Friday, April 12, 2024

Williamsburg’s Independent School System Feasibility Study Report Released

(WJCC Schools)

WILLIAMSBURG — The Independent School System Feasibility Study Team presented its report regarding the possibility of the City of Williamsburg operating its own independent school system at the City Council Work Session on Mar. 11.

No decision regarding the future of the joint school system was made at the city council work session, according to the city.

The Williamsburg City Council voted unanimously last June to launch a feasibility study regarding the possibility of operating its own school system, separate from James City County. The Williamsburg City Council approved a proposal in September from a feasibility study team led by longtime Hampton Roads educator Jeffery Smith to lead the study, and Smith selected a team of educators to oversee particular topics for the study. 

The full report, the study team’s presentation, and background information on the city’s decision to commission the study can be found at williamsburgva.gov/feasibilitystudy.

“We are extremely grateful to Dr. Smith and his team for the comprehensive report they have provided us,” Mayor Douglas Pons said. “With this data and thorough analysis in hand, we can now begin the hard work to answer the question central to this effort: Can the City of Williamsburg provide better student outcomes for Williamsburg students? We remain focused on what is best for Williamsburg students, parents, families, teachers, and taxpayers, and we look forward to hearing from the community over the coming weeks.”

As the next stage of this comprehensive process, residents will have multiple opportunities to offer feedback regarding the feasibility study and the future of the joint school system prior to any decisions being made by the city council, the city said.

Opportunities include: 

  • Attending a public input session from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 26 at James Blair Middle School. Smith will give a brief presentation at 5:30 p.m. Study team members will then host several breakout sessions in an open-house style format.
  • Filling out a feedback form at williamsburgva.gov/feasibilitystudy.
  • Speaking during open forum before the Williamsburg City Council. Regular meetings of the city council occur the second Thursday of each month at 2 p.m.; work sessions are the Monday before the second Thursday of each month at 4 p.m. Both meetings take place at the Stryker Center.

The next city council meeting will be Thursday, March 14 at 2 p.m. For more information, visit the feasibility study page on the city’s website.

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