Q: Do you have an update on the Sniffen and Spellman, PA report that was in response to the grand jury investigation?
A: In response to the grand jury’s report, the school board hired a Tallahassee law firm, Sniffen and Spellman, PA, to do a review of the district’s practices for school safety to ensure our alignment with state protocols and procedures. 

In mid-February, we received a good report from them that showed we had corrected the errors noted by the grand jury. Now the school board has asked for a deeper dive to present a clearer understanding as to what caused us to be out of step as noted in the grand jury report.

Q: Can you shed light on the district’s stance on books in classroom libraries?
A: Duval County has taken the extra effort to comb through classroom library books with the focus to ensure that books in classrooms are appropriate for that class. It is possible for a book to be in a lower grade classroom and have it moved to a higher grade classroom. Books that are adjusted in a classroom library may still be available in a school’s media center.

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The difference between a classroom library and the media center is that for a classroom library, books are appropriate for that grade level reading. In a media center, books are available to be checked out at will.

Q: Are there any new volunteer opportunities in the district?
A: The district will begin to scan books for media centers and classroom libraries. Anyone interested in helping create inventory lists for classrooms, reviewing school-based purchase decisions, and assisting in creating a multi-year plan for the acquisition of books should contact their school. 

The district is also forming a committee to allow stakeholders to participate in curriculum review by reconsidering library books and supplemental materials when reconsideration of those materials is requested by a student’s parent or guardian or a resident of Duval County. Volunteers are needed for this committee; contact the school district for more information.

Q: How can our readers contact you?

A: They can email me at HersheyL@duvalschools.org or call me at (904) 390-2375.

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