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Loudoun Education Alliance of Parents to discuss student suicide, gang activity this school year

The Loudoun Education Alliance of Parents will discuss topics ranging from student suicide, gang activity, the school boundary process, standardized testing and other pressing issues in education this school year.

Each year LEAP hosts public meetings on issues its members vote to discuss. School leaders and elected local and state officials are invited to attend each meeting so they can hear the concerns of parents and community members. This year's monthly meetings will address many unanswered questions about an array of topics related to Loudoun County Public Schools.

Sometimes the feedback given at LEAP meetings can lead to real changes in school policy, according to the organization's president, Rennea Butler.

Last year LEAP held a meeting about teacher diversity, which was attended by the president of the Loudoun NAACP, School Board members and Superintendent Eric Williams. Some of the suggestions that came from community members during the meeting, like hiring a diversity recruiter, ended up being funded and implemented for the next school year.

Anyone can attend LEAP's meetings, but only two delegates are appointed per school to serve as part of the organization's congress. Parents interested in serving in as a delegate must contact staff at their children's school. The school staff nominates the delegates who will join the group.

LEAP's 2016 meeting topics and dates:

Sept. 14 – Back to School: What’s new this year at LCPS? How can parents get more involved in their child’s school?

Oct. 12 – Student Safety, part 1: How LCPS staff and parents can work together to keep our students emotionally safe. Topics like student suicide and mental health will be discussed.

Nov. 9 – Student Safety, part 2: How LCPS staff and parents can work together to keep our students physically safe. Topics like gang activity and physical bullying will be discussed.

Dec. 14 – Curriculum: How is school curriculum determined? How is it preparing kids for college and future employment?

Jan. 11 – School Budget: What are going to be the funding priorities for the upcoming school budget?

Feb. 8 – School Boundaries: How are they determined? How can we improve the process and minimize disruption?

Mar. 8 - Standardized Testing Controversy: Will LCPS phase out the SOLs? Will SATs/ACTs lose their importance?

Apr. 5 – Town Hall Meeting: LEAP invites local government leaders to answer parents’ education-related questions.

May 10 – Survey, elections, and possible forum make-up date: Delegates to vote for new officers. Parents and delegates to give input on forum topics for next year.

All meetings start at 7 p.m. at the LCPS Administration Building in Ashburn, unless otherwise posted.

For more information, visit facebook.com/LCPS.LEAP.


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