Bath’s School Board tries “Break Out Box”

When the Bath County School Board met last Tuesday night,  Justin Ryder, business manager, presented the proposed budget for fiscal year 2017-2018. He described some adjustments for employee health plans based on projected enrollment. This Board will have one more budget work session before asking the County Board of Supervisors to approve their budget.

Allison Hicklin, who presented Good News in Superintendent Sue Hirsh’s absence, listed several different competitions and conventions in which students distinguished themselves in the past month. Those successes include the Regional Spelling Bee, four BCHS BETA club students going to Orlando for National Convention and FCCLA students hosting a visiting chef and planning to cater the High School’s Athletic Hall of Fame dinner. Future Business Leaders placed in three of their categories at their regional competition. March is also Youth Art Month, and some Bath County students have pieces in an exhibit in Buena Vista. Student representative Easton Yohe also commented on the high school band’s trip to Disney World, and their participation in a large parade.

When each school presented how they celebrated STEM day several high school students showed their revised designs for propellers for the clean energy Wind turbine they take regularly to a Kid Wind competition. Regional Finals for this competition will be held at Dabney s. Lancaster Community College in Clifton Forge, where Bath County’s team as last year’s winners will be the host. Millboro Elementary’s STEM day offered a selection of 24 activities at various stations throughout the school, and students took turns rotating through ones they chose.   At Valley Elementary each grade designed and built an essential piece of a community called Steamville. Each of the goals of the specific STEM activities addressed selected Standards of Learning too. Another very engaging technique one Millboro Elementary teacher, Code Sizemeore uses with wide applications is a break out box, a small scale Escape Room. She and three students led the school board members through a demonstration of how it works. The adults followed several clues around the room to decode three different combinations on a locked box. The codes or clues can be written to apply in lessons in all different content areas. As the students work in small teams, it encourages communication, collaboration and creativity.

The school board also approved the calendar for the 2017-2018 School Year, and nominated the Omni Homestead, and BARC electric as businesses of the year for recognition by the Virginia School Board Association’s.

At the very beginning of the meeting, Director of Pupil Personnel Services and Special Education, Jane Hall, told the board and the public about a visiting speaker coming to each school, who will also give a presentation for parents at Bath County High School.  Jerry Ackerman is nationally known for teaching students and parents about internet safety and cyber-bullying. The parent seminar, “ Parenting the Snap Chat Generation” on the evening of March 23rd will address two questions “What makes student issues worse today than ever?” “What is the difference between conflict and bullying?” and will also offer: Internet rules to live by, the latest apps your child is using, and parental controls; the top three things parents need to DO BY EXAMPLE for their children, as well three essential things children must OBSERVE from you. Dinner will be provided at this special event beginning at 6 o’clock. Please call the School Board office at 839-5307 to let them know how many of your family or friends will be coming to dinner. They would like to have a count by Tuesday afternoon the 21st. Mr. Ackerman’s presentation will begin at 7:00. on the 23rd of March. Everyone is welcome to attend.


Story By

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.

Current Weather