South Boston News & Record
and Mecklenburg Sun
03/12/14 - 6:57 am
Chase City Town Council has agreed to move forward with plans to draft a new town ordinance to address blighted structures and hire a building official to enforce possible penalties…
03/11/14 - 7:51 pm
Mecklenburg County authorities are pondering their next move after seizing two dozen cell phones and other electronic devices from Bluestone Middle School students that contain pornographic photos, including images that…
03/11/14 - 9:55 am
There was good news for students and parents alike as Halifax County Superintendent of Schools Merle Herndon advised trustees on Monday evening that spring vacation days are protected.
03/12/14 - 6:50 am
Bluestone, Park View open regular season action this week
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Halifax County trustees delay governor’s school vote
SoVaNow.com / December 12, 2013Halifax County School board members on Monday night opted to delay making a decision on participating in the Regional Governor’s School next year until all members of the board could be present. ED-4 trustee Cheryl Terry was out of town on business.
However, one speaker, Frank Coleman urged trustees to delay participation in the special school until their budget was not so stretched. He once again lauded the system’s Dual Enrollment program, pointing to its positive financial effect on Halifax County High School graduates and their parents.
Trustees met in the cafeteria of Halifax County Middle School and were treated to Christmas music sung by members of the school’s chorus. They were also presented with white poinsettias, grown by members of the High School FFA chapter.
The board on a unanimous vote approved a $7,000 contract with RKB of Greensboro, N.C., to carry out professional engineering services at Halifax County High School. The need for the services stemmed from problems that the high school had suffered with mold earlier in the fall.
Choosing from the four companies that bid on the contract, RKB and Moseley out of Raleigh, N.C., were the low bidders at $7,000 with Dewberry bidding $22,000 and Obenchain of Richmond bidding $7,500 for the work.
Robert Bouknight, owner of RKB, was one of the engineers who had worked on the high school’s system when the school was built years ago and both trustees ED-5 Roger Long and ED-7 Dick Stoneman agreed that he seemed to have the most knowledge of the system’s needs.
Stoneman also pointed out that Bouknight planned to bring back both a short term plan to resolve the immediate problems with mold as well as making a recommendation for long term needs. Bouknight also stated that he expects to finish the work before school starts in August 2014.
Trustees were also asked by Assistant School Superintendent Valdivia Marshall to consider a policy that might be used in bringing back some retirees to teach in critical needs areas. Critical needs areas are defined as those in which positions are not filled or have long term substitutes, usually in math, guidance, special education or elementary reading specialists.
Marshall explained that the Virginia Retirement System (VRS) allows retirees to come back while continuing to receive their full retirement benefits when no one else can be found to fill a certain position. She said Halifax has already had some interested retirees and asked that the board come up with a policy about the pay and qualifications they expect for such positions. Trustees indicated they will consider the issue at their next meeting.
Marshall also explained to trustees that Halifax County will not qualify for an early school opening waiver next year since the system has not had an average of eight days lost to inclement weather.
In order to receive a waiver to open before Labor Day she said Halifax must submit a plan seeking the early opening for some other reason. She recommended that Halifax apply for the waiver using the CATE (Career and Technical Education) program. Since the Career and Technical Program depends largely upon the two local community colleges, Danville Community and Southside Virginia Community Colleges, as well as nearby Averett and Longwood Universities, Marshall said Halifax schools need to have similar calendars. which call for course completions prior to the Christmas holidays. In order for the schools to complete the course work necessary prior to Christmas, schools must open in mid to late August, she said.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Merle Herndon reported that she and trustees will be meeting with County Supervisors this morning in the school conference room beginning at 9 a.m. to look at ways of changing some facilities as well as talking about capital projects. While budget issues will not likely be discussed, Herndon said since she must await word on the Governor’s budget expected next week, she said the two groups will be looking at ways to save money through more cooperation.
Herndon also announced division wide student performance goals for the year which include having schools meet full state accreditation by having a 5 percent increase in English SOL test scores and a 3 percent increase in math SOL scores. She added a third goal of having the 2014 HCHS graduation rate increase by 4 percent.
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