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Supervisors push back at $20 million request for outdated buildings
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Tommy Brankley, ED-8 rep, dies at 85
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Test scores no longer enough for approval
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Ann Dalton Day declared
SoVaNow.com / September 25, 2013Ann Dalton, principal of Clarksville Elementary School, is being recognized for her dedication and commitment to the community with a special day in her honor. To mark the kickoff of National Education Week, Clarksville Town Council has declared Nov. 18, as Ann Dalton Day in town.
Dalton attended Town Council’s meeting last week and shared her thoughts and reflections on the school with the audience. Dalton has led Clarksville Elementary for the past eight and a half years. Its current population is just under 500 students, and at least 63 percent of them qualify for free or reduced lunch.
Due to its low-income status, Clarksville Elementary is a Title 1 school, which means “we have access to additional federal funds to help with that [paying for students who receive free or reduced lunch],” said Dalton.
Students range in age from two years (in early childhood development classes) through the fifth grade years.
“I am proud of the academics that we have there,” Dalton said, explaining that Clarksville not only serves a “challenging population” but also is one of only two schools in Mecklenburg County that met its AMOs (annual measureable objectives) last year. (The other county school to fulfill the federal testing guidelines under the No Child Left Behind law is Chase City Elementary).
AMOs set forth the percentage of students within specific subgroups that must pass Standards of Learning (SOL) tests in reading and mathematics in order for schools to make acceptable progress over six years.
Dalton explained briefly the rationale behind the much-discussed Project Based Learning curriculum in county schools. She said the switch to PBL grew out of discussions with prospective employers who want workers that are able to think critically and work in groups, “not fill in bubble sheets and do worksheets.”
Since today the teachers are called on to be “mama, counselor, and nurse,” Dalton said, students must also be schooled in the five habits of heart and mind: respect, honesty, determination, communication and creativity. “We are not just making them academically strong, but we are making good people, good citizens, preparing them for the future.”
Her philosophy: “Every child, no matter where they come from, no matter what their socio-economic status, is first a child and we can teach them if they’re willing to learn.”
She encouraged Town Council members to view the school’s new gymnasium and classroom addition, which is under construction. “When completed” — the anticipated date is by Christmas — “it will eliminate the need for the eight mobile units that are close to being condemned,” Dalton said.
Finally, she thanked the many community partners who support Clarksville Elementary and its teachers, including the Ruritan Club, which gives every teacher $100 each year for school supplies.
“We strive to be a good community partner and a shining example of what an elementary school should be,” said Dalton as she concluded her remarks.
In other business, Council agreed, ipon the recommendation of Town Manager Jeff Jones, to hold off on the hiring of Davenport & Company, a financial advisory and underwriting firm. During an earlier workshop,
Council discussed whether to hire Davenport to perform a comprehensive financial review of the town’s revenue and debt structure, and to find refinancing opportunities for its outstanding loans.
Jones said that the town’s finances are expected to change once the annexation process is complete. Therefore, he felt it was premature to consider any review or restructuring of the town’s finances.
J. Harmon Sanders was award the contract to complete the Phase IV Streetscape Improvement project at a cost of $235,000. The project includes the installation of new sidewalks, streetlights and, where needed gutter repair, between 7th and 8th Street which will match the existing improvements.
Connie Torres asked Council to waive the facility fee for the SPCA when it connects to the town water and sewer at its new site on Highway 15-S. Torres also asked Council to bill the SPCA for water and sewer at in-town rates, since “had they stayed in their current location, they would have been charged the in-town rate.” Council approved both requests without objection.
Negotiations with Verizon Wireless to install an antenna on the water tower on Highway 15-S are stalled, Jones said, because the town must allow all other interested parties to bid on the water tower as a similar site. The town can move forward on the Verizon proposal only if the firm is the only bidder or the highest bidder in agreeing to pay the most rent for the site.
Work is nearly complete on the Kinderton sewer project, which extendis town sewer lines to the Kinderton Industrial Park site off Burlington Road, according to Town Operations Manager Richard Elliott. One possible delay is looming, however: it involves negotiating with the railroad to install sewer line through the railroad’s easement and under the tracks.
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