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Halifax County school board halts study

The Halifax County School Board shot down a motion to approve an independent efficiency study of the county school system by a 3-4 vote Monday evening during the board’s monthly meeting at the Mary Bethune Complex in Halifax.

ED-4 school board representative Joe Gasperini offered the motion for an efficiency study to be conducted by an independent firm saying the efficiency study would cost approximately $110,000. 

Following a brief discussion, a roll call vote was taken with ED-2 representative Karen Hopkins, ED-5 representative Dr. Roger Long, ED-7 representative Stuart Comer and ED-8 representative Walter Potts, all voting against, and ED-3 representative Kim Farson, ED-4 representative Gasperini and ED-6 representative Fay Satterfield favoring the independent study.

ED-1 representative Devin Snead was absent from Monday evening’s meeting.

Since April the Halifax County school system has been on the state’s waiting list for the Department of Planning and Budget (DPB) to conduct an efficiency study of the county school system.

The wait could take up to two years, but the Virginia General Assembly will pay for 75 percent of that study, School Superintendent Paul Stapleton said.

In other business, school board members approved changes that were made to the Halifax County Public Schools Education Services for Gifted Students.

Changes include clarifications to the philosophy statement, areas of giftedness served, screening procedures, referral of students, criteria listing, identification/placement committee, eligibility, definition of gifted students, determination of services and notification procedures, appeals, delivery of service and local advisory committee.

Revisions and updates are made every two years, according to Elementary Education Supervisor Linda Owen.

Also during Monday night’s meeting, Director of Academies Dr. Mel Stanley recognized four outstanding masonry students and their teacher.

Alex Ward, Terrance Crawley, Demetrius Venable and Cedric Carr, along with instructor Fredreck Eily, were recognized for their outstanding work during the masonry Skills USA competition.

“The students placed second and sixth out of 15 teams that competed at the Virginia State Fair,” Eily said.
School board members also were informed of several special weeks that are being observed throughout the month of November.

Deputy Superintendent Larry Clark informed school board members the week of Nov. 8-12 is Farm-to-School Week and School Psychology Awareness Week, Nov. 14-20 is Geography Awareness Week, and Nov. 15-19 is Recognition of International Education Week.

School board members also approved the financial report and payment of bills following a presentation by Chief Financial Officer Bill Covington.