Millboro Residents And Others Share Their Ideas For County Schools Six Year Plan
Millboro, VA – The second of five meetings to get public input on the Bath School Division’s six year comprehensive plan was held at Millboro Elementary on July 28. About 25 people turned out to share ideas.
There has been concern in recent years that Millboro Elementary may eventually close due to declining enrollment. One suggestion made at the meeting was to find a new central elementary school location in the county that is equal in either time or distance. Suggestions were made to change busing patterns in the county to send more students to Millboro Elementary.
Another suggestion was to close the school administration building and move the staff to one of the elementary schools. Jonathan Eaton of Millboro attended the meeting. He has two children and shares what he thinks is the biggest issue the Bath School Division faces.
“I think it’s two-fold; one is lack of money both from the tax base and the lack of businesses and smaller businesses in the area” he says. “The other is being able to draw young couples such as ourselves my wife and myself and some friends of ours that have moved here to the area because there’s nothing for them to do. It’s very difficult to find a job in the region that’s even an easy commute so if you can’t draw young families in, the child population will continue to go down and the school divisions will be forced into consolidation which we’d really prefer to avoid.”
Another speaker suggested seeing what it would take to modify the laws that prohibit school buses from traveling to other counties. It was pointed out that there are students who live in neighboring counties who would have a shorter ride to Millboro Elementary than what they have now to schools in their own counties. Dreama Burns is a member of the Bath School Board, representing the Millboro District.
“What I would like to see for our community is to allow some industries to come in” says Burns. “Millboro has this wonderful industrial park; we haven’t utilized it. I think we need to start looking at the bigger picture. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – I am not for moving any of the children to Valley [Elementary] and I’m not for Valley’s children coming to us. I’d love to see our two schools remain open.”
Other ideas that came out of the meeting concerned curriculum. One speaker said maybe the school division could partner with local agencies for educational opportunities, agencies such as the Nature Conversancy, the Forest Service or the fish hatchery. There were also suggestions about strengthening the vocational educational programs and instituting a community service requirement for graduation.
The next community meeting scheduled on the Bath School Division’s comprehensive plan is Monday August 8 at Valley Elementary School at 7pm.