School Board Provides Updates on Budget Plan, New Schools and Expansion of “Literacy for All” Programs

In addition to discussion around the FY22-FY23 budget, the school board looked at student improvement programs as well as policies 6510, 6140, and 2510.


Amelia Chen

On May 10, the school board held their second Tuesday meeting, continuing to discuss improvements to student welfare and allocating funds to fiscal year 22-23 budget items.

On May 10, the LCPS School Board met to approve the list of additional uses for the unspent friends from the FY22 Budget, announced plans to expand the “Access to Literacy for All” programs, and discussed the building of  a new high school in the Dulles North District titled “HS-14.”


Public Comment

Many public commenters expressed their disappointment for the lack of equitable funding between the athletic and fine arts programs offered in schools. “[Theater] builds that community just as much as those Friday night football games,” LCPS parent Teresa Liebeman said.

LCPS parent Amy Rossi said that putting more money into the arts “can also help fix some of the other problems that we experience in this county: the difficulty of listening to each other, the mental health challenges that we are experiencing at growing rates as well as so much division.” 

LCPS parents also advocated for the  approval of the Gun Violence Awareness Day Proclamation, which makes the first Friday in June National Gun Violence Awareness Day. They also supported the LGBTQ+ Pride Month Proclamation, which acknowledges June as LGBTQ+ Pride Month. “The first step in solving a problem is to recognize it exists,” LCPS parent Elizabeth Coppage said. “America’s gun violence epidemic has taken an enormous toll on the LGBTQ+ community; please support both of these important proclamations and let students and all the residents of Loudoun County know that safety and acceptance are key to the quality education that students can expect to receive here in Loudoun County.”


Fiscal Year 22-23

At the last school board meeting, Chief Financial Officer Sharon Willoughby presented information from the third quarter financial review as well as the Department of Business and Financial Services’ recommended list of uses of additional funds that would be available at year end. During the May 10 meeting, the Department of Businesses and Financial Services discussed the newly revised list of additional uses of unspent funds for approval from the school board. The Department added an additional item of use to the list that focuses on paying teachers who meet the criteria for the Recruitment Incentive for Public Education (RIPE) Award. This addition to the list has brought the total request for unspent funds usage up to $21,356,058.  

Willoughby said they are working on finalizing the “total reimbursement amount from VDOE;” currently, the funds being provided are not enough to  “pay all the teachers that meet the requirements.”  

After analyzing the energy usage index for multiple schools in Loudoun County on the Energy Conservation and Efficiency Report, the LCPS school board concluded that more needs to be done to reduce our carbon footprint and become energy efficient. As the 2020 adopted Climate Action Resolution is addressing carbon emissions, the school board announced that some of the FY22-FY23 budget will be invested in this program to help LCPS become as energy efficient and environmentally friendly as possible. 


Career & Transition Services

Presented by Assistant Director of Special Education Beth Robinson, transition programs are efforts to prepare students with disabilities for life after high school—particularly the workforce. Each high school has a designated transition teacher and job coach that works with special education teachers to help prepare students enrolled in an IEP from ages 14 to 22 years old. These transition teachers provide personal finance and business classes, and overall instruction and advice regarding career pathways. 

Post Applied Studies Programs (ASP), such as Community and Schools Together (CAST) or Project SEARCH work with teachers and businesses to help prepare students for a more independent living. These programs have partnered with the LCPS Career & Transition Services team before, and have proved to be very successful in their efforts. “Our Project SEARCH group [from last year] have been a fabulous partner to us, and have even won a Business Partner Award this year,” Transition Specialist Sarah Conlin said.


Superintendent’s Operational Update

Superintendent Scott Ziegler had a few updates to share with the school board, including the Clean Bus Program, Strategic Plan updates, and supply chain delays.

The supply chain delays are largely affecting electronics, including chromebooks and laptops, and extending their estimated arrival time by a range of 4-12 months. These delays encompass many more incoming supplies and resources, and Ziegler said that while some solutions to these delays are being anticipated and planned for, many other delays are unexpected. This often leads to large project delays due to missing necessities. “For example, [delayed delivery of] doors and doorframes needed for construction projects are affecting the entire delivery process for project completion,” Ziegler said.

Ziegler also noted that Response to Intervention International teams were able to facilitate five total town halls during the week of April 18. Participants were able to pitch-in their thoughts and ideas when presented the Strategic Plan draft, providing input on draft language and missions. These inputs will be compiled, synthesized, and shared with the school board during their Strategic Planning Work Session on May 11.

Following these town halls, the school board has been working on implementing a revised equity statement. The school board plans to continue to gather input from two remaining stakeholders and compile data from these groups, procuring information from several LCPS cross-departmental equity teams in order to create a draft statement. They plan to soon post the draft on the LCPS webpage for parent and community feedback, targeting sometime in early June. They plan to publish the completed equity statement prior to next school year.


William Obediah Robey High School Transfer

The school board also discussed the temporary transfer of William Obediah Robey High School (W.O. Robey), a school providing a learning alternative for students facing particular hardship, from Park View High School to Dominion High School. According to the school board, this move is meant to provide more space for W.O. Robey to facilitate their activities. “I wanted to remind everyone that moving Robey to Dominion High School will provide a more appropriate space for them,” Sterling District Board Member Brenda Sheridan said. “[I hope that] at the same time, this will relieve some of the constraints that come with the increasing enrollment at Park View, and I hope that this is an interim measure until the Park View High School renovations are completed.” The motion to transfer W.O. Robey students passed 8-1.

The next school board meeting will take place on Tuesday May 17th.