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Date of Meeting: 6 February 2007






SUBJECT: Western Schools Task Force


ELECTION DISTRICT: Blue Ridge, Catoctin




During the last year, there have been numerous calls by elected officials and citizens for greater participation in decisions about Western schools, both strategy and site selection. There are certain activities that need to take place in camera, such as negotiating the purchase of specific properties. However, there are also areas in which a formal joint planning process might take place.

On 30 November 2006 School Board Chairman Robert Dupree invited elected officials from the School Board, the Board of Supervisors, and each of the Western Towns to a public meeting on the topic of future school needs in Western Loudoun. Chairman Dupree advertised this meeting as an effort to initiate an on-going dialogue with these parties on the School Board’s future strategy for meeting Western Loudoun’s school needs. I attended that meeting and felt the dialogue between the parties was very helpful as was the dialogue I had with citizens in the audience afterwards. Based on comments made during the meeting and my conversation with the citizens afterwards, I prepared a document, “Western Schools Task Force: A Proposal by Blue Ridge Supervisor Jim Burton,” as a possible approach to ensure such a conversation continued (see Attachment 1).

On 10 January 2007 Board of Supervisors Chairman Scott York held a follow-up meeting. At this meeting participants discussed my proposal and asked for certain changes to be made. These changes were made and the revised proposal sent out for comments. Further comments were then incorporated into the proposal in Attachment 1. Overall, the participants in the meeting were quite supportive of the idea and Chairman York requested that I formally place an item on the Board’s 5 February 2007 agenda.  

Details of the proposal can be found in the Attachment. This agenda item would formally record the Board’s backing of the idea by establishing the Task Force and committing staff resources to its support. Actual initiation of efforts by the Task Force would be contingent on the passage of similar motions by each of the elected bodies participating, including a commitment of staff resources where available.


I move that the Board of Supervisors initiate the creation of a Western Schools Task Force as proposed in Attachment 1. I further move that should the other elected bodies agree to fully participate in the Task Force (including the allocation of resources as necessary) the Board allocate staff in support the Task Force’s efforts.


Attachment 1: Western Schools Task Force: A Proposal by Blue Ridge Supervisor Jim Burton

Staff Contact(s):        Mary Bathory Vidaver, x0210