School Board Appoints Catharina Genove as Principal of New Montessori School
At last night’s School Board meeting, Superintendent Dr. Pat Murphy presented information on capital projects that are underway to accommodate growing student enrollment. The final design and construction contract award for Fleet Elementary School was presented for School Board consideration. The new school will provide 752 additional elementary seats at a proposed project cost of $59 million. Staff also presented an additional information item requesting approval of a temporary crane swing easement with several neighbors adjacent to Fleet Elementary, which is necessary for construction activities at the school site.
The final design and construction contract award for the new school at the Wilson site was also presented by staff. The H-B Woodlawn and Stratford programs will be relocated to this school so their current building can be renovated into a neighborhood middle school. The total cost of this proposed project is $101 million. Both schools are scheduled to open in September 2019.
Staff also requested the transfer of $7.25 million from the capital reserve fund to provide a portion of the project funding for the new middle school at the Stratford site ($250,000) and the new school at the Wilson site ($7,000,000) as outlined in the School Board’s Adopted FY 2017 – FY 2026 Capital Improvement Plan.
The School Board is scheduled to take action on the proposed contract awards and project funding at its next meeting on Thu, Jan. 18. Detailed information is available on BoardDocs.
The School Board appointed Catharina Genove as the Principal of the new Montessori School that will open at the Patrick Henry school location in September 2019. Genove brings more than 20 years of experience as a teacher and administrator. She is bilingual, and her experience as an elementary student learning English after her family moved to the U.S. from Cuba influenced her decision to become an educator. Genove received a Master’s Degree in Montessori Education from Barry University, a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education from Florida State University, and an Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) degree in Supervision and Leadership from the University of Virginia. Genove joined APS in 2012 and has served as a Principal at Drew Model School since 2015, effectively leading both the Model and Montessori programs for the last three years.
Superintendent’s 2017-18 Action Plan Update – Dr. Murphy provided a progress report on the action plan to support the Board’s work this year.
- Acceptable Use: Staff is working with the Advisory Committee on Technology to develop two separate policies. The first technology policy on filtering and federal guidelines will be presented to the Board later this month. The second policy, which addresses internet safety, digital citizenship, rights & responsibilities, and shared ownership, will be presented for community discussion in February and is scheduled for School Board information in March.
- School/Facility Naming Policy Criteria: Initial discussions by the Staff Committee to review the community input report will begin this month. Draft criteria for school naming will be developed by March for School Board consideration in April.
- Middle School Boundaries: On Mon, Jan. 8, an APS School Talk message will be sent to families of 5th grade students to let them know about available neighborhood transfer opportunities for the 2018-19 school year. The deadline to apply for a Middle School Transfer has been extended to Fri, Jan. 26. Families should note that the deadline for applications for all secondary school options or for high school transfers has not changed and remains Fri, Jan. 19. More information is available online.
- Elementary School Boundaries: The School Board will hold a work session on Tue, Jan. 23, to discuss the approach and community process for adjusting all elementary school boundaries.
- Strategic Plan: The Steering Committee is soliciting community input on the mission, vision and core values being considered for the plan.
- Other Projects: The Superintendent will present his proposed FY 2019 Budget on Feb. 22. The School Board will adopt a framework for the next Capital Improvement Plan on Thu, Jan. 18, and community discussion on the next Capital Improvement Plan will begin in the spring. The Career Center Working Group will convene later this month to begin discussing future expansion at the site. The Reed Building Level Planning Committee continues its work to plan for future use of the facility.
The public is invited to learn more about any of this year’s action plan projects, ask questions or submit comments on any of the initiatives by visiting the “Engage with APS” section of the website at www.apsva.us/engage.
School and Community Relations Update – Staff presented an overview of the responsibilities of the School and Community Relations Department, and shared feedback received from its recent program evaluation. The department provides strong support with a high volume of communications on multiple platforms that have expanded significantly over the past decade. Recommendations for improvement include expanded engagement with diverse audiences, enhanced branding with the new strategic plan, increased opportunities for stakeholder feedback, and more proactive engagement on major policy decisions. Staff provided plans and next steps for implementation of the recommendations.
Social Studies Update – Staff presented the annual update on the Social Studies Program, including the goal of social studies instruction, alignment with state standards, a summary of SOL pass rates, and secondary student enrollment in AP courses. The department’s recommendations for future improvements include implementation of effective differentiation strategies, increased academic rigor, and support for teachers in the use of interactive technology.
For more information on these monitoring items, go to BoardDocs.
Prior to the meeting, the School Board hosted a reception to welcome new School Board member Monique O’Grady, who began her four-year term on Jan. 1, 2018. The meeting started with a student showcase that featured remarks from student representatives of each high school option program, including H-B Woodlawn, Arlington Tech, AP Capstone (at Wakefield) and International Baccalaureate (at Washington-Lee High School).
Next School Board Meeting:
The next School Board meeting will be held on Thu, Jan. 18. It will begin 30 minutes earlier than usual, at 6 p.m., so the School Board can recognize student winners of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Literary and Visual Arts contest. The agenda will be posted one week before the meeting on BoardDocs.
For More Information
Citizens who want to comment on any of the items discussed at the School Board meeting should email the Board at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 703-228-6015. Citizens may call 703-228-2400 on the Monday after the School Board meetings to listen to a meeting summary. School Board meetings are also broadcast live on Comcast Cable Channel 70 and Verizon FiOS Channel 41; live-streamed on the APS website, and re-broadcast on Fridays at 9 p.m. and Mondays at 7:30 p.m. immediately following the meeting. All materials and minutes of the meeting will be posted to the website at www.apsva.us/schoolboard upon School Board approval at a subsequent meeting.