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Education

  • GES plans proceed, despite objection

    Galax City Council will allow the school board to forge ahead with plans to expand Galax Elementary, despite strenuous objection by Council Member Ches Helmick, who voted against it and raised numerous concerns regarding the project’s effects on taxes.

    At the Feb. 27 meeting, Helmick suggested postponing a decision on the proposed $17 million expansion, which would likely require the city to refinance debt and raise the tax levy to pay for it.

  • Carroll school chief retiring

    HILLSVILLE – Dr. Strader Blankenship, Carroll County Public Schools superintendent, has announced his retirement effective July 1.

    The Carroll County School Board will begin an immediate search for his replacement.

    Blankenship announced his retirement during closed session of the March 14 meeting of the school board. His wife, Ruby, who serves as a special education assistant in the county, also is retiring.

  • Local student will study in Romania

    By D.T. CLARK, Staff

    HILLSVILLE – Alexandra Largen, daughter of Melissa and Nathan Largen, is a young woman with far to go and a whole lot of folks cheering her on.

    That cheering section includes many friends and mentors, and most enthusiastically, her parents, sisters and grandmother. A place she will visit very soon is Bucharest, the capitol city of Romania, a country of the European Union located in southeastern Europe.

  • Buses, capital improvements among school needs

    INDEPENDENCE — Now that the state’s final budget for the year has been approved by the General Assembly, Grayson County Public Schools officials are crunching the numbers in their own spending plan in the hopes of funding capital improvement projects over the next year, and providing a 1 percent raise for staff.

  • Schools solve bus loading dilemma

    INDEPENDENCE — Recent updates were made to Independence Elementary and the middle and high schools’ bus parking lots by the Grayson County Public Schools transportation department, allowing for smoother loading and departure at the end of the school day.

    During the Grayson County School Board’s Feb. 13 meeting, Charles Dickson of the school system’s transportation department, gave a brief summary of what had been done to improve the traffic from the parking lot.

  • Mandate's end won't affect Grayson transgender policy

    INDEPENDENCE — A recent announcement from President Donald Trump’s administration was a new development in an ongoing debate about transgender rights involving restrooms; one that reached the levels of the local government last year.

  • GES project could require tax increase

    Galax could refinance debt and raise the tax levy to pay for a proposed $17 million expansion of the elementary school.

    At a Feb. 13 joint meeting with Galax City Council and the Galax City School Board, accounting firm Davenport & Company gave a presentation on how the funding for the Galax Elementary School renovation and upgrade might be achieved.

  • Drivers urged to 'Zone In' near Galax schools

    Staff Report

    Galax students and parents dropping them off at school may not be aware that, just a few blocks from the campuses, Galax Safe Routes to School has yard signs posted in the Parkwood Street neighborhood urging drivers to “Slow Down! Keep our kids safe,” and the message behind it goes deep.

  • GOING VIRAL: flu empties local classrooms

    The dreaded flu virus has declared open season in the Twin Counties, and some school systems in the area are feeling the effects with more absences than normal.

    In the past week, Carroll County Public Schools saw a large number of student absences, climbing into the hundreds for a few schools inside the division.

    “We noticed an increase in absences on [Feb. 9-10], but not nearly as bad as the last two days,” Schools Superintendent Strader Blankenship told The Gazette on Tuesday.

  • Galax looks ahead to budget challenges

    Galax schools will face a budget challenge this year.

    At the Jan. 10 Galax City School Board meeting, Superintendent Bill Sturgill noted that there is “close to a $300,000 hurdle” to get over already in the budget, due to the rising cost of Virginia Retirement System contributions and Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s financial supplement (with a local funding match) being taken away.