Tech center students present to board

FRONT ROYAL – Warren County School Board members began adjusting to the district’s new BoardDocs system while taking action at their April meeting.

Board members first listened to presentations from Blue Ridge Technical Center students in the Project Lead The Way programs. Two students from the engineering program and two students from the biomedical sciences program – some of the first students to have gone through it for all four years of high school – described the courses, projects and subjects covered in the programs.

“It was really nice being with kids that actually want to learn and want to have that hands-on activities throughout high school,” said student Savannah Powell, who is in the biomedical program.

The board commended them on their passion and energy for their subjects. Board member James Wells said engineering program advisors had also given their kudos.

“What they really appreciate is the fact that Project Lead The Way teaches them the scientific principles, the scientific method … and they say that that is just something that seems to be missing in education these days,” he said.

As part of his report, Superintendent Greg Drescher introduced Amy Gubler’s replacement as principal at Leslie Fox Keyser Elementary School, since she has been appointed as principal of the in-progress Warren County Middle School. New appointee Danelle Sperling taught for 10 years in Warren County before serving as assistant principal at Rappahannock High School for one year.

Drescher also gave a preliminary report on the beginning of hiring season, announcing that the schools have seen 10 teacher resignations, five retirements and one administration resignation so far. Thomas Matteson, principal of Ressie Jeffries Elementary School, is listed among the personnel report addendum’s resignations.

“It’s a little too early to say what’s a trend,” he said, anticipating more telling information next month.

Although the schools switched their substitute placement over to Source4Teachers last month with raised daily pay rates, the company does not work with school nurses. Accordingly, the School Board approved a motion that would increase daily pay of school nurse substitutes from $55 or $60 per day to $90 per day. Those substitutes will need to have EMT, CPN, LPN or RN certification.

The School Board approved a meal price increase from $1 to $2 for elementary schools and from $2 to $2.10 for middle and high schools to meet requirements for the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. The additional revenue will go into the School Food Service Account. The board also approved a renewal of the schools’ contract with Sodexo America.

Assistant Superintendent for Administration Melody Sheppard announced that two VSBA school board policy updates will be coming under review by the board in future meetings. One regards students obtaining school credit by alternative means and the other regarding school sponsored fundraisers meeting the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act requirements.

Wells suggested that the second policy be put in plain view for community members, since it has recently been the subject of some controversy. Sheppard mentioned that the policies are available for public review through BoardDocs online, but said that more links would be created.

The School Board also resolved to name Ballou Justice Upton Architects, Charlie’s Auto Repair and Howard Shockey & Sons to this year’s VSBA Business Honor Roll.

Contact staff writer Rachel Mahoney at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or rmahoney@nvdaily.com