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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Transforming Stuart HS to Justice HS will cost much less than previously estimated

FCPS Superintendent Scott Brabrand (left) talks to the public at a "community conversation" at Luther Jackson Middle School.
The cost of changing the name of JEB Stuart High School to Justice High School would cost $428,418, according to a plan to implement the name change submitted by Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Scott Brabrand to the school board Dec. 11.

That is far less than the $800,000 figure in earlier FCPS estimates – and way below the $1 million cost claimed by those who fought to keep the Stuart name.

The school board voted in October to adopt the name Justice High School. In an earlier school board action to proceed with a name change, a majority of board members said it was no longer appropriate to name a school for a Confederate general and slave owner. The new name will tale effect before the beginning of the 2018-19 school year.

The revised cost estimates call for painting a new logo on the turf field, at a cost of $10,500, rather than spending $104,000 to replace the whole field.

The revised budget for the name change includes more accurate costs. For example, it calls for $40,000 for marching band uniforms, compared to an earlier estimate of $150,000. Certain items are not included, such as a logo on the floor of the main hallway, which had been estimated at $45,000, and a new trophy case, which would have cost $50,000. Additional money would be saved by not replacing the entire uniform for some sports.

The school board expects some of the funding will come from contributions by individuals and organizations. A donation button on the FCPS website has so far netted $15,450. Now that there’s a clear idea of the costs – and people can contribute money for specific items – the fundraising effort is expected to be accelerated

If Stuart students decide to retain the Raiders mascot, the cost of renaming the school would be reduced even more, to $403,424.

Raiders is one of five mascot options selected by Stuart students and Glasgow High School eighth-graders heading to the renamed Justice High School next year. The other possibilities for a Justice mascot are the Lions, Wolves, Jayhawks, and Falcons.

Some of the mascot names that didn’t make the cut, says Stuart Principal Penny Gros, were the  Frogs, Doves, Unicorns, Big Macs, Quarter Pounders, and the “Justice Beavers,” from an episode of “The Office” where Dwight Schrute misheard a reference to Justin Bieber as Justice Beaver. The mascot can’t be the same as one used by another Fairfax County school, and the Beavers are the mascot for Beech Tree Elementary School.

Students will vote again to narrow down the five mascot choices to the top two, Gros said. Shortly after the winter break students will vote again to select their final choice. After selecting a mascot, they will vote among several choices for an image or logo. The school colors will remain red and blue.

Gros said the mascot decision needs to happen early in the new year because uniforms have to be ordered by late January to have them in time for the next school year.

Brabrand, who has been superintendent since July 10, spoke about his goals for FCPS at his latest “community conversation” event, Dec. 11 at Luther Jackson Middle School.

He plans to focus on “the three Es”: excellence, equity, and effectiveness. Regarding excellence, he said: “There are things that Fairfax County does that are better than anywhere else. But FCPS is not perfect. The same level of excellence needs to be in every school and in every classroom.”

Brabrand embraces the “portrait of the graduate” initiative begun by his predecessor, which calls for students to have 21st century skills like critical thinking and problem solving. “We’re going beyond the SOLs (Standards of Learning exams),” he said, although “tests are still an important measuring stick; they’re not going away.”

Regarding equity, he said every child and every school needs the opportunity to have the same access and the same outcomes. On the third E, effectiveness, Brabrand called for making the best use of time and limited financial resources. Teachers are overwhelmed; they have too much on their plate, so he plans to work with the board to set priorities.

The budget, which he will present to the board in January, will target resources on people – and on ensuring teachers get market-based compensation. Every teacher should be able to afford to live in Fairfax County, he said.

Another important element for Brabrand is joy. “We want kids to feel happy and excited,” he said. Too many students are stressed out and wrapped up in “the cult of competitive suffering.” Some students, for example, brag about how late they stay up to finish their homework.

Brabrand called for school personnel to “create space for personal connections,” to never exhibit less-than-professional conduct, and to be role models for civic behavior.

31 comments:

  1. It was also stated that once they get actual bids the price might come down even more. These figures are the most it will cost, not the actual cost. That is why everything has been so inflated all along, because all assumptions by the FCPS staff are at the high-end.

    I wouldn't be surprised if it comes in closer to 200K.

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    1. I wouldn't be surprised if FCPS, when all is said and done, says it was basically free. Having done my share of cost estimates, they tend to support the story wanting to be told.

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  2. Will the school colors change? They were red, white, and blue...all of which were represented on the Confederate flag. So....pink?....rainbow???

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    1. Clearly you didn't read the article, which stated that the school colors will remain the same. But you don't really care, you are just here to make a snarky, childish comment.

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    2. Maybe you are not aware that the flag of the United States of America is red, white, and blue.

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  3. It kills me how everyone who fought against the name change referred to pro-name change people as being "butt-hurt" but now that the decision is made all of the anti-name change people are the ones acting butt-hurt. Grow up dude and just accept the fact that the decision is made and there's literally nothing you can do about it (except, I guess, post snarky comments).

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    1. That's great - you go from butt hurt to sore winner.

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  4. "Teachers are overwhelmed; they have too much on their plate, so he plans to work with the board to set priorities." - I sincerely hope he ( and they) look at the plates of ALL FCPS teachers from kindergarten to high school.

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  5. Only $15,450 raised is rather pitiful. Where is the money from all of the alleged supporters?

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    1. They are too cheap to care.

      I just want to know when they are going to rename the Democrat Party, which was the party of slavery, Jim crow, and segregation.

      Now that would be Justice.

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    2. What does the Democratic Party have to do with this? Jesus Christ stay on topic

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    3. Anonymous fails to know his history. The Democratic Party in effect expelled their apartheid wing in the mid 1960's when Johnson signed the civil rights act and the voting rights act. It's sad that the party of Trump has not been willing to do the same.

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    4. What does Jesus have to do with this???

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    5. He felt very strongly about staying on topic. He told me.

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  6. My understanding is that this does not include a number of things such as web site updates which we are told are people's job so it is not a 'cost'. Additionally, it does not include the cost that has been spent so far including but not limited to creating the poll, spending the time coming up with the estimates, spending the time fighting, discussing, pushing through the change, etc. Finally, it does not include opportunity costs - the cost of what we as a community and board could have been doing to educate the kids at Stuart instead of wasting all the time, effort and money on this. If we had only put all that into education...

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    1. The school board wasted tens of thousands of dollars with the rigged name change process, which they just discarded in the end and ignored the democratic and popular will. Many of the students have talked about the rigged process as leaving them disillusioned.

      This still doesn't include the large sum of time school board members and staff spent on the wasteful charade.

      School board member salaries total about $400,000. If there was real justice then their salaries should be taken away to pay for their wasteful name change debacle.

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  7. Brabrand is atrocious. "On the third E, effectiveness, Brabrand called for making the best use of time and limited financial resources." He says that after spending time and financial resources on changing a name of a school which will not help anyone's education whatsoever. In fact, it has hurt the students throughout FFX and especially at Stuart.

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    1. Actually, Scott Brabrand has been nothing short of fantastic so far, on a wide range of issues. And, ironically, one of his biggest boosters when he took office was Elizabeth Schultz, the icon of the dwindling number of right-wing crazies in Fairfax County, so your calling him "atrocious" here only underscores the immaturity of the Keepers throughout this entire process.

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    2. Actually your content free / Name-calling post does nothing to suggest otherwise...

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    3. Yes, it's a real personal insult to refer to right-wing crazies without identifying them by name, as opposed to calling the new Superintendent "atrocious," as you did. Too funny, but also so predictable.

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    4. Brabrand, who has only been the superintendent for a few months, inherited this issue. It's his job to manage it, and has been doing quite well--especially when you consider how incredibly prickly it is, and the fact that he has many other more important things to handle. Every day.

      I've worked in FCPS for eleven years, and can tell you that you know nothing about him.

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  8. The $104,000 for turf was to replace the branding in the end zones and center of the field. Total replacement would be several hundred thousand dollars...a recurring cost that both FCPS and the boosters embrace and support as part of the regular maintenance of turf fields at all high schools in Fairfax County; total field replacement is how you maintain a turf field. The new cost for this high school represents painting over the existing branding and, presumably, repainting with the new name/brand/logo.

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  9. During the rigged renaming process name changers said that it would only cost $20,000. Seems like they mislead the people.

    Regarding the original $800,000 edtimate, that was the schools estimate. So now they say it's $400,000. It's rare for a government project to come in under budget.

    And it still does not include the estimated $200,000 in new spirit wear paid by students and parents and boosters, of which 40% are in poverty. Why don't all the rich name changers fork out money to help the poor folks? Oh yeah, they are too cool to care.

    If course, few people will end up wanting it, as the community never voted for "Justice High School". They voted for "Stuart High School.". Thurgood Marshall who sent his kids to private school came in a distance second.

    When are name changers going to apologize to all the students they bullied, threatened, and said hateful derogatory names to in order to silence? 5 or 6 testified publicly at school board meetings. Seems like name changers violated the One Fairfax Policy.

    School should be renamed Injustice HS.



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  10. Even at $400,000, it's an unnecessary waste of public tax resources.

    How can they live with increasing class sizes, or telling teachers they don't can't get a good raise but the school board can waste money on divisive name changes.

    The saddest part is the name changers could only muster a pathetic $15,000. Nor did they offer to pay the tens of thousands in new spirit wear for the large percentage of jeb studentsin poverty.

    How disappointing.

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  11. I'm glad the name changes are going through. Confederate leaders are traitors who committed treason and waged war on the lawful government of the United States to maintain and expand slavery. They should have no buildings named after them in the same way you will never see "Herman Goering High School - Go Stukas!" in Germany.

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    1. Boring.

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    2. Traitors really? You need an education in states rights back in the day. My great great grandfather was from Alexandria and owned no slaves and joined the confederate army because of his allegiance to the commonwealth of VA. So I guess you can call George Washington a traitor for revolting against the British Crown? Oh yea he was a slave owner

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    3. I wonder how many schools or buildings in the UK or England are named for George Washington....? Rochambeau? Jefferson?

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    4. Traitors really? You need an education in national socialism back in the day. My great grandad was from Munich and while he personally didn’t kill any Jews he joined the nazi party because his allegiance to the fatherland. So I guess you can call Erwin Rommel a traitor for plotting against Hitler? (Also a nazi)

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