It was darned impressive what the Certificate of Recognition from Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine honoring the 60th anniversary of the Falls Church City Public Schools had to say, when it was read aloud to the Falls Church School Board by Kate Hanley, Secretary of the Commonwealth, this Tuesday. Here’s a portion of its “Whereases:”
“The year 2009 marks the 60th anniversary of the Falls Church City Public Schools; the desire to create an independent school system was the principle reason for the Falls Church City founders sought and obtained enabling legislation from the Virginia General Assembly to form an independent city of the second class; the 2.2 square mile City of Falls Church was in 1948 carved out of a huge county; the Virginia Department of Education authorized the city to manage an independent school system in 1949; the Falls Church City Public Schools has evolved from its humble beginning in a rural farming community to what is now one of the most outstanding metropolitan school systems in the nation;
“Falls Church was the first Virginia city to voluntarily integrate its schools; the Falls Church City Public Schools was among the first in Virginia to establish a day care program for children of working parents; the Falls Church City Public Schools was the first in Virginia to implement the International Baccalaureate Program, becoming a model for other school systems in the country;
“George Mason High School, Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School, Thomas Jefferson Elementary School and Mount Daniel Elementary School consistently receive state and national recognition for excellence; more than 97 percent of the school system’s teachers are rated highly qualified by the Virginia Department of Education; the school system’s students consistently score well above state and national averages on standardized tests; nearly all of the school system’s 1941 students participate in at least one extra-curricular activity; the taxpayers of the City of Falls Church have seen fit to support the school system from its inception to the present, through both good times and hard; the local business community continues to support public education through a longstanding partnership with the Falls Church City Public Schools;
“Parents of Falls Church City public school students are actively involved in their children’s education and are consistently recognized for having the highest PTA membership in the state; the Falls Church City Council and Falls Church City School Board have demonstrated a commitment to supporting world-class public schools through their long-range strategic plans,” and so on and on.
These are all truths those who’ve paid attention in Falls Church know, but its good to hear them articulated like this by the governor.