Light Load for School Board Session

The Clarke County School Board made short work at its regular meeting on Monday night. Members heard updates on topics including new math standards, renovations of Clarke County High School and the Kids Voting program.

Kids Vote

Clarke County Public School Superintendent Dr. Michael Murphy told School Board members Kids Voting of the Northern Shenandoah Valley will hold a Meet and Greet on October 20 at 6:00 pm and Rally at 7:00 pm. Murphy said that Kids Vote event will be held at the Sherando High School Auditorium.

There will be music, food, cheerleaders, and prizes, Murphy said “Two iPads will be given away and the event promises ‘no boring speeches’”.

School Board Chairman Barbara Lee (Millwood) said that Kids Voting is an excellent program for helping young people become good citizens.

“We are so proud of our young people’s participation,” Lee said. “Even though Clarke is the smallest county in our area, we always lead in participation.

New Math Standards

Rayanna Davis, a Clarke County High School graduate and now licensed math specialist for CCPS, described changes in the mathematics Standards of Learning that will require additional professional development for teachers along with alignment of the CCPS’s curriculum to match the new Standards.

Davis told School Board members that CCPS will be teaching of both the “old” and “new” Standards of Learning occurs during the implementation process to ensure that students are prepared for assessments. Even so, Davis said that public education experts say that school divisions will likely see an initial drop in math SOL scores as the new standards are rolled out.

Davis also said that additional support resources will be needed to support the new curriculum.

“It will be necessary to purchase new textbooks that are aligned to the new Standards, and additional professional development regarding the new assessments will be needed, Davis said.

CCHS Renovation Planning

Cooley Principal, Griff Carmichael briefed the School Board regarding space utilization at the current high school for elementary school students. Carmichael said that although the current high school has many positive features for a potential elementary school – including a gymnasium, library, and music room, one of the challenges in the facility is room size.

“Grades two through five have a recommended class room size of 800 square feet,” Carmichael said. “Pre-K, Kindergarten, and first grade need at least 975 square feet.”

Carmichael said that only seven classrooms in the high school currently meet the square footage requirement.

School Board member Robina Bouffault (White Post) asked Superintendent Murphy if smaller classrooms could be used if class sizes were smaller.

“Weren’t we going for smaller class sizes rather than larger class sizes?” Bouffault asked. “Wasn’t it a goal for us to have smaller class sizes?”

“Well, it has been a goal” Murphy replied. “But as we have cut budgets and positions class sizes have gradually inched up.”


The School Board meeting adjourned at 8:30pm.


  1. HAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Robina has the nerve to ask about a “goal” of smaller class sixes when she’s very publicly chastised the schools for NOT cutting MORE positions than it has? Really? Good Lord…January 1 can’t come soon enough to get her off that board. Wake up and come off your horse farm, Robina – class sizes are up in every grade in this division, thanks in no small part to you and your obsession with balance sheets alone instead of truly advocating for our children like you should have done in your position.

  2. Now it is Murphy’s fault that the facilities that we currently have, are not big enough to house our children?

  3. bystander says:

    Robina…and how did you go from the physical size of the classroom itself to teacher / student ratio? It’s time to go Robina! How about publicly stating that not only are you not running but you will not accept another term if your write in campaign wins the day.

    • Hmmm…my recollection is she’d be a mite disingenuous if she accepted it, given her very public statement about not having the stamina to run and needing to deal with “a host of family and business issues.”

      When others piped up about a write-in a couple months, ago, she publicly, on here, scoffed at the idea and stood by her statement. I’d sure be even less impressed with her as my rep if she didn’t abide by her word. For Mssrs. Reiger and Bates to carry her water is not surprising, but unfortunate. Mr. Schutte is a right capable fellow, who’s running an honest campaign out in the open. That’s a candidate I can and will vote for.

  4. Try Again says:

    Davis also said that additional support resources will be needed to support the new curriculum.

    “It will be necessary to purchase new textbooks that are aligned to the new Standards, and additional professional development regarding the new assessments will be needed, Davis said.

    The “new” math SOL standards were adopted in 2009 to be implemented in the 2011-12 school year.

    That “new” texbooks we not pre-ordered or that no professional development was offered is shameful….yet we are to ” likely see” a further reduction in county math scores.



    RAISE TAXES. You can’t HOLD THE LINE on education. The children are there and need to be educated. DID YOU WANT THEM TO STAY IN THE SAME GRADE UNTIL THE LINE IS LIFTED AND YOU RAISE TAXES TO MAINTAIN THE NEW POPULATION OF THE COUNTY! I don’t think so. Buy new books, give the teachers what they need / want. Take care of the administration. TAKE CARE OF THE TEACHERS! My kids attended private in Loudoun and now we are with JWMS and the teachers are as great at JWMS as they were in private. Only now we have an online website that help us, as parents. It is called It is FREE or you can pay for the premium membership. How many parents personally paid the premium of $50 ANNUALLY for their family to be listed on and be sent their child’s homework assignments daily from the teachers. Did you as a parent take the time to set it up? Your teacher did! The system is awesome. But the same parents pay $40 or more MONTHLY for their kids phone that they text endlessly on. Use the phone for good use. Pay to send your kid their homework on their mobile phone. When I showed a group of kids in my family room that my two 6th graders (not twins) receive their homework on their phone they were shocked. All SEVEN STUDENTS didn’t have this service. However it cost $50 a year for the entire family or free for each parent. My husband, both students and I all know what homework was assigned by the teacher that day and it makes it easier for the teachers to email me, which they have. I have had more contact with middle school teachers via email than I ever did in the past six school years. Clarke County Public School’s are great. But we all need to do our part as parents and tax payers. RAISE THE TAXES AND SUPPORT OUR CHILDREN AT HOME AND OUR TEACHERS AT SCHOOL! Soon Clarke is moving to another platform that will allow us to see their grades on a weekly basis. ** That way LIttle Johnny won’t be at that football game on Friday night if he got a D on HIS math test ON WEDNESDAY, you will know right away just by signing into the system. I think it is called Next time Johnny wants to go out with his friends to a game or the mall, sign on and find out what the status is of his homework. CHANCES ARE, YOU CAN TELL ME THE SCORE OF YOUR SON’S FOOTBALL WIN / LOSS RATE BUT NOT THEIR MATH TEST SCORE. Teacher’s are here to teach not parent your kids. ** THE SCHOOL BOARD DOESN’T EDUCATE YOUR CHILDREN. PARENTS AND TEACHERS DO! PARENTS – BE A PART OF YOUR CHILD’S EDUCATION AND DON’T JUST PAY THEIR MOBILE BILL AND DYE THEIR HAIR HOT PINK LIKE KATIE PERRY. USE THEIR MOBILE FOR SOMETHING MORE THAN JUST RECEIVING ENDLESS TEXT MESSAGES ABOUT USELESS STUFF and QUIT COMPLAINING ABOUT THE ECONOMY AND MONEY IN FRONT OF YOUR CHILDREN TO STRESS THEM OUT. Have dinner with your family and be grateful they are a part of your life because they will be gone very soon and life will never be as sweet with them not warm in their bed, in your home at night. And no, I do not work for the county in any way, I am a career realtor. And no I am not rich but we do spend money on important things, such as our child’s future. Namaste