Community Conversations Update

Upon completion of the January 10 "Community Conversations" event at Heritage High School, each focus group continued the conversation with meetings through mid-May. Attendees at the Community Conversations event left their contact information with the group facilitators. They were then contacted directly to be invited to future meetings. The meetings were open to the public. Below are results from the meetings.

Special Education Committee

Lead Facilitator: Wyllys VanDerwerker, LCS Director of Special Education.

Meeting Dates: February 21, February 25, March 14, March 25, March 28, April 4
 
Participation: The community participation ranged from 0 to 3 community members participating in the meetings.  
 
Highlights: At the initial meetings, the committee followed up on items from the January 10 Community Conversations. The committee was broken up into three different subcommittees, which included Special Education Student Growth and Development, Special Education Personnel Growth and Development, and Special Education Community Engagement. To increase the number of community members providing suggestions, "The Special Education Advisory Committee” was actively involved in contributing to the final recommendations specific to special education. The committees formed goals to be included as suggestions for the division's Strategic Plan.
 
Next Steps: The recommendations will be considered as the draft LCS Strategic Plan is considered.

Family and Community Engagement (FACE) Committee

Lead Facilitator: Ethel Reeves, LCS Director of Equity, Engagement, and Opportunity

Meeting Date: March 11

Participation: 11 community members participated in the first meeting.

Highlights: The committee defined Family, Community, Engagement and Involvement. The committee discussed the importance of FACE (Family and Community Engagement). Questions for the group included “What can the school system do to support FACE?” and “What can the community do to support FACE?”

Next Steps: The recommendations will be considered as the draft LCS Strategic Plan is considered.

Need to Read Committee

Meeting Dates: March 7, May 15

Participation: One LCS kindergarten teacher participated in the first meeting. Two LCS teachers and three community members attended the second meeting.

Highlights: The first meeting included a debrief on data collected from January 10 meeting. The committee summarized the answers to questions brought up at the initial meeting. The group discussed community resources that are available and distributed information about the resources. The committee recognized resources such as the public library and discussed more ways to get children involved. At the second meeting, LCS facilitators discussed the LCS supports for reading. Group members discussed transportation as a possible barrier for students to access community resources.

Next Steps: We will continue to expand information to families regarding opportunities for reading support.

Alternatives to Suspension and Chronic Absenteeism

Lead Facilitator: Latonya Brown, LCS Director of Student Services

Meeting Dates: March 26, March 27, April 23, April 24

Participation: The community participation averaged 3 to 4 per meeting.

Highlights: At the first meeting focused on Alternatives to Suspension, the committee reviewed notes from initial Community Conversations meeting. We discussed offense codes, shared a VTSS (Virginia Tiered Support Systems) video, discipline flow charges, and encouraged participates to review the Model Guidance and Preventative Code of Student Code Policy and Alternatives to Suspension. At the second meeting, we shared the Discipline Belief Self-Inventory Survey. We also reviewed VTSS division and school practice and implementation. Some other topics discussed were bullying.  At the first meeting focused on Chronic Absenteeism, we reviewed the list of reasons given for students not attending school regularly. Participants identified three reasons for absences that the school division might be able to address. There was time for group discussion and a list of possible solutions and options was developed. There were no participants at the final meeting regarding Chronic Absenteeism.

Next Steps: We will continue to hold community conversations as we update policies and procedures for the 2019-2020 School Year. We will provide resources through the LCS website for Student Service related items. We will provide awareness and education to community stakeholders in regards to behavior strategies, the LCS Strategic Plan, and community services.  

Previous Conversations in the Community

  • Hosted at Heritage High School, Thursday, January 10, 2019
  • Hosted by Embrace Our Schools, Sunday, October 7, 2018
  • Hosted by Holy Trinity Church, Sunday, October 14, 2018
  • Hosted by The Lynchburg Chapter of the Links, Inc., Friday, October 19, 2018
  • Hosted by The Ramp Church on August 19, 2018
  • Hosted by Diamond Hill Baptist Church on July 18, 2018
  • Hosted by The LCS Education Foundation, Inc., the Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance, LCS Partners in Education, and the Economic Develop Authority of the City of Lynchburg on June 13, 2018