Highland School Board March meeting
Highland County School Superintendent Dr. Thomas Schott had good news to report at the School Board’s regularly scheduled March meeting Monday evening. Last week during a special budget presentation meeting, Dr. Schott had previewed his proposed budget for 2015-16, which, due primarily to reduction in revenue funding, would necessitate asking the county for $50,000 more than the current year’s allocation. At Monday’s meeting, Dr.Schott presented a revised budget which not only eliminated that shortfall, but actually reduces by $80 the amount the schools will ask the county to pay. By way of explanation, Dr. Schott noted that he had received word that an additional $25,000 would be received from the state. He also made revisions to his earlier budget based on feedback after last week’s meeting, primarily in the area of new programs – the biggest savings there will be deferring the purchase of a metal lathe for the shop program.
The total school budget will be $4,077,646, down 1.74% from this year. The county will be asked for $2,294,951 as it’s share. There was no public comment, and the Board voted unanimously to accept the budget as presented, and forward it to the Highland County Board of Supervisors.
Winter weather is still making an impact on school schedules. Due to the recent closures, Dr. Schott announced that March 9th will be a full day of school – March 16th and 23rd will be school days, but will operate on a 2 hour delay – and April 2nd will be a full day of school. He also praised the assistance VDOT gave in clearing the parking lot of heavy snow, and gave a special thanks to employees Alan Puffenbarger and Vernon Simmons for their maintenance work keeping the buildings in working order.
In other items of business, the Board approved 2 personnel hires, one for a substitute teacher and one for a track coach. They approved IT Director Gary Lane’s proposal for disposal of outdated technology equipment, and accepted his recommendation to hire the firm ABS to improve the school’s wired and wireless networking infrastructure.
High school principal April Goff noted testing this month included writing SOL’s and math assessment. Elementary school principal Teresa Blum noted they had celebrated Read Across America day, and that guest readers were invited to come in all week to read with students. She noted Spring Family Fun Night will be March 26th, at 6:00for students K-8 and their parents. It will include activities for the students, and education on SOL testing for the parents.
The school board’s next regularly scheduled meeting will be April 13th, due to spring holidays.