetings section when they become available.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.