Highland School Superintendent Offers School Board Some Good News About School Budget In The Short Term
Monterey, VA – School Superintendent Dr. Will Crawford reported to the School Board at their meeting November third that he has completed his review of the school budget.
“I’ve been working on what the budget might look like for next year,” says Dr. Crawford. “We looked [at] what the funding would be if our student average numbers declined by 10, we took it in increments of 10; so we pretty much have that figured for next several years. I do think it would be good if we could meet with Ms. Fornash and get some indication of what the state might do. Regardless of what the state might do, we’re going to be okay for a while.”
The School Board has a meeting with Virginia Secretary of Education Laura Fornash tentatively scheduled for December 5 to discuss ways to keep school funding at sustainable levels in the face of declining enrollments. The school has now received the grant to help pay for energy-saving windows in the school building. In addition to the new windows, the school is looking at possibly replacing the heating system’s boiler, finishing the wind generator project, and purchasing a new bus. Betty Mitchell of the Highland Center recently met with Superintendent Crawford to discuss a grant opportunity for the school.
“Ms. Mitchell visited and talked about a USDA grant in the amount of $300,000.00 that they would like for us to participate in,” says Dr. Crawford. “It has three components that we could participate in. One is a greenhouse, the second component is a food day where all of the foods that are grown locally would be used as the products to be fed to our children that day; snacks, full course meals, those kinds of things.”
The third component of the grant includes having members of the Alleghany Mountain School come in to teach the students about sustainable agriculture and ways to increase food production locally. Superintendent Crawford also commented on some of his recent classroom observations.
“The students can’t learn what they’re not able to verbalize,” he says. “And so if you don’t give kids an opportunity to verbalize what you’ve gone over with them, they never own it, it’s just memorization. But when you ask them to think and they give it back to you, then they begin to make it a part of who they are. We have a lot of good instructional strategies going on.”
The next meeting of the Highland county School Board is scheduled for Thursday, December 8 at 7 PM in the High School library.