Highland School Board discusses goals and strategies

Monterey, Va. – Highland County School Superintendent Dr. Will Crawford reported to the School Board at their recent meeting that the school’s Continuous Improvement Committee met in September to proceed with their plan to implement strategies that will benefit students.

“You’ll see that on September 11 a group of teachers, and you see them listed there, met as the Continuous Improvement Committee continued their work,” said Crawford. “And you see the three goals that are listed, Goal One, we will offer diverse and challenging learning opportunities for students. Goal Two, we will partner with family and community to provide a variety of opportunities for student success. Goal Three, Highland County Public Schools will foster good citizenship.

“So those were the three primary goals and what we’ll develop from this is we’ll have a number of implementation strategies that you will see on paper. You’ll also see the staff members that are responsible for those strategies as well as the timetable.”

School Board members also met recently with the Highland County Board of Supervisors to discuss capital improvements for this year.

“We’ve also had a very productive meeting with the Supervisors,” said Crawford. “The Supervisors, I think, were very supportive and continue to show their support and they’ve emphasized to us, use the funds wisely’, and, of course, the Board is definitely trying to do that, as well as the staff. But I was pleased with the fact that the Supervisors were very willing to talk with us and negotiate about our needs.”

The School Board requested $128,890 in capital improvements for this year including a generator for the cafeteria, replacing the intercom system at the elementary school, replacing lights at the elementary school, upgrading all bus cameras to digital cameras, and renovation of the dugouts on the athletic fields. The Supervisors approved the transfer of approximately $200,000 to the school account for capital improvements.

Dr. Crawford goes on to discuss the new teacher evaluation procedure mandated by the state Department of Education.

“Virginia DOE is requiring all school districts to implement a new teacher evaluation process, which includes evidence of improved student performance or what they are calling student growth, as a key component of the teacher’s evaluation rating,” he said. “We held a meeting last Wednesday of all staff members and the presenters were Ms. Blum, Mrs. Goff and Mrs. Stephenson.

“Ms. Blum and Mrs. Stephenson actually went to the training this summer and brought the training back to our staff, so that our staff can begin implementing the new evaluation process. We are going to implement it, but we have encouraged our teachers to understand that this is a journey. We are going to work at it diligently to try to get it right and we’re going to work with them and implement this evaluation model. I think it is going to be good for all of us in the long run.”

In other business, the School Board voted to approve a two year extension to Dr. Crawford’s contract.

The next meeting of the Highland County School Board will be Monday, November 12 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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