School Board Discusses Funding for Nutrition Services, New Proclamations, Collective Bargaining

On March 28, the School Board held a meeting to discuss funding requests for nutrition services in schools, propose and revise policies, approve proclamations, and update the public on collective bargaining.


Amelia Chen

At their second meeting of the month, the school board discussed new course recommendations for current CTE courses, gun awareness and LGBTQ+ month.

On March 28, the School Board held their fourth Tuesday meeting and discussed an update on collective bargaining, revised more policies, proposed and approved several proclamations, and sought requests for funding schools’ nutrition services.  

Policy Revisions 

The School Board made revisions or considered revising many of their policies, including ones involving the LCPS investigation on Scott Ziegler. For example, policy 1030, a code of conduct for the school board themselves, was revised via community feedback, and policy 8155, a policy regarding school assignments after the investigation, was also revised with new wording and recommendations. Both votes passed unanimously (3-0).  The last policy regarding the LCPS investigation was policy 8290 which addressed the threat assessment for the protection of schools; this gained new recommendations and passed 2-0-1 with one abstaining. 

The School Board passed or suggested other policies to revise during the meeting as well. These include policy 8650, which dealt with student technology and acceptable/responsible use that got revisions with additional language to coincide with the other policies surrounding it as well as being moved to next meeting as an info. Item along with policy 5040. 

Later, the board went over policies 7530, 7304, and policy 8610. There were suggestions to revise policy 7304 as it had significant feedback from the board and the committee. Policy 7530 as regarding the duty to report child/student neglect or abuse got suggestions to be revised along with policy 8610, which hadn’t been revised since 2017 and dealt with student records. 

Update on Collective Bargaining

The school board brought up and passed the community and teacher driven idea of collective bargaining here again at this meeting. The school board drafted and solidified a bargaining resolution and amended the FY24 budget to fit these needs. The budget will cost about $3.3 million.. This will only affect licensed staff members. 

The board had until May 1 to decide on how they want to proceed, however the action to permit collective bargaining is still being placed into effect despite what the board decides to do. 

Autism Acceptance Month, Month of the Military child, and Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month Proclamations

Around the world, April is recognized and celebrated as Autism Acceptance Month and LCPS is no exception. This year LCPS has reported 1,925 students with a disability under the category of autism, and the School Board proposed and accepted the proclamation which celebrates students with autism by wearing red on April 14 and by supporting efforts made by schools throughout all of April.  

Along with the Autism Acceptance Month proclamation, the board also recognizes April as the month of the military child, with LCPS recording at least 1,500 students with some form of connection to the military. The school board as well as the Virginia Department of Education strongly encourage people to wear purple on April 19 as a show of support for children who may have been separated from their families as a result of military service.

The last proclamation that was proposed and accepted was the Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month proclamation that raisies conscienceless to the fact that sexual violence can effect everyone in the community and is unfortunately widespread. The board adopted the proclamation and now recognizes that April 2023 is sexual assault awareness and prevention month. 

Request for School Nutrition Fund

The Virginia Department of Education, Office of School Nutrition Programs (VDOE-SNP), had received over $20.6 million to help address ongoing food issues, such as supply chain disruptions, labor shortages, and price fluctuations. This funding is meant for strictly unprocessed, or minimally processed foods for our schools. This includes, but is not limited to, 100% juices, meat and meat alternatives, grain products, as well as dairy products such as liquid milk and various yogurts and cheeses.

Of this $20.6 million, $1.3 million of it is on course to be allocated to the LCPS School Nutrition Services Fund. This allocation has been in the works since it was first introduced as an information item at the Dec. 13 2022 school board meeting. In Jan. 2023, it was sent through the Finance and Operations Committee, where it was voted (2-0-1), to be brought in front of the school board as an information item. Unless otherwise directed, this item will be brought forward as an action item at the next school board meeting. 

The next school board meeting will be on April 11.