March 15, 2000

Volume I Issue 8

Office of the Superintendent Dr. Robert C. McCracken

*School Board Approves Consent Agenda Items

Minutes of the February 14. 2000 regular meeting

Bills in the amount of $2,176,905.95

Payroll for the month of February, 2000

Revenue report for the month of February, 2000

Field Trip Requests

Graduation Date – Set for June 9th for NHS (7:00 PM) and June 10th for GHS (11:00 AM)

Resolution for School Bonds – VPSA Portion of Funding for GHS Construction Project

*Pledge of Allegiance

Mr. Buckland, Board Chairman, led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance.

*Public Comments

The floor was open for a public hearing regarding the 2000-01 Budget. There were no public comments, however, the Superintendent shared some information regarding VRS rates, and how the General Assembly has requested that VRS lower the current rates. He also stated that a higher rate has been set by VRS, which would hopefully pass, since General Assembly does not actually control VRS.

There were no comments for the General Public Comments session as well.

*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: Erin Wiegand for her participation in the International Space Olympics in Korlov, Russia and Ryan Olson for winning the Top Middle Level Student Volunteers 2000 Award.

*School Board Approves Recommendations Regarding Personnel Items

The Board approved the following: Gary Lowery as Computer Technician for the remainder of the current school year; the retirement of Martha Snidow, effective the end of the current school year, and supplemental contracts for Narrows High School as recommended: Kim Parton –Soccer, Sara McGlothlin – Track; Barry Rupp – Boys Tennis; Eric Thwaites – Track; Clyde Turner – JV Baseball.

The Board confirmed the following retirements, effective the end of 1999-00: Donna Blankenship – NHS Librarian; Loraine Lambert – NHS Secretary; Sue Edwards – EEMS Teacher; Walter Jones, Sr. – Maint. Worker. Also confirmed was the employment of Bobby Sheets – EEMS Custodian, for the remainder of 1999-00, the resignation of Todd Jamrose – GHS Band Director and one year leave of absence Tara Yates – EEMS Music Teacher, both effective the end of 1999-00.

*School Board Hears an Educational Feature by EEMS

John McDonald, EEMS teacher, attended the meeting to introduce two students, Garrett Severson and Chris Riggs, who presented the EEMS Webpage which included a map for use by seventh graders who are anxiously awaiting their annual 7th grade trip, April 11-14. The map consisted of areas the students would be touring on their trip, such as Washington, DC, Williamsburg, and VA Beach. The School Board members participated by sitting at the computers, traveling through cyberspace and enjoying the scenery! A click of the mouse took them to the different sites. Garrett explained how the program was set up through the Netscape Navigator and Image Map. Mr. McDonald commented that the next step will be to establish "scavenger hunts" to be certain the students are using the program. The program also serves as a "countdown" of the days until 7th graders leave on their trip. How exciting!

*School Board Hears Reports from the Superintendent

The Superintendent shared a video of a positive story aired by WvVA TV in Bluefield, WV, which reflected the safety procedures at NEMS. The story spoke of the safe environment provided for students by using only one main entrance into the school. A badge is given to each visitor and buzzers are used on the doors where deliveries are made. The Superintendent shared how effective it is for folks to be made aware of the safety procedures in our schools.

He also shared information from a National Association Bulletin that indicated how percentages have increased over the years in areas of student achievement. Included were facts such as the number of high school students tripled from 1982-1994 in taking more challenging classes and the number of girls taking tougher math and science courses increased by 36% since 1982. Also test takers numbers have grown from 50 per 1,000 students taking placement exams to 131 per 1,000. The Superintendent stated that when you put these real numbers into prospective, a good job is being done.

Mr. Wheeler updated the School Board on the construction projects with handouts. He commented that a nightshift crews are working at both NHS and GHS. One of the major events will be to move the cafeterias to the libraries temporarily, where students will pick up their lunches. Bag lunches will be transported from Macy to GHS and from NEMS to NHS during the cafeteria renovations. June 14 is the date set to turn the administrative areas over to the contractors at both schools. All in all, everything seems to be on track.

*School Board Takes Action on Other Items

1) A budget worksession was set for Tuesday morning, March 21, 2000 at 7:30 AM at the School Board Office.

2) The Board set the April School Board meeting for Tuesday, April 11, 2000 at 7:00 PM at the School Board Office.

3)     The Board confirmed their attendance on May 17, 2000 in Radford for the Blue Ridge Spring Forum.


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

Thanks were conveyed to the students and Mr. McDonald for EEMS’s outstanding presentation. Board members felt it was quite an accomplishment that they, themselves, could operate the computer, and certainly enjoyed the learning process.

Computers have come a long way and is a vital part of the learning environment. It’s great!

Congratulations to Erin Wiegand and Ryan Olson, who were recognized for their recent participation in extra-curricular activities.

Congratulations were conveyed to two NHS Band students who recently were selected for the VA Concert Band. Jeremy Jones and Chad Jesse were two of 4 students in our area that were chosen. Good job!

It was commented how lucky we are to have safety procedures in force. The video of the WVVA story is a reminder that sometimes we take for granted what we have, but the Board is pleased we are taking the necessary safety precautions.

The Governor’s School recently received $800 through an $1800 grant connected with the NCCR Science Fair. Several of Giles County’s Governor’s School students placed in the science fair. Congratulations!

Mrs. Radford, GEA President, shared that a workshop on parent involvement in education was recently held in Montgomery County. Giles County had an excellent turnout and had the surprise of getting paid to attend.

The Superintendent shared the recent VICA winners, some of who will be going on to state competition.

The Superintendent also shared that it is hopeful we may have a rate reduction according to preliminary numbers for employee health insurance.