of Dr. Farquharson. While we do not condone the behavior displayed on the first day of school and we will certainly continue to monitor the situation, we do feel that everyone should be given a chance to correct mistakes and move forward. As one of the missions of Focus on Fluvanna is to promote positive change in Fluvanna, our Board would also ask each of its members to channel our energy and passion that has been displayed this week into working with Dr. Farquharson, Mrs. Keller, and the School Board as we move through the school year to find positive resolutions that will move our schools and our county forward.


Two members of our FFF Board met separately with Dr. Farquharson this week. They found her to be very open to meeting with parents and welcomes feedback. As our community and the culture here is new to her and different from what her previous experiences were. She is still figuring out what will and will not work. She was open to discussing the good, the bad and the ugly. We highly recommend speaking directly with her before making any assumptions or believing any rumors that are rampantly spreading across social media. In the meantime, below are a couple of facts and take-aways which we obtained during those discussions:

1. She was asked specifically asked about the issue of yelling, and her response was she is not used to the congregating and talking she experienced Monday, and had concerns over the children’s safety. We explained we are a close community and that community is what makes it great here. She is consciously making adjustments in her style.

2. She was asked why the kids cannot have snack this year. Her response was snack was not something she had managed in the past. She asked how it worked and we explained how it was previously managed. She took our feedback and was in the process of writing an email to staff to make sure that all teachers know that snack is OK as long as it is kept in the class so crumbs are not all over the school.

3. She was asked why the children are not allowed to use the restroom during the 1st and last 10 minutes of class. Her reasoning was very logical. The first 10 minutes is when the teacher introduces what the student should take away from today’s lesson, and the last 10 minutes is when the teacher is able to identify how progress was made during the class. She did state that no child would be denied access to the restroom if needed in those time frames and teachers could use their discretion.

4. She WAS NOT fired from her last position. She resigned. If you would like to know why- ask her directly.

5. The rules around noise levels and escorts were the direct result of the Safety Commission and staff’s recommendations

6. Silent Lunch IS NOT a RULE

7. Staff advised her of incidents with microwaves where glass exploded and tin foil caught fire. She’s also never been in a district that had them- including her children’s school district. This RULE has been RESCINDED

8. Many of the other accusations around “rules” seem exaggerated and the result of a good old game of operator- e.g., girls ARE allowed to wear earrings

9. The dress code, while rarely enforced in the past, is the same it’s always been.

10. 5th grade teachers have been given discretion as to whether or not they want to give recess. This is the same policy as last year.

11. As far as the Petersburg PTA incident, we believe she will be discussing it in this afternoon’s Meet and Greet. There are FACTS involved that most don’t know. We have attempted to contact the PTA President but she is no longer allowed to serve due to issues that have nothing to do with our current Principal. The root cause was a request to have a Spring Formal during SOL’s. Dr. Farquharson, as well as the School Board, did not support or approve the initiative.

12. The Middle School ABSOLUTELY needs to increase Reading and Math scores.

13. Based on Dr. Farquharson’s review of past year Disciplinary Action artifacts, there is a need to instill more discipline. What we have done in the past, is not working. We do need a new approach. Change, for many, is difficult, but it’s often necessary.

We encourage each of you to speak with Dr. Farquharson directly. To continue spreading rumors is not helping the situation, our community, or our kids. In meetings we had with her, we did not find her to be a person resembling the smear being spread across the internet. She has a lot of experience and she has a huge desire to do what’s best for the kids. She is open to ideas and discussion. We encourage all of you to go and talk with Dr. Farquharson and express your concerns. She may not be able to address every issue, but her door is open. It is our responsibility as parents to be advocates for and roles models to our children.


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