Students and Schools in Challenging Environments Month
In an effort to increase awareness of and support for each and every student in Virginia, the VSBA Board of Directors has designated the month of March as VSBA Students and Schools in Challenging Environments Month.
The VSBA Task Force on Students and Schools in Challenging Environments was established by the Board of Directors in 2013 to educate state and local policy makers how VSBA can partner to help challenged students and schools in Virginia, and to identify and share research, resources, and strategies that will empower Virginia’s schools to reach higher levels of student achievement. As a result of listening to board members and superintendents, interacting with parents and students, conducting extensive data analyses, and engaging with public and private sector leaders, the Task Force determined that every school division in Virginia serve students who can benefit from this month-long focus combined with year-round action.
Through the release of three reports over the past decade, the task force has played a key role in providing federal, state, and local school boards with best practices for implementation on educating students in challenged schools and students who may face unique challenges with them no matter the school they attend. We must work together to ensure that all students no matter their zip code, area of the state they reside, or size of their school division receive the supports necessary to achieve positive academic outcomes. From NOVA to Southside, the Urban Crescent to the Rural Backbone, when inequities in education persists, there is a cost to all involved including missed opportunities for economic development, greater dependence on government supports, and fewer Virginians ready to serve and lead.
VSBA President David Woodard has message to encourage participation in VSBA Students and Schools in Challenging Environments Month: