Highland School Board Sets 2015-16 Calendar

With the 2014-15 school year coming to an end, the Highland School Board turned it’s sights toward next year’s schedule at Momday’s meeting.

Superintendent Dr. Thomas Schott presented the Board with his recommended calendar for the next school year. While many of the basic dates remain the same, the first change he proposed would be lengthening the daily school hours by 16 minutes. School will still begin at the previous time of 8:20, but would end at 3:30, as opposed to 3:14. This would add an additional 8 days of instruction to the calendar. The first day of school would be August 17th, and the last day would be June 10th, with graduation on the 11th. The Board voted to approve the schedule as presented. Other action items it acted on were:

  • acceptance of a bid from Mitchell Chevrolet for $27,000 for a vehicle to pick up four students and transport them to a McDowell bus pick-up point;
  • approval of a me logo for the school system;
  • personnel items as presented in closed session;
  • declaration of surplus items;
  • approval of WRE release request;
  • approval of a 4-H bus use for a trip to Smith Mountain Lake;
  • and approval of a field trip to Williamsburg and the Senior trip

The Board also approved the consent agenda.

Reports to the Board included an update on school family fun night and SOL preparation from elementary principal Teresa Blum; announcement of the opening of a veterinary clinic in May, which will work with the vet tech classes in school, by Dr. Schott; and proposed changes to the high school athletic programs from principal April Goff. Due to student considerations, several sports schedules will be changed to partial, and boys basketball will become a JV sport; a co-ed baseball club will be offered in spring, and soccer would be discontinued or become a club. Goff said the changes had been received positively by coaches and the Pioneer District, and was awaiting approval from VHSL.

Relating to baseball,  Sue Cornelius addressed the Board and administration on behalf of Highland Youth Baseball. She read a letter which expressed disappointment with the school,system for not supporting youth baseball. She noted the work of their organization and the Highland Recreation Commission to create a feeder program for youth ages four through 12, yet with no support from the school to develop further programs, opportunities end there. She noted that the only current sports offered in the spring are track and soccer, and was under the impression after last year’s fall sports meeting that organizational efforts and field maintenance would occur this spring, but did not. The letter urged that a legitimate effort be made to return baseball to a spring sport status.

The Board’s next regularly scheduled meeting is Monday, May 11th.

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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