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.
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.