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By LARRY CHAMBERS
INDEPENDENCE — Steve Cornett, director of instruction and assessment for the Grayson County School System, gave the school board some welcome news at its Oct. 10 meeting.
Cornett said all schools in the system are fully accredited and met all Standards of Learning (SOL) standards for the 2011-12 school year, as set by the Virginia Department of Education.
It was the second consecutive year for the accreditation, which was based on data from the 2010-11 school year.
According to Cornett, “everyone should be proud of such an important accomplishment. It took a lot of hard work by not only teachers and other school personnel, but also students and their parents.”
The accredited schools include Grayson County High School, Independence Middle, Independence Elementary, Grayson Highlands, Baywood Elementary, Fairview Elementary and Fries School.
According to the Virginia Department of Education, 96 percent of Virginia’s 1,838 public schools are fully accredited and meeting all state standards for achievement in English, mathematics, history and science — and graduation, in the case of high schools.
Later in the meeting, Schools Superintendent Elizabeth Thomas, presented Jamey Hale, principal of Independence Middle School, with a special banner to be displayed at the school in honor of the highest increase in achievement.
Hale told the board, “the staff worked hard to receive the award.”
In other action at the Oct. 10 meeting, the board:
• heard concerns from parent Rebecca Burchette of Independence about bullying.
She said her three children attend Independence Elementary and they were constantly coming home from school complaining about the bullying problem.
She said that she had talked with teachers and the principal, but they haven’t helped the situation.
Burchette also said that her daughter had a problem with lice, but she went through the health department to get something done.
Cornett said a survey is currently going through the school system, which should address the bullying issue.
• made several personnel appointments, including substitute teachers Carol Isom and Kandace Vaughan; Jeff Miller (nurse); Troy Musick (bus driver); Robert Cole (bus driver/special needs driver); Charlotte Hawkins (special needs driver); Doug Lam (custodian); Libby Martin and Susan Cox (21st Century/1003a Tutoring – IES); Brianna Rhodes (assistant basketball coach).
• appointed Gifted Advisory Committee members: Lori Hawks, Lance Hart, Marci Hart, Shelia Osborne, parents; Seth Hawks, student; Kathy Jackson, community member; Kelli Adams, Melodie Cheek, Lynn Justice, Pat Ramsey, gifted teachers; Sherry Padgett, classroom teacher; Margit West, guidance counselor; Susan Mitchell, parent/principal; Melinda Vaughan, lead gifted teacher; and Susie Funk, elementary supervisor.
• appointed Local Special Education Advisory Committee members: Elaine Akers, Mount Rogers Mental Health; Amy Cox, Debbie Floyd, Kyla Ford, Chris O’Conner, James Osborne, parents; Deb Greif, special education teacher; Doug Lawson, consultant (supervisor of special education); and Catherine Okon, consultant (school psychologist).