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Education

  • School reform plan targets tests, funding

    Virginia school superintendents recently announced a comprehensive plan for education reform, and it gets a passing grade from local school chiefs.

    The plan sets new expectations for public schools, as well as what is expected of the governor, the General Assembly and the State Board of Education; parents, students and educators; businesses and local governments; and the public.

  • School bus-related traffic violations rise

    HILLSVILLE — Virginia State Police charged six motorists in Hillsville last week for passing stopped school buses in Carroll County.

    Several buses in the county’s fleet are equipped with camera systems that record the entire routes daily. As a result of the camera systems, motorists who pass stopped school buses are also recorded, and the state police actively uses the recordings to charge and prosecute motorists who violate those laws.

  • Answers and an approval for new school

    After reviewing the cost of two firms’ proposed traffic studies for the Kipling Lane property, chosen as the site for a new elementary school, the Galax School Board voted to accept the offer from Thompson & Litton.

    Galax Schools Superintendent Bill Sturgill led the brief discussion at the Jan. 20 school board meeting before the vote by saying, “I would like to recommend that we go with the study from Thompson & Litton. The scope as presented by the companies is very similar with a very significant difference in price.”

  • Grayson teachers ask for 6% raise

    INDEPENDENCE – Pay raises are again the top priority for the Grayson County Education Association as the division tries to recruit and retain top talent.

    Rebecca Absher, president of GCEA, presented her annual priority list to the division’s school board this month as the county begins working on a budget for the 2015-16 school year.

  • School budget talk raises questions for Galax citizen

    A Jan. 12 public hearing regarding an amendment to the Galax school budget drew no speakers, though remarks were made later in the meeting by a citizen.

    Council member Sharon Plichta was absent from the Galax City Council meeting, while new specially-appointed council member Bill Davis Jr. was present for his first meeting.

  • Holdaway: fix Grayson attendance policy now

    INDEPENDENCE – Employees are rewarded for time off, while students and parents are punished for excused days, according to one school board member in Grayson County.

    Vice Chairman Shannon Holdaway asked a simple question during this month’s regular board meeting that turned into quite a debate between himself and the administration.

  • More cuts likely for Grayson schools

    INDEPENDENCE – Teachers in Grayson County won’t take home any additional pay next year and may be missing a few of their co-workers when the new school year begins, after what looks to be another tight budget for administrators.

    Grayson Superintendent Kevin Chalfant presented a first draft of his budget priorities for the 2015-16 school year during the school board’s regular meeting this month, and things don’t appear to be getting any better for a division struggling to make up a large deficit in this year’s budget.

  • AmeriCorps Volunteers help students with reading, math

    HILLSVILLE — Carroll County’s Reading for Life AmeriCorps’ annual report highlighted the group’s accomplishments over the past year and needs for continuing the program.

    Reading for Life is a tutoring AmeriCorps program, sponsored by the school board. Volunteers tutor students in Pre-K through 12th grade in reading and math, and participate in a number of community and school projects.

  • Carroll approves robotics team for high school

    HILLSVILLE — The Carroll County School Board has approved the proposal for a First LEGO League Robotics Team for students in 4th through 8th grades.

    The proposal was introduced to the school board in October, and the members tabled the request to gather more information and consider the proposed budget.

  • School chiefs applaud potential SOL changes

    RICHMOND — Local school superintendents reacted positively to the state Standards of Learning (SOL) Innovation Committee’s first round of interim recommendations released earlier this month.

    The 12 recommendations will now be sent to the Board of Education and the General Assembly, detailing ways to reform the SOL assessments, recognize and promote student growth and encourage creativity in the classroom.