With school starting just a month away, the Craig County School Board continues to vote and approve on changes and paperwork which are necessary for a successful school start date.
Members present at the July 3 School Board meeting were; Superintendent Jeanette Warwick, Chairman and Representative for Craig City District Pat Myers, Co-chair representing Craig Creek Susan Crenshaw, Aaron Calfee – Potts Mtn., Gina Smith – Simmonsville, George Foster – New Castle and Diana Bayne – Deputy Clerk of the School Board.
Samuel Foster, Director of Instruction and Educational Technology, reported on the new phone system, explaining that the servers had been installed and the connection between the schools and the new system had been checked. At the same time though, the switch had not been flipped yet.
“Once we flip the switch then TDS goes away, and we are on our own,” Foster said.
The only difficulty that has arisen so far is between the school and the School Board office.
“Due to the system being older that connects the two buildings, there is a problem with communication,” Foster said. “Sysco Systems are at both ends, but for some reason, they will not connect.”
Foster also added that a new fiber line needs to be installed, however, when he originally submitted a quote, he included a buffer to proceed with caution.
Policy updates were approved so that the updated information could be included in the student’s handbooks.
Superintendent Jeanette Warwick announced that the state approved the final budget, which will add $89,861 to Craig’s overall budget. Director of Finance, Heather Duncan, reported that the majority of the funds would be used for instructional and administration purposes.
Pat Myers was chosen as the Delegate to represent Craig at the VSBA Delegate Assembly and Regional Meeting at the 2018 Annual Convention. Susan Crenshaw was chosen as the Alternate Delegate. Each board members was encouraged to attend.
George Foster said that he believed that the idea which Sue Bostic presented at the last meeting was useful because students need to apply for scholarships. “I also like the idea of getting local businesses involved, and it does not cost anything,” he added.
During discussions, the topic of adding more options for the students in current classes while tying in athletics came up.
“When I stepped on a college campus, and the coach asked me where my video and stat sheet was, I was like ‘holy smokes,’” Aaron Calfee said.
Foster added that Sue Bostic wished to be more involved.
Warwick will choose a Scholarship Assistance Committee to go forward. She said that they also received money from the National Forest Reserves in the amount of $125,556.91.
“Teachers have been asking for new furniture for many years now, and the furniture needs to be replaced,” she said. Teachers also shared that they also needed to convert to separate desks and chairs, which is more convenient for the students.
In the past, Warwick had looked online at replacing furniture, and the cost was over a half-million dollars for a full replacement. “I now have a price for furniture for all three schools in the amount of only $125,556.91 if we buy in quantity from a local vendor in Roanoke.”
Calfee suggested obtaining three different bids to compare prices and also to purchase the items over a five-year period. “We can slowly make the improvements while having a buffer of funds still in Capital for other possible immediate needs like we are doing with the textbooks,” he added.
Samuel Foster said that the company was Verco, one of the top school furniture businesses. After further discussion, the Board voted to purchase the furniture with the current price.
The Maintenance Department was able to purchase a lawnmower from the sale of the generator and instead of purchasing a backhoe, “the county agreed to let us use their backhoe when needed so that can come off of the capital plan,” according to Warwick.
Duncan reported that they would be able to buy a passenger bus with the carryover funds of $66,060 from the Transportation Budget and $14,000 out of the Capital Improvement Plan.
Hopes are that the County will also be purchasing a 77-passenger bus in September for the schools.
The next School Board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, August 7, at 6:30 p.m. in the Media Center and all citizens of Craig are encouraged to attend.