Pam Dudding Contributing writer
With the upcoming school year only two days away, the Craig County School Board have already made all the necessary decisions to start the year out smoothly.
All eight members were present at the August 6 meeting: Pat Myers – Chairman and Craig City Representative, Superintendent Jeanette Warwick, Susan Crenshaw – Vice-Chair and Representative for Craig City, Gina Smith – Simmonsville, Faye Powers (newest member) – Potts Mountain, George Foster – New Castle, Sonja Switzer – Clerk of the School Board and Diana Bayne – Deputy Clerk of the School Board.
Superintendent Jeanette Warwick started the meeting with recognizing the custodians at Craig County Public Schools. The Board had previously taken care of all the necessary paperwork and decisions for most of the needs of all three schools to open and run successfully.
Bus routes were announced that they would be the same unless any new student pickups were added.
Two major changes this year will be the new Tobacco and E-Cigarette Free Campus Policy and the drop-off/pickup areas for the buses and parents.
Effective July 1, 2019, Governor Ralph Northam signed a bill that will require all local school boards to develop and implement a comprehensive tobacco-free policy banning the use and distribution of any tobacco product or nicotine vapor product.
“The bill, House Bill 2384 and Senate Bill 1295, will prohibit anyone from using or distributing the tobacco products on a school bus on school property and at on-site and off-site school-sponsored activities,” Warwick said.
A copy of the new policy is on the school’s website and will be sent home with every student.
Changes were needed for the drop-off and pickup areas to provide a safer and more steady flow of traffic. School buses will pick up and drop off at the side of the school entrance, behind McCleary Elementary.
Parents and family members picking up a child or dropping them off will use the high school entrance. Children will be escorted by school officials. No parent will have to exit their vehicle. There is a permission slip that parents must complete informing the school in advance of who can pick up their child. Necessary forms and window nameplates will have to be present for anyone, other than the parents, to pick up a child.
The goal is to take all precautions in protecting the children within CCPS.
Principal Melissa Whiting explained the procedures, adding, “We know that it may take a little while for us all to get used to it.” She added that many other school systems have already adopted this procedure.
Whiting also informed the Board of the new small section of fencing that will be added next to the ballfield, to add protection to the student body as well as security for the school.
The School Board encourages all citizens of Craig to attend the monthly meetings. The next one will be held on Tuesday, September 3, at 6:30 p.m. in the Media Center.