Your Voice Matters... Survey!
‘Tis the season for holidays, parades, family time, and… SURVEYS! Your voice matters, so please take a few minutes to provide your feedback on three very important topics: the 24-25 and 25-26 instructional calendar drafts, FY25 budget priorities, and future topics for a 5-part mental health series for parents and caregivers.
Your input is critical in helping us accomplish three major goals:
Developing a calendar that meets our staff, students and families’ needs while remaining compliant with VDOE requirements;
Identifying FY25 budget priorities to present to the School Board and Board of Supervisors in February; and
Enhancing parents/caregivers’ access to high-quality mental health resources and supports.
Please click HERE to complete the survey no later than December 14, 2023. Thank you for your time and thoughts! We will be sure to share trends with you in the January CCPS Express!
ACADEMY OF TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION
The CCPS School Board adopted the Memorandum of Understanding with the Academy of Technology and Innovation at University of Mary Washington Lab School for Fall 2024 student participation. The lab school will focus on computer and data science fields and will use an interdisciplinary curricular approach. Students will participate in robust, hands-on learning experiences that will involve project-based learning, performance-based assessment, and hands-on service-learning opportunities.
How do our rising 9th graders (current 8th) learn more? All 8th graders will learn about the ATI program during 4th block on Friday, 12/1. On Tuesday, December 5 (5:00-7:00), CCPS will host a parent/student bus trip to the ATI-UMW Open House in Stafford. Attendees will learn more about the college partnership school and how computer and data science will be taught across content areas such as history, art, and mathematics. 8th graders will also hear more about how to apply and what families can expect if they attend.
Babylon Micro-Farms and Caroline County Public Schools are partnering to educate CCPS students about an alternative farming solution that simplifies farming to provide communities with more access to healthy food. The goal of this partnership is to bring the benefits and opportunities of sustainable hydroponic farming to students in CCPS by utilizing technology that automates the complex aspects of indoor farming by simplifying crop production and making it accessible to anyone. Galleri Babylon Micro-farms are located in Caroline High School and Caroline Middle School and are managed by the Agriculture Program Students.
VDOE Special Education Parent Survey
The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) encourages school divisions to have parents complete this year’s survey using the online links (ENGLISH VERSION and SPANISH VERSION). The VDOE is asking for each family who has a child with a disability who receives services through an Individualized Education Program (IEP) to participate. Families who have more than one child receiving special education services should complete a survey for each child. The survey closes on 12/15!
Caroline High Student, Fiona Seibel, Places First in Statewide Essay Contest
The Esther J. Windmueller "Never Again" essay contest, sponsored by Emek Sholom Holocaust Memorial Cemetery, is an annual contest for Virginia high schoolers. This year's topic focused on how to stop the growing tide of anti-Semitism in America and worldwide. We are excited to announce that the first place winner is Caroline High School junior and exchange student, Fiona Seibel. Fiona won a $500 cash prize for her essay, which she presented at Emek Sholom Holocaust Memorial Cemetery during its annual commemoration of Kristallnacht in November.
Weapons Detection Survey Summary
CCPS would like to thank the staff, parents, and community members who completed the Weapons Detection portion of the All-in Survey in October. Take a look at the following survey data and trends:
- 424 Survey Respondents - 197 parents, 224 staff, 1 community member, and 1 student. 52 of the 224 staff have students in CCPS and 12 live in Caroline County.
- School Representation: Lotus Academy (8), Madison (59), Bowling Green (85), Lewis and Clark (105), Caroline Middle (136), and Caroline High (146).
- Approximately 70% of respondents think weapons detection systems would be beneficial for schools.
- 84% believe weapons detection systems should be used in secondary schools, while 57% support them in elementary schools.
- 75% support the addition of School Security Officers (SSOs) in schools.
- From the 145 open-ended comments, the most common concerns were effectiveness (23), cost (20), and logistics (18), while the most common supports included feeling safer (16), effectiveness (15), and hiring SSOs (15).
What are the next steps? The Safe and Drug Free Schools Committee is reviewing the survey data, visiting neighboring divisions using weapons detection systems, and applying for grants. Additionally, per the weapons detection survey results, the Coor. of Safety and Compliance has submitted a request for two school safety officers for CMS and CHS. If these positions are funded through the FY25 budget process, these two CCPS employees would work alongside our current SROs (not in place of).
Dr. Rollins-Fells Elected as VSBA President-Elect
Congratulations to Dr. JoWanda Rollins-Fells for being elected as President-Elect for the Virginia School Board Association (VSBA). Her K12 expertise, gifted orator and collaboration skills, and sheer passion for students and educators will shine brightly on behalf of Caroline County Public Schools. Congratulations, Dr. Rollins-Fells!
Kagan Copperative Learning Strategies
Engagement is our focus this year and Kagan structures are one way our schools are building engagement. Bowling Green Elementary, Caroline Middle, and Caroline High school teachers all participated in a professional learning during pre-service week to learn how to utilize the structures in all academic subject areas to boost student engagement and learning. In November, our teachers worked hip-to-hip with a Kagan Coach to refine their practices. The coach commended our teachers for using appropriate structures, being prepared, and welocming feedback.
Entrepreneur Expo 2023
Caroline’s Promise Young 5th Annual Young Entrepreneur Expo 2023 at the Meadow Event Park was epic! Young Entrepreneurs from all five CCPS schools understood utilized this community platform to promote, sell, and network their products. Collectively, stydent vendors made over $5,000 in sales and several participants will be on working on obtaining their LLC with the help of Caroline’s Promise.
Congratulations to ALL of the participants for launching your businesses! Stay tuned for the Caroline’s Promise Young Entrepreneurs Pop up Shop at Meet the Grinch Photo Session on December 9th at the Caroline Community Center.
Virginia Literacy Act Curriculum Review Cycle II Public Comment Opportunity
The Virginia State Board of Education is seeking feedback on the curriculum related to the Virginia Literacy Act (VLA). The act requires the VDOE to recommend evidence-based literacy instruction and science-based reading research programs. Cycle II core instructional programs under consideration for Board approval are available for public review utilizing links provided on the Curriculum Review Process Update for the Virginia Literacy Act page until December 9, 2023. The Virginia Board of Education will reconvene on December 12, 2023. Public comment regarding the VLA Curriculum Review may be submitted through this survey or via e-mail to VLA@doe.virginia.gov no later than December 9, 2023.
2023 Conservation Teacher of the Year Kendall Rogers
Agriculture teacher Kendall Rogers was named the Hanover-Caroline Soil and Water Conservation District's 2023 Conservation Teacher of the Year earlier this week. Ms. Rogers was recognized at their annual awards banquet where it was noted that she is, "not only an exceptional educator but also a mentor and role model for students. She has inspired countless young minds to explore the field of agriculture and has cultivated a passion for sustainability, environmental stewardship, and agricultural innovation." Congratulations Ms. Rogers!
Caroline Career Connections
Career Day at Caroline High School was a success! With over 60 businesses from multiple 3E pathways, students had the opportunity to speak with industry professionals and even practice skills with live demonstrations. CHS and CMS students also learned about jump starting future careers by taking advantage of current opportunities available during high school.
Elementary schools also celebrated County Career Day! BGES, LCES, and MES each hosted Partners in Education spotlighting employment presentations and career speakers. School counselors organized over 50 businesses including our own Caroline High School CTE students!
An additional shout out to our local buisnesses expanding or creating externship opportunities for CHS students: two additional MC Dean experiences; Loghn's Barbershop is welcoming our Cosmetology students. We appreciate our businesses that are hosting our high school students so they are able to learn more about their chosen career pathways. If you have a business that is interested in learning more about hosting externships, please contact Kristina Sanders (804) 633-9886 ext. 5129 or email@example.com.
School Board Highlights
- Achieve 2027 Spotlight: BRAVE @ CMS
- Recognitions: Superintendent Art Honor, Core Value of the Month, American Education Week, Caroline Education Foundation Innovation Grant Recipients, SEAC Rocket and Star Awards, and Virginia State Fair Winners
- Information from the School Division: ESSER Grant Update, Fall Professional Development, Weapons Detection Update, Legislative Priorities, School Board Goals, Monthly Update on Revenues, Expenditures, and ADM
- Action: Bowling Green School Board Seat "unexpired term", FY25 Budget Calendar, Budget Amendment #1 FY24 Adopted State Budget Adjustments, and UMW Lab School Operation Agreement
- New Business: Capital Improvement Plan FY25-FY29, and Naming A School Facility
The School Board would like to thank our citizens that attend, advocate, and speak during public comment. For more information on these topics, you can access the Boarddocs link or view the meeting at our CCPS YouTube Channel. The next regularly scheduled School Board Meeting is Monday, December 11 at 5:30 at CMS. Prior to this meeting, CCPS will host a 30-minute reception (4:45-5:15) in honor of outgoing board members: Nancy Carson, John Copeland, and George Spaulding.
Partner in Education Spotlight- Fredericksburg Area Association of Realtors
Later this month, the Fredericksburg Area Association of Realtors will be presenting a $5,000 check to our CHS Future Builders program. These funds will help support the construction of the Habitat for Humanity veteran's house build in which our CHS Carpentry students are assisting.
We love our Partners in Education! If you are interested in being a Partner in Education, click HERE.
COMMUNITY RESOURCE CORNER
RACSB Community Training Events
The Rappahannock Area Community Services Board hosts free trainings throughout the year for the community. Click HERE to view the trainings scheduled for December on Naloxone Training/Opioid Overdose Reversal (Virtual) and Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST).
December 1: CCPS PreK Family Night (at LCES)
December 6: Winter Concert at CMS
December 7: Winter Music Concert
December 7: LCES 3rd Grade Music Performance
December 9: Bowling Green Holiday Parade
December 11: School Board Member Recognition Reception
December 12: National Honor Society Inductions at CHS
December 14: MES Fifth Grade Performance and Spaghetti Dinner
December 18: BGES Chorus/ Dance Performances
December 20: Winter Break Begins
January 1: New Year's Day