School budget additions involve no county funds
 
By Nancy Lindsey
The Patrick County School Board voted unanimously Nov. 13 to ask the Patrick County Board of Supervisors to add $311,194 to the 2014-2015 school budget.
That's not expected to spur any controversy, however, because it's all additional state or federal funds and private donations--no county taxpayer money required.
Dean Gilbert, assistant superintendent, told the school board that it had recently voted to accept a state security grant totaling $20,470 and two grants from a private donation, totaling $51,000, with $41,000 going to the high school band program and $10,000 to the elementary school band program.
"This is all budget-neutral," Gilbert said. "It's money we were not expecting to get."
In addition, Gilbert said, Dr. Karen Wood had carryover funds for the Title I program that needed to be "encumbered" by Sept. 30.
The Title I funds include $139,078 for purchased services and $100,646 for material and supplies, Gilbert said.
The $20,470 state security grant was announced by Gov. Terry McAuliffe in September and will be spent on making security upgrades at Meadows of Dan Elementary School, Blue Ridge Elementary School, Patrick County High School, and Patrick Springs Primary School.
The Virginia General Assembly approved the School Security Equipment Grant Program in 2013 in the aftermath of the Dec. 14, 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
Last month, the Gloria and Arthur Konig Foundation, located in St. Leonard, Md., informed Dr. William Sroufe, division superintendent, that it was committing "restricted grants" in the amount of $41,000 to the Patrick County High School band and $10,000 to the elementary schools' music program.
The funds are to be used for buying musical instruments and supplies--including music, music stands, band uniforms, recording devices and computer devices for the exclusive use of teaching music--and loaned to or used by the students free of charge, according to a spokesman for the foundation.
The breakdown for the additional funds is an increase in instruction of $290,724 and an increase in facilities of $20,470.
In other matters at the Nov. 13 meeting:
*Blue Ridge District school board member Ronnie Terry, chairman of the building committee, reported that the Athletic Booster Club and the school maintenance department hope to have the pressbox and restrooms at the baseball field operational by baseball season.
Terry said the county has asked the school system to hook on to the water system at Patrick Springs Primary School as part of the Patrick Springs water project, but the committee doesn't see the need.
The cost would be about $10,000, Terry said, and the school already has a good well. "We don't have $10,000 to hook on to town water when the water is good," he said.
Sroufe said he understood that if the school was hooked to the town/county system, it could only use the well for irrigation, not for drinking.
The only benefit would be if the power goes out, Terry said.
"If the water's flowing and the money ain't, let's move on to something else," quipped Dan River District member Kandy Burnett.
Terry reported that new playground equipment had been installed at Blue Ridge Elementary School in memory of Tammy Harrison, a BRES teacher who died recently.
Terry said the committee is "still working on the road situation," referring to the proposed closing of the road in front of Hardin Reynolds Memorial School in Critz. The board of supervisors is planning to discuss the issue at the Nov. 20 meeting.
*Following closed session, the board accepted the resignation of Teresa Washburn, special education teacher at PCHS (effective Dec. 19, 2014); the retirement of Anne Pilson, director of transportation (effective end of 2014-2015 school year); the retirement of June Kelly, teacher at MODE (effective Dec. 1, 2014); the resignation of Amanda Turman, special education teacher at PSPS (effective Oct. 30, 2014); and the retirement of Larry Puckett, custodian at PCHS (effective Jan. 1, 2015).
The board also approved the following coaching positions at PCHS: Roger Wilson, head softball coach; Tony Mosley, head junior varsity boys' basketball coach; Oscar Tejeda, co-head varsity and junior varsity boys' soccer coach; Mark Dujmovic, co-head varsity and junior varsity boys' soccer coach; Brittany Stovall, assistant junior varsity softball coach; Abby Barone, head girls' soccer coach; and Chelsea Hardy, head junior varsity girls' soccer coach.