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Rejoining Governor’s School big topic for meeting tonight

Once again, Halifax County School Board will debate the option of rejoining Governor’s School. An update on the newly approved Health Science Academy also will be given to school board members tonight when they meet at 6 p.m. in the second floor public meeting room of the Mary Bethune office complex. 

After discussing Governor’s School last week with the Governor’s School of Southside Virginia’s Director Patrizia Humphrey Coordinator of AP/DE and Student Services Shawn Haws and Director of Secondary Education and Student Services Frosty Owens at a special called meeting, the board decided it would be best to talk further at Monday night’s meeting before making a final decision in December. 

At the work session, Humphrey told the board a decision definitely had to be made by Feb. 1, but Chairman Kim Farson said she felt it was best to take action sooner. 

“I think there are a lot of benefits when you start expanding horizons for students that are involved. I do have a concern when you talk about 10 to 20 students over a period of time you are paying the amount of money to be involved in. It’s a tough situation,” said ED-5 Trustee Roger Long.

If the board agrees to rejoin Governor’s School, they will have to choose which strand(s) they’d like to participate in and how many students will be enrolled. 

The strands are the Humanities Governor’s School at the cost of $4,651.84, the STEM Governor’s School at $1,839.50 and respiratory therapy through the Health Science Academy at $1,839.50. 

There is no minimum for the number of students that can attend.

The board also has discussed the transportation costs. Including the bus and the driver, the cost is expected to be $36,690, Dr. Herndon said at the special called meeting earlier this month. 

In previous meetings, the board has discussed reducing costs by purchasing a van or car to transport students but no action has been taken. 

In other unfinished business tonight, Finance Director Jay Camp will bring the disability insurance plan to the board as well as the financial report, and he is scheduled to ask for payment of bills. 

In new business, Chairman Farson will present a written copy of school board meeting guidelines to the board, something Farson said she feels they should have had all along. 

 “We took the board of supervisors’ guidelines as a base to go by and changed a few things to fit our policies,” Farson said. “The policies aren’t changing. As a board, we just felt like we should have it in writing in hopes that it’ll make our meetings run a little smoother.” 

Assistant Superintendent Val Marshall will review the sick leave bank. 

Warren Penick, who teaches woodworking at Halifax County High School, will recognize two Halifax County High School students, Justin Penick and Jacob Talley. 

Haws also will recognize students with Career and Technical Education certificates. 

In other business, Herndon is slated to give a report on the location of the December meeting as well as a report on the relocation of selected central offices and instructional programs. 

School board members will be reminded of the annual planning session with the board of supervisors on Thursday, Dec. 12.

During last month’s meeting, Marshall presented a Virginia School Board Association policy update to the board “not to vote on but to simply review changes.” 

The board is expected to vote on these changes during tonight’s meeting. 

Division Testing Coordinator Nancy Zirkle will present the board with Title III LEP or Learning English Proficient and Immigrant Students 2013-14 Participating Consortium Member Certification. 

Director of Maintenance and Operations Larry Roller will make a request to the board in regards to Scottsburg Dixie Youth Baseball. 

 Citizen comments will be heard from Emma Sims and Suzanne Lawson. 

Lawson plans to speak on the Workforce Investment Act Youth Program. 

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