Message from the Superintendent

Dr. Michael Gill

Greetings,

After a winter full of dramatic weather fluctuations, we eagerly await the warmth and renewal of spring. Despite the weather, the instruction in each of our buildings continues to be topnotch, and our students are making remarkable progress, thanks to our outstanding teachers and support staff. A notable change this academic year for all public school divisions in the commonwealth are the new, more rigorous standards of accreditation implemented by the Virginia Department of Education. This new model will assess multiple data points in addition to SOL scores including graduation, career readiness, and attendance measures. Although this will make it more difficult for schools and school divisions to earn full accreditation, we embrace this change as it places greater emphasis on the success of all learners. As we have long believed and expressed, standardized test scores should never be the sole judge of a student’s knowledge or an educator’s effectiveness, and our focus will continue to be on the development of the whole child - academic, social-emotional, career readiness, citizenship, and more.

We reinforce our comprehensive approach to education in several ways, as seen in the work of our Profile of a Hanover Graduate Committee and our Equity Committee. The profile of a Hanover graduate is a learner profile that emphasizes not just academic skills but those skills that will serve our students well into their adult lives. Modeled upon the state’s framework, the profile of a Hanover graduate will ensure that our students graduate with the ability to collaborate, communicate, and think critically in order to pursue their own personal and professional interests and contribute meaningfully to their community. The profile will be presented to the school board later this school year, and it will operate alongside our division’s long range plan. The Equity Committee is comprised of a diverse group of internal and external school division stakeholders. They are looking at the school division’s work through the comprehensive lens of meeting the needs of diverse learners throughout the division. Their recommendations will be important as we differentiate resources and examine our practices so that all students can reach their potential regardless of socioeconomic status, race or ethnicity, or special learning needs.

We remain committed to upholding our longstanding tradition of excellence which is reflected in the school board’s approved budget for the next fiscal year (FY20). Our employees are our most valuable resource and are vital to our ongoing success. As a result, the budget includes a proposed three percent pay raise for all division employees and a salary scale adjustment to the teacher pay plan that will help us to recruit and retain the very best talent. Similarly, the proposed budget underscores our commitment to meeting the ever-increasing and evolving needs of our students with the addition of counseling, mental health, and special education resources and supports. The budget also includes continued funding of the five-year technology plan as well as outlines a plan to begin the replacement or renovation of several of our aging facilities over the next several years.

It is an exciting time to be a part of Hanover County Public Schools, and we invite you to become involved with us. Whether it is volunteering in a classroom or cafeteria, serving on a committee, or attending an athletics or performing arts event, your partnership is important to us. We look forward to welcoming you.

In education,

Michael B. Gill, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools

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