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School Board District D

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    Lee Brannon
    (I)

  • Dayton Owens
    (I)

Biographical Information

What is the most pressing need facing our local schools over the next four years?

The county has cut local funding over the last few years. How would you persuade the Board of Supervisors to increase funding?

What quality of a school system is most important in creating well-educated graduates?

Should Washington County government and the Washington County Schools have a more detailed, long-term Capital Improvement Program to plan for needed renovations and new buildings? (We are facing renovating/building a new courthouse, and many county schools are now over 50 years old.)

IN 2018-19, 244 children in Washington County were homeschooled and at least 100 were attending private or church-related schools. Ten years ago (2008-09) 149 children were homeschooled. A decrease in the total number of students enrolled in the school system affects the school system’s funding from the state. Homeschooled students are not required to have yearly standardized testing. Do you have any solution to this exodus?

Do you feel that the Standards of Learning should be considered the goal of instruction or minimum requirements?

Of 1492 children (aged 0-3) in the county, there is a total of only 72 licensed (private or public) childcare spaces. Spending money on early childhood development provides the greatest reward over time. If money is available, what might Washington County Schools do to enrich early childhood experience and readiness for learning in our county?

Campaign Phone (276) 429-5656
Web Site http://FACEBOOK
Education Washington County Public Schools King College - BA Virginia Tech- MAEd Virginia Tech- Ed Doctorate
Experience 30+ Years in Public Education, Teacher and Coach, Elementary, Middle and High School Principal, SBO -Administrator, Division Superintendent
Family Wife Belinda Daughter Courtney&Corey Wheeler Son Travis&Meagan Brannon Grandsons Jayden,Karson,Knox
The most pressing need facing our school division is the shortage of qualified teachers and support staff. This can include bus drivers, custodians and other support services. There are a myriad of reasons for this shortage, but without experienced and certified teachers and qualified support staff, the issues of pay gap, stress, lack of administrative/parent support, funding, loss of enrollment and students becoming career ready are not tangible. The division should develop an effective plan to attract and retain an exemplary staff to perform all functions of a complex organization like the school division.
I am not aware of or have knowledge of cuts to local funding over the last few years. I feel it is not the responsibility of any one school board member to try and persuade anyone to do anything. The school board should act as a unit and be decisive in the decisions that affect the students of Washington County Public Schools.The budget process is a lengthy process where the superintendent and staff develop a fiscally sound plan which outlines the needs and wants of the division. The budget is then presented to the board for discussion and input. Committees may be developed with selected members from the school board and board of supervisors who assist with the development. This committee is then responsible for reporting back to the full board. The county administrator and the superintendent should have constant communication throughout the entire budget process and board members should make informed decisions based on available funding from the board of supervisors. Upon presentation by the superintendent, the school board would approve or make recommendations for the final document. This approved budget would then be sent to the board of supervisors for approval with justification and explanation when necessary. An open discussion between the two boards and /or superintendent/county administrator should follow until final adoption.
Defining well-educated graduates in a school division is subjective at best. There are many different paths a student may take during the K-12 education process, and post graduates can be just as varied. They may be “well educated” in one area and proficient in others. So, defining the qualities that are associated with this definition is difficult. Having said this, I would say the most important quality of a school division that creates well-educated graduates is a safe environment and a culture that is conducive to learning.
Yes, a short term and long term Capital Improvement Plan are essential for the future success of any organization. This plan should include immediate needs and also plan ahead for 5- 10 years. As with any CIP, there must also be a funding plan as well, or the projects are always delayed because of a lack of revenue. Each organization should develop a plan and evaluate annually. This evaluation should include any supporting data or rationale for the plan and depending on annual circumstances, be flexible to add or delete to this plan.
The Code of Virginia, Article 22.1-254 - Compulsory attendance required; excuses and waivers;alternative education program attendance; exemptions from this article. This article allows with documentation, all the items above. My solution would be to schedule annual forums with parents/guardians about their decision and promote public school as an option for their child’s education. The parental choice may still be the same, but it should encourage open communication about the education of their child.
I feel the Standards of Learning are not minimum requirements but are a requirement to document that each student has ascertained and understands certain research based knowledge from the specific content of the class. This in turn, creates a goal of instruction by measuring student learning with teacher delivery and additionally assigns a computed score for each student and school for reporting and accreditation.
Research indicates that children enrolled in Pre-K programs have improved cognitive skills, decreased risk of developmental delays and improved kindergarten readiness. If there was adequate funding to hire additional teachers, support a curriculum and provide sufficient facilities and other services, I would recommend Pre-K instruction for all 4-year olds in Washington County Public Schools.
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