September 2023 Meeting Minutes

Start of meeting 6:31 p.m.

Recognition of September 11

Discussion regarding the mission of principal’s advisory committee PAC (Budget, and CIP). Meeting dates for the year with 3 before winter break and 3 after winter break.

Superintendent Advisory Council Representative: Ms. Kinsel

Described the process of the meetings at the Superintendent Level. Last year areas of focus was PWCS CIP and Budget. Looking for an alternate. Ms. Walker volunteered to be the alternate.

Community Time:

Parent mentioned that on FB there is comments regarding inappropriate behaviors in bathrooms, vaping. Mr. Beech responded we don’t endorse that behavior. Bathrooms are where students have a little more privacy, earlier it was smoking now it’s vaping. Sexual activity could be happening, but it has been addressed when we were made knowledge of inappropriate behavior. We have 4 security staff this year. 3 retired police officer and 1 worked in Juvenile Restorative Justice. We assign duty to teachers to monitor bathroom halls. We won’t station a teacher directly in the bathroom. Not accurate that “everybody is doing it” We monitor the bathrooms with decent amount of resource with knowledge we still have room to grow.

Parent commented that students are not using the bathrooms for the intended purpose. They are waiting to use the restroom until they get home. throughout comfortable to use the bathroom throughout the day. Commons bathrooms are the busiest during the morning arrival, lunch periods and end of the day. 1 bathroom open in each of the academic areas, which are pretty empty. Mr. Beech mentioned part of his morning rounds he goes into the boys’ common restrooms and has found multiple students just hanging out and he has spoken to them that it is not appropriate. We have opened up more bathrooms during the day.

Parent asked clarification regarding Advisory/NEST, what is the point of it and the goal. Mr. Beech explained and showed the new bell schedule. Repackaging the instructional minutes-90 minutes is a long period. Splitting one 90 min class into two 45 min classes/blocks. Reteach, relearn, extension activities in NEST. No new instruction during NEST. The hope is to lessen the need to stay after school during NEST. Advisory is where non instructional items can be given, for example code of behavior, surveys, security scanners, etc. Advisory meet about 12 to 14 more times this year. PSAT will be given during the Advisory block as opposed to a math class. Through Advisory we have been able to take care of admin items with more intention (E-Hall pass use, testing,) Students will stay with the Advisory teacher their 4 years at GHS. We did agree that we have dedicated too much time at the start to Advisory. We will monitor and adjust for next year.

Parent mentioned it was nice to see more common grading this year at Back to school. She didn’t hear the retake policy is for each. Mr. Beech responded there are more opportunities to reassess. Essentially, we are working towards consistency through the building-revisit topics in the year (2-3 times in the school year) could be in the summative end of unit quiz. In Language Arts the writing process could look differently than Math, but they are given multiple opportunities to show mastery that doesn’t look like a retake per say.

Parent asked about discussion to make Back to School as an open house to help parents that have more than one child being able to go to all teachers. We received feedback from families, and they asked for more time with teachers. We added sessions regarding AP, Gifted ED, Grading, etc. Parents can attend the breakout sessions they are interested in. We could add classroom visits to 9 minutes. Kick the idea around.

Parent mentioned in Advisory they had to show Dr. McDade’s video and had only about 1 min left in class. Refocus on what each teacher should share during back to school-they all said the same thing about grading. We could cancel the open house portion of it and have classrooms 12 minutes. Introduction, grading and NEST. It would be helpful more specific by teacher like their retake policy, meet the teachers.

Parent mentioned not to cancel the breakout sessions-maybe do them as a zoom webinar. Or make them on another day. The breakout sessions are optional and if parents don’t want to attend, they don’t need to. We have Touch Base conferences, back to school and New Student Orientation, Curriculum Fair-with similar themes for sessions. We repeat them over time in the year-communication if you missed you will have another opportunity. We did use Webinars but not well attended at the end of the year last year. We do upload the webinar to our YouTube channel. We will keep kicking it around to add to parent resource page to include the transcript with questions asked.

Parent mentioned that back to school night was great-staff were very helpful in the halls. Maybe the announcement didn’t have to be said-just use the bell. We do look at all the feedback given. Intentional decisions made.

Parent mentioned she is very happy to see the community we are building at Gainesville High School. It’s becoming a close nit community.

Principals Time:

Smoothest opening of the school year in Mr. Beech’s 14 years as a principal. Positive vibe amongst the students, faculty and staff. Two great home football games which felt like community events-good student turn out. Positive start to the year. We have not added or closed any classes this year or 2 previous years.

Parent asked if we have projection of enrollment for the next 2-3 years. Mr. Beech responded that our base 9th grade class is fluctuating from 590-640 for students zoned to GHS. We need to look at the transfer process for students wanting to go to other HS in the county for specialty programs and those that want to come to GHS. Keep 9th grade to around 620 students.

Parent asked what is the breakdown for each grade level. Mr. Beech responded with Senior class at 478, Junior class at 670, Sophomore class at 600, Freshman class at 638.

Parent asked why is the student drop off at the stadium side of the building. Why not in the front of the building. We were told to do it this way to get as many cars off University Blvd. and the best solution is to go towards the stadium. Timing of when students cross to only when staff tell them to move along during the cross walk. Agree that having a dedicated turn lane would help. Long term investment to do site work to solve the traffic flow. Traffic lights could help to a degree.

Why don’t we have any school zone lights. Technically owned by PWCS University Rd. but is going to become a VDOE road. No one will touch it until it’s finished and turned over. Signs you see along University we have installed them.

Parent asked if there are plans to add more Evolv safety systems. We currently have 4 doors and each door requires 3 staff members to man the entrance. We currently don’t have enough staff to add additional entrances with safety systems. Teachers can’t leave the entrance supervision if they have a 1st block of the day. Will search property due to scanners being set off (false positives) and hopefully that will deter students from bringing other items to school that are not weapons as well like vapes.

Parent asked if guest to the building will have to go through Evolve. Yes, all guest will have to walk thru the Evolv. If guest sets the alarm off our receptionist will call for Security or administrator to assist. Very labor intensive, human resource labor intensive.

Parent asked if Evolv will be used for sporting events. Currently no. We can’t get enough people to be ticket takers-not be able to staff the security system. Not sure how we can get there.

Good News

  1. Professional Development this summer for staff Myron Dueck. Sent many teachers to Summer AP Institute and held a New Student Orientation with 600 students.
  2. NEST/Advisory early
  3. SALC Student Activity Leadership Class have gone thru a re-boot this year. More going on voting on Homecoming themes and spirit week theme days. Teachers are Mr. Miller, Mrs. Karnbach, and Mrs. Campbell.
  4. Academy class for small group of 9th grade students where they get an extra class in Language Arts. We had the Edge ropes course with student leaders here at GHS. Was positive experience for students.


  1. Fully Staffed-Admin made hires starting October 2022. 94% budget on staffing. Fully staffed in classified staff as well. This summer 9 staff cleaned the building over the summer. Enrollment is 2393 today.
  2. Review of Projected Enrollment and Budget Adjustment


  1. Learning and Achievement for all
    1. Increase Reading SOL test pass rate among EL and SWED to 85% (from 80% and 79%)
    2. Increase Biology SOL test pass rate among EL and SWED to 85% (from 68% and 59%)
    3. Increase Algebra I SOL test pass rate among EL and SWED to 85% (from 69% and 51%)
  2. Positive Climate and Culture
    1. Chronic Absenteeism will remain below 17% during 23-24 SY from 18.9%
  3. Family and Community Engagement
  4. CIP Strategies
    1. Who is doing the work?
    2. Task aligned with standards.
    3. Enhance co-teaching team practices and deploy support to the areas fo greatest student needs.
    4. Working with families of those that are chronically absent.
    5. Simplify grade reporting mechanisms.

Accreditation Status

  1. Math 78% overall pass rate 70%
  2. English 97% overall pass rate
  3. Science 81%
  4. GCI 2023 96%
  5. College Career Civic Readiness Index 83% (target is 85%)


  1. Traffic is moving better than earlier in the year. Push thru of University Blvd. done by the end of next school year (four lanes). Considering possible solutions in the meantime. Board members have been instrumental to help get the conversations about the traffic.
  2. Evolv safety system is available for any parents that want to walk through them. Strategies to keep the traffic flow at the entrances. Small opening tomorrow to help students get use to it. Go live on Tuesday, 9/19. Leave items at home you don’t need.
  3. Touchbase 10/9 7:30- 9:30 am
  4. PSAT 10/18 during Advisory
  5. SAT for seniors on 10/26. Students need to opt out if they don’t want to take the SAT.


If you are interested in being a Chairperson, please email Mr. Beech or Mrs. Dunlow. Hopefully we can commit to have a chairperson by the next meeting.