Bath School Board Discusses Many Issues, But Finds No Answers At Closeout Meeting For Fiscal Year
Warm Springs, Va – At the Bath School Board’s close out meeting on Thursday morning, the board discussed a number of issues but there are no answers yet. One issue was the consolidation of first grade classes at Valley Elementary.
School Board member Barbara Waldeck said she stands behind having an additional first grade teacher at Valley. She said she tried to fix this problem by moving the Millboro Kindergarten to Valley, which would have switched a Valley kindergarten teacher to first grade. School Superintendent Sue Hirsh responded saying she is watching enrollment in order to make changes and is discussing options with classes at grade four and above.
Waldeck made a motion that by the August meeting there be a list made by grades at each elementary school with the number of teachers per grade level listed, with neither first nor second grades being combined. Her motion died for lack of a second.
Waldeck also asked about the shortage in funding for the Governor’s School for next year. The funding amount is the same as it was this year but more kids will be participating next year. Superintendent Hirsh said she won’t know about funding amounts that might be available for Governor’s School until the school board makes some personnel decisions.
Waldeck also said she felt the school system has not been proactive on long range goals. She said they need to look at the declining population data and address what they’re facing. Waldeck suggested holding a board retreat to make a plan and then share it with the community in a series of meetings. Superintendent Hirsh said that was what she had been planning to do. She said the school board’s decision on May 19 to move the Millboro kindergarten to Valley derailed her plans. Hirsh is planning to have a meeting in each district and then have the board come together to discuss the information from those meetings.
School Board Chair Eddie Ryder expressed concern about the decline in the number of programs over the last few years in the vocational education program at the high school. Ryder said he was appalled to learn recently that the vocational director spent 95% of her time on discipline. Ryder said he will not support having an assistant principal at the high school but he will support having a vocational director.
Ryder also added that the high school Principal did not professionally handle his position with the board. He said there has not been a request from the Principal to sit down with the board to discuss issues. High school Principal Pete Pitard resigned at the June7th school board meeting when the board did not put the Assistant Principal position back into the budget.
In other business Thursday morning, Business Manager Justin Rider reported that the school system will have $83,977 in excess funds that can be returned to the county at the end of the month. And the board accepted with regret the resignation of Dot Pozun, a Valley Elementary aide. The school board will hold another meeting in July to discuss staffing and governor’s school funding.