Original Date: 08/08/1994
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Stafford County is considered one of the fastest growing counties in the State of Virginia. Located 35 miles south of Washington, DC, the county covers over 277 square miles. Stafford County Public Schools have experienced tremendous growth since the early 1980s when enrollment stood at 9,700 pupils. Currently, enrollment is at 18,000 with 20,000 projected by the year 2000. The system supports over 1300 educators and 810 staff personnel on a budget of $122.5M for the current fiscal year. The School Board for Stafford County is comprised of seven members representing each of six magisterial districts with the seventh member selected at large. All are appointed by the School Board Selection Commission and serve staggered, four-year terms.
Although the BMP program has long maintained a relationship with the academic community, Stafford County Public Schools represented the first educational survey. Processes remain the same across a spectrum of environments; however, at Stafford County Public Schools the end "product," mindset, and atmosphere were substantially different than any other previous survey site. The survey team identified several outstanding areas at Stafford County Public Schools. These processes included the schools' efforts in communication, its outstanding recognition program, and its team approach to teacher recruitment and selection.
The communication process was highly developed at the Stafford County Public Schools, with a comprehensive program through the School Board, roundtable discussions, open forums, public meetings, and special agencies. Because stakeholders in the school system encompass many people, the need for effective communication in conducting all aspects of the school system's operations is critical. Stafford's communication process acknowledged the importance of an interactive flow of information. With four levels of communication, Stafford County Public Schools ensure the success of the school system through effective interaction, and with involvement of all stakeholders.
The Stafford County Public Schools recognition program is an important part of the education package. Positive reinforcement of all the students, faculty, and community is its main goal, and recognition efforts are far beyond any the BMP survey team has seen in industry or government. With emphasis not only on achievement, but also "continuous improvement," the recognition program has had effective results on everyone affiliated with the school.
Teacher recruitment and selection is also an important process crucial to the educational survivability of a school system. Not only is the instructional capability of a teacher important, but also the ability to work with other teachers and staff. Stafford County has broadened its recruitment scope and involved classroom personnel in interviewing and selecting potential educators. By incorporating both points in its process, the county school system has been able to attract and hire the best individuals to support the needs of the students.
The BMP Program anticipates this survey to be one of many of educational institutions nationwide. Just as education is learning from industry, so industry and government will gain insights into outstanding processes applicable both in their own environments as well as the academic setting. The BMP survey team determined the following items to be best practices or information items at the Stafford County Public Schools.
For more information see the
Point of Contact for this survey.