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Last updateTue, 04 Nov 2014 9pm

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Project Faith loses second round in court

Clark Leming, attorney for Project Faith, Inc., lost a second round in court last week on April 9 in...

In case you missed it

In case you missed it

The lunar eclipse, the first of four consecutive lunar eclipses, began around 1 a.m. and lasted well...

Safety on the minds of students

Safety on the minds of students

Several citizens, teachers and school staff turned out on Tuesday to speak at the Town Council meeti...

Town Council considers a .25 cent increase in real estate taxes

During a long budget work session held on April 15 the council wrapped up discussions after almost f...

W&L's Andrea Roane granted a continuance on DWI charges

The principal of Washington & Lee High School has requested and received a continuance of her We...

Montross and Westmoreland County Museum kickoff Student Art Walk this weekend

Montross and Westmoreland County Museum kickoff Student Art Walk this weekend

April 12 to May 10

The Westmoreland County Museum will be hosting a local student art walk from April...


 

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King George

SETTING

Healthy kids

Wednesday, 16 April 2014
Healthy kids

Kids from throughout the King George community were excited to participate in the Healthy Kid’s Day Fun 1-Mile Run at the YMCA on April 12.

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Colonial Beach

SETTING

Safety on the minds of students

Wednesday, 16 April 2014
Safety on the minds of students

Several citizens, teachers and school staff turned out on Tuesday to speak at the Town Council meeting on April 10 to compel the council to approve funding for the high school repairs.

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Westmoreland

SETTING

W&L's Andrea Roane granted a continuance on DWI charges

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

The principal of Washington & Lee High School has requested and received a continuance of her Westmoreland County General District Court appearance on charges of drunk driving and use of a handhel...

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Sports

SETTING

Drifters overpower W&L Eagles

Wednesday, 16 April 2014
Drifters overpower W&L Eagles

On Thursday, the Drifters won the first round of the annual Northern Neck war between the Beach and Washington & Lee, 17-0. Nick Graves went 3-3, with a grand-slam homer, a double, and a single th...

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Area Deaths

SETTING

Eunice V. Johnson

Friday, 04 April 2014

Eunice V. Johnson, of Alexandria VA, died on Friday, March 21, 2014 in Alexandria.

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Columnists

SETTING

Antiques Considered - April 16, 2014

Wednesday, 16 April 2014
Antiques Considered - April 16, 2014

This Victorian chandelier hangs in an old Northern Neck home.  The owner writes that it is not original to the house, but was an estate sale acquisition many years ago for $100.  The glass i...

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Office-for-rent Jrnl Bldg 20130925

No plans for KGMS building in 2009-10 due to cost

The 7th and 8th grades will move out of King George Middle School into the existing high school over the summer.  The existing high school will be vacated at the end of next month, with a new replacement high school expected to be dedicated on January 29.  
There are no plans to use the middle school building in 2009-10.  
That’s because the 6th grade will remain in the county’s three elementary schools instead of being moved into the vacated middle school building with the 5th grade, as discussed for the last three years.  
Timing is everything and this is not the time to ask for big bucks from the county.  
The School Board has gotten the message that the county and its taxpayers are feeling the pinch caused by the current economy.  
At least most of the School Board members have.  
That was evidenced last week when the School Board voted 4-1 to maintain the status quo for the current grade levels in the schools, which had the result of postponing opening the middle school building next fall as an intermediate school.  
Renee Parker voted against the motion.  
Parker argued that the School Board should try to get more money from the county and/or see if some other pots of money might be used to help fund startup and operating costs for an intermediate school next fall.   
Parker suggested that $250K that has been discussed as an additional appropriation in the current year from the Board of Supervisors might be combined with $226K in remaining Sealston Elementary School construction funds to help fund the costs.  
But those two pots of money would not come near to the amount needed, even if both amounts are still available from the county, which is becoming doubtful.
Close to $3 million is the cost estimate for startup and operating costs for the first year of an intermediate school in the current middle school.
$1,282,506 is estimated for the annual, recurring costs of operations for an intermediate school to pay for administrators, faculty, guidance and support staff, along with equipment, books and supplies.
In addition, there would be one-time costs estimated at $1,450,975 to replace the heating, air conditioning and ventilation system (HVAC), construct a new well, purchase and install a multi-media system, and refurbish the school’s existing lecture room.
Parker unsuccessfully urged her colleagues to agree to go forward with the intermediate school plan to shift 5th and 6th grades to the middle school and to ask county supervisors for the money.
Parker said Supervisors heard the need at the joint meeting on October 29.  “I would rather ask for what is best for the students than not ask at all,” Parker stated.  
Sherrie Allwine noted that an intermediate school would be an educational benefit, but also said that the current program is working successfully at the three elementary schools with the 6th grades in place.  Allwine added that leaving them in place for the coming year would “buy more time to get the money we need.”
Supervisor of Curriculum Ann Cocke was asked for her opinion.  She stated, “Everything has been worked out and they do a really excellent job for teachers to team effectively.”  She added, “I think we can make anything work.”
Regarding moving the 6th grades, Cocke also said, “We don’t want to move them for the sake of moving, and would want to look long-term.”
Payne Kilbourn concurred with the idea to keep the 7th and 8th grades together and only move them from the middle school to the existing high school for next fall.  
Kilbourn added, “Leave the 6th grade where they are and we will have a year to get our arms around where we want to go.”
Chairman Dennis Paulsen pointed out, “If we go with status quo, we would leave the middle school vacant for a year.”
Lynn Pardee noted, “If we spent the money this year, over $3M this year, it would have to come out of somewhere else in our budget.”  She added, “We would have to make cuts somewhere else.”
But Parker persisted, saying, “This may be just my Pollyanna attitude, but I’m not convinced after the last joint meeting.”  
Parker said they should go back to the Board of Supervisors and ask for more money, saying, “I think we should point this out again to supervisors and make them see that if they are interested in the well-being of these kids, they would only want to move them one time.”
Brown capped the discussion, saying, “I just really need to say we do not have excessively crowded conditions.  Sealston is fine, Potomac is fine.  King George is full, they are crowded, but if we move the three trailers there, it will give them the relief they need.”
Parker was out-voted 4-1 by the rest of the members of the School Board.  
That vote resulted in agreement to only incur an additional $20,882 in annual operating costs.  
Those costs include estimates of $53K for hiring an additional special education teacher and $15K for paraprofessionals and $15K in additional secretarial salaries.  Those costs would be mitigated by a reduction of $62,118 in trailer rental savings.  
Three of the existing trailers at the middle school will be shifted to King George Elementary School to address overcrowding in the main building.
That’s because the vote to keep the status quo also means that the 6th grades will remain at the three elementary schools for at least the next school year.  
It’s possible that the proposal to use the middle school as an intermediate school will be revisited during the course of the next year.
In the meantime, that leaves $39K in the current year’s School Board budget that will not be needed.  That amount was set aside to hire a principal and secretary in April to start hiring staff for an intermediate school.

By Phyllis Cook
Staff Reporter



 

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