New schools documentary screened in Fairfax

A cohort of 150 Fairfax County schools teachers gathered in McLean Thursday night for a screening of a new documentary showing a day in the life of a public school system in California.

The 90-minute film, “Go Public,” chronicles the day of May 8, 2012, in the Pasadena Unified School District through the perspective of 50 different people connected to the schools. The showing at the AMC theater in Tyson’s Corner was organized by Mosby Woods elementary second grade teacher Kristine Choi said Fairfax Education Association president Kimberly Adams.

“It gave a good picture of a school district doing everything they can for high needs kids,” said Adams, noting that the Pasadena school division has many Hispanic students. In Fairfax, the number of students who are enrolled in English as a second language classes has risen dramatically in recent years.

According to the film’s Web site, the documentary provides a “window into the world of one urban school district, the many dedicated people, the myriad of opportunities available and the complexity of effectively serving the needs of all students.”

The film captures the average day of the school system’s superintendent, teachers, students, principals, school board members, parents, and even janitors.

Adams said that toward the end of the documentary, the cameras capture a school board meeting where the members vote to cut staff. Later on, the film shows which teachers lost their jobs, Adams said.

“It was powerful,” Adams said.

The film is being screened mainly on the west coast. Look for future dates here.

T. Rees Shapiro is an education reporter.

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