Why no preschool at Millboro Elementary this year?

Hot Springs, Va. –
Why is there no preschool class at Millboro Elementary School this year? That was the question posed by two parents at Tuesday night’s Bath School Board meeting.

Pupil Personnel Services and Special Education Director Jane Hall gave a report on the Head Start preschool program. Hall said through Head Start, Bath can have two preschool classes with a maximum of twenty students in each class. She said a developmental screening was held in March and in July twenty one applicants were accepted, with three of those from Millboro.

Over the summer more applications came in from both the Millboro area and the Hot Springs area, pushing the number of students over the limit of forty. As it stands now, both preschool classes are located at Valley Elementary. One class has sixteen students and the other nineteen students. Five students from Millboro are currently attending preschool at Valley. Nine potential preschool students from Millboro are not attending, because parents didn’t want to bus them across the mountain.

School Superintendent Sue Hirsh said she and Millboro Elementary Principal Allison Hicklin plan to meet with Head Start. Superintendent Hirsh said there is no more money available from Head Start for another class, so the school system would have to fund it. Special Education Director Jane Hall said preparing for preschool takes planning and equipment and that she needs to know the numbers early on in the year. Superintendent Hirsh said that next year recruitment for preschool will be done differently and earlier.

Two parents from the Millboro district spoke regarding the preschool issue. Jeff Grimm suggested that the smaller of the preschool classes along with the teacher be relocated from Valley to Millboro. He offered to move the classroom equipment at no cost. Corey Williams said the public misunderstood about the preschool program, thinking that preschool could only be held at Valley. And since Millboro parents didn’t want to bus their children, they didn’t apply for preschool to begin with.

School Board member Dr. Ellen Miller said she is open to having a third preschool class. Dr. Miller said they will keep looking and will keep trying, but it may have more to do with Head Start regulations and not with what they want to do.

Also on Tuesday night, all three school principals reported a smooth opening to the school year. Millboro Elementary opened with 108 students, Valley Elementary with 236 and Bath County High School with 271.

And the 2012-2013 Bath County School Board Student Representative was introduced Tuesday night. It is Laura Haney of Millboro, a senior at Bath County High School.

And in other business, the board accepted the resignation of varsity assistant football coach Michael Colaw.

And the following appointments were made:
Kim Manion as gifted coordinator at Millboro Elementary School. Brandon Liptrap as varsity assistant football coach and Jamie Gwin, Glenn Hiner and Robert Plecker as volunteer football coaches. Susan McRoberts was appointed as volunteer JV volleyball coach and Justin Broughman as JV baseball coach. And the board acknowledged the appointment of Sandi Smith as an instructional aide at Valley Elementary. And a number of teacher mentors, academic supplements, substitute teachers and substitute cafeteria workers were also approved.

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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