The City of Fairfax School Board and the Fairfax County Public School Board and the two school district staffs held their annual joint meeting on Monday, December 14, 2020. Per the School Services Agreement, the two boards are to meet once per year. While the two Chairman speak often, the meeting in December is a dedicated time for the two Boards to focus on issues that impact the two districts specifically.
Topics included in the evening were capacity issues at Providence ES, the plans for students to return to school in January and policy issues regarding student representatives serving on the school boards.
The meeting began with a discussion regarding capacity issues at Providence ES. For the past ten years, Providence ES has been at or over capacity. Carolyn Pitches, Chairman of the City of Fairfax School Board, shared with the Fairfax County board members her desire for Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) to monitor the capacity at Providence ES which is approximately 70 percent city students and 30 percent county students. With developments planned in both the City of Fairfax and Fairfax County that will send students to Providence ES, the City school board is actively watching the numbers at the school.
Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) Superintendent Dr. Scott Brabrand gave an update on students returning to school in January. “I do think our community is ready to bring more and more students in school,” said Brabrand. “I am very hopeful as vaccinations take place, we will build confidence with our staff and our community.” The two Boards agreed of the difficult decisions ahead and emphasized the challenges for students’ mental and social health, monitoring students who are not performing well academically and may need remediation support and the safety of all students and staff.
The evening ended with the topic of city students serving as student representatives on the Fairfax County Public School Board. Currently, only county residents are allowed to apply. The City School Board requested FCPS changes the policy to allow city students to apply for either the City board or the Fairfax County school board as student representatives. The issue is currently with the Governance Committee in FCPS.
“We truly appreciate the collaboration and partnership with FCPS,” said City of Fairfax Chairman Carolyn Pitches.
The meeting, which was hosted by FCPS, can be seen on the FCPS website under school board meetings.