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Halifax County Trustees appoint committee to study possible efficiency study

SoVaNow.com / April 14, 2010
Halifax County School trustees on Monday night voted unanimously to appoint a committee to study the feasibility of conducting an efficiency study of County schools. ED8 Trustee Joe Gasperini first requested that such a study be carried out, a request that was supported by ED6 Trustee Fay Satterfield, who said her constitents and members of the Board of Supervisors had asked her to consider such a move.

Board Chairman Walter Potts named Roger Long to head the committee along with members Gasperini, Karen Hopkins and Stuart Comer. During discussion of the issue, Long said he always supports a study. “We can always learn something new. Learning is the objective that we have established to be taught and tested as a lifelong process. Then we establish a curriculum and an orderly way that it should be taught and tested,” he said.

Long added, “If we believe that evaluation is important, we as board members ought to have our work evaluated,” he noted, pointing out that respect be given to how business should be cnducted by the board.

Long explained that he has participated in five different efficiency studies during his professional career and that such studies involved a lot of work for staff, as well as school board members and county government officials in compiling many statistics and figures. He then moved for the establishment of a committee to review the process and bring back options to school trustees to decide how to go about undertaking such a study.

In another matter dealing with the flow of traffic at Halifax County Middle School, trustees delayed taking action on a new plan put forth by Superintendent of Schools Paul Stapleton which would take parents waiting to pick up their children off Route 501 and make them line up around the bus parking lot and maintenance area. But ED7 Trustee Stuart Comer said the transportation safety commission, on which he serves, is working on a plan to eliminate the bottle neck of traffic along 501 during the time school lets out in the afternoons. Comer said his group plans to announce the new plan prior to the opening of the 2010-11 school year, hoping to eliminate any confusion that might ensue by changing the plan at this time with only six to eight weeks of the school year remaining.

In yet another item of business, Technology director Terry McGhee advised trustees of the new security system which was recently installed at the high school with the addition of 32 new high definition cameras which are located throughout the building. Halifax County High School Principal Albert Randolph said he “has been very, very pleased” with the new security system which monitors everyone who comes into the school and the flow of movement as students go from class to class. Randolph said the system provides orderly safe communications which are very clear and he noted that the staff has been trained to use the system.

On a 7-1 vote trustees approved the budget of $122,852.59, all federal funds, for the 2010-11 Career and Technical Education Plan. Only Gasperini opposed the plan, questioning the expenditures of some $2,776 for collars, grooming combs, feeding/water bowls, leashes, drills, safety glasses, and other equipment for the small animal center.

In other business trustees agreed to participate in the Virginia School Board Association’s development session to be held in Charlottesville on Friday, April 30 with only Comer not participating.

Trustees also recognized the 2010 art competition local winners with first grader Wendy Moreno of South Boston Elementary School taking first place; Ellie Weatherford, a kindergarten student at Sinai Elementary taking second and fourth grader Caleb Coates of Meadville Elementary taking third place. Middle school winners were Morgan Arthur, a seventh graders taking first place, Imani Brayboy, an eighth grader taking second and Austine Lowe, a seventh grader palcing third. High School winners were Malcolm Carrington, a senior taking first place and third place in Region VIII competition. Dylan Compton, also a senior, won second place honors followed by junior Allison Conner in third place.

Members of the high school’s One Act Play team were honored for their recognitions in district competition — Daniesa Carr, Caitlin Helinski, Ashley Powell, Elizabeth Brogden, Mark Aaron, Matthew Ballou, Brandi Winstead and Shane Brogden, along with stage manager Brandon Tingen, lighting director Julie Simon and lighting/ sound director Tony Landrum. Four of the members were chosen for the All-District team: Carr, Helinski, Ballou and Winstead.

Members of the high school Poetry Out Loud group were also cited: Daniesha Carr, Julie Simon and Erika Muse.

Finally this year’s winners of the Region VIII School Bus Road-E-O were introduced by Transportation Director Dave Guill. Winners in the district contest were Cynthia Blue, who had the highest score of all participants, Janice Powell and Michelle Jordan.

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