Parent Advisory Committee to the Superintendent

Meeting Summary Notes: September 11, 2017


Meeting Summary Notes are intended to serve as the superintendent’s reflection on the discussions that occur during advisory committee meetings.  They are not intended to be exhaustive.  Instead, they are intended to serve as a general record for our on-going efforts to assess our needs, determine our goals, map out our strategies, and evaluate our policies, procedures and programs.  Participants should contact the superintendent if they observe any critical oversight or misinterpretation.


Participants present:  Teresa Reed (AHS), Jessica Bowyer (CES), Laurie Counts (CMS), Mary Donnan (CMS), Robert Tucker (AHS), Tommy Morris (CES), Lorie Bess (Administrative Assistant), Mary Jane Mutispaugh (Dir. of Instruction), and Eugene Kotulka (Superintendent).


1.     Schedule of PAC meetings for 2017-2018: September 11; October 9; November 6; February 7; March 12; April 9; and May 2. All meetings will be held at the Central Office building in Low Moor and will begin at 6:30 p.m.  If schools are closed due to inclement weather, the PAC meeting is also cancelled.


2.     Mr. Kotulka welcomed everyone to the meeting and discussed the purpose of the parent advisory committee.  He reminded participants it is helpful to send any suggestions, concerns, or questions to him ahead of time as some topics require research.  He explained the committee provides valuable input and it should be considered an open forum, unless there is a specific personnel issue, which would need to be discussed privately.   


3.     Mr. Kotulka reported the high school and middle school have begun using Chromebooks.  He explained the Chromebook is not intended to replace the teacher, but rather is an extra resource for the teacher to use in the classroom.  He noted funds to purchase the Chromebooks do not come out of the general operating budget.  Chromebooks will be issued to 5th graders in January 2018 and Grades 1-4 in the fall of 2018.  He explained the use of Chromebooks changes how computer labs are used, and the labs may be disassembled at some point.   He explained there are 4 bus hotspots for internet access and it is turned on when the bus route ends and turns off on its own when the battery dies, which is approximately 5-6 hours later.  Only Chromebooks attached to our division network can access the hotspots and teachers are not assigning homework that requires internet service. 


4.     Mr. Kotulka reported the Capital Improvement and Comprehensive Plans would be updated over the next few months and encouraged participants to review the plans and offer input.


5.     Remaking of the high school – Mr. Kotulka explained the goal is to upgrade the facility and enhance instruction for students. Mr. Kotulka discussed the new internship program at the high school.  He noted there are no requirements except some of the programs require the student be 18 years old.  Available programs include: banking, law, cosmetology, auto mechanics, education, early childhood, animal care, nursing, and several other programs. He reminded participants of the upcoming meeting on September 13 to hear about the New Tech program that will be implanted at the high school next year.  He stated for the last 20 years, education has been geared to SOL tests, but now is moving toward problem-based education and jobs.  He explained some classes will be taught together, some separate.  He stated research shows that students who are more engaged in learning enjoy coming to school.  He stated we have to get students ready for opportunities after they graduate. 


6.     Ms. Mutispaugh reported parent teacher conference day may be switched to October 9 to allow high school staff to visit schools in Henry County that utilize the New Tech program.  If approved by the board, the change would be advertised in the paper, on our website, and via School Messenger call, she noted. 


7.     Budget – Mr. Kotulka explained we could see a loss in revenue and/or increased expenditures next year from:

·        Boys Home students

·        Forest Reserve funds (PILT)

·        VPI  Program – Alleghany Foundation no longer funding

·        Nursing Program – Alleghany Foundation cutting back on amount of funding

·        Dual enrollment costs may increase from $25 per credit to $100 per credit


8.  Mr. Kotulka reported swim lessons will begin in late September for all 2nd graders.  Parents of 2nd graders will receive a letter detailing the program and schedule.   A copy of the letter is                                    posted  
      on the division website. 


9.   A participant complimented the new parking lot at the high school but noted that the JRTC sign seems to be in the wrong spot, as it is directly in the “line of sight” of the high school sign.  Mr.
      Kotulka replied he hadn’t noticed but he would look at it the next time he goes there. 


The meeting ended at 7:00 p.m.  NEXT MEETING:  October 9 at 6:30 p.m.


The Alleghany County School Board does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, political affiliation, disability, or age in its programs and activities.  The following have been designated as the contact regarding compliance issues associated with this non-discrimination policy and compliance with Title IX:  Director of Human Resources and Pupil Personnel and Director of Assessment and Accountability.  For questions and compliance with Section 504 and ADA contact the Director of Special Education.  Alleghany County School Board Office, 100 Central Circle/P.O. Drawer 140, Low Moor, Virginia 24457. 540-863-1800.