Staunton City Public Schools, Virginia

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Taxes Y
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Budget Y
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Meetings Y
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Elected Officials Y
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Administrative Officials Y
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Contracts P
Audits P
Public Records Y
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Academics Y
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Background Checks N
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Transparency grading process
Staunton City Public Schools is a school district in Virginia.

Website evaluation

Main article: Evaluation of Virginia school district websites

The good

  • The Staunton City Public Schools 2010-2011 budget information and planning documents, including federal, state, and local revenue information, are available. Per pupil expenditure reports are also posted.[1]
  • School board meeting schedule, agendas and minutes are available.[2]
  • Administrative and school board contact information is available.[3][4]
  • Academic performance information is available via a link to the Virginia Department of Education School Report Card.[5]
  • Section K: School-Community Relations of the Staunton City School Board Policy Manual includes Requests for Information procedures in compliance with the Virginia Freedom of Information Act. Section D: Fiscal Management includes information regarding audit requirements and Section G: Personnel includes hiring and evaluation information.[6]
  • Vendor bid request and results are posted.[7]
  • The school board’s financial information can be found in the City of Staunton’s 2009 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.[8]
  • Vendor contract information is available on the Virginia state website.[9]

The bad

  • The website does not include the results of background checks.
  • Current teacher and vendor contracts are not available on the school website. Teacher salary data is available on the Virginia Department of Education website.[10]

School Board

The Staunton City School Board is comprised of six members elected to four-year terms. The School Board is responsible for approving division decisions, such as those related to policy, administration, curriculum, and disciplinary actions. The Board also recommends a budget to the City Council.[3][11]

Current School Board Members

Member District Term Term Expires
Angela V. Whitesell, Chair June 30, 2014
George Ballew June 30, 2012
Sarah Crenshaw June 30, 2012
Amy Darby June 30, 2014
Ronald W. Ramsey June 30, 2014
Daniel Stuhlsatz June 30, 2012

The current division superintendent is Dr. R Steven Nichols.

The Virginia Public School System is supervised by a Board of Education, comprised of nine members appointed by the Governor and approved by the Virginia General Assembly. Members serve staggered four-year terms.

The Board of Education is responsible for dividing the Commonwealth of Virginia into school divisions and reviewing existing divisions to ensure standards of quality are being met. The Board makes annual reports to the General Assembly regarding public education in the Commonwealth and is further charged with certifying to the school board of each division a list of persons for the office of division superintendent of schools, one of whom the school board ultimately selects to fill the position. The Board also approves all educational materials used in the public schools. Supervision of school divisions is conducted by individual school boards.[12]

Current Board of Education Members[13]

Name Term Term Expires
Eleanor B. Saslaw, President 2nd January 29, 2012
Dr. Ella P. Ward, Vice President 2nd January 29, 2011
Elizabeth D. Beamer 1st January 29, 2014
Dr. Billy K. Cannaday, Jr. 1st June 30, 2011
Isis M. Castro 2nd January 29, 2012
David M. Foster 1st January 29, 2014
David L. Johnson 2nd June 30, 2011
K. Rob Krupicka 1st January 29, 2013
Dr. Virginia L. McLaughlin 1st January 29, 2013


The Staunton City Public Schools approved operating budget for 2010-2011 totals $25,485,328, a 15.5% decrease from the previous year’s budget. 80.91% of the approved budget is dedicated to Instruction costs. The budget includes $1,905,656 in federal revenue (7.48% of the revenue sources), $9,894,839 in state revenue (38.83%), $2,462,459 in state sales tax funds (9.66%), $10,156,147 in city appropriations (39.85%), and $998,905 in other revenue (3.92%). Per pupil cost for the 2009-2010 school year totaled $10,635 and the budgeted 2010-2011 cost per pupil is $9,923.[1]

Academic Performance

The Commonwealth of Virginia assesses schools based on Standards of Learning (SOL) tests and other statewide assessments; schools receive two accountability ratings a year based on student performance on these assessments. SOL tests assess student performance in English, math, science and history. Ratings are also given based on school and school division adherence to the goals of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), which requires 100 percent proficiency in reading and mathematics by 2014.

School's state accreditation is based on performance in English, history, mathematics and science.

Schools and school divisions, as well as the State, are rated as achieving Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) if they meet or exceed annual benchmarks in reading and mathematics.[14]

The Virginia Department of Education School Division Report Card reports Staunton City Public Schools as having a student population of 2,731 and 6 schools in the division.

Staunton City Public School Division did not make AYP for the 2009-2010 school year.[15]

School Grade Enrollment Made Adequate Yearly

Progress for 2009?

Arthur R. Ware Elementary N/A N/A N/A
Bessie Weller Elementary Pre-K – 5 293 Yes
Robert E. Lee High 9 - 12 814 No
Shelburne Middle 6 - 8 561 Yes
Thomas C. McSwain Elementary Pre-K – 5 381 Yes
Thomas W. Dixon Elementary Pre-K – 5 359 Yes

School Choice

Virginia passed its initial charter school law in 1998, revising it in 2002, 2004, and 2010 to ensure fair and accurate review of charter school applications. In 2009, Governor Kaine removed caps on the number of charter schools permitted in the state. The most recent changes were approved under HB 1390 and SB 736B, the latter of which incorporates a new type of charter schools called the College Partnership, which will include teacher education programs

Currently, Virginia has three charter schools in operation. Located in Albemarle County, the Community Public Charter School, which opened in 2008, offers an art-based curriculum for struggling sixth-grade students. The Murray High School charter school, also located in Albermarle County, serves at-risk students in grade 9-12. The York River Academy, which focuses on educating students for careers in computers and technology, is located in York County.

A third charter school, the Patrick Henry School of Science and Arts, is scheduled to open in Richmond County in summer 2010.

Charter schools meet the public school choice option required of school districts by the Federal No Child Left Behind Act, offered to parents of students attending under-performing schools.

In compliance with the 2001 No Child Left Behind Act, Staunton City Public Schools’ A.R. Ware, Jr. Elementary School is entering Year 1 of School Improvement as a result of not meeting yearly goals in reading/language arts and mathematics achievement. Parents may request to transfer students from Ware Elementary to another elementary school in the division, depending on enrollment availability. As of March 25, 2010, 229 students were eligible for school choice and six were participating in school choice.[5]

The Commonwealth of Virginia created the Virginia Charter School Resource Center to assist in encouraging the charter school movement in the State.[16][17][18]


The Virginia Education Association (VEA) is the teachers union for the Commonwealth of Virginia.[19] The VEA is affiliated with the National Education Association (NEA).[20]

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 ‘Staunton City Public Schools’, Financial Services – Budget Planning 2010-2011, July 27, 2010
  2. ‘Staunton City Public Schools’, Meetings, July 27, 2010
  3. 3.0 3.1 ‘Staunton City Public Schools’, School Board Members, July 27, 2010
  4. ‘Staunton City Public Schools’, Division Staff, July 27, 2010
  5. 5.0 5.1 ‘Staunton City Public Schools’, Curriculum and Instruction – Public School Choice, July 27, 2010
  6. ‘Staunton City Public Schools’, School Board Policy Manual, July 27, 2010
  7. ‘Staunton City Public Schools’, Financial Services, July 27, 2010
  8. ‘City of Staunton’, Financial Reports, July 27, 2010
  9. 'Virginia Department of Education', Virginia State Contracts, June 10, 2010
  10. 'Virginia Department of Education', Education Workforce Data & Reports, June 10, 2010
  11. ‘Staunton City Public Schools’, About the School Board, July 27, 2010
  12. 'Legislative Information System', Constitution of Virginia, June 10, 2010
  13. 'State Board of Education', Board Members, June 10, 2010
  14. 'Virginia Department of Education', School Report Card Accountability Guide, June 14, 2010
  15. ‘Virginia Department of Education’, Staunton City Public Schools, July 27, 2010
  16. 'Virginia Charter School Resource Center', June 10, 2010
  17. 'General Assembly of Virginia Bill Tracking', Chapter 530, June 10, 2010
  18. 'Charter School Legislation', June 10, 2010
  19. 'Virginia Education Association', June 10, 2010
  20. 'National Education Association', June 10, 2010