Six-year plan for unparalleled achievement; the Richmond City School Board outlines a plan to improve the public education system in Virginia’s capital

Six-year plan for unparalleled achievement; the Richmond City School Board outlines a plan to improve the public education system in Virginia’s capital

The Richmond City School Board establishes and defines in this report the goal of unparalleled achievement for the Richmond Public Schools. In order to attain this goal, unparalleled achievement must be exhibited by everyone responsible for public education in this city, including the School Board, the Superintendent, the administration and staff, teachers, parents, and students. This document provides the vehicle for the School Board to take the first step toward unparalleled achievement–the establishment of specific goals and enabling objectives for the school division. These goals are supported by general strategies which will be more clearly defined prior to implementation. A long-range resource planning model has been used in order to schedule the implementation of strategies over a five-year period. It is intended that this plan will provide the necessary link between the setting of educational goals and the formulation of the annual operating budget.

Education is at a crossroads in this country. School boards and administrations are under attack for continuing to produce high school graduates who lack basic academic and vocational skills. Such criticism is not new to educators. The difference in this most recent “crisis” in education is that government leaders and the public at large are admitting that past resource allocations have been insufficient, especially as they relate to teachers’ salaries. There is a belief that a covenant must be made between both parties. According to recent polls conducted by Gallup and the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the public is willing to raise teachers’ salaries and increase other educational resources if it can be assured that this will result in superior staff performance and student outcomes. With this impetus and the consistent research finding that educational gains will occur only after expectations have been raised, the School Board of the City of Richmond has set its sights high.

The time appears ripe for making this challenging commitment. The seventies were characterized by massive changes in the Richmond Public Schools. A court-ordered desegregation plan in 1971 dramatically altered school assignments for a large portion of the student population. Emphasis was placed on administering this change and maintaining order and stability during the process.

The desegregation plan also had an adverse effect on the local financing of public education in Richmond. Additional resources were required to implement the plan successfully, but because supplemental funds were not provided by the Commonwealth, local funds had to be diverted to meet these administrative and logistical needs. At the same time, the need for increased instructional resources was greater than ever as disparities in pupil achievement became more evident due to the new assignment plan. The goals presented herein reflect the School Board’s commitment to channel long overdue resources into all components of the instructional program.

Standardized scores suffered in the early seventies, ranging in 1974-75 between the twentieth and thirtieth percentiles for fourth, eighth, and eleventh grade students. Expectations for student achievement were low. Ignoring the cynicism of skeptics, the School Board established in 1976 the goal that student achievement levels would reach the national average by 1980-81. five years later, this goal was met and exceeded at all elementary grade levels. By 1982-83, eighth grade scores had risen from the twentieth to the forty-first percentile in reading and from the twenty-second to the fifty-third percentile in math. Eleventh grade scores, though slightly lower, have followed a similar trend.

The academic goals now are being raised once more: to the seventy-fifth percentile for elementary students and to the sixtieth percentile for secondary students. These are extremely ambitious goals. No large school division in the Commonwealth met this achievement level for elementary students in 1982-83. Reading and mathematics SRA scores for selected school divisions are presented in Table 1.

Again, skeptics asert that disadvantaged, urban students cannot score at the sixtieth, much less the seventy-fifth, percentile. The Richmond School Board disagrees. With superior resurces, programs, leadership, and commitment, the School Board believes that Richmond’s students will demonstrate unparalleled achievement. This document establishes golas for excellence and provides a general overview of strategies for meeting these goals

The goal-setting process

For the past two years, the School Board has worked diligently to establish a unique set of goals for the Richmond Public Schools. An integral component of this goal-setting process was the School Board’s participation n a series of seminars and work sessions sponsored by the Danforth Foundation to assist School Board members in their professional growth and development. Participating with Richmond in the Danforth program were the school districts of Atlanta, Columbus, Jacksonville, and Norfolk which have been nationally recognized for their instructional programs. The Danforth seminars provided School Board members with an exceptional opportunity to visit other urban school districts, interact with distinguished educators and statesmen, and discuss special concerns with fellow school bard members. Presenters in the Danforth programs included such outstanding educators and leaders as the following: Terrel Bell, Secretary of Education; John Glenn, United States Senator; Harold Hodgkinson, Institute for Educational Leadership, Washington, D.C.; Tom Richman of INC Magazine, speaking on megatrends; Floretta McKenzie, Superintendent of the District of Columbia Public Schools; John Goodlad, Dean of the Graduate School of Education, UCLA; Ron Edmonds, Professor of Education, Michigan State University; Luvern Cunningham, Dean of the College of Education, Ohio State University; Dr. Vincent Reed, Vice President, Washington Post; and Margaret Marston, a member of the National Commission on Excellence in Education and of the Virginia State Board of Education.

On January 4, 1983, an early draft of goals was formally presented to the School board. Subsequently, numerous meetings, workshops, and public hearings were held as the goals were discussed, elaborated upon, and revised. Approximately one year after their initial presentation, a final draft of School Board goals for 1984-85 through 1988-89 was adopted by the Board on December 7, 1983.

A complete chronology of major events relating to the development of School Board goals follows:

September 4 1981–Dr. Gene L. Schwilck, President of the Danforth Foundation, formally invites the Richmond Public Schools Board to participate in the Danforth Foundation program.

October 6, 1981–School Board votes to participate in the Danforth Foundation program.

January 22-23, 1982–Danforth workshop/seminar held in Atlanta, Georgia.

May 20-22, 1982–Danforth workshop/seminar held in Columbus, Ohio.

October 1982–Goals discussed at administrative retreat.

October 14, 1982–school Board holds retreat at Moton Conference Center to discuss Danforth Foundation program and goals. first draft of School Board golas is developed.

November 11-13, 1982–Danforth workshop/seminar held in Jacksonville, Florida.

December 20, 1982–School Board holds work session on goals.

January 4, 1983–Second draft of goals presented at School Board meeting.

January 17, 1983–School Board holds public hearing on goals.

January 20, 1983–School Board holds work session on goals.

January 24, 1983–Goals presented to Standards of Quality Council.

February 1, 1983–Special School Board meeting held to discuss goals.

March 2-4, 1983–Danforth policy seminar held in Washington, D.C.

May 12-14, 1983–Danforth Norfolk, Virginia.

September 2, 1983–School Board holds work session on goals.

September 9, 1983–Goals discussed at senior staff administrative retreat.

October 1, 1983–Goals discussed at School Board retreat.

November 3, 1983–Goals reviewed with Standards of Quality Council.

November 16, 1983–Third draft of School Board goals presented and discussed at School Board meeting.

December 1-3, 1983–Danforth workshop/seminar held in Richmond, Virginia.

December 7, 1983–School Board adopts final draft of goals for 1984-85–1988-89.

The goal-setting process followed by the School Board in establishing goals for the school division was unparalleled in the history of public education in Richmond. School Board members collectively contributed hundreds of hurs to this task. They had a myriad of opportunities to listen to and interact with some of the most distinguised educatinal leaders in the United States. They also reviewed several of the recent studies on education, focusing specifically on the National Commission on Excellence in Education report, A Nation at Risk. The overall process, as developed by Henry R. Brickell of Policy Studies in Education, is illustrated in Figure 1. The identification of goals and standards has been completed. The Board will now begin to set policies and approve regulations and operations to effect these changes. The implementation of the plan must be continuously monitored and the results evaluated. These evaluation studies will then be used to set new goals and standards in the years ahead.

The goal-setting process was mentally stimulating and challenging for all of the School Board members. The goals themselves reflect this excitement as well as the School Board’s faith in the administration, staff, and students to attain unparalleled levels of achievement by the end of this decade.

School board goals

The Richmond School Board, consistent with its statutory responsibility to establish policy and direction, has adopted the following Board goals. These goals have been developed over mahy months with the participation of Board members and the administrative staff. resources made available through the Danforth Foundation have been very helpful in support of the Board’s goal development task.

Purpose of the document

The Board’s goals have been produced for the following purposes:

* to communicate Board direction to the Richmond community;

* to solicit public comment from community organizations and individuals;

* to build total community commitment to School Board expectations;

* to give direction to the division’s school administrators; and

* to establish long-range School Board operating budget priorities.

Goals statement

The Richmnd School board has selected and approved six general goals (and enabling objectives) to guide its work on behalf of the students enrolled in the Richmond Public Schools. Members of the Board believe that these goals will bring focus to their work as well as to the efforts of teachers, administrators, other staff members, students, and parents of the division. The Board recognizes that other goals and objectives already exist within the Richmind Schools; thus the goals included in the Board’s goal statement are to be considered not only as general and overarching but the Board’s priorities for the future. These six goals are expected to bring coherence and concentration to the ork of everyone in the divison.

The goals

1. To continue the present pattern of increased student achievement.

2. To prepare each pupil to assume a productive role in a technological society.

3. To attract and retain personnel of the highest professional and personal qualities and compensate them commensurate with superior performance.

4. To improve the leadership effectiveness of the Richmond School Board, administrators, and staff toward the fulfillment of their respective duties and responsibilities within the division.

5. To establish a systematic process and procedure for general oversight of the achievement of the division’s goals and objectives.

6. To elevate and enhance in the Richmond Public Schools.

Goal One: To continue the present pattern of increased student achievement.

Continued improvement of student achievement across the school division calls for strengthening of current approaches to student evaluation, deagnosis, and prescriptions for learning. Nationally recognized experts will be retained to review and recommend procedures that more fully evaluate urban pupil performance. diagnostic resources will be expanded to include greater reliance upon current research, computer technology, and information drawn from other relevant disciplines, with particular attention give to visual and other physical and emotional conditions that adversely affect learning. Prescriptive learning plans based on more complete sets of information are to be made for those pupils who are not performing at reasonable levels established for urban students. In addition, the theme of “unparalleled achievement” is expected to permeate life in every Richmond school.

More specifically, the Board intends that:

* programs and other assitance for less motivated students will be reviewed and recommendations made for improvement;

* the middle school program will be strengthened;

* academic offerings for the average student will be reviewed and recommendations made for strengthening such offerings;

* A “relentless reading program” will be developed and implemented to give greater reading skills to all students;

* a comprehensive computer-assisted instructional program will be developed to enhance classroom instruction and computer literacy will be addressed to increase student knowledge about computer programming;

* by the spring of 1989, elementary school students will attain the 75th percentile as measured by the SRA composite reading and mathematics mean score, computed against the natinal sample average; and

* by the spring of 1989, secondary students will attain the 60th percentile as measured by the SRA composite reading and mathematics mean score, computed against the natinal sample average.

Goal Two: To prepare each pupil to assume a productive role in a technological society.

Vocational and academic programs, both in philosophy and practice, must be linke and call for coordinated vocational and academic programming. Mutual understanding and shared objectives among the district’s educators will reduce the polarization and/or conflict between vocational and academic pursuits.

More specifically, the Board intends that:

* a review and strengthening of vocational and academic career counseling programs will be conducted;

* more consistency and coordination between vocational and academic courses will be achieved;

* the number of pretechnological and vocational courses for students will be expanded;

* all high school students will be required to take vocational courses; and

* more flexible school schedules will be arranged to allow greater opportunity for student employment.

Goal Three: To attract and retain presonnel of the highest professional and personal qualities and compensate them commensurate with superior performance.

Professionals in education render significant public service which warrants compensation and respect equivalent to their contribution to the public good. In recent national studies of American education, the relationship of the quality of teachers and administrators to the nation’s interest is clearly established. Thus the Board intends to link the quality of performance to compensation in the interest of children and youth of the community.

More specifically, the Board and the administration will:

* strengthen recruitment and training programs, especially those designed to meet critical employment nees, e.g., teachers of emotionally distrubed pupils;

* review and improve all staff performance appraisal and compensation procedures;

* expand the employee merit program to employees not working in schools;

* review and expand employee recognition programs;

* implement a program that highlights the importance of employees serving as positive community role models for all students, reflecting superior levels of citizenship and propriety; and

* compensate personnel for the quality they contribute through a superior pay scale which leads all school districts in Virginia and which compares favorable to salaries in other professions.

Goal Four: To improve the leadership effectiveness of the Richmond School Board, administrators, and staff toward the fulfillment of their respective duties and responsibilities within the division.

Effective leadership is indispensable to the achievement of all other goals and objectives within the division. Moreover, excellence in leadership must be exhibited at all levels and in discrete areas of responsibility such as teaching, administration, and policy making.

More specifically, the Board intends that:

* more efficient ways will be found to conduct the business of the School Board and the school division;

* time will be allocatd to the improvement of leadership effectiveness;

* special training (with consultative support) will be provided when necessary to carry out specific leadership and administrative functions;

* staff development efforts will be intensified for all personnel, especially principals;

* programs will be developed to inspire and equip teachers to teach to “student possibilities”;

* the concept of “unparalleled achievement” will exemplify the behavior of both students and professionals in the Richmond Public Schools; and

* continuous review of goals of the school system will be achieved and progress reports will be made to the community.

Goal Five: To establish a systematic process and procedure for general oversight of the achievement of the division’s goals and objectives.

In regard to Goal Five, the Board takes seriously its oversight responsibility. The Board is aware that the exercise of oversight or monitoring is an essential governance task requiring both time and resources. Furthermore, the oversight function is dependent upon administrative support and cooperation accompanied by a clear delineation of the areas to be monitored.

More specifically, the Board intends that:

* for the short range, the Superintendent will organize and conduct an assessment of the school division’s instructional supervisory structure and will recommend modifications for the Board’s review;

* organizational efficiency studies will be utilized periodically;

* the Board’s own peformance as a policy body will be self-appraised in terms of criteria to be developed for that purpose; and

* for the long range, the Board and the Superintendent will be develop a comprehenvise plan for fulfilling the oversight function, including periodic reports to the staff, parents, and the community at large.

Goal Six: To elevate and enahce community confidence in the Richmond Public Schools.

The Board believes that confidence in a school system flows from the community’s knowledge about its schools. citizen attitudes and beliefs about public education ar based upon the competence of school people to educate youth, satisfaction with the fiscal management of the schools, and an understanding of waht schools are trying to accomplish and how they go about that worl. confidence builds pride; pride encourages support of schools; support by the community encourage staff and students; and the cycle inspires and upward spiral of educational achievement. There is a need for parents, the community, and the Board to embrace all of the division’s goals.

More specifically, the Board intends that:

* community dialogue regarding education and special pilot projects designed to strengthen the commitment to the Richmond Public Schools will be expanded;

* Current efforts to enhance the school division’s public relations program will be expanded;

* periodic in-depth assessments of community sentiment and knowledge about school matters will be conducted; and

* information from community polls will be utilized to improve educational activities in the schools and to share information with the community.

General strategies for achieving goals

In orde to meet the School Board goals identified in the previous section, general strategies are outlined here. Whle considerably more planning must be conducted prior to compleitng these stretegies, this presentation will provide an overview of the implementation schedule during the next five years. For each strategy, background information is provided along with a brief description of the strategy.

Goal One: To continue the present pattern of increased student achievement

1. Computer-based education program

The computer-based education (CBE) program incorporates both computer-assited instruction and computer literacy components. Computer literacy classes are offered not only for students byt for all administrative, instructional, and clerical staff as well. Up unitl the 1983-84 school year, a computer-based education (CBE) program was being implemented very gradually into the Richmond Public Schools. Students first gained exposure through computer terminals connected to the Math-Science Center. A limited number of microcomputers were then purchased, resulting in each school having at least one microcomputer. In the summer of 1983, computer labs containing ten microcomputers were established at each high school building. Many of the business classes also were provided with microcomputers through the business education department.

In December 1983 1983 a contract was signed with Control Data Corporation to install 112 PLATO terminals in seven high school buildings and one middle school. As funds become available and PLATO proves its worth, it is anticipated that this system will grow to 400 terminals distributed among the high and middle schools. The strategy to strengthen the computer-assisted education program includes the PLATO expansion as well as the establishment of a comparable, appropriate CBE system for the elementary schools. (Implementation schedule: 1984-84–1985-86)

2. Expanded reading program

The reading program, especially at the elementary and middle school levels, has received the highest instructional priority in recent years. All elementary schools that are eligible for Chapter I assistance operate reading programs which supplement the standard curriculum. Reading labs have been established as part of the communicative arts program in the middle and high schools for students reading below grade elvel. Effective for the 1983-84 school year, the Ginn reading program was adopted for use in grades four through eight. The Lippincott program will continue to be used in grades K-. The need for placing even greater emphasis on reading achievement is illustrated by the fact that, as of the spring of 1983, standardized reading test scores were slightly below the national average at all grade levels. The expanded reading program would permit the hiring of additional reading specialists, teachers, and teacher assistants, the development of more reading labs and an improved management system, and the lowering of the pupil-teacher ratios in all academic classes. (Implementation schedule: 1985-86–1988-89)

3. Seven-period day–secondary schools

Various national studies advocate that students should take more classes in virtually every discipline–the basics, the sciences, the humanities, foreign languages, and vocational studies. The Virginia Board of Education recently increased the number of credits required for students to receive a high school diploma. Students who engage in work-study programs need the opportunity to take more courses prior to leaving for their work assignments. For these reasons, it is desirable to increase the secondary schools’ schedules from six to seven periods per day. At this time only the middle schools have seven-period days. This proposal would permit all secondary schools to operate on a seven-period day. (Implementation schedule: 1984-85)

4. Lengthened school day

One of the major recommendations of “A Nation at Risk” report was that American students spend more time in school. The report cites examples of industrial countries where academic high school students spend eight hours per day at school for 220 days during the year. All schools in Richmond are now operating on a six-hour-and ten-minute day. This proposal would lengthen the school day for secondary students by one hour and for elementary students by thirty minutes. Furthermore, all instructional personnel not now on an eight-hour contract would be contracted to work eight, instead of seven, hours per day. This plan also provides elementary teachers with thirty minutes of planning time each day. Teachers’ and other staff salaries are adjusted upward to reflect this increased contract commitment. (Implementation schedule: 1984-85)

5. Lengthened school year

As indicated previously, the 180 days that students in Virginia are required to attend school falls considerably below standards established in many other countries. It is proposed that the school year be lengthened approximately twenty-five days for selected students. The number of students participating in this expanded-year program would be increased over a four-year period. (Implementation schedule: 1985-86–1988-89)

6. Early childhood education program

Approximately 730 four-year-olds are now enrolled in either the Head Start or Early Childhood Education program. Under this proposal, the ceiling on enrollment would be raised over a three-year period to the point that it would be possible for all four-year-olds to participate in one of these two programs. (Implementation schedule: 1984-85–1986-87)

7. Strengthened intervention programs

In 1974-75 the first intervention program, the Pre-Middle program, was implemented for students who were not prepared to advance to the middle school program. Since that time, two more intervention programs have been established: PEP-UP at the third grade level; and Pre-High at the eighth grade level. To strengthen the program, teaching assistants would be provided in all intervention classrooms. (Implementation schedule: 1988-89)

8. Expanded services for exceptional students

Since the passage of P.L. 94-142, expenditures for special education students have dramatically increased. Recently, there have been signs that program costs and expansion are leveling off. Nevertheless, the number of special education children can be expected to increase, but at a more modest level. For the exceptional child who is gifted, new programs have been implemented recently; however, they are insufficient to meet the demand. It is proposed that several new positions be created for teachers of exceptional students and for educational diagnosticians. (Implementation schedule: 1984-85–1988-89)

9. Curriculum development

A Nation at Risk concludes that “secondary school curricula have been homogenized, diluted and diffused to the point that they no longer have a central purpose.” There is a need to review the entire curriculum of the Richmond Public Schools, especially at the secondary level. Funds are needed to compensate consultants and staff for the time required for this task. (Implementation schedule: 1984-85–1988-89)

10. Textbooks

Traditionally, the School Board has been committed to providing free textbooks to all of its students. The rapidly escalating cost of textbooks has made it difficult to make adequate numbers of current textbooks available. Additional resources are required to ensure that instructional materials keep pace with curriculum changes. (Implementation schedule: 1984-85)

11. Instructional equipment

Due to severe budgetary constraints and other priorities, funds for new and replacement equipment have been cut drastically. In fact, in 1981-82 and 1982-83 no funds at all were budgeted for new equipment. Financial resources are sorely needed to furnish academic and vocational classrooms with equipment that is in sound working condition and reflects recent technological advances. (Implementation schedule: 1984-85)

12. Inservice

In order to implement change, a strong inservice program must be offered. Inservice activities will be expanded as the five-year plan is implemented. Specific areas of need that relate to this goal are computer literacy, computer-assisted instruction, reading, curriculum coordination, and assistance for less motivated students. (Implementation schedule: 1984-85)

13. Program review and evaluation

It would be inefficient simply to add new programs on top of old ones without reviewing and evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of the existing system. The School Board goals specifically require reviewing academic offerings and programs for less motivated students. Evaluation is required not only at the outset of the five-year plan but at the end as well, in order to assess achievements and make recommendations for improvements. (Implementation schedule: 1985-86–1988-89)

Goal Two: To prepare each pupil to assume a productive role in a technological society

1. Expanded vocational and technical educational opportunities and required student enrollment

At this time a wide variety of vocational and technical courses is offered in the traditional middle and high schools and through alternative schools and technical centers. Two major obstacles to more extensive student participation are schedule conflicts and difficulty in keeping technologically up-to-date. The seven-period day schedule recommended under Goal One will permit students to take at least twenty-eight courses during their high school careers.

The proposed strategy calls for requiring students to select from an expanded choice of vocational courses. This will increase the number of vocational teachers required. Another strategy is to provide students with more on-the-job opportunities under the supervision of Richmond Public Schools coordinators. It will also be necessary to update vocational equipment to the fullest extent possible. (Implementation schedule: 1985-86–1986-87)

2. Increased emphasis on career counseling

Career counseling is now provided through counselors in the elementary, middle, and high schools Richmond complies with, and in some cases exceeds, the state accreditation standards pertaining to student-counselor ratios. Unfortunately, counselors are too often deluged with paperwork which prevents them from carrying out their counseling function. Career resource centers have been established in the high schools but they may be understaffed. It is proposed that increased counseling opportunities be made available to provide students with greater assistance in making career choices. (Implementation schedule: 1987-88–1988-89)

3. Curriculum development and coordination

Because all secondary students will be required to take vocational courses, additional supervisors and/or outside consultants are required to develop new curricula to keep pace with technological changes and to coordinate the vocational program with academic course offerings. (Implementation schedule: 1984-85–1985-86)

4. Program review and evaluation

All vocational course offerings need to be reviewed and evaluated with respect to relevance and rigor. The entire vocational curriculum needs to be evaluated to identify areas of deficiency and, possibly, redundancy. The coordination between academic and vocational offerings also requires evaluation. (Implementation schedule: 1984-85–1988-89)

Goal Three: To attract and retain personnel of the highest professional and personal qualities and compensate them commensurate with superior performance

1. Strengthened recruitment and training programs

Budget restrictions have severely limited out-of-state recruiting and the initiation of any comprehensive re-training program for School Board employees. An incentive program to attract teachers in disciplines experiencing teacher shortages was implemented in 1982-83 with moderate success. It is proposed that funds be made available for out-of-state recruiting, travel expenses for a limited number of recruits, expanded advertising, and a comprehensive retraining program for Richmond Public Schools personnel. (Implementation schedule: 1984-85–1985-86)

2. Improved appraisal and compensation plan

The major inservice thrust for administrations for the 1983-84 school year was employee evaluation procedures. This should improve the quality and accuracy of employee appraisals. Compensation plans were thoroughly reviewed by Hay Associates several years ago and salary panels have continued to monitor the equity of the pay ranges for specific job titles. The need exists now to link the appraisal and compensation processes in order to base compensation on the quality of performance. (Implementation schedule: 1985-86)

3. Merit program for non-building employees and quality performance

The only merit award program for which Richmond Public Schools employees are eligible is restricted to staff specifically assigned to one or a limited number of buildings. Merit programs will be developed for the remaining personnel and for individuals who distinguish themselves by providing extraordinary service. (Implementation schedule: 1984-85–1988-89)

4. Expanded employee recognition program

At this time employees are recognized for years of service and for perfect attendance during a year. Over the last five years, this program has been expanded considerably. It is proposed that cash awards be given as well for longevity, perfect attendance, and outstanding performance (e.g., Teacher of the Year). (Implementation schedule: 1986-87)

5. Employees in the community program

No program exists at this time to recognize employees who make an extraordinary contribution to the Richmond community. It is proposed that staff development sessions be held on the role that Richmond Public School employees play as community leaders and models. Special recognition should be given to employees who make a significant contribution to the community. (Implementation schedule: 1985-86)

6. Superior salaries

The National Commission on Excellence in Education found that “not enough of the academically able students are being attracted to teaching … that the professional working life of teachers on the whole is unacceptable; and that a serious shortage of teachers exists in key fields.” To attract and retain the best qualified teachers to Richmond, a superior salary schedule must be offered.

Salary schedules for major job classifications will be compared with those of other Virginia school divisions and with comparable jobs in the private sector. Pay scales which lead all school districts in Virginia and compare favorably with salaries in other professions will be proposed to the School Board.

In addition to higher salary schedules, three other strategies are proposed to enhance employees’ salaries and fringe benefits. Two of these, an extended day and an extended year, have already been described under Goal One. The extended day would increase the number of hours that many employees work, and they would be compensated for this longer work day. An extended school year would require the issuing of ten-and/or eleven-month contracts to many teachers and other instructional support personnel. Teachers’ salaries will rise considerably and the number of hours worked each day and the number of days worked in the year are increased. The third strategy relates to fringe benefits and would compensate employees for a specified percentage of their unused sick leave. (Implementation schedule: 1984-85)

7. Program review and evaluation

In recent years, several salary studies have been conducted by professional consultants and inhouse staff. Funds are required to continue monitoring salaries in other school divisions and in the private sector and to ensure consistency throughout the entire compensation package. (Implementation schedule: 1984-85–1988-89)

Goal Four: To improve the leadership effectiveness of the Richmond Public School Board, administration, and staff toward the fulfillment of their respective duties and responsibilities within the division

1. Streamlined business procedures

No operational reviews have been conducted recently of the procedures followed by departments and schools other than a study made of the Personnel Department prior to its receiving administrative responsibility for classified employees and the annual audit conducted by A.M. Pullen. It is proposed that outside consulting firms review the business procedures of each department and of representative schools and make recommendations with respect to efficiency and cost-effectiveness. (Implementation schedule: 1984-85–1985-86)

2. Leadership development program

The administration announced in December 1983 a Request for Proposals to conduct a leadership development program. Proposals were due in January 1984 and it was anticipated that this project would commence in February or March. The successful contractor will conduct a needs assessment and develop an appropriate program to enhance the leadership capabilities of central office administrators and school principals. (Implementation schedule: 1984-85)

3. Professional growth program

In recent years, funds for out-of-town travel, workshops, and conferences have been quite limited. It is proposed that $150 be budgeted for each instructional position requiring certification by the Commonwealth of Virginia. This money could be used at the employee’s discretion to defray the expenses for any activities which would contribute to his or her professional development. Suitable uses would include travel expenses, conference or workshop registration, and tuition fees. (Implementation schedule: 1984-85)

4. Expanded staff development program

Increased staff development opportunities will be provided to teachers and other instructional support personnel to inspire and equip them to teach to “student possibilities.” (Implementation schedule: 1984-85)

5. Program review, evaluation, and reporting

Outside consultants, as well as inhouse evaluation staff, will be employed to measure systematically progress being made toward the attainment of the School Board goals. These reports will be presented in public session to the School Board. (Implementation schedule: 1984-85–1988-89)

Goal Five: To establish a systematic process and procedure for general oversight of the achievement of the division’s goals and objectives.

1. Assessment of instructional/supervisory structure

In the fall of 1983 the services of Hay Associates were procured to conduct a study of the instructional/supervisory structure. This study was scheduled to be completed by the spring of 1984. (Implementation schedule: 1984-85)

2. Organizational efficiency studies

See strategy 1 under Goal Four.

3. Self-appraisal of school board performance

A procedure will be developed to allow the School Board to conduct a self-evaluation of its own performance. (Implementation schedule: 1984-85–1985-86)

4. Program review, evaluation, and reporting

An evaluation component has been included with the strategies for each of the School Board goals. Funds are required for in-house studies, consultant services, and the printing and distribution of reports. (Implementation schedule: 1984-85–1988-89)

Goal Six: To elevate and enhance community confidence in the Richmond Public Schools

1. Strengthened community relations program

The priority given to a strengthened community relations program was evident in 1976-77 when the position of Director of School-Community and Governmental Relations was established. Shortly thereafter, a community relations specialist was hired. In July 1983 the School Board authorized the creation of nine new positions for community-relations personnel. A new community relations specialist also has been employed whose primary responsibility is to improve Richmond Public Schools’ image in the community. As this newly expanded staff gains experience, the community-relations program is expected to be stronger and more effective than ever before. (Implementation schedule: 1984-85)

2. Expanded public relations program

As indicated above, the position of public relations specialist recently has been filled. This person will work closely with the community-relations personnel and the media staff to develop a superior public relations program. (Implementation schedule: 1984-85)

3. Community surveys

The results of national and state polls will be used in conjunction with locally-supported community surveys to assess the public’s perception of public education and to improve educational offerings and conditions. (Implementation schedule: 1984-85)

Financial implications

The costs associated with implementing the strategies described in the previous section of this report are estimated in the tables that follow. The annual cost represents the amount funds must be increased over and above the funding level for the previous year. Anticipated cost-of-living increases have been taken into consideration. Finally, it should be emphasized that because many of the strategies are not well-defined at this time, actual costs, especially for programs implemented in the later years, may vary considerably from those presented in these tables.

COPYRIGHT 1984 U.S. Government Printing Office

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