May 11, 1999

Volume I Issue 10

Office of the Superintendent Dr. Robert C. McCracken

*School Board Approves Consent Agenda Items

Minutes of the April 13, 1999 regular meeting

Bills in the amount of $1,457,890.43

Payroll for the month of April, 1999

Revenue report for the month of April, 1999

Appropriation Request for June, 1999

*School Board Recognizes the following who were nominated by the Professional Advisory Council for their hard work and dedication by being presented plaques for Student Support by the Superintendent and Board Chairman: Michelle Brown – SBO; Lynn Bailey – GHS; Debbie Severson – GHS; Diana Hunt – EEMS; Debbie Cady – EEMS; and Brenda Martin – EEMS. Also VICA State Winners from Giles County Technology Center were recognized for their outstanding achievement: Stephen Gilmer, Tommy Howell, John Ross, Jennifer Horn, Erin Hyatt, and Crystal Whitaker.

*School Board Hears an Educational Feature by the Special Programs Department

Patricia Muldoon, Director of Special Programs attended the meeting to introduce an evaluation team that presented the components of a child referral, known as "Child Find". The evaluation team consisted of Mrs. Muldoon, administrator; Shari Tripp, classroom teacher; Pam Higginbotham, special education teacher; Mary Henderson, Health Coordinator; Missy Brown, School Psychologist; Lynn Bailey, Educational Diagnostician; and Curtis Coulson, Visiting Teacher. Each member explained step by step what their role is when a child referral is conducted. This year alone, there have been 237 referrals for evaluations of children. The man-hours it takes to complete one referral is phenomenal and consists of various observations of academic performance as well as motor skills, and behavior, meetings with parents regarding home life situations, educational summaries from all student’s teachers, different areas of testing, strengths and weaknesses, obtaining a medical history, vision and hearing screenings, along with a sociological assessment, which results in excessive paperwork. Once the components are completed, am meeting is scheduled to discuss eligibility and services for the child. The team was highly commended by the Board for the job they do and sincere appreciation was conveyed for the extra efforts that benefit children with special needs.

School Board Approves Recommendations Regarding Personnel Items

The Board approved the following: Retirements of Cedella Pitzer and Marie Billips, effective the end of 1998-99; Employment of Shannon Simpson as School Psychologist for the 1999-00 school year, Heather Waselchalk as EEMS Speech Therapist for 1999-00, and Melanie Atkins as English teacher at Narrows High School for the 1999-00 school year. The Board confirmed the following: employment of Everette Parks as Head Custodian at EEMS, effective August 1; 1999; employment of Kay Lucas as Nursing Instructor at GTC for 1999-00; resignation of Lynn Collins, effective April 16, 1999; resignation of Walter Jones, Jr., effective April 23, 1999, retirement of Emory Woodyard, effective the end of 1998-99, and the transfer of Doug Stevers to the Giles Co. Tech. Center as custodian, from NHS custodian.

*School Board Hears Reports from the Superintendent

The Board approved the 1999-2000 school calendar on the condition that December 20 and 21 be used as make-up days for first semester if needed.

The Board approved adoption of the School Board budget, as recommended to and approved by the Board of Supervisors on April 16, 1999, consisting of $16,333,899 – operating budget, $9,148,273 – flow-thru funds, and $6,708,522 in the School Board operating budget.

The Board approved the textbook committee recommendations as requested by the committees for the 1999-2000 school year.

The Superintendent shared an instructional update with the Board, commenting he was very pleased with the outcome during the recent weeks when he met individually with principals regarding their Crisis Management Plan. Each principal was extremely familiar with their plan should a crisis occur at their school. The goal is to continue to raise awareness in the school regarding crisis management. Since the Colorado crisis, parents and community members along with the School Resource Officers stepped forward to provide extra staff in the schools, pulling together to help students feel safer. Safety meetings were held in each school on Thursday, May 6th and over one hundred people attended. The Superintendent also informed the Board that the Governor is establishing an "800" crime line in Virginia, and will be asking communities to assist in each locality. The final comment the Superintendent shared was that the Central Office staff now have identification badges for visits in the schools. The Board also asked that they have badges made for them as well.

Mr. Wheeler updated the Board on the construction projects. Macy McClaugherty School is close to completion. They are preparing to pour asphalt by the end of the week and the electric is 99.5% complete. Regarding the GHS/NHS projects, the general contract bid opening date has been changed to June 29th. He stated that the new athletic tracks at the schools will be made for community use as well as track meets.

*School Board Takes Action on Other Items

The Board approved RFP’s no. 599 for duplicating paper to Paper Supply; no. 699 for a small business telephone system to Pembroke Telephone Cooperative; and no. 799 for a driver ed. vehicle to Newberry Ford.

The Board approved three new scholarships for Giles Tech Center students. Ron Haley, President of Machine Tool Solutions, Inc. has requested to fund these scholarships in memory of Maryann Collins, wife of Bev Collins, owner of Patrick Enterprises. The 3 scholarships will be as follows: $350 for tooling and equipment for a welding student; $350 for tooling and equipment for a machine shop student, and $500 for one student to continue his/her education.

The Board approved items from NHS, GTC and EEMS to be declared surplus and disposed of in the most economical manner possible.

The Board scheduled the next School Board meeting for Thursday, June 10, 1999 at 7:00 PM at the School Board Office.

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

The Board confirmed June 16th as the next quarterly meeting date with administrators.

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

The Chairman stated that the School Board completed their annual evaluation of the superintendent and found it to be very positive. The Board members feel very fortunate that Dr. McCracken is still with our school system and look forward to continuing their positive relationship.

Thanks were conveyed to Trish Muldoon and the evaluation team that presented the educational feature. It was nice to have the referral process explained. The team was highly commended for the job they do.

It is nice to have the budget behind us. Appreciation was conveyed to the Board of Supervisors for their continued support.

The Board commented on the concern of parents, students and community members regarding school safety. There was a good turn out for the school meetings last week. All School Board members attended. Thanks were conveyed to everyone who attended. The safety of students and staff in the schools is most important.

Congratulations to the VICA students! Job well-done!

All Board members were reminded of their invitation to the Governor’s School Awards Banquet on May 18th.

The state science fair was recently held for Governor’s School students, and one of the Giles County students placed 3rd. Congratulations!

The Governor’s School is planning an in-service training next Fall to integrate curriculum with the SOL’s.

The Pembroke Police Department is assisting in writing a grant for a School Resource Officer (SRO) for Eastern Elementary/Middle School.

Mary Beth Holton, GEA President, commented it is nice to be almost finished with SOL testing. Also, she commented the After-Prom party was a very positive thing for students and lots of fun. She was glad that Prom went well. She was certain students felt better with the extra security that was provided.

The Superintendent shared that it looks as if the Federal Government may be providing funds for additional teachers in grades 1-3. An application has to be completed, and hopefully the money will come through.

The Superintendent also stressed the importance of everyone being able to take ownership in making schools safer. Additional parents and police have made it clear they are willing to help to make their schools a safer place to be.