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Mecklenburg trustees review goals for comprehensive plan / April 24, 2019
Meeting for less than an hour on Monday night, the Mecklenburg County School Board honored teachers and students for their achievements and went over various business items.

Assistant superintendent of schools Abe Jeffers updated trustees on progress in rewriting the division’s comprehensive plan.

Jeffers said the comprehensive plan serves as a road map for the growth and development of the school division, as well as a tool for measuring progress toward its goals.

Jeffers said he expects to have a draft of the comprehensive plan available for the board members to review in May, and he will ask for its adoption in June during the regular meeting of trustees.

Superintendent Paul Nichols announced that school division employees can now receive long-term disability insurance through the Virginia Retirement System, once participation in the plan is approved by the School Board. Each participating employee will be responsible for paying the cost of the insurance and there is no charge to the school division.

Trustees approved a policy that allows Nichols to invite students who are home-schooled or attend private school to participate in academic or extracurricular activities offered through Mecklenburg County Public Schools. These students, because of a prohibition in effect by the Virginia High School League (VHSL), cannot participate on any school sport teams.

Trustees also approved a change to the policy for locally awarded verified credits which allows students with disabilities to qualify for accommodations that will enable them to earn the verified credits needed to receive a standard diploma and graduate from high school.

They also approved a request by 4-H Extension Agent Jennifer Bowen for use of three school division buses to transport 4-H students to Holiday Lake 4-H Center camp between July 22 and 26.

Dale Sturdifen announced that members of the joint education committee (representatives of both the school board and board of supervisors) would meet late Tuesday afternoon to discuss hiring a management firm to oversee day-to-day operations of the county’s $120 million school construction project.

Supervisors are recommending the School Board hire Richmond-based Skanska, a multinational construction and development company. Skansa has been involved in construction projects for over 125 years, overseeing the building of schools, hospitals, stadiums, airports and other major instruction

Trustee Wanda Bailey recommended the adoption of ACE Interface training for teachers and administrators to better help them understand and interact with students who may have suffered a traumatic event that results in learning and productivity issues in the classroom. ACE, which stands for Adverse Childhood Experience, provides educators with the tools needed to discern and address problems that may be rooted in early trauma but could lead to disease and disability, or even early death.

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Skanska is not based in Richmond. They are based in Sweden. Unbelievable that the county is sending our taxpayer dollars overseas to help fund a socialist government. And this is a job someone local can do. We should demand better from our representatives!

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