Bath Residents Invited To Give Input On County School Division’s Six Year Plan
Warm Springs, Va – On Tuesday night the first in a series of meetings was held to get input from the public for the Bath School Division’s six year comprehensive plan. Bath School Superintendent Sue Hirsh asked those in attendance to share visions and to be open with big ideas. Eddie Ryder attended. He’s the chairman of the Bath School Board
“There’s some thoughts about our vocational program I thought was very good” he says, “some things about our academic program and how they tie together. This is how you build these ideas and and plan for the future. So the comprehensive plan, this is the way to go and I’m looking forward to the rest of the meetings.”
There was discussion about the vocational education program at the high school. Superintendent Hirsh said the student numbers are going down, even though there is strong interest in carpentry, auto mechanics and culinary arts. The need for career exploration and guidance was also discussed as a way to expose students to all of the job possibilities out there.
Superintendent Hirsh discussed the need for STEM education, which stands for science, technology, engineering and math. She said the school division has been working hard to meet No Child Left Behind standards, but has not been developing critical thinking and problem solving skills in students.
The issue of declining enrollment was also discussed. It’s projected that in 3 to 4 years, Bath’s enrollment will be in the 500’s. This upcoming year it will be about 605. One idea presented was to start preparing now to construct a centrally located campus in the county, to avoid long bus trips if the two elementary schools were ever consolidated. Another suggestion was to change attendance zones which could redistribute students between the two elementary schools.
And the topic of economic development came up. If the county can bring new business here, that would in turn bring more people and their children. Plus, it would provide job opportunities for students who want to live in the area after graduation. Tuesday night’s meeting was the first in a series of five.
“If you can make it there, come” says Ryder. “Because you may not think of anything until you listen to what someone else says and you may come up with an idea that we all need to know; so surely come if you can.”
The next school division comprehensive plan meeting is Thursday July 28 at Millboro Elementary. Then, Monday August 8 at Valley Elementary, Thursday August 11 at the Williamsville Community Center and Tuesday August 23 at the School Administration Building. All meetings begin at 7pm.