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July 10, 2018

School superintendent gets new contract, $10k raise

File Photo/Lawrence Emerson
His new contract runs through June 2022 and pays Superintendent David Jeck $180,000 a year.
Fauquier’s school board Monday night unanimously approved a new four-year employment contract for Superintendent David Jeck.

Dr. Jeck, who lives near Orlean, will earn $180,274 annually, an increase of $10,000.

Effective Monday, his new contract runs through June 30, 2022.

Dr. Jeck will continue to receive $1,000 per month for a car allowance “inclusive of all automobile expenses.”

> Contract at bottom of story

Dr. Jeck, 53, just started his sixth year as Fauquier’s superintendent and his contract would have expired next June.

He served five years as superintendent of Greene County’s school system before coming to Fauquier in 2013

The school board Monday also included these in the new contract:

• Dr. Jeck may get paid for up to 20 days of unused annual leave.

• Should the school board fire him without cause, the superintendent would receive his salary through the remainder of the contract or for 12 months if his contract expires sooner.

• If Dr. Jeck retires after continuous employment, the Fauquier school board would pay health insurance premiums for him and his wife until he qualifies for Medicare.

Prince William County Superintendent Steven Walts earns $315,603 annually — the highest salary in the Northern Virginia Region IV, which includes Loudoun, Fairfax and other counties.

— By Cassandra Brown

David Jeck 070918 New Contract by Fauquier Now on Scribd

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sshrader · July 19, 2018 at 1:45 pm
Waterloo, can you expand on this?

The more detailed conversations that we can have about experiences in the schools, both positive and negative, the better we can help the students. There are so few chances to have deeper conversations about what students are really experiencing in Fauquier schools. This relates to another issue that I brought up in my meeting with Ms. Brill and Mr. Malloy, the need for increased family engagement. Unfortunately, the schools mainly use a contact approach- get in touch with guardians when there is an issue (discipline, grades, absences). Occasionally the schools ask for "involvement" in the form of fundraising, help in classrooms, or events at the schools. But engagement is much more.
"Parent engagement is qualitatively different from parent involvement, where a parent helps with fundraising or a school trip, and the teacher sets the agenda and makes all the decisions, she said. Pushor added that parents have “parent knowledge” that’s specific to their child and family that they can contribute.
“When I engage with you as a parent, I ask for your knowledge to be laid alongside my own. Now, when we are making programming decisions or talking about your child’s schooling, you have a voice as a decision-maker,” Pushor said."

Debbie Pushor, quoted above, is Canadian. The Canadian schools have extensive family engagement expectations. Another Canadian, Tony Dalton, lists his family engagement agenda online here:
His list includes:
Learning Walks with a focus on Maths , Inquiry and also Religious Education
Community conversations-"Whats worth learning?"-"School Vision" and "Reporting"
STEAM and STEM family engagements
Community engagement teams
Family SEL engagements
School Advisory Body workshops-"A new handbook for members"
Parents in Inquiry planning
Professional learning programs for school communities-"From Involvement to Engagement",Strategic Planning using the Parent Engagment rubric
School Website development with a strong focus on engaging parents "at home'
Coaching School leaders for more impacting efforts to engage parents in their children's learning

Point being, the Canadian parents have so many chances to see what is happening in the schools and IMPACT policy, teaching expectations, the learning environment. The family is considered an integral part of the entire team. Here, we often experience an approach that is school vs. family.
A quote from a popular online education influencer Daniel Steele that is an example of this common approach:
"Over the years it has become clear to me that support is the #1 quality that teachers desire in their administrators. They want to know that when things get challenging with a student or dicey with a parent, someone has their back"
Dr Debbie Pushor’s response:
“And then who has the child’s or parent’s back? Why do we think in binaries and adversarial ways? What about creating a circle including everyone and having an honest, authentic, meaningful, and perhaps courageous conversation? #parentengagement is a philosophy and a pedagogy.”
sshrader · July 12, 2018 at 1:33 pm
Thanks Jim, I appreciate that you have taken the time to discuss your experience with the flex block at LHS. The potential for the time to be more than just remediation is exactly why it is important to analyze what is actually happening and how it can improve. To have examples like yours highlighted may help other teachers and students.
I also agree that each school should be given the freedom to try new approaches like the flex block. But, if one of the main purposes of the block is to help struggling students, then I do expect the central office administrators to analyze why so many students need remediation (looking at the progression through all grades and, hopefully, examining the approach and impact of teaching and discipline approaches, family engagement, and early detection of issues).
Meaghan Brill and Mark Malloy took the time to meet with me at the end of the school year to discuss some concerns that I have, one of which is the flex block. Ms. Brill is working to improve Cougar Block, the school sent out a survey asking for the students experiences and input. Hopefully, the three schools will work together to share examples like yours of how the time can *consistently* be engaging and productive for more students.
It is also important to know how many teachers have experienced a negative impact from the reduction of teaching time and what can be adjusted to allow for the full time that they need to cover all of their material.
J Obrokta · July 12, 2018 at 11:21 am
sshrader -

I just want to address some of your comments about the new flex blocks built into our school days.

First, I think you should remember that this was a school-based decision, and while central office could dictate that we do it or that we don't do it, given the chance to create this block all three of our high schools chose to build it into the schedule. This wasn't a decision that was made quickly. I know at Liberty our admin and leadership team has talked about our Eagle Block on a regular basis for years now, and we continue to consider making little changes to improve it. Still, we chose to implement it after our admin and leadership team read books like the Innovator's Mindset, which lays out a lot of solid ideas for school improvement.

One big mistake that I think you are making, and perhaps too many of our teachers are also making, is in seeing these flex blocks as remediation blocks. It is true that we should use our flex periods to help students who have fallen behind, or who might struggle to pass tests. But when designing these kinds of flex blocks, I know our admin and leadership team expected them to become far more than just remediation blocks.

It is true that we shouldn't use that time to "introduce new material." That is to say, we should not require students to come to our flex block while we do a lecture that every single student really needs to hear. That kind of thing needs to stay in our regular classes.

On the other hand, we should really see that block as a chance for extension for those students who are ready for more challenges. I've had quite a few students, but one in particular, who fits this idea really well. In the spring of this past year I had a 9th grade girl in a world history class. She told me that she hated school but for some reason liked history. I invited her to come to my Eagle Block any day that she was free, even though she definitely didn't need remediation. While she was in my Eagle Block she worked on things that no other students were doing, and she was doing it just for the love of learning. She did two different research topics, which then led to presentations that she gave to the class during our regular block. She gave me a hard time about a review game that I ran, so she used some Eagle Block time to design an entirely new review game, which she then ran for me in class. Towards the end of the year she made a Youtube video about the study of history, which I used in a professional development session to show what our students are capable of when given time and opportunities to challenge themselves.

While this particular student was pretty rare for a freshman in regards to her motivation, a large number of my 11th and 12th grade econ students have come to Eagle Block to do things like research and discuss the economics of healthcare. That is an interesting application of the content that we learn in AP macro, but it a really lengthy case-study that I simply don't have time to include in the regular day.

From the top down, Dr. Jeck and central office are probably correct in giving the schools the freedom to try things like the flex blocks.

At each school, we definitely need to work with teachers to help everyone use that time for both remediation and for extension with students who are ready for more challenges.

As always, thanks for being a part of the conversation.

Best regards,
Jim OBrokta
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
LHS Social Studies
Jim Griffin · July 12, 2018 at 8:23 am
I've met lots of educators in my long life but few care as much as does Dr. Jeck. It's one reason good teachers stay.

Observer, wearing a hood as you do, incapable of so much as properly spelling the word superintendent -- call me whatever names you want, they say more about you than they do about me.

If you want to give teachers raises you'll support Dr, Jeck and allocate him the money to do so. He took a substandard raise to help.
sshrader · July 12, 2018 at 7:51 am
14000 students in Fauquier vs. 94000 students in Loudoun
Jim Griffin · July 11, 2018 at 2:38 pm
Wages are generally a matter of supply and demand. Virginia school superintendents are in very limited supply against relatively high demand.

Supply is limited both because there is a limited list of superintendents maintained by the state from which Virginia school districts must hire, and because the requirements for the job are rigorous.

Dr. Jeck is a fine superintendent, this we know. With this raise, he now makes what an assistant superintendent makes in Loudoun County and less than many Virginia educators and superintendents.

Thank you David Jeck for taking a modest raise, averaging about 1.5% per year over a four-year deal. We are fortunate to have you working for us in Fauquier County.
nonewtaxes · July 11, 2018 at 9:03 am
You'd think making $200kyr he'd be able to afford his own car.
sshrader · July 11, 2018 at 8:13 am
• District Improvement – One of the main duties of a superintendent is to be a constant evaluator. Superintendents should always be looking for methods, both large and small, to improve their district. A superintendent who does not have a vision for continuous improvement is not doing their job and does not have the best interest of the district in mind.

How well does David Jeck continue to improve our schools?
How is improvement evaluated? SOL scores, graduation rates, drop out rates, teacher retention?
Let’s take a look at the changes made in the high school schedule, specifically at Kettle Run. Half way through last year Cougar Block was adopted as a 35 minute a day, 4 days a week, with one day with a 35-minute home room change to the schedule (plus two 5-minute bell changes). The schedule used to include a 15 minute a day home room with one 5-minute bell change. That increases the time per year from 45 hours to 120 hours. 75 hours less time for teaching. The Cougar Block is used as a remediation time to help students that were not passing SOL’s or that may need extra help to pass a class, and therefore to graduate. Teachers are not supposed to teach any new material during Cougar Block. The change in Kettle Run’s schedule to include remediation 4 days a week was, in part, made because the other two high schools already had the remediation block in place.
As superintendent one of the big things is to have good numbers- SOL pass rates, graduation rates, equality in minority and special needs pass rates, etc. This remediation time helps those numbers immensely. How does it serve the students? The students who need remediation do get help to just pass or just get across the finish line of graduation. The students who do not need remediation can do homework, chat, or look at their phone. Is this helping? Yes, we want students to pass but is this the best approach? It seems to indicate an issue if all three high schools must have remediation time built into the day. When my son pointed out that he was spending DAYS worth of time sitting, doing nothing and I forwarded the message on to David Jeck, Jeck responded saying that his high school focus group liked the new Cougar Block, but he did not say how they found it useful.
To continue to improve our schools it is time to fully evaluate the remediation time in our high schools. Why is so much remediation needed, how many students is it helping and how many is it not, are any teachers/classes affected by the reduced time for their class (my son’s math teacher had to teach new material during the block, even though they are not supposed to, because there would not have been enough time to cover the material since each class has about 6 classes of lost time), if the remediation block is to stay in place how can the students who do not need help better use the time (schools provide more options for what students can do).
Bringing up issues in our schools is often an exercise in futility. If there is a response it is not always followed by action, rarely are real changes made. The word “criticize” seems to be thrown around a lot, as if an issue with the process is being taken personally instead of being fully evaluated. Top dollar earners- doctors, lawyers, CEOs, high level managers, superintendents- all are expected to be problem solvers. That entails “transparent communication… focused on the betterment of a healthier whole… being open-minded… and having a solid foundational strategy.” “Without strategy, change is merely substitution, not evolution.” (
Cougar block is definitely not evolution. Since all three high schools have the remediation time in place this is not an individual school issue but a county wide issue.

David Jeck:
“I’m a ‘big picture’ person,” he says. “What’s it going to take to get there? The details come along with it. My personal style is always looking at what’s next.” 

“I think about how happy I am in this community. When you get to be my age, you want to leave a legacy . . . leave a place better than you found it.”

David Jeck is a nice guy, most people probably like him a lot and will remember him fondly once he is gone. But, to effect any major improvements (create a legacy?), he must take a more proactive approach to improving our schools and implement strategy for evolution, not continue to substitute.
Rover 530 · July 10, 2018 at 8:27 pm
Flipping outrageous! I hope the taxpayers of Fauquier Co. remember this during the next school board election. SAD!
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