Highland School Board September Meeting

Highland School Superintendent Dr.Thomas Schott had good news to report on SOL test scores at the Highland School Board meeting this week. In a presentation to the Board, Dr. Schott noted that test score had improved in all categories for both the elementary and high schools. On the elementary side, reading scores increased from 59% to 95%; math improved from 69% to 98%; science improved from 89% to 93%; and history increased from 74% to 92%. In the high school, English increased from 53% to 59%; science was the only category that dropped, going from 86% to 84%; math, which had been under an accreditation warning, rose  went from 4%9 to 84% ; and history improved from 71% to 74%. Dr. Schott praised both the staff and students for the improvements.

He also presented the Board with his intended goals for this year, which include academic, communication and safety improvements. He reported on the progress of the new culinary and STEM classes, and that the upcoming EMT classes to be taught at the school will include high school students. On building and grounds topics, he reported an agreement with Dixie Gas and Oil which would fix the price through the winter months, saving a significant amount of money, and that improvements had begun on the school ball fields.

The Board heard reports from both principals on a successful opening to the school year. They were also informed by Lee Beasley of the Highland Education Foundation of donations made to two teachers on the foundation’s behalf. The non-profit’s mission is to assist teachers with needed funding that budgets may not cover. This year, they presented checks to Marty Leech, to assist with the 4th grade field trip to Williamsburg, and to Cindy Wood, for purchase of portable DVD players for use teaching health in various classrooms.

In action items, the Board:

  • Approved personnel as discussed in closed meeting
  • Approved an FFA overnight field trip
  • Approved changes to the language in the school’s mother feeding area policy and policy manual
  • And declared a bus as surplus equipment

The board also was informed and approved of a pilot program to allow home school students to participate in band class and functions.

De. Schott ended the meeting with a reminder that he will begin his meetings with interested individuals  this Thursday at 6:00. He underscored that feedback from the community was valuable, whether an individual is a parent to a child in the school system, or merely a concerned citizen.

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

Current Weather