Virginia's husband was one of those kids that was nearly missed by a broken system. "He was a young Hispanic boy on the west side of Chicago who was disengaged at school. His teachers thought he didn't understand the material. They were going to make him repeat fourth grade," she says. "He was just bored. Thanks to one great teacher stepping in at the last minute, he was assessed and accelerated just in time. Holding him back could have ruined his life. There are thousands of kids out there just like him but what happens when a well-intentioned teacher doesn't have the required support staff and measurements for success? Kids and teachers lose. Society loses."
Virginia was tapped by the Oregon Department of Education in the summer of 2016 to participate in a work group to improve the school district complaint process statewide. "It's important for parents, teachers and staff to have an effective pathway to let the district know when the see a problem. They also need to be able to trust that it will be addressed." Recommendations from ODE are expected this spring.