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Will county Governor’s School make a comeback?

Halifax County School Board will meet Thursday at 6 p.m. in the second floor meeting room of the Mary Bethune office complex.

The regular monthly meeting, usually held the second Monday of each month, was moved due to Monday’s Columbus Day holiday. 

Highlighting the meeting, school board members are expected to discuss rejoining the Regional Governor’s School.

Superintendent Dr. Merle Herndon is expected to lead the discussion on allowing academically advanced students to participate in the Regional Governor’s School. The county school division pulled out of the Regional Governor’s School four years ago. 

In March, school board members considered two possibilities for reinstating the Governor’s School program, sending students to the Regional Governor’s School in Keysville or offering their own version of Governor’s School via satellite at the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center.

When the idea was first approached in January, Herndon met with Transportation Director Dave Guill to determine the cost of transporting students to the Regional Governor’s School in Keysville.

If the school system provides transportation as it did up until 2010 when the program was eliminated due to budget restraints, the maximum cost for reinstating Governor’s School would amount to $65,000 with $40,000 of the cost funding transportation.

Herndon also looked into how much it would cost if students were responsible for providing their own transportation.

If the students provide their own transportation, Halifax County’s cost for participating in Governor’s School could be “as low as $10,000,” Herndon added.

The STEM strand would cost around $2,000 per student, and the Humanities strand would cost around $5,000 per student, so if five students chose the humanities strand, it would cost $25,000 without transportation, she further explained.

 At that time, ED-4 trustee Cheryl Terry said the higher education center could possibly set up a Governor’s School via satellite in the future and broadcast classes from Keysville.

In other business, ED-5 Trustee Roger Long and ED-1 Trustee Phyllis Smith are expected to present the findings of an employee compensation report that the two trustees have developed with the aid of school staff. 

Long also plans to speak about the Virginia School Board Association Legislative Advocacy Conference that was held Sept. 30 in Charlottesville. 

Division Testing Coordinator Nancy Zirkle is expected to give a report on state accreditation for Halifax County Public Schools. 

Halifax County Public Schools Education Foundation Executive Director Audrey Davidson plans to give a report on the foundation. 

Dr. Julie Brown, project director of the Danville River Region Collaborative, will report to the board on the Southern Virginia Certified Workforce Ready Community Initiative. 

Assistant Superintendent Valdivia Marshall will present the Virginia School Board Association September 2013 policy update, and Dave Guill of the Transportation Department will inform trustees about the upcoming surplus school bus sale. 

Financial Director Jay Camp will present the disability insurance plan, and Herndon will present the proposed 2014-2015 timeline for the development of the upcoming year’s school budget with Chairman Kimberly Farson slated to appoint the budget finance committee.  

Prior to adjourning, board members are expected to go into closed session to discuss personnel and student discipline.