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School board responds to editorial

To the Editor:

The recent public discourse regarding the state of Prince Edward County Public Schools (PECPS) covered by your publication has been less than favorable.

While the latest op ed titled, “Our Schools have to do better,” is both disheartening and disappointing, we do not disagree. Our schools must do better, and they absolutely will.

We as the School Board of Prince Edward County do, however, take exception to the mischaracterization of our active involvement in the progress of our schools as well as the superintendent’s ability to lead the charge of moving our schools forward.

Rest assured, the board is engaged in these efforts and remains committed to ensuring that all students will be provided with educational opportunities that will allow them to reach their highest academic potential. We have full confidence that the superintendent will successfully carry out this work that is already in motion with the implementation of our strategic plan, Flight to 2023.

As previously stated, Dr. (Barbara) Johnson and her administration are working closely with the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) to make the necessary provisions so that an academically inclusive learning environment is provided to meet the needs of all student groups, regardless of ethnicity, learning abilities or socio-economic status.

Although the pandemic has exacerbated many of those inequities that exist within our school division, the administration has developed a framework to close these learning gaps and address the needs of every student through meaningful, relevant learning experiences. To date, we celebrate our summer learning programs and partnerships with the Flying Classroom and Longwood University. We will also continue to support our staff as they prepare for the academic reset in the upcoming 2021-2022 school year.

The board and superintendent have always been transparent in acknowledging the need for all schools to be fully accredited and firmly believe that this will be achieved through collaboration with our administration, teachers, staff, families, community members and dedicated partners along the way. We recognize there is still much work to be done, but more importantly we are excited about the possibilities for the future that await PECPS.

We will continue to solicit support and guidance from the Virginia School Board Association (VSBA) along with the VDOE, as both have been essential in our continued development as a governing body. In keeping with this same spirit, we look forward to an opportunity to share our ongoing progress with our colleagues, the Board of Supervisors. We also welcome productive input from local agencies and potential partners that aligns with our unyielding dedication to our children, our staff members,and our families.

Lucy Carson,

Chairperson, Buffalo District

Beulah Womack

Vice-Chairperson,

Hampden-Sydney District

Dr. Timothy W. Corbett Sr.

Leigh District

Dr. Lawrence Varner

Farmville District

Doug Farley

Lockett District

Dr. James C. Dumminger

Farmville District

Dr. Peter Gur

Farmville District

Elzora Stiff

Prospect District