Superintendent’s Advisory Council on Instruction (SACI), Thursday October 13, 2022, 7 p.m.

Welcome—Mr. Kenneth Bassett, Director of Student Learning and SACI Facilitator, and Mrs. Vanessa Olson, Chair, SACI

Thank you for taking the time to attend tonight. Information you get directly here you know you can trust, and need to take back to your school advisory councils. Ms. Rita Goss is also here, the Associate Superintendent for Teaching and Learning. Introduction of Vice Chairs: MS here, Western ES here, Central ES here, Eastern ES at BTS night. Secretary Emily Baisch. Will elect HS Vice Chair second half of the meeting.

Superintendent’s Address—Dr. LaTanya McDade, Superintendent of Schools.

Last time she was here, we were just about to launch the strategic plan. This council provided the most input. It was launched in December. Will summarize the core commitments, then summarize where we are. Vision: Every student will graduate on time with the knowledge, skills, and habits of mind necessary to create a thriving future for themselves and their community. We need to equip them for today’s careers, and ones that don’t even exist yet. Profiles of a graduate include critical thinker, digital citizen, global collaborator, resilient, an innovator and visionary. 4 key commitments are Learning and Achievement for All; Positive Climate and Culture; Family and Community Engagement; Organizational Coherence. PWC is the 10th most diverse county in the country, and the most diverse in Virginia. Each key commitment has 3 strategic priorities. This is a four-year plan. The plan breaks down what to expect each year.

Learning and Achievement for All

Continuous improvement planning, processes, and classroom systems needs to be transparent and ongoing. Focus on instructional core and strengthening Tier I Core Instruction for all students and all subjects/courses. Recovery from the pandemic will be a multi-year process, but we are committed to recovery and acceleration. Nothing takes the place of quality instruction. Universal design for learning is a research-based approach to making sure we’re meeting the needs of all students in the classroom. We are making sure there is a gifted teacher in every elementary school to ensure equity in access and identification. We are expanding access to advanced academic, gifted, and preschool opportunities. We are implementing literacy-rich classrooms. We are ensuring equitable access to high-quality curriculum and core materials. Instructional rounds are being implemented. Multi-Tiered Implemented Support in place,

Positive Climate and Culture

Dedicated post-secondary advisor in all high schools. PWCS Heals—a comprehensive plan to provide social-emotional support to staff and students. Need to support both students and staff. Support Corps counselors to help address absenteeism. Healing Centered Engagement Specialists—with 80 current PWCS school-based mental health professionals, and 4500 staff members training in trauma-informed, healing practices. PWCS Leads enhanced and updated the central office and school leadership pipelines. You Belong Here to help increase diversity in staffing and sense of belonging, and has already increased the diversity of classified staff. Teach PWCS to help build a strong pipeline of teachers. Increasing university partnerships and TAs to Teachers programs. Increased number of international teachers hired. Launched the Teaching Professional in Temporary Assignment program to help get people in classrooms who already have experience and only have minor things needed to reach full licensure.

Family and Community Engagement

Strategically driven SPARK funding agenda—including the CTE signing day last spring. Enhance 2-way communication between families and the division—including instant two-way translation for families where English is not the primary language in the home. Expand outreach targeting families of Title I students, English learners, students with disabilities, gifted students, and specialty program students—trying to bring down the dropout rates in English learner and disability students. Funded Parent Liaison at every school to expand outreach to families. Expand Family Engagement Series provides outreach to families to help let them know ways to support their students. Paper, a free tutoring program, is available and very beneficial, be sure to check it out.

Organizational Coherence

Platform to support enhanced customer relations—about to launch customer service training to help improve how staff responds to family requests and questions. Equitable budgeting task force has launched. Digital equity models to make sure all classrooms have up-to-date tools—all rooms now have interactive panels 5 years old or less, and all teachers and students have computers 4 years old or less. IT governance—a system to evaluate programs to approve safe and quality apps. Competitive benefits and wages, resulting in an average 7% salary increase.

“School systems that focus on the core with a coherent strategy, executed and refined over time, are making progress in fulfilling their vision of supporting all children to learn at high levels, to contribute to their communities, and to be ready for career and college.” Strategy in Action, but Curtis & City, 2018, p. 12.

When our students graduate, they are ready to make a choice on what path they choose to take. We are committed to doing what is right for every student in this school system.


  • Transportation. Transportation has always been a sore spot and the pandemic only exacerbated it—we are making progress, and are in a better spot than last year. We have more drivers in training right now, and continue to recruit and train. Yes, Here Comes the Bus doesn’t always work with substitute buses if they fail to turn on the GPS. We have hired additional customer service representatives for transportation. We are trying to find, train, and retain quality drivers, and it is a challenge.
  • Capital Improvements: PWCS seems to constantly be in catch up mode, is there a way to get ahead of the issue? Schools that just got an addition very quickly wind up requiring trailers. A major issue is funding. Needs surpass revenue. There are desperately overdue renovations that have to happen, yet balance against new construction and land acquisition costs. We are creating a facilities index to help prioritize renovations as we dig ourselves out of the hole. This will be needs-based. There are budget and Capital Improvement presentations in the schedule later in the school year.
  • Gifted and Special Education: Inclusion versus separation. We want to be able to expand programming, and also expand identification.
  • Equitable Funding: How does this mesh with site-based management. The research behind site-based management is that the leadership of a school should be able to make decisions based on the need of the school community. Unfortunately the practices have drifted from the research basis. There is a site-based management working group to define what SBM is in PWCS, define norm practices across the division. What are things all schools need to do, and what things that can be school-based. There will be a certain floor of expectations, then there can be additional expansions as part of SBM. The taskforce will evaluate and make sure every school is funded for adequacy. Per pupil funding does not result in being able to provide much above and beyond basics in smaller schools. Need to figure out how to make this more equitable.
  • Earlier Identification of Special Needs: There are systems in place, and teachers are trained to help identify students who may need additional evaluation.

Paper Online Tutoring: Ryan Quillard (Email: [email protected])

Link to Paper. Free 24/7 unlimited tutoring. Have already tutored 700+ students in PWCS this school year. It’s transparent to parents and teachers. Available in 5 languages—looking to add more. Employs 3500+ tutors across the country. So far the longest tutoring session this school year was 4.5 hours. “We are not an alternative to Google.” They will not give them the answer, they will help them figure it out. Students are matched with a tutor within 15 seconds. Students can upload any writing and get back a reviewed copy within 24 hours. The 7th graders have used it the most so far this year. Students access Paper by logging into Clever. Available in Canvas, browser sessions, and apps, etc. Currently typing-based and whiteboard. Voice to text coming soon. Ryan is available to come speak to Advisory Councils, teacher meetings, etc. Please go back to your school and tell your Advisory Council about Paper. There should be posters in your school. Your kids should have heard about this. Please let people know. Link to a video requested. Ken will put it on the SACI page. There is a Paper homepage on PWCS (link above). Ken will add more Paper webinar dates. Paper works with 250 school systems across the country, including LA and the county including Las Vegas. Teacher Professional Development can help greatly with utilization rates.

Orientation for Council

Also available on our website. Rita Goss, Associate Superintendent for Teaching and Learning. Ken Bassett, Director of Student Learning/Council Facilitator. SACI – “SACK-ee” or “the Council.” You are here to represent your school’s interest, not necessarily your own. Role is to provide feedback and input on commendations within the division and areas of improvement. The purview of the council is not to make policy. We offer suggestions and advice, but do not dictate the direction of the division. The Council is informational, not confrontational. The Council provides the opportunity for administration to get direct feedback/ideas from parents on school division programs. This Council provides you the opportunity to ask questions and participate in discussions and breakout sessions (which will start next month). Every school is represented each month by primary or alternate. Primary is expected to contact the alternate as needed. If neither can attend, please contact the Chair. We meet in subgroups to discuss issues by level. Communication is available on the website: Superintendent's Advisory Council on Instruction. We meet the second Thursday 7-9. When schools are closed on meeting dates, alternatives are posted. In-person meetings are held at Kelly Leadership Center. If schools are closed due to weather, the meeting is canceled. If a meeting is held via Zoom, the link comes out by email ahead of time.

Duties: Listen to the presentation and take notes. Minutes will be provided, but may not be available prior to your advisory council meeting, so take your own notes. There is an opportunity to ask questions and participate in discussions on the following month’s topics. Take information back to your Principal’s Advisory Council. It is strongly encouraged to familiarize yourself with the PWCS strategic plan, which is available online. If we need to take a vote, each school only has one vote—if both people from a school are present, only the primary votes. Subcommittees form and meet as needed. The main one is the annual report committee at the end of the school year. The Best Practices Conference for Parents will also have a committee, as will bylaws review. Most work is done via email.

The annual report is developed at the end of the academic year to present to the Superintendent. Items are traditionally taken from topics covered through the year, and items of concern that recur among many members. Elections happen at the final meeting of the school year—officers must have a PWCS student for the next school year. Level vice chairs will have to have a student in that level the next school year. High School vice chair elected by unanimous acclimation.

There will be in-depth responses to the Annual Report topics at presentations throughout the year.

Everyone will get an email survey to provide questions and comments relevant to the next presentation topic so the presenter can tailor their presentation to what the Council wants to know.

Adjourned 8:59 p.m. Next Meeting will be November 10, 2022.