April 13, 1999

Volume I Issue 9

Office of the Superintendent Dr. Robert C. McCracken

*School Board Approves Consent Agenda Items

Minutes of the March 17, 1999 regular meeting

Bills in the amount of $1,360,786.20

Payroll for the month of March, 1999

Revenue report for the month of March, 1999

Confirmation of Field Trip

Special Education Annual Plan

*School Board Recognizes the following who were nominated by the Professional Advisory Council for their hard work and dedication by being presented plaques by the Superintendent and Board Chairman: Vic Edwards and Jerry Huffman, Giles High School teachers, for Instructional Achievement; Edna Williams and Jean Luyendijk for Community Involvement at EEMS; and Bruce Frazier for DAR History Teacher of the Year. Also recognized by Clay Roberts, Director of Agri-Business Activities of the Atlantic Rural Exposition, Inc. was Jenna Roberson of EEMS, for winning first place in the VA State Fair Swine Competition.

*School Board Hears an Educational Feature by NEMS

Mr. Skeens, NEMS principal attended the meeting to talk about the "Buddy" computer system. The "buddy system" enables two students to participate on one computer at the same time. The students can operate different programs while working from the same computer tower and two monitors. As a result, students do not have to wait on each other or take turns, they can both do their lessons at the same time. It is highly economical, since only one computer tower is needed for every two students. Mr. Skeens then introduced Sarah Wheeler, teacher, who described the ALS (Advanced Learning System) in science. As part of the Standards of Learning, Mrs. Wheeler gives the students a brief overview of what they will be doing, and then sends them to the computer lab, where they have 2 ALS lessons to complete. Students can review the questions on the computer, and if a question is not understood, the student can go back to the book for comprehension. An 80% or above is required to pass. She also reviewed the Windows on Science for 7th graders, where a video is used to show different parts of plants and/or respiration of plants, before the lesson is given.

*School Board Approves Recommendations Regarding Personnel Items

The Board confirmed the following: Resignations of Ron Whetzel, Director of Curriculum, effective July 1, 1999 and Debbie Severson, GHS Part-time Teacher Assistant, effective April 9, 1999; and the disability retirement of Dee Hunt, EEMS Speech Therapist.

The Board approved the following: Resignations of David and Ann Mabry, NEMS teachers and Lea Whetzel, EEMS Special Ed. teacher, all effective the end of the current school year. Retirement of Laura McGraw, effective April 13, 1999 and Rom Matlock, effective August 31, 1999. Employment of Steve Fitch as Supervisor of Testing and Accreditation at the Central Office, effective the 1999-00 school year and the employment of Scott Meade as Giles High School Principal, effective the 1999-00 school year.

The Board also approved all appointments and re-appointments for the 1999-00 school year as recommended by principals and supervisors.

*School Board Hears Reports from the Superintendent

The Superintendent shared information on Project RETURN as a part of the instructional update. Don Lowe has become involved with Project RETURN, which is a statewide program. He has been recognized for his leadership and was recently quoted in a brochure as saying "students in my program like the computer because they can take risks and the computer doesn’t embarrass them. The Superintendent also announced the district winners in the recent VICA competition, who were Giles Tech. Center students. Some of those students will go on to state competition April 17th.

Mr. Wheeler updated the School Board on the construction projects. NEMS is finished and it is hopeful that the Macy renovation project will be complete by the end of the school year. The projects at Giles and Narrows High Schools are well under way.

*School Board Takes Action on Other Items

The Board approved the disposal of surplus items at Giles and Narrows High Schools, along with records that, by law, can be destroyed or microfilmed for Giles High School.

The Board set the next School Board meeting for Tuesday, May 11, 1999 at 7:00 PM at the School Board Office.

The Board confirmed their attendance at the VSBA Spring Forum on May 19, 1999 in Radford.

The Board confirmed June 16, 1999 for the next quarterly meeting with administrators.

*School Board and School Staff Present Comments and Mission Statement Accomplishments

The Board welcomed the large crowd that attended. They appreciate everyone coming out, and stressed that they encourage people to attend Board meetings.

NEMS was commended for the educational feature. It is amazing to see what students can do with computers.

Congratulations were conveyed to the GTC students that placed in the VICA competition. The Board is very supportive of the Tech Center and realizes the importance of students attending. It is the last schooling for some students, once they graduate and choose to get a job.

Mr. Wheeler was commended for all his work on the construction/renovation projects. There is lots of work in preparing for these projects and Mr. Wheeler’s long hours and hard work are deeply appreciated. It was also commented it is good to see NEMS and MMS near completion, and the two high schools getting under way.

Thanks were conveyed to the Town of Pearisburg for the use of the KJ building during the Macy Renovation Project.

Mrs. Muldoon was commended for her long hours and hard work on the Special Education Annual Plan. Each year she ensures the Board of changes that are needed and that is always appreciated.

Ten Governor’s School students recently participated in the JMU Science and Humanities Symposium, with a Giles student placing first in zoology.

At their last meeting, the Governor’s School Board passed a supporting initiative for NRCC and the new Magnet School, which will also include a new Governor’s School.

The Superintendent commented he is pleased with the direction of the new Magnet School and Governor’s School. At a recent meeting, there was evidence from Senator Chuck Robb’s assistant and Delegate Boucher’s office that there is interest of the project from the Federal Government. The Superintendent also stated he had tried his hand at one of the CISCO lessons on the computer, and found it to be very difficult, which reflects the hard work students attending the Magnet School will have to put forth to achieve academically.

The Superintendent shared with the Board that it has been ruled that teachers may view SOL tests during a 10-day window after the tests have been returned to the testing coordinator, if they choose. There are some securities and requirements involved, but it is a start in assisting teachers with the SOL’s.