Small, rural school divisions across Virginia continue to face declining student enrollments, difficulty competing for high-quality teachers, inadequate facility and capital projects funding and pressure from unfunded mandates at both state and federal levels, placing them at a significant financial disadvantage with larger and more affluent school divisions.
Areas of Focus
Teacher Recruitment and Retention
School Construction Funding
The Small n
Increasing At-Risk Add-ons
All In Tutoring Conference- Save the Date!
We are finalizing the details of our upcoming virtual summit to help us better prepare to implement High Intensity Tutoring in our small and rural schools. Be sure to "Save the Date" of October 10 from 8:30-3:00. Plan to pack a lunch or have something brought in for your entire team because this day will be jam packed with great sessions and opportunities to collaborate! The summit will be geared towards Superintendents, Central Office Instructional Leaders, and Building Leaders. We received confirmation today that you can use the Flexible Funding that was part of the newly approved State Budget to pay for registering for this conference! We hope to open registration on October 2.
In addition to hearing from Dr. Coons we have confirmed that Zearn, as our Title Sponsor, will introduce themselves to us. Zearn was one of the companies awarded an RFP to serve divisions during this implementation period. We are also grateful to Stride K-12, Pearl, Kelly Educational Staffing, The Cook Center for Human Connection, Just Right Reading, Littera, the Center for Rural Education at Virginia Tech, Lexia Learning, Winsor Learning, Edmentum, and Renaissance Learning for partnering with us to make this Summit happen on such short notice. They will all bring excellent insights and opportunities for partnership to the table.
We will have sessions that include sharing best practices from divisions who have already implemented High Intensity Tutoring in other states, keynotes from Zearn and the National Student Support Accelerator (Stanford University), and a panel of practitioners who will discuss our challenges and the successes of the Illinois Tutoring Initiative.
Additionally, we will end the day with several breakout sessions, from which your team can choose to attend, that address the needs you have in your division and schools. We will even have breakouts about the Virginia Literacy Act and Chronic Absenteeism, as they are also part of ALL In Virginia. Some of those breakouts will be Internal Staffing, External Staffing, Creative Scheduling, The Solution NOW for Virginia Schools and Students, Student Mental Wellness for Improved Student Attendance and Success, Foundational Literacy and Beyond, Best Practices for Scheduling High-Dosage Tutoring During the School Day and many more! Attendees will be able to collaborate with each other and a moderator during these productive sessions.
Coalition of Small and Rural Schools Legislative Priorities for 2023
- Continue to protect the At-Risk Add On and fund more items with this methodology.
- Add a look back period to the School Construction Rebate Program
- Protect students and improve absenteeism by adding "Educational Neglect" to the Code.
- Virginia defines abuse and neglect a little differently than most states. Whereas most states clump different types of neglect into one basket, like this example from South Dakota "Whose parent, guardian, or custodian fails or refuses to provide proper or necessary subsistence, supervision, education, medical care, or any other care necessary for the child’s health, guidance, or well-being;", Virginia separates abuse in neglect into separate categories; physical, mental, and sexual (see this link 22VAC40-705-30. Types of abuse and neglect.)
- We can easily add a section to 22VAC40-705-30 that would cover educational neglect. The very simple addition could look like this:
- E. Educational neglect occurs when the child's caretaker permits chronic truancy (defined as 10% of the school year - 18 days per year or 9 days per semester), fails to homeschool, register, or enroll a child of mandatory school age, or fails to allow or obtain recommended remedial educational services or services provided by the child's IEP, without reasonable cause.
- Improve resources and financial support to ensure students have access to adequate mental/behavioral health services.
- Teacher Recruitment and Retention (make pay competitive with border States).
Videos from Summit
School Construction and Modernization Legislative Panel - Senator McClellan, Senator Dunnavant, Delegate O'Quinn, and Delegate Hurst Moderated by Carol Cash
Implementing Infrastructure Improvements with Budget Constraints - Cheryl Midkiff
Impact of School Design on Student Learning - Pete Gretz and Stephan Halsey
State Superintendent's Report - James Lane
How Crumbling School Facilities Perpetuate Inequity - Mary Filardo
Flexible Financing and Federal Funding - Chad Stewart and D.R. Dugan
Impact on New School Facility on Rural Communities Panel Discussion - Haydee Robinson, Dashan Turner, Paul Nichols, and Kevin Siers Moderated by Kristy Midgette
Virginia’s Moonshot Moment to Modernize Schools
Lawmakers have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to modernize our school infrastructure with one-time discretionary funding from the Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund. Read the fact sheet below to find out more.