Highland County School Board Respond To State Education Officials

Monterey, Va – After several meetings with state education officials and months of consideration, the Highland County School Board is ready to respond to the suggestions made by the Virginia Department of Education. School Superintendent Dr. Will Crawford reported to the School Board at its April meeting, that a letter has been drafted for the Board’s review.

“You should have a letter addressed to Secretary Fornash that outlines the meetings that we have had and the investigations that we’ve done looking into the recommendations that they have presented to us,” says Dr. Crawford. “What I would ask is that the board review the letter and I would like the board’s blessings and modifications before I send this letter, so I’ll simply change the date and I’ll make whatever modifications you think might be necessary. This is going to be our official response.”

After careful consideration, the Board found that most of the recommendations were not a good fit for the Highland School system. Changing to a charter school or virtual school could help some financial issues, but was not practical for the Highland schools. The Highland schools do hope to develop a video conferencing system to receive educational programming from James Madison University. But that will not help with Highland’s declining enrollment and shrinking budget. The Board will continue to work on these important issues through the summer.

Dr. Crawford goes on to report on an award recently received by Highland Elementary School.

“Highland Elementary school received another award,” he says. “They got a certificate for being the 2012 Distinguished Title One school and it was presented to us through the mail by the Board of Education and it says:

“Highland Elementary of Highland Public schools is being awarded this for being fully accredited for the past 2 consecutive years or exceeded the annual measurable objectives in English and Mathematics for the past two consecutive years, and for having a mean score at the 60th percentile in English and Mathematics on the Standards of Learning assessment.”
“It is signed David Forrester the President of the Board of Education and Pat Wright, the Superintendent of Education.”

The entire Highland School system also received a similar award from the Virginia State Board of Education. In other business, Dr. Crawford presented the two quotes for the school insurance policy one from the Virginia School Boards Association [VSBA] and one from the Virginia Association of Counties[VACO].

“The quote from VSBA reads in the amount of $27,317.00,” he says. “Additionally we have a bid for our insurance from VACO; same coverage’s with a few more added in. The estimated cost is $23,589.00.”

The VACO bid is $3,728 less than the bid from the VSBA and offers more coverage. The Board voted to accept the bid from VACO.

The next meeting of the Highland County School Board will be Monday, April 14, at 7 pm in the High School Library.

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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