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Education

  • Which books can be excluded from library?

    The Galax High School’s library book committee has made progress in recent months, developing a system and testing it out on books that are typically geared towards the teen population to weed out what some consider objectionable volumes.
    Now that an idea is taking shape, the committee is working to fine-tune the screening system, called a matrix, and ready it for use.
    The GHS library is shared by middle and high school students.

  • Veto likely for student prayer protection bill

    Legislation aimed at ensuring students’ right to pray and engage in other religious expression at school has passed the General Assembly, but not by sufficient margins to overcome a promised veto by Gov. Terry McAuliffe.
    State Sen. Bill Carrico’s bill passed the House of Delegates on a 64-34 vote on Feb. 26. It had earlier cleared the Senate, 20-18. Neither vote is enough to override a veto, which requires a two-thirds majority.

  • Mountaintop Community Schools demonstrates teaching approach

    The makeshift “classroom” inside the main building of the Joy Ranch Home for Children buzzed with excitement on Saturday as parents joined in with students for an “observation learning” activity.
    This was just one of the activities that was scheduled during the three-hour mock classroom demonstration for Mountaintop Community Schools, a planned non-denominational Christian school that a group of parents and community members hope to begin in several areas throughout the Twin Counties.

  • Local schools making up snow days

    Twin County school systems are re-examining their calendars in order to make up the days that have been lost due to inclement weather.
    Snow days have pushed school calendars as far back as two weeks in some localities, which could lead to extending semesters into the summer months, and the loss of certain holidays and teacher workdays.
    Galax City Schools had regular school days on Feb. 21 and 24, which were originally scheduled as teacher workdays.

  • Senate panel again sacks homeschool sports bill

    The Virginia Senate Education and Health Committee has been a field of nightmares for perennial legislation to let home-school students play public sports.
    And it was again on Friday.
    On a 9-6 party-line vote, the Democrat-run panel voted down Del. Rob Bell’s version of the so-called “Tim Tebow” bill.
    As it did this year, the measure named for the onetime pro football quarterback now pursuing an NFL return had previously cleared the House of Delegates only to get sacked in the Senate.

  • Galax finds 'year-round' school compromise

    Last year, Galax City Schools received a grant to fund research of a year-round school calendar, but after months of exploring the different possibilities, the research group has put together a draft proposal that, while is still considered a year-round concept, will still include a summer break similar to a traditional school calendar.

  • Galax schools honor crossing guards

    Three crossing guards were honored last Thursday for keeping school children safe while they board buses or find their parents in carpool lanes every afternoon.
    Feb. 12 was recognized as National Crossing Guard Appreciation Day, but the celebration was postponed due to inclement weather.

  • Grayson school budget requests include art, pay raises

    INDEPENDENCE — The Grayson School Board has been asked to consider including teacher salary increases, technology and facility improvements and the reinstatement of art programs at county schools in the 2014-2015 budget.
    Last week, Schools Superintendent Kevin Chalfant made the case for improving technology in the schools in a “digital conversion plan,” which would be “one of five emphases” in the upcoming budget and would improve student and teacher access to online resources.

  • Legislators approve education reforms

    RICHMOND — Virginia’s teachers may be getting several items on their legislative wish list after the House of Delegates approved a handful of education-overhaul bills on Tuesday, the eve of the session’s crossover deadline.
    The changes could mean fewer standardized tests, more time to prepare for them and a delay in giving each school an A-F grade based largely on those exam scores.

  • Auxiliary gym could solve many issues at CCHS

    HILLSVILLE — Adding an auxiliary gym along and other improvements to Carroll County High School would solve a variety of space, accessibility and security issues there, Schools Superintendent Strader Blankenship told the county supervisors Monday.
    Blankenship attended the regular February supervisors’ meeting at the request of Pine Creek Representative Bob Martin, in connection with a $3.4 million capital improvement plan request involving the high school and an auxiliary gym.