Highland County School Board August Meeting

Receiving a phone call from the school system, especially before the school year has even begun, naturally causes a level of concern among parents. However, the all-call that was received by households with a Highland County school student this week brought good news, not bad.

On August 21st, a total solar eclipse will occur – the shadow of the eclipse will pass from the west coast of Oregon all the way to the east coast of South Carolina. It’s the first time a total solar eclipse has passed from one coast to the other in 99 years, and it will not occur again for another 27 years. In order to take advantage of this unique event, K-12 students from the Highland school system will travel to the Green Bank Observatory to take part in eclipse-related learning activities, including viewing the event through special glasses provided by the GBO. Because this is occurring on the first day of school, it does present some logistical hurdles as far as receiving permission slips for students – information on how to do this is going out to parents and guardians via the all-calls, letters and information on the web and social media.

Both school principals were pleased to report to the Board that each school was fully accredited. Elementary principal Teresa Blum noted that the theme for this year was “Rockin’ in Our Learnin’ Shoes”, based on the Pete The Cat Series of books. Free school supplies are available in the school hallway through Open House, which will take place August 17th, from 6:00 – 7:00 pm. High School principal Tim Good noted the beginning of fall sports practices – the first girls volleyball game will take place September 5th, with the first cross country track meet hosted the next day.

Superintendent Dr. Thomas Schott reported that it had been a busy summer with upgrades and repairs to the buildings, and outlined his goals for the year in respect to academic growth, career and technical education and vertical alignment among the schools. He also remembered those who had been lost this past year.

In other actions, the Board accepted revisions to the acceptable use policy for electronic devices, contingent upon changes to make the rules equal for staff as well as students, and authorized the Superintendent to go before the Board of Supervisors for a request to enter into a lease to own agreement for a new 55 passenger bus.

Green Bank Observatory letter 8-8-17

Story By

Scott Smith

Scott Smith is the General Manager for Allegheny Mountain Radio and Station Coordinator and News Reporter for WVLS. Scott’s family has deep roots in Highland County. While he did not grow up here, he spent as much time as possible on the family farm, and eventually moved to Highland to continue the tradition, which he still pursues with his cousin. Unfortunately, farming doesn’t pay all the bills, so he has previously taken other jobs to support his farming hobby, including pressman/writer for The Recorder, and Ag Projects Coordinator for The Highland Center. He lives in Hightown with wife Michelle and son Ethan. In his spare time, he wishes he had more spare time, especially to ride his prized Harley-Davidson motorcycle. scott@amrmail.org

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