• Carroll schools face budgeting challenges

    HILLSVILLE — Carroll schools finances for 2012 seem likely to feel pressure from all sides, school board members heard in the first presentation of the full budget proposal last Tuesday.
    Superintendent Greg Smith ticked off many challenges the staff faced when working up the proposal for the school board:
    First, there's a 9.4 percent increase for employees' health insurance and an increase in Virginia Retirement System rates.
    Then, Federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds are coming to a halt.

  • Grayson school budget approved

    INDEPENDENCE — The Grayson County School Board on March 14 approved a proposed $21 million budget for 2011-12.
    The amount includes a request for $5.56 million in local funds — nearly $1.4 million above the $4.18 million the school system received from Grayson this year.
    Schools’ Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Thomas noted that the request is on par with local funding for Grayson schools in 2006-07.
    The additional money addresses a $154,000 state shortfall and eight critical needs, including:

  • A real threat to virtual school

    It's ironic that, while Virginia serves as a technology hub, the General Assembly may be sending the state's one virtual school offline due to a funding decision made this year, an official with the Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy believes.
    Chris Braunlich, vice president of the think tank, posted a blog on the group's website arguing that the decision will impact not only the virtual school hosted by Carroll County, but also any rural division that wants to offer more educational opportunities to its students.

  • Educators: students suffering from budget cuts



  • Schools could ask Grayson for $1M more


    INDEPENDENCE — The Grayson County School Board is considering asking the county for $1 million more in local funds than it received this year to make major repairs at some schools, increase teachers' salaries and prevent further cuts to educational opportunities for students in 2011-12.
    During a work session March 7, Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Thomas outlined two options for the school board to consider:

  • Educators say students are suffering from cuts


    INDEPENDENCE — Instructional materials and course offerings for Grayson County students are dwindling, educators said during Grayson County School Board budget work sessions held Feb. 28 and March 7.
    Following three years of “severe” budget cuts, students are beginning to suffer, said Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Thomas. “We’ve kicked the can down the road for years. It’s just catching up with us.”

  • Carroll studies school bonds

    HILLSVILLE — Carroll County school officials will seek more information on $15 million in bonds before going out to bid for the phase III projects.
    Schools Superintendent Greg Smith spoke to the school board recently about some of the attractive features of the Qualified School Construction Bonds that the school district landed from Gov. Bob McDonnell's office earlier this month.
    Educators requested these bonds in order to tackle expansions at Carroll County high and intermediate schools necessary after the closure of Woodlawn School.

  • Student drug testing considered a success

    HILLSVILLE — A limited-scale student drug testing program at the Regional Alternative Education Center seems to have made a splash with parents as well as educators.
    One year after its inception, educator Wade Meredith, who's in charge of the alternative school on Oak Street in Hillsville, gave a report to the Carroll County School Board on how the drug intervention program is going.

  • Local produce on school menu

    HILLSVILLE — Carroll County schools will serve up more orange and green as the staff prepares more colorful and better-balanced meals.
    Those will come from the fresher, healthier foods available to children, grown closer to home, as the country moves the war on obesity into school cafeterias.
    The amount of “white foods” will decrease, as servings will get away from loading the children up on white starches, said Matt Morris, the Chartwells food service employee who's in charge of meals for Carroll County Public Schools.

  • Carroll schools get $15 million

    RICHMOND ― Carroll County Public Schools received $15 million from the state to go towards its third and final phase of schools improvements.