At the March 10 monthly School Board meeting, Superintendent Jeanette Warwick announced that there would be a day and half closing for teachers and staff to be trained on the protocol for the safety of everyone concerning a possible future “virus” concern.
Samuel Foster presented the protocol that the school would go by.
However, since, the government made a mandatory two weeks closing, and possibly more to be announced.
A short video was shown of pictures of students who attended Craig County Public Schools, their then and now pictures along with their accomplishments.
“I wanted to show that tonight as you know our moto is ‘Every Child a Graduate; Every Child Prepared for Life’,” Warwick shared. “When you look at these pictures up here of these outstanding students it makes me very proud at what they are doing. Some of them are doing absolutely amazing things.”
She also pointed out people in the audience who were graduates of CCPS.
The meeting then focused on the budget.
“We have very little resources to work with,” Warwick announced. “We can only put together a budget with what we get from our Board of Supervisors and Federal and State funding. We try our best to meet our children’s needs.”
This year CCPS requested $1,920,000, however when Warwick met with Dan Collins of the Board of Supervisors, he informed her there would be no increase again. The schools would receive the same amount they have received the last four years. “Therefore, we had to reduce the budget by $100,000,” Warwick noted. “These figures are based on the Governors budget as we still do not have the house or senate budget figures.”
Warwick explained that it really isn’t ‘level funding’. “Every year the state says that school divisions have to fund a certain amount of the monies,” she said. “The majority of school divisions fund a lot more than what they are required to fund.”
Amount funded for the school year 2016-17 was $1,966.250, 28 percent above what they had to fund.
“However, for the next four years, the county has not increased the amount funded therefore the percentage has been dropping drastically,” Warwick explained. “Though their funding amount appears to be ‘level’ funding, our expenses are increasing every year.”
- 2017-18, reduced to 24.03 percent
- 2018-19, reduced to 14.85 percent
- 2019-20, increased a small amount to 15.40 percent
- 2020-21, decreased almost half, to 8.01 percent above what they are required to give CCPS
Warwick highlighted the important issues to view in the upcoming budget; 4.8 percent health insurance increase, VRS rate increase of $51,000 and a Step increase for all employees of 1.7 percent.
She noted that; “the Governor’s Budget includes a three percent raise for all teachers in the second year, school systems must prove a three percent raise over two years to qualify for the compensation supplement, Senate is a two percent increase in first and second year and House Budget is a three percent bonus in the first year.”
She also added that a step increase of 1.7 percent would cost approximately $86,500, a one percent increase would be $49,000 and a two percent is $100,500.
“If we would have received the amount I requested from the county, we would have been able to give the two percent raise, as the cut was $100,000,” Warwick explained. “Please note that 87 percent of our budget is in salaries and benefits. There aren’t very many places I can cut because our budget is in people.”
Warwick asked, “So, what are our needs? You saw our graduates. This is based on what our students need.”
- Concern of readiness level of incoming kindergartners (67 percent coming in not ready and over 70 percent of kids from disadvantaged families are coming in not ready)
- High number of Special Education students with diverse needs
- Need two additional assistants (partially funded by Title I Federal Funding and a small amount funded by local)
Warwick noted this would give two teaching assistants for the kindergarten classes, one for Grade 1 and one for Grade 2.
Third grade has a high special education population, therefore needing one per classroom. Grades 4 and 5 will have one teaching assistant shared between two teachers.
At the High School:
- A high number of Special Education students with diverse needs
- Additional course offerings (minimum cost for each course is $53,000 for teacher salary and benefits plus cost of equipment depending on the class)
- An additional instructional assistant
- Addition of a Family Consumer Science Teacher
Samuel Foster explained they chose to elect the position of Family Consumer Science Teacher with Career Technical Educational programs (CTE). “We receive grant funding called Perkins, which has certain requirements including diverse areas of offerings of classes (clusters).”
There are 16 clusters including;
- Ag, Food and Natural Resources (0%)
- Architecture and Construction (18%)
- Arts, A/V technology & Communications (2%)
- Business Management & Admin (9%)
- Education & Training (18%)
- Finance (9%)
- Government & Public Admin (6%)
- Health Science (21%)
- Hospitality & Tourism (14%)
- Human Services (25%)
- Information Technology (17%)
- Law, Public Safety, Corrections & Security (11%)
- Manufacturing (1%)
- Marketing (10%)
- Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) (6%)
- Trans, Distribution & Logistics (7%)
They chose Hospitality and Tourism. “We can add Family Consumer Science under that, specifically in adding culinary arts. This is career oriented, not the ‘older’ home economics,” Foster continued.
He gave two examples of culinary personnel, one from Va. Tech and another chef who is a restaurant owner. This provides many entry-level jobs students can “walk into” with just a high school diploma.
Foster listed 18 jobs from cooks, supervisors, recreational workers to bakers, lodging managers and clerks, with annual wages ranging from $18,540 to $56,290.
Warwick informed the Board that they cannot fund capitol needs in the operating budget. Two of these needs for the summer are; the resealing of the parking lots ($30,000) and painting the inside of the buildings.
She listed the many capital projects they have completed over the last few years; upgraded cameras, electronic doors, fencing, window film in cafeteria, auxiliary gym floor, paving parking lots, upgraded phone system, new furniture and school zone traffic lights (which VDOT will be installing).
Warwick added; the performance contract for AC, heating, boilers, lighting, windows from hallway and air filtration as well as purchasing a new bus.
Other needs tabled were; auditorium upgrade, gym floor replacement, locker room floors, paving back lot, track and walkway as well as purchases of a mini-van, service truck and a dump truck.
“We still have a lot of capital needs, but we also have to maintain what we currently have.” Warwick concluded.
She asked for approval of current budget. “However, once the final approval comes out, we will bring it back. However, the timeline to get information to the Board of Supervisors is needed.”
The Board also approved the request to put into place a Firearm Safety Program for McCleary Elementary which will be taught through the National Rifle Association.
Regulations were presented with a matrix to be used in the event of a necessary reduction of staffing. “It takes into account of how many years you have taught,” Warwick explained. “It is a point base system so that it isn’t an arbitrary decision, which goes in line with the policy and the Code of Virginia states.”
If employee is on an annual contract = 1 point or continuing contract = 2 points
- Years of service; 1-10 = 1 point, 11-20 = 2 points and 21 plus = 3 points (max is 3)
- Years of teaching; 1-4 = 1 point, 5-9 = 2 points, 10-14 = 3 points, 15-19 = 4 points, 20-24 = 5 points and 25 plus = 6 points (max is 6)
- Multiple license endorsements = 3 points
- Performance evaluation; Improvement plan = 0 points, Unacceptable = 0 points, Developing needs improvement = 1 point, proficient = 2 points and exemplary = 3 points (max 3 points)
- No disciplinary action during past 3 years = 1 point
- Master’s Degree or above = 2 points
- The April School Board meeting is pending the coronavirus school shutdown. Please check the website for updates.