Superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti Addresses PTA Member Questions

March 1, 2017

The Duval County Council PTA would like to thank Dr. Nikolai Vitti for keeping PTA membership informed by addressing member questions.  Dr. Vitti will answers question at the next DCCPTA general meeting March 28 @ 9:30 am at the school board building.

  1. Information about the Midyear assessment results.

Click Here for a recent presentation regarding student achievement at midyear.

  1. What professional development is available to math teachers?  Is it mandatory?

Professional development for mathematics is provided weekly via face-to-face meetings or on a digital platform, and every other week through early release and administrator-led common planning. Mathematics professional development offerings are also available throughout the school year. Mandatory professional development for math teachers occurs each week. Two times per month the mandatory professional development is offered by the district and twice per month the mandatory professional development is facilitated by the school leadership team.

  1. Can after school tutoring be held with teachers who have been specially selected?

This would need to be negotiated through collective bargaining. The challenge here is if specific teachers are willing to conduct after school tutoring.

  1. Can students participate in the evaluation of their teachers?

No. Student input is not a factor in the approved teacher evaluation system. Teacher assessments are a negotiated item, and must include the components required by the state.

  1. Can DCPS employees serve as PTA Treasurer and/or one of the signatures on PTA checks?

After receiving this request, we consulted our internal auditors as well as the other large districts in the state.  We would recommend not using a district employee as PTA Treasurer or a cosigner on PTA checks, if there are other options available.  I understand that there are instances where it is difficult to find individuals to fulfill this function.  A district employee may serve in this role under the following conditions:

  • The employee cannot serve this role at their assigned workplace.
  • The employee cannot be a signer on any other district funds (this would eliminate bookkeepers and principals, at minimum).
  • The employee cannot handle PTA funds at any point during their work hours at their current work site.
  • The employee must have written approval from their current supervisor.
  • The employee should have a PTA officer that is not a signer on the PTA account review the monthly financial reports prior to submitting them to the school.
  1. What is the district doing about weapons in schools?

Click Here for a PowerPoint presentation that outlines the issues and next steps.  I understand that several DCC PTA Board Members recommended the Know the Law presentation by JSO and Drug-Free Duval.  We have followed up on this, and The Parent Academy will be offering several sessions soon.

Dr. Nikolai Vitti, Superintendent
Duval County Public Schools
1701 Prudential Drive
Jacksonville, FL 32207
Phone: 904.390.2115
Fax: 904.390.2586
Email: vittin@duvalschools.org

Duval County Public School Representative Answered Questions at PTA Meeting

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

Chartwell’s Chefs in Schools Program

chartwell-chefWe have a few different formats that we can use for a Chefs 2 Schools visit. The most common is our more interactive visit, in which our Chef and dietician prepare a sample of a healthy dish utilizing a fruit or vegetable that is our food focus of the month. We typically try to tie this back in to something that is offered on our menus. This is our most popular version of the Chefs 2 School event. Typically, we host around 30-50 students at these visits. Students get the opportunity to see the chef in action, the chef uses a few student volunteers to assist him, the dietician reviews nutrition education facts regarding the dish, and students get to take home a recipe card.

We can also provide a Chefs 2 School event for the whole school, set during lunch service. This is less interactive, and really focuses on the students simply sampling the item and taking a recipe card home.

Our third option, is called Food Art Friday. During this event, one of our chefs will provide the selected students with fresh fruits/vegetables, and allow them to create artwork with it. We usually reserve this for younger elementary students. They are able to touch, taste, and learn about healthy fruits/veggies. This is typically around 30-40 students due to the interactive nature of the visit.

For more information contact Louisa Alderson, Chartwells Marketing & Communication Manager, Office phone:  904-732-5117,  Louisa.Alderson@compass-usa.com.

 

Participants Needed for the 2016 Adoption Process Secondary ELA and Social Studies Committee

committeeWe are beginning the adoption process for 9-12 ELA, and 6-12 Social Studies. The adoption committee will convene two days for ELA and two days for Social Studies the week of December 12th. Each committee will consist of 30-50 randomly selected teachers, community members, and parents. TDE will be provided for all teachers who participate. If you are interested in participating, please complete the table below and email to Mason Davis and Liz Cutrona no later than Friday, December 2nd. Selected members will be notified by Tuesday, December 6th.

Name Teacher, Parent, or Community Member School/Organization Grade Level Subject Area Email Address

If you have any questions, please contact Mason Davis at davisw2@duvalschools.org, or Liz Cutrona at cutronae1@duvakschools.org.

OneView – DCPS

OneViewOneView is a communication, collaboration, and content management tool designed to empower members of the Duval County Public Schools community by providing personalized access to important data, resources, and services.  DCPS teachers, students, administrators, and staff access OneView using their district username/password.  Parents/Guardians & Community Partners must create a DCPS account if they have not already done so.  CLICK HERE to create an account.  CLICK HERE to access OneView!  OneView Frequently Asked Questions .