By Matt de Simone
The Botetourt County School Board met last Wednesday for the December meeting.
The School Board adopted the FY24-FY28 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) presented by Financial Director Brandon Lee at the meeting. No changes were made since the plan was presented before the board in December.
The board approved the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) implemented on March 21 next year. The physical form of the letter will go home with students. Superintendent Dr. Jonathan Russ explained it will be administered electronically at James River High School, Lord Botetourt High School, Central Academy Middle School, and Read Mountain Middle School.
The 2023 YRBS will be given to students in grades 6, 8, 10, and 12 that will include questions related to tobacco, alcohol, and drug use, social behaviors, sexual activity, and personal safety and bullying. The survey for grade 6 will not include any questions related to sexual activity.
The information gathered from this survey will be used to improve health education and other community programs aimed at the prevention of behaviors that put youth at risk. The closing of this letter gives parents the choice to opt out of their child’s participation in the survey.
Employees of the month for November were announced by the school system. Colonial Elementary School Administrative Assistant Bernice King and James River teacher/coach Matt Gouker both received certificates of recognition from board members, family members, and representatives from their respective schools.
Dr. Russ provided his monthly Superintendent’s Report (https://go.boarddocs.com/vsba/bcps/Board.nsf/Public). During the report, Dr. Russ talked about a CIP Gantt Chart was created to document and visually show progress on CIP projects which can be found on the School Board website.
Members of the division instructional team shared student achievement best practices with the regional Comprehensive Instructional Program (CIP) administrators group in November. The CIP group requested input from the division in reference to student performance on the 2022 Standards of Learning and the division state ranking related to the lack of learning loss by students.
Russ also mentioned in the report that planning continues for the BCPS Teacher of the Year Banquet which will be held on Dec. 15. Each building teacher of the year will be recognized and the division teacher of the year will be announced.
Russ also mentioned in his report that Breckenridge Elementary, Buchanan Elementary, Troutville Elementary, Read Mountain Middle, James River High School, and Lord Botetourt High School applied for and received funding through the Botetourt Parks and Recreation Capital Incentive Fund Program announced last month at the Board of Supervisors meeting.
Lee discussed the year-end expenditure summary. The FY 2022 budget was comprised of $55,145,874 with an almost $2 million surplus at year’s end. Valley District representative Tim Davidick, while impressed with the surplus, expressed a need to spend the money to complete various projects. The board added that this surplus isn’t “normal.”
Lee answered questions posed by the board regarding spending, working with the Board of Supervisors in reappropriating surplus to the CIP, and other items. The entire year-end expenditures presentation can be found on the BCPS website (https://go.boarddocs.com/vsba/bcps/Board.nsf/Public).
The next meeting of the School Board will be on Jan. 5 at the Central Administration Office in Fincastle. To stream the Dec. 7 meeting, visit bcps.live/archives.