2012-07-18 / Opinions

Tim Bullis, community relations director for the county school system, responds:

We are disheartened that the Observer, a paper of record for some in Chesterfield County, would choose to publish information it has been told several times is inaccurate.

Before sharing efforts to match a leader’s skill set with a school’s needs, we wanted to take this opportunity to correct some of the misinformation being perpetuated by the Observer.

Created for the 2004-05 school year, the dean/administrative assistant positions were created to provide additional administrative coverage at the high and middle school levels. There is no time limit for how long an employee can hold such a position.

Chesterfield County Public School [system] has not fully funded a doctoral cohort since 2005.

The great majority of the participants in the 2005 cohort are now assistant principals or principals.

The former principal at Robious Middle has not received a doctorate.

The former interim principal at Robious Middle, who was said [to have] had no direct middle school experience, was the principal at Robious Middle earlier in his career.

As with any high-achieving organization striving for excellence, the hiring goal [of CCPS] is to select the best candidate available. A potential leader’s experience and skills are considered carefully, and finding the right match between skills and needs is critical.

In the case of Robious Middle, a new principal was selected whose background includes extensive knowledge in project-based learning, which is a key component to an Expeditionary Learning school (which Robious Middle is). In addition to being widely recognized for her talents in challenging students’ critical thinking skills in an Expeditionary Learning setting, the new principal is recognized as an outstanding educational leader and was named the recipient of the 2010 Virginia ASCD Instruction and Curriculum Leader of the Year for Virginia.

The letter writer is correct in acknowledging that these are stressed budgetary times. Even though this program has experienced success – several current principals are former deans, and many assistant principals spent time as a dean or an administrative assistant – these positions were among the more than 500 positions eliminated as part of the more than $70 million in reductions made to our operating budget.

Chesterfield County Public Schools is proud of the award-winning, school-based administrative teams charged with preparing our students to success. These leaders join forces with talented teachers and support staff members to help build instructional teams that many in other school divisions aspire to join. We appreciate the public’s support of our schools, teachers and administrators tasked with doing more than any another generation of educators.

The Chesterfield Observer has always provided Chesterfield County Public Schools ample time to respond to letters to the editor in the same issue that they appear. Other newspapers do not extend such a courtesy. Mr. Bullis’ office said that Mr. Bosha’s letter contained factual errors and asked us not to print it. We told Mr. Bosha about the complaint, and he submitted a revised letter. Letters appear in the Observer on our Opinion page. We believe our readers should have the right to state their opinions. As a result, we are reluctant to censor their letters. Editor

Letters to the editor can be emailed to letters@chesterfieldobserver.com, mailed to P.O. Box 1616, Midlothian, VA 23113, or faxed to 744-3269. Letters should include the writer’s phone number and home address, but neither will be printed. All letters should be limited to less than 500 words and may be edited for clarity or space. For complete guidelines, visit www.chesterfieldobserver.com and click on “letters policy.”

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