color school terry, burnette
Ronnie Terry, school board chairman, and Kandy Burnett, vice chairman
 
Terry,Burnett to lead board
The Patrick County School Board voted unanimously Jan. 15 to elect Blue Ridge District member Ronnie Terry chairman and Dan River District member Kandy M. Burnett vice chairman.
Terry replaces Smith River District member J.D. Morse as chairman, and Burnett replaces Mayo River District member Michelle Day as vice chairman.
Sara Leigh Collins was appointed clerk of the board, and Dr. William Sroufe, division superintendent, was appointed vice chairman.
School board members were appointed to the following committees: Peters Creek District member Annie Hylton, gifted committee and special education advisory committee; Burnett, school health advisory committee, career-technical advisory committee, budget committee, and school board-supervisors liaison committee; Day, employee insurance committee; Morse, parks and recreation committee, building committee; and Terry, liaison committee, building committee and budget committee.
Also serving on the budget committee will be Sroufe, Dean Gilbert, assistant superintendent, Katina Hylton, finance officer, and Sandra Clement, principal of Blue Ridge Elementary School and representative of the faculty.
Terry will serve as the voting delegate for the Virginia School Boards Association (VSBA) and Burnett will be the alternate.
The board reaffirmed and adopted the VSBA Code of Conduct.
 
Staffing needs, school buses total $1.1M
By Nancy Lindsey
Essential needs for the county school system were listed by administrators in the public input session for the 2015-2016 school budget at Patrick County High School Jan. 15.
The total price tag? At least $1,119,500.
And that's without the barely-mentioned postscript at the end of the presentation by Sandra Clement, Blue Ridge Elementary School principal and budget committee member: "salary increase for all personnel."
Salary increases have not been listed as a budget priority by Patrick County employees during the past few years when state funding has fallen drastically and local funding has followed suit.
Instead, the administrators are asking for 11 teaching positions, and the director of transportation is asking for seven new buses.
Clement gave the list of personnel needs provided by the principals of each elementary school.
BRES needs a full-time reading tutor for grades 5-7 to provide small group and one-on-one reading sessions "for a rural school with 68% at-risk students," she said.
Stuart Elementary School needs include two additional teachers due to changes in class sizes, Clement said.
Meadows of Dan Elementary School needs a Title I teacher (it currently has a Title I teacher assistant), a full-time special education teacher assistant, and a shared physical education teacher, according to Clement's presentation.
Patrick Springs Primary School needs a part-time custodian, an additional teacher for grade 3, which will follow a large second grade class, and the Title I teaching position that was cut during a budget crisis, Clement said.
Hardin Reynolds Memorial School needs one additional teacher due to changes in class sizes, Clement said.
Woolwine Elementary School needs one full-time teacher due to a growing population; a physical education teacher, and an additional teacher assistant to serve grades 5-7.
Division needs include an additional English as a Second Language teacher--the #1 division request--because the Hispanic population is growing and six out of seven schools are showing a deficit in Gap Group 3, Clement said.
Other requests made across the division included an increase in the allocation for copiers, an increase in stipends for testing coordinators and instructional facilitators, more than one reading specialist for the division, health insurance as a retirement incentive, increasing the current $130 per year toward college classes, and a salary increase for all employees.
The needs for elementary schools also included facilities and technology improvements and a county-wide pre-K curriculum.
Patrick County High School Principal Trey Cox said the high school needs one physical education teaching position for "safety and supervision" because the change would drop the average class size from 61-65 students to 44-52 students.
In the career and technical education department, one position is needed because of "consistently high numbers due to federal caps on classes and new interest in programs," including culinary arts, 3D printing, introduction to hospitality/tourism, information technology systems, emergency medical services, firefighting and welding, Cox said.
The English department needs one position because of consistently high numbers in twelfth-grade English and high numbers overall due to the shift of yearbook and photo-journalism back into the English department, Cox said.
Anne Pilson, director of transportation, said the department needs one special needs bus at a cost of $93,008 with appropriate options, and three vehicles for teacher conferences and school board travel, with no cost listed.
The transportation department needs six regular education buses at a cost of $81,000 to $84,000, depending on the options, for a total of about $504,000, Pilson said.
"We have not had a new bus in four years," Pilson told the school board and school personnel in the PCHS library. "Then we got five to six buses at one time. The bus companies want to sell buses, and we're interested in getting students to and from school safely."
"We'll do the best we can," said Blue Ridge District member Ronnie Terry, who was elected chairman earlier that day.
"They haven't gotten started good in Richmond yet," Terry said, referring to the 2015 General Assembly, which will determine the amount of state funding to public schools.
The figure listed at the beginning of this article reflects the estimated total cost of 11 teaching positions based on an average of $47,500 for a teacher with 10 years of experience, as well as the total for seven school buses.
It does not include the funds needed for teacher assistants and other support personnel, facilities or technology improvements, or division-wide requests, except for the ESL position.