Arlington County

The following items are on today's agenda for the Arlington County School Board. The meeting will be at 7:30 p.m. in the board room of the Education Center, 1426 N. Quincy St., Arlington:

* Personnel actions.

* Scholarships.

* Proposal to spend about $34,000 to repair roof leaks at the Thomas Jefferson School and Community Center.

* Continuation of Air Force Junior Reserve Officers' Training program at Career Center.

* Program in cooperation with Trinity College to help foreign-born students to gain a proficiency in English.

* Discussion of Arlington Public Schools' standing in relation to the "Educational Excellence Checklist" compiled by National Commission on Excellence in Education in its report "A Nation at Risk." The statistics of 1983 graduating seniors are used as a basis for comparison.

Discussion of the superintendent's recommendation for priority areas of work for the 1983-84 school year. The recommendations are closely tied with the concerns voiced in "A Nation at Risk" and fall under three basic categories:

(1)Instructional Program--A number of steps are being considered to improve the instructional program, including more hours of instruction, increased graduation requirements and additional efforts to encourage attendance.

A seven-period day has been recommended along with instructional opportunities after school and during the summer. These proposals are being offered as an alternative to the suggestion of the commission of a 200- to 220-day school year.

The following additional high school graduation requirements are being considered: three years of math, three years of science, one-half year of computer science and two years of a foreign language. In addition, the computer instruction would be enhanced to promote "computer literacy" (understanding computers beyond programming and data structures), and foreign languages would be offered in elementary schools.

Suggestions to increase attendance include using robots to make telephone calls to parents when children are not at school and requiring written parental notification and an interview with the school when children have three unexcused absences in a full year course.

(2)Teaching Performance--Salaries based on performance, a new evaluation program including peer assessment and division of teachers' positions into a "career ladder" have been suggested as incentives to improve the quality of instruction. An 11-month contract also is being considered for a number of teachers to allow them more time to develop curriculum and improve instructional methods.

(3)Affirmative Action--Active recruitment and staff cooperation are encouraged to improve the affirmative-action hiring policy.