Bath School Board takes no stand on staggered terms

The Bath School Board takes no position on the topic of staggered terms.  At the board’s monthly meeting on Tuesday night, there was some discussion about staggered terms but the board decided to take no stand on it.  The Bath Board of Supervisors is considering staggered terms and, if approved, the school board is required to follow suit.  School Board member Eddie Ryder said it would send a mixed message if all members of the school board didn’t vote the same way on the issue.  And he said since the board of supervisors makes the decision anyway, the school board should stay out of it.   School board members Bill Manion and Dr. Ellen Miller both said they were fine with taking no action.  Board Chair Cathy Lowry made clear that she’s not in favor of staggered terms, but said she was fine with the rest of the board’s decision to not take a stand on it.

Also on Tuesday night, School Superintendent Sue Hirsh said there were eight responses to the request for proposal for an engineering study on the high school parking lot improvements.  Improvements include paving, additional lighting, drainage and lining for parking spaces.  She said two or three respondents need to be selected for interviews then a cost estimate for the project can be obtained.

The board also began discussion Tuesday night on the Capital Improvements Plan.   Items that remain on the CIP from last year include new curtains and carpet in the high school auditorium, restroom and locker room improvements at all three schools, air conditioning for the gyms at the high school and Valley Elementary and football field crowning.  A new item added to the CIP is the installation of railings on the high school home bleachers.  Board member Dr. Ellen Miller pointed out that the board is behind on it’s plan for bus purchases. She said that this year the board may have to choose to purchase buses over other things.

And the board discussed adding school zone signage on Route 220 at the high school.  Superintendent Sue Hirsh said she was approached by county supervisor Cliff Gilchrest and County Planner and Zoning Administrator Sherry Ryder about a proposal for it that was in Bath’s six year transportation plan.   The proposal includes solar panel school zone signs that indicate the speed limit and school zone markings on the road.  Board Chair Cathy Lowry questioned if the school would be responsible for maintenance.  Board member Eddie Ryder said the school zone signage was not required because the high school is so far away from the road.  He suggested signage indicating a congested area.   High School Principal Sarah Rowe said she was in favor of the school zone signage, since students turn out of the high school driveway onto Route 220 where the speed limit is 45 miles per hour.   Superintendent Hirsh said she felt it would add to safety and she said she will get more information about it next week at the board of supervisors meeting.

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Bonnie Ralston

Bonnie Ralston is the Assistant Station Coordinator at WVLS and a Highland County news reporter. She began volunteering at Allegheny Mountain Radio in the fall of 2005. In 2006 she became an AMR employee and worked in Bath County for eight years as the WCHG Station Coordinator and then as the news reporter there. She began working in radio while in college and has stayed connected to radio, in one way or another, for more than thirty years. She grew up in Staunton, Virginia, while spending a lot of time on her family’s farm in Deerfield, Virginia. She enjoys spending time outside, watching old TV shows and movies and tending to her chickens.

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