Bath County’s January 2020 School Board Meeting
The Bath County School Board met for its first meeting of the year with all new members on January 7th at Bath County High School.
The first and only public comment was from Michelle Eldredge, a teacher currently at the high school since 2010 who moved previously from VA Beach, expressed hers and other teachers’ concerns regarding retirement benefits. She said quote,
“We would like to increase health insurance benefits for retiring teachers of 30 or more years in the VA retirement system through Medicare Age. By increasing retirement health benefits, you incentivize early retirement of higher-paid teachers by replacing them with first and second-year teachers of lower pay. You also provide an incentive for teachers looking for jobs in this area to choose Bath County public schools knowing that they can make this their forever home to retire reasonably.”
She then thanked the board for listening to her and the other teachers’ concerns and if they need any help in assisting formulating a plan, she is more than happy to help.
Next, the School Board had an organizational meeting, and board member for Warm Springs, Zach Burns made a motion to elect Jimmy Hooker of Valley Springs, as chairman. Burns also made a motion to elect Karen Hise of Cedar Creek, vice-chair. Both passed 5-0.
Jeff Grimm of the Millboro district made a motion for appointment of Clerk and deputy fiscal agent- Sue Hirsh, appointment of Deputy clerk- Sharon Fry, approval of fiscal agent- Justin Ryder. Designate school board attorney is Chris Singleton, approval of superintendent designee, and approval of signatures in superintendent’s absence is Allison Hicklin. These passed 5-0.
For the VSBA Delegate’s assembly, Clara Tennant of Williamsville made a motion to appoint Zach Burns. This passed across the board and his elected alternate is Clara Tennant. Next were various advisory committees in which the board would indicate the interests they might have. Clara Tennant volunteered for Special Ed, Zach Burns for Technology, Jeff Grimm for Career and Technical Ed, Jimmy Hooker for Concussion Management and Governer school, and Karen Hise for the Calender committee.
For Presentations and Information, Dr. Mike Peery shared a slideshow and talked about the clubs at BCHS. He said every student is in at least 1 of the 24 clubs and the most popular are Fire and Rescue, which has about 50 students and also the club Help Save the Next Girl, which has over 50 members.
Karen Hise made a motion for the approval of Chris Phillips as tennis coach and Dennis Maddow as baseball coach, this passed 5-0.
Next, Justin Ryder discussed the change in the payroll schedule and direct deposit. The revised schedule means the staff will get paid the same dates each month, the 15th and the last business day of the month, rather than before when it was the last working day of the month. This passed across the board.
Sue Hirsh requested that the board approve the Board os Supervisors to transfer 10,440 dollars from instruction to administration to fund additional nurse services due to the specific health needs of students for the balance of the year. Hirsh also recommended looking into increasing nurse services at the 2 elementary schools. Burns made a motion to approve it and this passed 5-0.
Grimm asked the board to request another meeting with the Board of Supervisors before the scheduled budget meeting so they can all discuss things regarding funding. He also made a motion to direct Mrs. Hirsh to contact the county administrator in an attempt to set up this meeting. This passed 5-0.
The last action item on the agenda was an employee survey, which gives the schools’ staff an opportunity or line of communication to the board. Jeff Grimm said quote,
“I would like for us to set this on the agenda next month, and the 5 of us will come up with some questions that we would like to send out to the school employees to survey and see what they need, what they want, changes that they want to see made if any, there may not be any.”
The Bath County School Board’s next meeting will be February 4th at 7pm. The public is welcome to attend.
For AMR News, I’m Abby Dufour