Glasgow Middle School Update
Corrective Action in the Wake of External Investigation
Upon consideration of the findings of an independent, external investigation by legal counsel, the School Board has concluded that the Chesterfield County Police Department failed to notify FCPS of the arrest of the former middle school counselor on November 19, 2020, and the Chesterfield County Circuit Court Clerk’s Office also did not notify FCPS of the former middle school counselor’s conviction on September 7, 2021.
The School Board acted without delay once notified of the conviction and the Superintendent and School Board promptly initiated an independent, external investigation. FCPS has room for improvement in its Human Resources processes in the areas of hiring, licensure, leave, dismissal, and resignations. These have been exacerbated by factors such as significant leadership churn. As we plan to work with identifying and implementing strong systems of accountability, it will be important that we implement these actions with fidelity and have frequent accountability checks.
Below is a summary of the areas of improvement and the actions that the Superintendent will be taking in the coming weeks. These do not include personnel actions, which the Superintendent has already taken and will be taking.
- Notice of Arrests and Conviction. FCPS was not notified of the counselor’s Chesterfield County arrest in November 2020, his felony conviction in 2021, or his sentencing in March 2022.[i]
We will work with the Virginia legislature and our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners to ensure timely and robust information sharing and notice regarding employee arrests and convictions.
- Hiring. The FCPS hiring process has several systemic gaps, including on reference checks, verification of the appropriate license, and information sharing between jurisdictions.
We will improve our reference check process on prospective employees to require additional steps, including contact with the central office of the previous employer, more robust documentation in support of the employee application, information sharing on personnel between jurisdictions, and regular updates to background checks for current employees. We will also explore enrolling in the FBI Rap Back program[ii] as soon as its available to FCPS through the Commonwealth of Virginia.
- Licensure. FCPS has several systemic issues with monitoring employee performance and ensuring appropriate licensure.
We will improve our licensure verification process for all prospective employees, will require timely verification reports that an employee’s license remains in good standing, and require timely licensure submissions to VDOE.
- Leave. FCPS has systemic issues with ensuring that leave status is timely and properly approved and documented.
We will develop improved processes so that employee absences and leaves are timely documented, verified and monitored, and provide administrators and staff professional development for reporting leave and their obligations to ensure that payroll is accurate.
- Dismissal and Resignation. FCPS has systemic issues with consistently and promptly dismissing (rather than suspending without pay) employees following felony convictions.
We will promptly initiate dismissal and license revocation petitions for all employees convicted of barrier crimes. We will not accept resignations from employees who are convicted of such barrier crimes.
[i] Separate from the investigation, Chesterfield officials have admitted in media statements that their e-mails to FCPS regarding the counselor’s Chesterfield criminal record bounced back into a Chesterfield SPAM folder.
[ii] Under the FBI’s Rap Back program, an electronic notification is generated to the employer if an employee engages in any criminal activity where fingerprints are taken and submitted.