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CALLED MEETING OF THE ALLEGHANY COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD
The Alleghany County School Board held a called meeting on February 26, 2013, at 6:00 p.m. in the auditorium at Alleghany High School in Covington, Virginia.
PRESENT: William W. Angle, Vice Chairman; Stacey P. Bryant; Robert A. Fridley; Amber D. Kerns; Patsy G. McKinney; Norman L. Persinger, Jr., Chairman; and Benjamin J. Truett. Also present:Sarah T. Campbell, Superintendent/ Clerk and Lorie C. Bess, Deputy Clerk.
Chairman Persinger presided and called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. The call to order was followed by a moment of silence and the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.
(13-192) APPROVAL OF SCHOOL REDISTRICTING
Chairman Persinger explained the two scenarios for school redistricting that were discussed at the recent work session. Scenario #5 consists of closing Boiling Spring Elementary School and Falling Spring Elementary School. Scenario #6 consists of closing Boiling Spring Elementary School and Sharon Elementary School. Chairman Persinger asked if Board members had any comments or questions.
Mr. Angle stated he was not in favor for closing any schools but he had to look at the enrollment numbers and building utilizations. He stated all the schools are good schools but he could not support closing Sharon Elementary School.
Mr. Fridley read the following statement: “The quality of education our students receive at each of our schools is outstanding and I have no doubt it will continue to flourish with the dedicated professional educators we have in our school system. I have spent countless evenings just like my fellow board members going over the information in trying to reach a decision on what is best for our children.
Points I considered are as follows:
· Declining and/or growth enrollment and future trends for our elementary schools.
· Building utilization efficiency (where can that balance best be obtained and still provide for growth, yet trying to manage classroom sizes that provide the best opportunity for learning, looking at the number of students per teacher on a division level, which would be either around 18 or 19 to 1.
· Trying to minimize the moving of students more than one time; however, I think this will be unavoidable in areas of our school system for the future.
· Operating expenses – positive or negative
· Close proximity to the I-64 Corridor
· Attempt to minimize the amount of time students need to spend on buses. (Our Callaghan bus routes have 3 buses that currently are all over an hour’s ride, so these students have had to endure their long bus ride for a number of years.)
· Safety considerations for our schools- again the close proximity to our schools along the I-64 for corridor for emergency response, (Falling Spring Elementary School to the north, Boiling Spring Elementary School to the south, Sharon Elementary School to the east)
Whatever the outcome is here tonight, I urge you to give it at least a chance to work. Change is not easy, and I understand that. Try to turn a difficult situation into something positive. I firmly believe all of our children will be ok; we as adults going forth from here tonight will need to be the continuing positive influence in their lives because they are counting on us!”
There was no further discussion from the Board and Chairman Persinger asked for a motion to vote on school redistricting.
MOTION: That the Board take a roll call vote and for each Board member to state the
Scenario of their choice.
MOTION: Mrs. Bryant
SECOND: Mrs. Kerns
ROLL CALL VOTE: Mr. Angle - #5 Mrs. McKinney- #5
Mrs. Bryant - #6Mr. Persinger - #5
Mr. Fridley -#5 Mr. Truett - #5
Mrs. Kerns – #6
5 votes –SCENARIO #5 2 votes – SCENARIO #6
By majority vote, the Board approved Scenario #5, which consists of the closures of Boiling Spring Elementary School and Falling Spring Elementary School.
Chairman Persinger read the following statement: “The Board, by majority vote, has adopted Scenario #5 for school redistricting, which consists of closing Boiling Spring Elementary and incorporating that attendance zone with Callaghan along with the closure of Falling Spring Elementary and incorporating that attendance zone with Mountain View Elementary. This has been a difficult decision for the Board and I want to thank the public for your comments and input into this decision. The decision was not based upon which community had the greatest number of its citizens to come out and speak, email or publish comments or concerns. This decision is born from the need to do what is in the best interest of all students in Alleghany County. Each Board member brings their own set of life experiences to the decision process. This brings me to my own life experiences and a quote from Steve Jobs which states, ‘You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.’ It is now time to put this vote behind us and all do our part to implement a successful plan. Let’s create the expectation for all of our leaders that this dot will connect to some future dot that will spur economic growth and prevent further disruption to our communities. I would like to thank Dr. Campbell and her staff in aiding in this decision. I would like to thank everyone for coming out this evening and continuing to support quality education in Alleghany County.”
(13-193) ADDITION TO THE AGENDA
There were no additions.
MOTION: That the Alleghany County School Board called meeting be adjourned.
MOTION: Mr. Angle
SECOND: Mrs. Bryant
TIME: 6:15 p.m.
Chairman, Alleghany County School BoardClerk