Highland February School Board Meeting

As the world continues to learn to adjust to new policies and procedures caused by COVID-19, certain lessons learned can provide some positive paths forward.

At the February Highland County School Board meeting, it was announced that one to one computing education will be coming to Highland Elementary next year. Technology director Gary Lane noted that this had been introduced in the high school and middle school this past year, using Chromebooks, to great success. The computers are lightweight, and can be carried from class to class, and home for virtual learning, allowing each student to have their own personal device for a consistent learning experience. The computers have been utilized for testing, research, videos, online coursework and more, and Mr. Lane praised the students for the care taken with them. For the upcoming school year, the technology department will be purchasing Chromebooks for one to one computing in the elementary school K-5th grades. Fourth and fifth graders will be allowed to take the Chromebooks home like the higher grades, while kindergarten through third will use their Chromebooks in school only.

The “fall” sports season has begun with Varsity Volleyball and Cross Country. VHSL guidelines for mitigation and safety during all practices and games will be followed, and there will only be practice on days with in-person education. Games will be played in accordance with the School Metrics map that is updated daily by the CDC/VDH. If either locality is in “red” the game will be postponed or canceled. The attendance capacity limit will be 25 spectators and home fans only, and the games will be livestreamed online.

The Board approved the consent agenda, and personnel as discussed in closed meeting. They also approved a change to the calendar, with March 15th and 22nd becoming full school days instead of early release, since the Maple festival has been cancelled.

Budget work sessions are scheduled for March 18th, 25th, and 31st. The Board’s next regular meeting will be March 8th.

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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