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  • Writer's pictureJarvis Bailey

Fredericksburg City School Board

Except from Article published 10/19/2023

Jarvis Bailey

1. Closing Achievement Gaps and Elevating Academic Excellence

Three of our schools, Hugh Mercer, Lafayette, and James Monroe have achieved accreditation, while Walker-Grant is accredited with conditions. At Walker-Grant, we have improved at least one performance level in eight achievement gaps, and student attendance has improved by 22.75%, as compared to last year. I continue to be excited about our efforts to close student achievement gaps, especially the division-wide implementation of the James Farmer Scholars program. Additionally, to further enhance academic achievement and support effective instruction, we are bridging the digital divide by providing computing devices to all PreK to 12th-grade students and offering internet access to any family that needs it. Bridging this technological gap is a crucial step in preparing our students for the challenges of the 21st century.

2. Ensuring Student Safety and Holistic Support

In this era of education, safeguarding students while addressing their multifaceted needs is a complex but essential mission. It is one that we do in FXBG City efficiently and effectively. I encourage staff to strongly partner with law enforcement and the broader community to plan and reflect on safety measures collectively. Our team is well-equipped and trained in the latest crisis management techniques and tools. We have School Resource Officers in place at James Monroe and Walker-Grant, with plans to hire two additional SROs for our elementary schools. Furthermore, we’ve taken a holistic approach to meet the diverse needs of students by placing social workers in all our schools.

Enhancing career technical Education opportunities is another avenue we are actively implementing to cater to the demands of the 21st century. By expanding our partnerships and programs, we aim to provide more internships, scholarships, and work-based experiences for our students. I am incredibly proud of our citizen-students’ willingness to serve our community, as demonstrated by the significant number of students willing to volunteer for the Ceili Leahy Day of Service.

3. Empowering Educators and Advocating for Fair Compensation

Recognizing that effective teachers are the linchpin of student achievement, I prioritize recruiting, equipping, and retaining highly qualified staff. Our commitment is evident through the significant number of interns we have scheduled for the 2023-2024 school year and the successful transition of six interns from the 2022-2023 school year to full-time teaching positions. While I am pleased to report that our teacher retention rate stands at 89% from the previous academic year, with no shortages of bus drivers or custodians, I recognize that equitable compensation for educators and support staff is still an unrealized goal. As a result, I will continue to be actively engaged in advocacy efforts to ensure that those responsible for funding understand the necessity of fair compensation for all who contribute to the success of our children.


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