Residents voice concerns during School Board forum

STRASBURG – The changing of school district boundaries was a major issue concerning residents at the Shenandoah County School Board question and answer forum on Thursday night.

School Board members Sonya Williams-Giersch and Irving Getz, along with Superintendent Jeremy Raley, answered questions at Signal Knob Middle School.

Tammy Dofermire, of Toms Brook, told board members, “We want our child to graduate from Strasburg like our other children have.”

In regards to the boundary realignment, Raley said, “There are a lot of folks anxious.”

“We’re going to include the community every step of the way,” he added.

The funding provided by the county Board of Supervisors will be a major part of what ultimately happens, Raley said. There’s a “price tag of $460,000” for these projects.

Enrollment figures were also brought up at the forum. Principal of Sandy Hook Elementary School, Robin Shrum, explained that students who had left her school were now seeking their education elsewhere, whether it be in a new school division or through homeschooling.

Raley said, “We’re in uncertain times right now.”

Jennifer DiMarco, of Strasburg, asked about the trailers that are currently at the elementary school. DiMarco wondered if they would continue to stay on the site, in addition to the modular units that are to be added to the site if the recommendation and funding is approved.

Raley said they would stay at the school but added “this needs to be a temporary solution.”

In addition to the overcrowding issues and possible solutions, salary increases also concerned some residents in attendance.

Connie Fravel, of Strasburg, said that her increase in pay didn’t compare to what someone in her position was making last year. She was making about $600 less. In addition, Fravel said her raise was only $88 from the previous year.

“It’s kind of hard to feel the love,” Fravel said.

Raley added, “Staff have gone through two years of unequal raises.” He said that will change soon.

At the end of the forum, Williams-Giersch said, “We will definitely be looking for community input,” for all of these issues.

The final Q&A session will be held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at North Fork Middle School in Quicksburg.

Contact staff writer Kaley Toy at 540-465-5137 ext. 176, or ktoy@nvdaily.com