School Board kicks off new year

Pam Dudding
Contributing writer

It’s been repeatedly said that, “It takes a village to raise a child.” The Craig County School Board feels that it takes a group of very caring and experienced staff to give their students the best available opportunities and materials possible.


J.D. Carlin, a representative from Blue Ridge Behavioral Healthcare and the Craig Prevention Planning Team, CPPT, presenting a request at the monthly School Board meeting, for approval to continue the Youth Risk Behavior Survey for Spring of 2019, which has been conducted since 2003.

The School Board staff started their first meeting of the year earlier than usual. On Tuesday, January 8, they met for an hour early to take a tour of the school, so they could ‘visually see’ the changes from last year’s decisions and detect the needs for the upcoming year. This time also allowed teachers the opportunity to share with them their needs, concerns and their appreciation for all of the hard work from last year.

The Board members stated that their goal is to be more available to the staff, as well as continue to take a more hands-on approach.

Board members present included: Jeanette Warwick, Superintendent, Clerk Sonja Switzer and Deputy Clerk Diana Bayne, Chairman Pat Myers and Craig City District Representative, Vice Chair and Representative for Craig City Susan Crenshaw, Simmonsville Gina Smith, Potts Mountain Aaron Calfee and New Castle George Foster.

On the agenda was the election of officers. The Board elected the same people to fill these positions: Chairman Pat Myers, Vice Chair Susan Crenshaw, Clerk Sonja Switzer and Deputy Clerk Diana Bayne.

Also, chosen elections were for Susan Crenshaw, Craig Representative at the Roanoke Valley Regional Board, and Pat Myers, the Representative for the Roanoke Valley Governor’s School Board.

At the January School Board meeting, the election of officers included, left to right: Chairman Pat Myers, Vice Chair Susan Crenshaw, Clerk Sonja Switzer and Deputy Clerk Diana Bayne.

The 2019 School Board meetings will continue to be held at 6:30 p.m. on the first Tuesday of every month at the Craig County High School Media Center. The only exceptions will be the dates of the June 4 meeting, which will begin at 5:30 p.m. for a work session.

Any other needed changes will be posted online, and the School Board and staff at CCPS ask for the community to become more involved by attending and possibly volunteering where the schools have needs.

The Budget planning calendar dates are as follows:

  • Feb 5 – Public hearing for CCPS FY 19 Budget
  • Mar 5 – Public hearing for CCPS FY 19 Budget
  • Mar 7 – 6:30 p.m. Board of Supervisors meeting – Joint Budget work session with Board of Supervisors (following their regular meeting)
  • Apr 2 – School Board to adopt FY 2019 Budget
  • Apr 4 – 6:30 p.m. Board of Supervisors meeting – Joint Budget work session with Board of Supervisors (if needed) – School Board submits FY 19 Budget Request to BOS.
  • Apr 18 – 7 p.m. Board of Supervisors meeting -Public hearing on the budget and proposed tax rate – Ordinance to adopt a tax rate
  • May 2 – 6 p.m. meeting – Board of Supervisors meeting – Budget approval

J.D. Carlin, a representative from Blue Ridge Behavioral Healthcare and the Craig Prevention Planning Team, CPPT, presented a request for authorization to continue the Youth Risk Behavior Survey for Spring of 2019, which has been conducted since 2003.

Carlin shared that the specific information obtained is vital, not only for community knowledge but for various groups and businesses that have used the data to receive grants to assist the community itself.

“Though the survey takes place at the school, we make sure that people know that it is a community survey,” Carlin said. “It is not representative of the school, but the youth. However, this is the place where most youth are located at one time.”

Students and parents have the personal option to opt out of the survey if they so choose. Every survey is anonymous.

Carlin explained that Craig County has been ahead of the curve as they have been participating in the surveys since 2003, every two years.

“Starting with 2011, it has been every two years like clockwork,” Carlin noted. “This consistency allows us to see the ebb and flow of all that is happening as well as being able to pinpoint data in specific years with our youth in Craig.” He emphasized that all data obtained is anonymous.

He added that the data can then be compared in Craig on both a statewide and national level. The data collected is used to help us assess precisely what should be the focus of programming for the youth in Craig County.

Carlin also noted that within the community, the data has been used to support Grant applications for The Field of Dreams, the Community Health Center and the Library in their attempts to become a community center.

“It becomes a community resource of information,” Carlin added, including the facts that when a school or community project asks for grants or funds, this data is a necessity. “They want specific numbers that demonstrate need and they want to see a shift in those numbers afterward which this data provides.”

Warwick attested to how it was used in various grant applications, using the specific data to submit for a Title IV Grant for a student assistance program.

Carlin assured the Board that the surveys would be conducted around their staff’s available schedules. The request was granted.

The next School Board meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 5, at 6:30 p.m. in the Craig County High School Media Center. All community citizens are encouraged to attend to help support the students and staff.

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