Highland County School Board June Meeting

Out with the old and in with the new was the theme at the Highland School Board’s June meeting Monday evening, as the 2014-15 school year draws to a close, and the Board turns their eyes to next year.

The first major change will be a new high school and middle school principal. April Goff, who has served in that position since 2011, will not be returning next year. Superintendent Dr. Thomas Schott announced that a search for her replacement is currently underway.

The student body will also see a change in the grading system. Dr. Schott explained that most other schools systems in the state and nation have adopted a scale which reflects 10 points between grades, with 100-90, being an “A”, 89-80 being a “B” and so forth. This is much more lenient than the current Highland system, and puts students at a disadvantage when comparing overall grade point averages, for college admissions, scholarships, etc. Dr. Schott recommended a modified 10 point scale, with 100-90 being A, 89-80 B, 79-70 C, 69-65 D, and 64 and below being failing. The Board adopted this change.

Students will also face slightly higher prices on certain a la carte items offered by the cafeteria. These increases are being done to bring to cost of selling equal to the cost of purchasing, which has not always been the case. Full meal,prices will remain the same.

Lastly, upgrades are being made to the school’s technology infrastructure, in addition to the planned upgrades to the wired and wireless capabilities. The Board approved  IT Director Gary Lane’s request to implement a system based on virtual servers versus physical servers. This will create back-up redundancy in case a server is unavailable, and should eliminate downtime for users in such an instance. The $35,000 cost of this program will be paid for by SOL funding.

In other business, the Board heard updates from the HCEA and high school. Principal Goff noted that the majority of SOL testing had been completed, with re-takes and make-up scheduled. The senior trip will begin on Wednesday, June 3rd, and graduation will be on June 13th at 10:00.

In his report, Dr Schott noted that he and administrative assistant Karen Devore had attended the VSB Policy and Review Session, and changes will be made to the Highland Schools’ policies by July 1st.

The Board approved the consent agenda and personnel matters as recommended in closed session. Their next meeting will be a joint session with the Highland Board of Supervisors on June 15th, followed by a close out meeting on June 24th.

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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