Volume I    Issue 9

Office of the Superintendent                                                  Dr. Robert C. McCracken

*School Board Approves Consent Agenda Items

Minutes of the March 15, 2000 regular meeting

Minutes of special budget worksessions – March 21 and 23, 2000

Bills in the amount of $2,274,610.26

Payroll for the month of March, 2000

Revenue report for the month of March, 2000

Special Appropriations – Flow-Through Funds

Appropriation Request for May, 2000

Annual Special Education Plan

Surplus Items

*School Board Recognizes the following students for various honors by being presented plaques by the Superintendent and Board Chairman: Traci Collins (GHS Student) – Winner of the County-Wide Spelling Bee; Chad Jessee and Jeremy Jones – Selected for 2000 All-Virginia Band; Courtney Olson and Reid Nicholson (GHS Students) – Governor’s School Science Fair Winners. Also, Ryan Olson was presented a silver medallion by Barry Evans, Prudential Insurance Agent, for his recent community project, "Hams for the Holidays". Barbara Stafford, Pearisburg Vice-Mayor and Executive Director for the Chamber of Commerce also attended, to read a resolution the Town of Pearisburg, recently gave to Ryan. Derek Fontaine, Mr. Evans’ colleague, was also at the meeting.

Also recognized were US Cellular reps, Stacy Ramsey and Allison Moore for the donation of a phone to each school, pre-programmed with 911 to be used in a crisis/emergency situation.

*School Board Hears an Educational Feature by Giles High School

Mr. Meade, Giles High School Principal, attended the meeting to introduce veteran and new teachers that shared teaching experiences with the School Board. Marie Martin, French teacher, shared commercials in the French language and explained how it related to the English SOL’s. Two Spanish students were also at the meeting, Joel Frazier and Andy Houck, to explain various projects. They told of one project where all students were to speak only the Spanish language during an entire class period, and each time a student forgot and spoke in English, a green card was passed to them, so at the end of the class period, whoever was left holding the green card had to do an extra homework assignment. Presently, students are reading newspaper current events regarding hispanic events. The students had several posters and other items of interest on display regarding projects the Spanish classes had completed. Following the students portion of the educational feature, first year teachers shared some of this year’s experiences with the School Board. Thomas Miller, Science Teacher, updated the Board members on Earth Day, and how students have been invited to tour the AEP Plant and their fly-ash facility in Glen Lyn. Since all students couldn’t go on the field trip, they held a science essay competition, which helped to determine who could go. It worked very well, because it served as a cross-curriculum with English. The English Department was glad to help assist in reviewing/grading the essays. Shirley Hubbard, GHS Math Teacher, spoke of how the math department is striving to improve SOL scores. She explained that they have blueprints for each area, including Algebra and Math 8, and remain very focused in using those blueprints, which have been very helpful. She also talked of the remediation programs that are working for students before and after school. She was appreciative of all the resources that have been provided to assist in raising SOL scores, such as Flanagan and Mott, SOL Coachbooks, and tv’s for viewing computer material. Audrey Reith, GHS Voc. Ag. Teacher, gave an overview using Powerpoint, regarding the wide-based program for grades 8-12 including horticulture and a greehouse operation. She spoke of the importance of leadership and development skills for students, job preparation, safety, operation and maintenance of tools and machinery. Her hope is to expand existing courses. She commented that students have respect and pride in the shop areas. They have assisted in setting up the areas during the renovation project at GHS. She also updated the School Board on the FFA Club and various activities those students have been involved in.

Mr. Meade concluded the presentation by thanking his first year representatives for new teachers, as well as his veteran teachers. As he put it, it’s always good to hear from veteran teachers, but it’s also good to hear the positives from new teachers with fresh, new ideas.

*School Board Approves Recommendations Regarding Personnel Items

The School Board approved all appointments and re-appointments as recommended by principals and administration for the 2000-01 school year.

The School Board confirmed the following: Resignations effective the end of the current school year: John McDonald, Laura McDonald, Terri Lilly, and Alan McGraw; Employment effective for the 2000-01 school year: Patrick Butler – GHS Band Director; Lorie Williams – EEMS Music Teacher; Kathryn Myhill – Special Education, TBA; transfer of Lee Ballagh to EEMS from NEMS; and full-time employment for Eric Roethlisberger, TBA.

The School Board approved the following employment for the 2000-01 school year: Michelle Robertson – NEMS teacher; Meagan Bradshaw – NEMS teacher; and Elizabeth Sparks – EEMS teacher.

*School Board Hears Reports from the Superintendent

The Superintendent shared information through handouts from EEMS that listed what is being done in teaching SOL’s. Each school has developed a step-by-step plan of what they are doing to enhance SOL testing. Some of the EEMS ideas consisted of flashcards, ALS Program, Edutest, Flanagan and Mott materials, and letters to parents concerning students’ weak areas.

Mr. Wheeler shared handouts with the Board regarding the current construction projects at GHS and NHS. Mr. Wheeler commented that he was very pleased with the progression of the projects over the last month to six weeks. Cafeterias in both high schools are well under way. Hopefully, more classrooms will soon be ready for use. Both projects are moving forward with improvement.

The School Board approved policy revisions as recommended by VSBA Policy Services and administration.

*School Board Takes Action on Other Items

The School Board approved the following RFP’s as recommended:

RFP No. 6–2000 for duplicating paper, awarded to Paper Supply, low bidder

RFP No. 8-2000 and 9-2000 for phone systems for GHS and EEMS, respectively, awarded to low bidder, Pembroke Telephone Cooperative.

The School Board confirmed the following RFP, as recommended:

RFP No. 7-2000 for 2 vehicles (one travel vehicle and one driver ed. vehicle), awarded to low bidder, Newberry Ford.

Set the next School Board meeting for Thursday, May 11, 2000 at 7:00 PM at the School Board Office.

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

Thanks were conveyed to Giles High School teachers and students for the fine presentation. Board members are always pleased to hear what is going on in the classroom. Tonight says a lot – schools are doing great things!

The Board conveyed appreciation to all teachers for the fine job they do, and are proud to have new teachers with us!

The annual county-wide science fair was held during the day this year, and as a result, had a very successful turn-out. Everyone was well-pleased with the participation.

Congratulations were conveyed to all the students that were recognized at the Board meeting. It’s good to see students recognized for their achievements.

It’s good to see teachers taking an interest in SOL’s. It’s a difficult task, and it appears everyone continues to work hard to meet the requirements.

Mr. Whitehead shared the many Giles County student names who were regional science fair winners from the Governor’s School. The VA State Science Fair will be held in Annandale on April 15th. Good luck to all! He also shared that in the recent American Math Contest, 6 of the 11 winners were also from Giles County. Good job!

Congratulations were reiterated to the 2 NHS band students for being chosen to the 2000 All-Virginia Band. It is an honor to have these students represent us.

Mrs. Radford, GEA President, commented on behalf of teachers, they are pleased to see an early interview and hiring process to get new teachers placed. She also asked what salary scale is being used for the hiring process. The Superintendent shared that those salaries are coming from the salary scale that the teacher salary committee had created.

Mrs. Radford also asked about the leadership program for new administrative assistants in the schools. The Superintendent commented that if the budget is approved, it will allow one person per school, which will be chosen through an interview process.

Mrs. Radford also requested the School Board to review the personal leave policy and consider additional personal leave days (3) at no cost for employees. The Superintendent shared that there are some concerns with supplemental leave and he suggested reviewing supplemental and personal leave. The School Board Chairman commented it would be a budget item, and suggested a workgroup be appointed in the Fall for next year’s budget, since our proposed budget for the upcoming school year is already prepared for consideration by the county.

The Superintendent shared the most recent newsletter with the School Board, which is ready for distribution. Parents, students and employees will soon be receiving a copy.