Thu11272014

Last updateMon, 27 Nov 2017 12am

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Family Fun Day packs the house

Family Fun Day packs the house

More than 600 attend; event ‘a great success

More than 600 people participated Nov. 8 in the 2nd A...

Art and wine lovers unite at Caledon State Park

Art and wine lovers unite at Caledon State Park

The chilly weather and slight drizzle didn’t deter the droves of attendees at the Nov. 1 Caledon Art...

Commission to examine local fracking rules

The King George Planning Commission soon will begin its review and analysis of the county’s zoning o...

Sealston girl, 12, is doing her part  to make a difference in animals’ lives

Sealston girl, 12, is doing her part to make a difference in animals’ lives

This past Saturday, Oct. 25, was National Make a Difference Day, a day when volunteers from across t...

Project Faith wants $300K from county

Attorney says group will give land back for that amount
Project Faith Inc., wants $300,000, or “any r...

Size of county’s debt not a concern, officials say

Size of county’s debt not a concern, officials say

Call it the great debt debate.
No one disputes King George has about $91.3 million in capital debt; t...

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Banner printing Comm Dental

Brown’s evaluation, contract

The King George School Board last week held a closed meeting for the sole purpose of evaluating division Superintendent Candace Brown’s performance and discussing her contract.
The public is not privy to the actual evaluations by members of the School Board because the evaluation is a personnel matter and exempt from public disclosure.  

Read more: Brown’s evaluation, contract

School Board: Cancel stadium

Wants the $3M to go toward $9.6M Potomac Elementary project
The King George School Board came to a surprise decision this week to direct Superintendent Candace Brown to inform County Administrator Travis Quesenberry that it wants to request the Board of Supervisors to cancel construction of a planned sports stadium and instead use the $3+ million to go toward $9.6 million in upgrades at Potomac Elementary School.

Read more: School Board: Cancel stadium

Open letter to Superintendent Brown and the KG School Board

Dr. Brown and School Board Members,

By now you are aware of the articles written to document Bobby’s situation. If you haven’t read them all they can be accessed at www.journalpress.com. There have been several posted comments from the readers. The word "bullying" is coming up over and over.

In one disturbing post someone mentions a child in a HS locker room who was beaten so badly his nose was broken. The victim’s response, "Look, at this school you either learn to take the punches or you learn to run faster- no one will help you here."
Many other posts state, "The teachers are bullied as much as the parents..."

The Journal has received calls and emails from people saying Bobby could be bullied.
For your peace of mind, you can rest assured we have people at the school, students and teachers, who are watching out for Bobby. If we discover any evidence that Bobby has been bullied or is being put into situations where bullying may take place, law enforcement will be notified and the school will be held accountable. I'm sure you will do everything within your power to make sure this doesn't happen.

Read more: Open letter to Superintendent Brown and the KG School Board

Bobby's Search for Services - Part 4: Little progress made this week

Bobby’s story

Editor’s note: Linda Davis has served as coach for the King George Little League Challengers and is coordinator for King George Special Olympics. Her years of experience working with children in the special education program gives her a unique perspective on how the program is serving children with special needs. This is not a traditional news story — this is one woman’s perspective of one child’s situation, one woman’s opinion based on first-hand knowledge.
This is a continuation of the series published to document the educational progress of 14-year-old Bobby.
This week there has been very little progress. Bobby is practicing with the King George High School swim team and doing well.  His mom, Jenn, is still toiling away, trying to get Bobby what he needs. She is finalizing her complaints to the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE).  On the school front, Superintendent Candace Brown came to Jenn’s workplace to speak to her about the situation.  At Lisa Gidcumb’s request, there were witnesses present.

Read more: Bobby's Search for Services - Part 4: Little progress made this week

Bobby's Search for Services Part 3: Bobby's IEP

Editor’s note: Linda Davis has served as coach for the King George Little League Challengers and is coordinator for King George Special Olympics. Her years of experience working with children in the special education program gives her a unique perspective on how the program is serving children with special needs. This is not a traditional news story — this is one woman’s perspective of one child’s situation, one woman’s opinion based on first-hand knowledge.

Bobby’s IEP team finally has a plan. Not an actual IEP but a plan to get one. First, Pat Nealon, Supervisor of Special Services for KG County Schools, will no longer have any role in the process. Bobby’s mom requested he be removed from the case based on our last meeting with him.
There have been rumors flying since I started this series. It seems teachers are worried they will be blamed for the lack of education Bobby has received. I can’t help that, if they had a part in the under-education of Bobby, then they might have to answer for that. That’s not my decision. Personally, I think the rot starts at the top. I think the teachers involved were afraid to lose their jobs by suggesting Bobby needed more, so Bobby’s education was neglected. I don’t know when we became more concerned about dollars than children.
As far as the teachers or administrators, I wouldn’t worry too much, this division is hardly known for disciplining employees. Superintendent Candace Brown has been included in the process from the beginning. We will never know if she is going to hold Nealon accountable for the sad and illegal state of Bobby’s IEP, or for the egregious way he treated Jenn at the last meeting. We will never know if she asked him why he sent draft after draft disregarding the team’s changes, embarrassing the division with his obvious disregard for protocol. We know the School Board members aren’t going to involve themselves. First, they haven’t received their orders from Brown, so they probably don’t know what to do until Candace tells them what they should do. They still haven’t figured out that she works for them and not the other way around.

Read more: Bobby's Search for Services Part 3: Bobby's IEP

Brown negotiating contract to save on utilities

The King George School Board authorized Superintendent Candace Brown to negotiate terms for a contract with Energy Education Inc. to supply services for the division to save money on utility costs through employing energy conservations practices. That action took place on Nov. 15.
Brown said she would be joined in the negotiations by the members of a selection committee, of which she is a member.
The other members are King George County Procurement Manager Kelly Dixon, King George Service Authority General Manager Chris Thomas, county General Properties Manager Matt Clift and division Facilities Coordinator Don Hall.

Read more: Brown negotiating contract to save on utilities

Bobby’s search for services — part II

Editor’s note: Linda Davis has served as coach for the King George Little League Challengers and is coordinator for King George Special Olympics. Her years of experience working with children in the special education program gives her a unique perspective on how the program is serving children with special needs. This is not a traditional news story — this is one woman’s perspective of one child’s situation.
And just as each student’s experience is unique, so are the qualities of their teachers.

This is a continuation of the series written to document the IEP (Individual Education Plan) process of a student at KGHS. Part one of the story was printed in the Nov. 17 issue of the Journal.
By the time the first article was published we had already attended one meeting. Before I tell you about that, I want to tell you a little more about Bobby and his family.
By now you know Bobby is 14 and he is in the ninth grade at King George High School. He has Down syndrome. We started this process because Bobby has regressed. Bobby’s mom asked me for help, I looked at his IEP and so the journey began.

Read more: Bobby’s search for services — part II

Bobby’s struggle for special ed services

This story is being written to document the educational regression of a 14-year-old student at King George County High School. It will be written as a series of articles. I am writing it in the hopes the people of this county will stand up and demand answers. Our Special Education system is broken. As evidenced by our recent AYP failures, the Special Ed Department is failing our children. These failures will continue until we care enough to demand changes. The story you are about to read is about one child; I have no way of knowing how many other children are affected. I am going to try and save that one child. The people of King George will need to stand up together to save the rest.

Read more: Bobby’s struggle for special ed services

 

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