New initiatives around Roanoke, New River Valleys' school systems
Sunday, August 18, 2013
- About 30 students at each of the county's middle schools will use a school-issued laptop instead of textbooks as a part of a pilot program exploring electronic texts.
- A 10-point grading scale will begin for students in grade three through 12.
- All three high schools will have wireless Internet by the end of September.
- Body Camp Elementary School has a new principal, Scott Graham.
- The new STEM-H Academy opens at the Greenfield Education and Training Center. The project has been a year in the making and will focus on health occupations fields, pre-engineering and information systems technology. Students from James River and Lord Botetourt high schools will attend classes for part of the day at the site.
- A new partnership with Jefferson College of Health Sciences will begin where science teachers will have an opportunity to take course work at the school to become certified to teach dual enrollment courses.
- Eagle Rock Elementary School has a new principal, Sandi Gould. Cloverdale Elementary School has a new principal, Jessica Martin.
- The school system is accepting proposals on renovation work at McCleary Elementary and Craig County High, and officials hope to begin work on the schools this year.
- Schools will open with new security upgrades, including a new card access system, buzz-in entry systems and security cameras.
- Craig County High School has a new principal, Robert Stump.
- Floyd County High School has added two building trades classes.
- Twenty-six instructional staffers, including teachers and aides, are new this year, which is larger than usual.
- Check Elementary School has a new principal, Jessica Cromer.
- The division's central office has a new special education director, Josie Loomis.
- A new calendar being used this school year will mean students complete the first semester before the winter holiday break. Graduation also will be moved up with the new calendar change. Commencement is set for May 31.
- The system has a new career and technical education supervisor, Robbie Dooley. Jon Crutchfield is the new director of facilities and transportation.
- An e-book and technology pilot program is in place at Benjamin Franklin Middle School for sixth grade science.
- The new Auburn and Blacksburg high schools will open to students after two years of construction. The new schools in Riner and Blacksburg cost $40 million and $63 million, respectively.
- Elementary schools will pilot a new math program called Reflex Math, which is a computer-based fact fluency program.
- Schools will begin using a nine-week grading period this year. The school system opted to switch from a six-week period because officials believe it will be a more accurate reflection of student work, provide teachers with greater flexibility and reduce the administrative burden of preparing so many interim and report cards.
- Central office has several new administrators. John Staten is the system's assistant superintendent for operations. Lois Graham is the assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction. Jennifer Weaver is director of secondary education. Joe Makolandra is the director of human resources.
- Belview Elementary School has a new principal, Tara Grant.
- A new community involvement campaign called "Be There" will expand this year. Officials are aiming to get parents and community members more involved with the division.
- Belle Heth Elementary School students will pilot a new electronic textbook program in science class where they will have access to online supplemental materials.
- Radford High School has new tennis courts and basketball hoops. School security improvements have also been made across the district, including buzzers to let in visitors and new surveillance equipment.
- Teachers at Garden City, Morningside and Westside elementary schools who meet performance goals will be eligible for a $5,000 incentive bonus as a part of a Strategic Compensation grant the system recently earned.
- Patrick Henry High School has a new principal, Joe Jablonski. Other new principals include Theresa Reed Kabath at Hurt Park Elementary School, Morgan Johnson at Monterey Elementary School and Cory Hawks at Round Hill Elementary School.
- Several central office administrators are new this year. Matt Hurt is the division's new assistant superintendent for teaching and learning. Greg Johnston is the new executive director for K-5 education. Yolanda Conaway-Wood is the new executive director for student support services.
- Hidden Valley High, Cave Spring Middle and Cave Spring Elementary schools are outsourcing their maintenance work this school year to Ohio-based GCA Services Group. The move is expected to save $64,000.
- Glass storefronts were added at several schools during the summer to make buildings more secure. The following schools will see storefronts added: Hidden Valley High, Northside High, Mountain View Elementary, Burlington Elementary, Bonsack Elementary, Oak Grove Elementary, W.E. Cundiff Elementary and Fort Lewis Elementary.
- Penn Forest Elementary School has a new principal, Jean Brammer.
- Central office also has several new staffers. Linda Wright is the system's new director of elementary instruction and technology. Rebecca Eastwood is the system's new director of human resources.
- The new South Salem Elementary School opens to students. The $17 million building is the first completely brand-new school built since Salem became a city in 1968. The old school, which was demolished during the summer, lacked natural light and much-needed space.
- Salem High School has a new principal, Scott Habeeb. West Salem Elementary School has a new principal, Debbie Carroll.
- The school system will use nine-week grading periods for the first time instead of six-week sessions. Officials have said the four nine-week periods will be a more accurate reflection of student work where the focus will be on students' progress, not averaging of grades.
- Salem teachers will be eligible for bonuses this school year after the system received an $850,000 Strategic Compensation grant from the state, which is designed to reward educators for student progress.
Tuesday, December 10, 2013