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A Good Run for Stafford Schools

- September 15, 2023

Schools are under intense scrutiny these days, with people from the governor on down talking about the failure of traditional public education for all. But in Stafford County, the past week has brought a lot of news to celebrate.

Last Friday the district released the following news:

According to the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) State Accreditation Report, all schools in Stafford County earned the highest accreditation rating of “Fully Accredited” for this school year.

The county’s not resting on its laurels, however.

“There are a lot of gaps to fill,” said Dr. Thomas W. Taylor, Superintendent. “We recognize that there is a lot of room for improvement in these areas and we are committed to continuous improvement that leads to Stafford Schools becoming the highest performing school division in the Commonwealth.”

Of particular concern is chronic absenteeism. “There is a direct correlation between absenteeism and proficient levels of student achievement. Our students need to be in school, and they need to be engaged every day,” continued Dr. Taylor.

On Thursday, the district announced that it had awarded a contract for the construction of high school No. 6, which is needed to deal with overcrowding.

A groundbreaking ceremony will take place Tuesday, October 24, at 12;30 p.m. The school will be constructed in the southwest quadrant of Stafford County between Route 17 and Truslow Road.

In between those two announcements was the news on Tuesday that Silver Companies Foundation was giving $30,000 to Stafford schools to support six minority Stafford educators completing their raining and professional learning needed to earn licensure with the Virginia Department of Education.

The six the grant supports are members of the first “Reflect Stafford” cohort, which is a program that aims to recruit and retain teachers of diverse backgrounds in order to better reflect the student body demographics.

“Though Stafford Schools is considered a minority-majority school district, our staff demographics aren’t even close to our student and family demographics,” said Taylor. “We acknowledge that this is a barrier for some families and kids. The inaugural Reflect Stafford cohort … will … strengthen our schools by adding instructors with backgrounds that better reflect our student population.”

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by Martin Davis EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

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