Board to vote on Capital Improvement Plan

The Shenandoah County School Board will vote to accept the Capital Improvement Plan and hear reports on the Virginia Profile of a Graduate and status of 504 plans during a Thursday night meeting.

A closed session will begin at 5 p.m. followed by the 7 p.m. public meeting in the county board room at the government center in Woodstock.

As part of the action agenda, the board will vote on the acceptance of the 2017-2022 Capital Improvement Plan, which is a five-year plan the board updates each year. Superintendent Mark Johnston said major projects on the plan include roof replacements, school bus replacement, security cameras, a unit ventilator replacement,  fire alarm panels, and a variety of structural safety issues such as stage light replacements, field light replacements and structural steel.

He added that the under-funding of the budget in the past has resulted in a backlog of projects for the school division.

“As facilities and equipment age, they become more costly to maintain. Also, catastrophic failure results in increased costs of replacement. Being able to plan for capital investment, rather than responding to catastrophic failure, results in savings. For example, last year, a catastrophic boiler failure occurred at Central High School. Because school was in session and we could not compromise instructional time by closing the school, the cost to replace the boiler was approximately $65,000 higher than a similar planned boiler replacement at Stonewall Jackson High School. The higher costs at Central were due to emergency equipment rental, higher emergency labor costs,” he said.

During the meeting, the board will hear a report on the Virginia Profile of a Graduate. Johnston said this profile is Virginia’s plan to meet the new Every Student Succeeds Act, an initiative of the Virginia Department of Education to describe the knowledge, skills, competencies and experiences that students should achieve during their education to make them “life-ready.”

“These proposals create more flexibility in the schedule of the student and allow greater exploration of potential careers and work experiences,” he added.

One of the major goals is to help all students acquire and use skills involved in communication, collaboration, creative thinking, critical thinking and citizenship, he added.

The board will also hear an explanation and status of 504 plans in the school division. Johnston said these plans are part of a federal law that are available to any individual who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.

“The eligibility and provision of 504 plans must meet a very strict set of regulatory requirements,” he added.

This typically involves a number of staff working with families and students over a period of time to develop and implement such plans.

“The presentation will provide additional detail about 504 plans and provide data of our huge increase in students who meet eligibility requirements, aligning Shenandoah County Public Schools with other school divisions across the commonwealth and nation,” he said.

Contact staff writer Kaley Toy at 540-465-5137 ext. 176, or