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Fluvanna County High School Celebrates Its AP Capstone Diploma Recipients

PRESS RELEASE – September 2, 2021

Over 2,000 schools participated in the AP Capstone Diploma program, a project-based learning experience valued by colleges and universities across the U.S. and around the world.

Palmyra, Virginia – At Fluvanna County High School, four students have earned the AP Capstone Diploma™ and two have earned the AP Seminar and Research Certificate™ during the 2020-21 school year. The AP Capstone Diploma program helps students to develop critical thinking, research, collaboration, and presentation skills that are critical to academic success.

“We proudly recognize the achievements of students who participated in the AP Capstone Diploma program,” said Brenda Gilliam, Executive Director for Instruction and Finance. “Our AP Capstone students and teachers showed extraordinary commitment while facing historic challenges. This is a meaningful college readiness program that will serve our students well after high school.”

To receive the AP Capstone Diploma, students must earn scores of 3 or higher in AP Seminar, AP Research, and on four additional AP Exams. To receive the AP Seminar and Research Certificate, students must earn scores of 3 or higher in AP Seminar and AP Research. Students are increasingly participating in the AP Capstone program. Over 2,000 schools participated in the AP Capstone program worldwide during the 2020-21 school year, when approximately 11,900 students earned the AP Capstone Diploma and 7,700 earned the AP Seminar and Research Certificate.

Unlike traditional AP subject exams with a single end-of-year assessment, AP Seminar and AP Research assessments are project based and evaluate skills mastery through group projects, presentations, and individual essays completed throughout the year. Instead of focusing on one specific academic discipline, AP Seminar and AP Research are interdisciplinary: students are empowered to create research projects based on topics of personal interest and they are assessed on the critical thinking, research, collaboration, time management, and presentation skills needed to complete their projects. At FCHS students focused their research on a range of topics, including: meta analysis research on effectiveness of cancer treatments, an original screenplay on dementia and accurate portrayals in film, postcolonial theory in animated television series, content analysis and deconstructionism in music, data analysis of Virginia high
school music libraries, and correlational studies on gerrymandering in Virginia’s voting districts.

“Congratulations to the AP Capstone award winners, who conduct, present, and defend academic research on topics they are passionate about,” said Trevor Packer, College Board senior vice president of AP and Instruction. “Their ability to manage long-term projects,
collaborate with teams, and deliver effective presentations will accelerate both their academic and professional careers.”

Of the students who participated in the AP Capstone Diploma program at FCHS:
●  Four were awarded the AP Capstone Diploma by earning scores of 3 or higher in AP Seminar, AP Research, and on 4 additional AP Exams. They are Jacob Collier, Tyler Harris, Grace Lintecum, and Nat Scida.
●  Two were awarded the AP Seminar and Research Certificate by earning scores of 3 or higher in AP Seminar and AP Research. They are Addison Roth and Conner Small.

The College Board Advanced Placement® Program gives students the opportunity to take challenging college-level courses while still in high school. A 3 or higher on an AP Exam has multiple benefits for students, including earning college credit, advanced placement, or both for successful performance on AP Exams, saving them time and money. Research shows AP students are better prepared for and more likely to enroll and remain in college, do well in classes, and earn their degrees on time. Each exam is developed by a committee of college and university faculty and AP teachers, ensuring that AP Exams align with their high standards.

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FCPS Mask Requirement 8.9.2021

August 9, 2021

Fluco staff and families,

With the intention of ensuring the availability of in-person learning in all school divisions in Virginia, lawmakers passed and Governor Northam signed into law Senate Bill 1303 on March 30, 2021. The law became effective July 1, 2021 and requires “requires each school board to provide such inperson instruction in a manner in which it adheres, to the maximum extent practicable, to any currently applicable mitigation strategies for early childhood care and education programs and elementary and secondary schools to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 that have been provided by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention”. While it may have been an unintended consequence of ensuring schools open in person, this law removed the ability of local schools boards to make decisions about COVID mitigation strategies for their own communities.

This law and its specific reference to the requirement that we adhere to the mitigation strategies provided by the CDC, will require all students and staff to wear masks while indoors and on our school buses, regardless of their vaccination status when school starts on August 11th. We have consulted with our legal counsel and our liability insurance provider for additional advice as well.

The school board voted today to follow this law and adhere to the recommended mask requirement and will again discuss and consider this issue and other mitigations during the regularly scheduled meeting on August 11, 2021, at 6:30 PM.

Ultimately, we want to keep our schools safe, healthy, and open to as many and for as long as possible. We want our students to be able to enjoy learning in school with their teachers and peers, with minimal threat of quarantine or closure.

Let’s join together to create the best experience we can for our students, remaining fluid and flexible but always kee ing their best interest at heart.

Dr. Peter Gretz
Superintendent

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Dual Enrollment English and Biology Textbooks Available for Review

PRESS RELEASE – June 15, 2021

At its regular meeting on Wednesday, July 21, 2021, the Fluvanna County School Board will consider adoption of the textbook committee’s recommendation for textbooks for Dual Enrollment English and Biology. These courses are offered for dual enrollment credit with Piedmont Virginia Community College.

Biology-
Biological Science, Freeman, 7th Edition $182.20 ISBN: 013467832X

English-
They Say I Say with Readings, 4th Edition $52.56 ISBN: 978-0-393-63168-5

The Little Seagull Handbook with Exercises, 3rd Edition $28.56 ISBN: 978-0-393-60264-7

Everyone’s an Author, 3rd Edition $67.57 ISBN: 0393420833

The recommended textbooks and instructional materials will be on public display at the School Board Office weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. from June 15, through July 20, 2021. Questions about the evaluation and adoption process should be directed to Brenda Gilliam at bgilliam@apps.fluco.org or (434) 589-8208.

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American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) III Formula Fund Grant

06.03.21

The U.S. Department of Education requires each school division that receives ARP ESSER III funds to submit a plan that describes how it will use the funds. This plan is published to Fluvanna County Public School’s website.

 Section 1: Introduction

The purpose of the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) III Fund is to help safely reopen and sustain the safe operation of schools and address the impacts of COVID-19 on the nation’s students by addressing students’ academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs. Fluvanna County Public Schools has been awarded $2,719,053.81 in ESSER III funds. This plan describes how the awarded funds will be used. Questions about this plan should be directed to Gemma Soares, Director of Elementary Instruction and Federal Programs, at gsoares@apps.fluco.org or 434-589-8208.

The primary goal of Fluvanna County Public Schools continues to be to safely offer in-person instruction to the greatest extent possible under the guidelines provided by the Governor’s Office, Virginia Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Virginia Department of Education. Fluvanna County Public Schools is planning for a return to in-person learning five days a week for all PreK-12 students beginning August 11, 2021. Our instructional staff will focus on the design and delivery of engaging, in-person instructional experiences that will mirror our instructional approach prior to the pandemic. 

We recognize and respect that some families may still be interested in a virtual learning option for the next school year. Fluvanna County Public Schools will be partnering with Virtual Virginia to provide a virtual learning option for the 2021-2022 school year. There will be no virtual learning option for preschool students. Virtual Virginia is a program of the Virginia Department of Education and serves students in grades K-12 throughout the state of Virginia who wish to participate in a full-time virtual program. Families who completed the survey requesting a virtual option will be provided with more details about the program, as well as an application to be considered for the program.

Section 2: Prevention and Mitigation Strategies

ARP Act ESSER III funds may be used to implement prevention and mitigation strategies that are, to the greatest extent practicable, consistent with the most recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance on reopening schools, in order to continuously and safely open and operate schools for in-person learning. Fluvanna County Public Schools will use approximately $42,000 of its ARP Act ESSER III funds to support prevention and mitigation strategies. ESSER III funds will be used to purchase sanitizing wipes and gel, disinfecting sprays/solutions, disposable gloves, and masks. Additionally, $54,000 of ESSER II funds have been allocated to support increased daily cleaning and sanitation in our schools and school buses to support a safe environment with best health mitigation practices. Additional core classroom positions to support physical distancing in classrooms as we return to 5 days a week of in-person instruction for all students will also be hired using ESSER III and ESSER II funds.

Section 3: Addressing Unfinished Learning

Section 2001(e)(1) of the ARP Act requires each school division to use twenty percent of its formula funds to address the academic impact of lost instructional time (learning loss) through the implementation of evidence-based interventions. Fluvanna County Public Schools will use approximately $2,596,000 of its ARP Act ESSER III funds to address unfinished learning as described below:

Fluvanna County Public Schools recognizes the impact of classroom teachers on student success. To support and increase our teachers’ ability to effectively address the social and emotional needs of students, assess for learning loss and plan and deliver individualized instruction to close achievement gaps, Fluvanna County Public Schools will use ESSER III grant funds to hire additional core content teachers to lower class sizes and increase face to face instruction to five days per week for all students. Grants funds will also be used to support stipends for teachers to provide after school targeted remediation, extension and enrichment opportunities for students, as well as to provide teaching stipends for a summer school program focused on recovery of learning loss during COVID.

Additionally, ESSER II funds will also be used to support the salaries and benefits of additional staffing to address COVID related learning needs. Two additional Reading Specialist positions, along with one additional Math Specialist position, will provide direct services to students, support teachers in the classroom, and provide schoolwide professional development to address learning loss among students. An additional Instructional Technology Resource Teacher will also be hired to support an increased teacher and student need in the area of educational technology.

Section 4: Other Uses of Funds

Section 2001(e) of the ARP Act permits school divisions to use the ARP Act ESSER III funding not reserved to address unfinished learning to address the impacts of COVID-19 in a variety of ways. Fluvanna County Public Schools will use approximately $81,000 of its ARP Act ESSER III funds in accordance with Section 2001(e) of the ARP Act as described below.

Fluvanna County Public Schools strongly believes the best educational opportunity is provided to our students through an in-person environment. We recognize and respect that some families may still be interested in a virtual learning option for the next school year. Fluvanna County Public Schools will use grant funds to procure Virtual Virginia seats for students still in need of a virtual option. This will alleviate the need to have “blended” teachers, and allow our teachers to focus on in-person and small group instruction.

Section 5: Addressing Students’ Academic, Social, Emotional, and Mental Health Needs

To support and increase our teachers’ ability to effectively address the social and emotional needs of students, assess for learning loss and plan and deliver individualized instruction to close achievement gaps, Fluvanna County Public Schools will use ESSER III grant funds to hire additional core content teachers to lower class sizes. 

The position of Student Support Specialist, funded with ESSER II funds, will support students and families, including low-income students, children with disabilities, English learners, racial and ethnic minorities, students experiencing homelessness, and children in foster care by locating community resources for the purpose of promoting parent effectiveness and student achievement. They will assist with the organization and implementation of events and activities for the purpose of enhancing parent involvement. They will convey parents’ questions and concerns to appropriate school/district staff for the purpose of supporting student success and further facilitating communications with parents. They will conduct quarterly meetings at schools and with community partnerships, conduct home visits, collect support information from parents in an effort to meet the educational objectives, and collaborate with other personnel to identify issues and concerns and work towards solutions.

Section 6: Consultation with Stakeholders and Opportunity for Public Comment

In developing the ARP ESSER Plan, Fluvanna County Public Schools sought public input and took such input into account. Staff and parent input was collected through surveys, Superintendent Staff Advisory meetings, Superintendent Parent Advisory committee meetings, public comment opportunities at advertised school board meetings, and individual communications received at the school and division planning levels. Stakeholder representation for the interests of children with disabilities, English learners, children experiencing homelessness, children in foster care, migratory students, children who are incarcerated, and other underserved students were included in the development of Fluvanna County Public School’s ARP ESSER III plan.

Section 7: Making the Plan Available to the Public

Fluvanna County Public Schools has taken the following steps to make this plan available to the public:

  • The plan was sent to parents via our school messenger system. 
  • The plan is posted at www.fluco.org
  • The plan was included in the June School Board meeting packet and opportunity for public comment on the plan was provided.
  • The plan is available in multiple languages through use of our translation service, Language Line, and in Spanish through our Family Engagement Liaison. For translation of this plan, please contact Jocelyn Stevens at jstevens@apps.fluco.org or 434-981-4910. Si usted necesita ayuda con la traducción de este documento, favor de llamar o textear a Jocelyn Stevens a (434) 981-4910; o se puede poner en contacto con ella a jstevens@apps.fluco.org.  Nos alegra poder brindarle servicios de interpretación o traducción a su familia.
  • Upon request, a parent who is an individual with a disability as defined by the ADA may be provided with the plan in an alternative format accessible by contacting Jen Valentine, Director of Special Education at jvalentine@apps.fluco.org or 434-589-8208. 

2021-2022 Plan for Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services

Each school division that receives ARP ESSER III funds is required to submit a plan that describes how it will safely return to in-person instruction and ensure continuity of services, including school divisions that have already returned to in-person instruction. Please click here to review Fluvanna County Public School’s plan for the 2021-2022 school year. Questions about this plan should be directed to Gemma Soares, Director of Elementary Instruction and Federal Programs, at gsoares@apps.fluco.org or 434-589-8208. Public comment on this plan is also welcome at the June 9th school board meeting.