Jul 30, 2014

Community Dialogue on Discipline Thursday

Meetings across Fairfax County continue years-long conversations on Student Rights and Responsibilities.

Community Dialogue on Discipline Thursday

Four months after the Fairfax County School Board named members to a committee tasked with reviewing the system's student rights and responsibilities handbook, the group is seeking input from residents on what changes it should consider moving forward.

The Ad Hoc Community Committee on Student Rights and Responsibilities (SR&R), created by the board Sept. 20, has traveled across the county this week and will continue to do so through Feb. 23, seeking parent, student and community member feedback on how to improve Fairfax County Public Schools' disciplinary procedures.

The meeting closest to Vienna will be held Thursday at McLean High School.

The 40-member group — which includes representatives appointed by the county's three major teachers unions, high school and middle school principal associations, as well as the county's associations for school social workers and psychologists — has met regularly since Oct. 24.

It's chaired by Steve Stuban of Fairfax, whose son's suicide sparked a push for disciplinary reform two years ago.

"I'm exceptionally proud of [members'] dedication to this effort, not merely in the number of hours spent in our proceedings but their willingness to listen to differing viewpoints," Stuban told Patch this week.

Stuban said while input from the committee — more than half of whose members were appointed by each of the school board's 12 members — has been valuable, "the voice of the community is vital to ensure that the recommendations we advance to the School Board are in keeping with the community's values."

The meetings held this month will include an outline of the committee's preliminary recommendations to the school board, along with a time for feedback on those plans and current practices. 

Last fall, board member Sandy Evans (Mason) said she looked forward to group's findings, particularly on parental notification, a sticking point for the board and community through several other rounds of system changes, and support for students who have been suspended.

At the time, Megan McLaughlin (Braddock) said she hoped the committee will make a real effort to look toward surrounding jurisdictions — specifically, Arlington and Montgomery Counties and the Maryland Board of Education — "that have made tremendous strides in looking at discipline reform."

Stuban said "if you believe as we do that every student matters, we ask that you attend one of the Dialogues and ensure that your voice is heard."

Remaining meetings include:

  • McLean: 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday in the McLean High School Cafeteria
  • Falls Church: 1 to 3 p.m. Feb. 23 in Falls Church High School's Little Theater

Spanish and Korean interpreters will be available at each meeting, the system says.

Going? Registration isn't required, but will help organizers plan meetings. Register here.

Can't make it? Send feedback to Community_Dialogues@fcps.edu or mail comments to: FCPS Office of Intervention and Prevention Services Attn: SR&R 3877 Fairfax Ridge Road, Fairfax, Va, 22030.

See also:

  • Board Names Members to Discipline Committee
  • Board Creates 40-Member Discipline Committee
  • Board Postpones Discipline Committee Creation
  • School Board to Vote on Discipline Committee
  • The Eight School Board Initiatives to Watch in 2012-2013
  • Discipline Policy Changes Stop Short of Parental Notification
  • Board Revisits Discipline Policy


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