Dr. Dana Kriznar, Duval County Public School Chief of Staff addressed questions that were asked at the Duval County Council PTA General Membership Meeting held January 24, 2017.

1.      The Choice applications are due before Magnet letters are mailed out.  Frequently parents want to select Choice options if they do not get into a Magnet, but at that point, it is too late to submit an application.  Have we thought about changing the timing of the deadlines for applications and/or notification of seats?

The Choice application process begins on April 15th, but does not end until May 15th.  Letters for magnet acceptance are typically mailed out in early April, so there is usually not a conflict.  If an individual has specific concerns about the deadline, please refer him/her to Pearl Roziers, Assistant Superintendent of School Choice, at roziersp@duvalschools.org.

2.      Why are Google Docs being blocked?  The National History Day site is blocked, as well.

 OneView, the district education portal was launched on July 1, 2016. While OneView is an education portal that was built by Microsoft for Duval County Public Schools, its integration with Office 365 provides all district end-users with 24/7 access to the tools they need to do their work. OneView/Office 365 offers all of the features of Google Apps plus single sign-on functionality. While utilizing Google Apps might have made sense when the district did not have a platform with the same functionality, that is no longer the case. Now that OneView/Office 365 is available, the need for end-users to have access to Google Apps is no longer necessary. In a district of our size, standardization is imperative to ensure support as well as the ability for teachers to have access to student files.

Although it may be inconvenient to lose access to the Google Apps, it should not keep students and teachers from collaborating and/or sharing work. The intention is not to keep anyone from doing their work but to support them in adapting to this new way of work.  The Instructional Technology Team is available to work with the teachers and students in our schools to assist with this transition.

I understand that this change is not easy, especially when an individual has become comfortable using a particular technology platform.  The transition to OneView/Office 365 is an opportunity to experience change and discover that new tools such as OneNote Class Notebook can actually improve the instructional experience.

In reference to your other technology concern, the site that allows students to view and create websites for their National History Day presentations (https://nhd.weebly.com/) has now been recategorized to allow students to view and create websites.  Thank you for calling this oversight to my attention.

3.      One parent was invited to a gifted stakeholder meeting this evening, but a number of other parents were not.  How was it decided which parents were invited to attend?  Must parents RSVP in order to attend?

We used the distribution list for the Gifted Stakeholder list from last year as a starting point for inviting parents and community.  Additionally, we have sent the information on these meetings out to teachers of the gifted for sharing with their parents/guardians.  We welcome any parents/guardians or community members to attend.  While we appreciate having an RSVP so we can have the appropriate number of chairs and printed materials available for all who attend, we welcome anyone who comes to the meeting.  Those wishing to be added to the distribution list for notification of future meetings can email Paula Renfro at renfrop@duvalschools.org .

4.      There were several concerns about field trip buses arriving late or not arriving at all.  In addition, bus drivers have arrived at schools that did not know where they were supposed to go.  Can anything be done about this?

Dr. Kriznar has shared the specific examples provided at the meeting to Don Nelson, Assistant Superintendent of Operations, and he is investigating those incidents.  Mr. Nelson has already met with the Operations Officer of one of the bus companies noted in this morning’s meeting.  He will also reach out to the other bus contractors to review expectations of performance.

In addition, he will be looking into our bus contractor performance for field trips to see if there are any trends that needed to be addressed system-wide.  Operations will also post Field Trip instructions and requirements to all principals through our weekly email to administrators.

Once again, thank you for bringing these issues to my attention.  If you have follow up questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Kriznar, Dana,, Duval County Public School Chief of Staff