Highland School Board starts strategic plan

Monterey, Va. – The Highland County Public Schools have now taken the first steps toward developing a strategic plan. That was the message Superintendent Dr. Will Crawford had for the School Board at their meeting earlier this month. Dr. Crawford summed up the school year and talked about the start of the planning process.

“We had a good school year,” he said. “We had a good, safe year, so that’s always a good thing. Our test scores were good. I’m a little bit disappointed in our math scores. That’s the same statewide, but were gonna work and plan to do better. Today we had a retreat with 13 staff members and myself in attendance and we worked on a vision statement for Highland County Public Schools. It was a productive morning. It took us a half-day to work towards and develop a visioning statement. Most of the afternoon we worked on reviewing some of our data, our parent surveys, our student data and other things and preparing ourselves to go forward next year to develop a strategic plan.”

Dr. Crawford continues with more details about the strategic plan.

“So we will be working to develop a strategic plan that focuses on all of Highland County,” he said. “Like what should our engagement be with the community and what kinds of things we want to offer to our kids – whether we want to offer athletics or enrichment. All of those kinds of things will be developed into this plan. We are trying to look at Highland County and, hopefully, make this one of the best school systems in the state. I have to commend the staff, they worked really hard and there were a lot of good ideas presented in those groups today.”

Dr. Crawford is very optimistic about this beginning.

“We are well on our way to looking at the school system,” he said. “Not just things like facilities or the capital improvement plan, but the academic plan and with things like the teacher assistant pay scale. It’s going to take some time but we’re going to look at ourselves and were going to say who are we’ and how can we improve. So we are beginning that process. You have to start somewhere and we’re beginning it and I’m very pleased that the staff is working very hard on that.

In other business, the School Board discussed an expenditure of up to $25,000 to replace a key server and update some software in the school’s computer system.

“We have nine servers and one of those is over eight years old,” he said. “It is one of the main servers that talks to the other eight and it has gone bad and we need to replace it. Not only do we need to replace it, but we need to replace IBoss. IBoss is the piece of software that watches where we go on the Internet and it protects our students from unwanted Internet material. The new computer will not support IBoss. IBoss is old technology. Of course that other computer is old technology, so we have to get a new piece of software called Barracuda. Barracuda does the same thing that IBoss does, it just has a different name.

The request for those funds was approved by the Board.

The next meeting of the Highland School Board will be its annual closeout meeting on Thursday, June 28th at 2 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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