Fairfax County Schools superintendent setting priorities

CHANTILLY, Va. (WJLA) - The chatter of thousands of students filled the hallways of Chantilly High School early Tuesday morning, on this the first day back to class.

Looking to balance a new schedule is Fairfax schools new superintendent, doctor Karen Garza.

The longtime Texas educator says she'll have a number of challenges over the next 12 months, including looking into whether or not to switch the schools to later start times.

She says the big issue up front is developing the budget with less money from the state and federal funding.

“We have major goals we want to accomplish, addressing our teacher’s salaries, same time were concerned about revenue available to us,” she says.

The superintendent says another challenge is the additional students the school district is gaining each year, she says she's got to make sure there are teachers and resources in place as well.

“We're growing by about 134 classrooms a year and we are building about 75 so we do have a lot of temporary buildings,” she says.

Sandra Vass has had four students in Fairfax County Public Schools and she says reducing class size is important.

To better suit his needs, this year her son Collin switched schools.
Across the school district, there are a few changes already in place.

As part of a pilot program, seven of the schools are ridding the regular soda from their after school vending machines, some senior students are also being given the option to opt out of their first class.