- Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 May 2010 17:12
- Published on Wednesday, 26 May 2010 17:12
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Quietly, with little discussion or fanfare, the Colonial Beach School Board unanimously voted to take down the hoops at the basketball blacktop at the elementary school during the May 19 meeting.
Until the end of the current school year, the hoops will remain up each school day until the last school activity of the day has ended and then will be removed until the next school day begins.
With summer quickly approaching, it appears there will be one less option for children in the town looking for something to do.
Basketball Hoop Removal
Superintendent Donna Power recommended the board vote to take the hoops down in response to continuing citizen complaints about adults using the blacktop at night creating a nuisance for neighbors.
In a telephone interview, Police Chief Chris Hawkins verified that “the crowd they’re drawing is too big for that place” and that the “risk to the students outweigh keeping it open.” This is a reversal for Hawkins who appeared before the board in 2008 requesting the hoops to remain up.
According to Board Chairman Tim Trivett, the “onus is not on the school system to provide entertainment — it is the town’s responsibility.”
Proposed Middle School
Power presented two budget proposals for creation of a separate middle school for grades 6, 7 and 8. One proposal is to place a modular pod comprised of six units near the high school. It would include three classrooms, three bathrooms, a principal’s office, a nurse’s office and a conference room. The preliminary yearly cost to install and maintain the modular pod, including a principal and two new teachers, would be approximately $229,000.
The second proposal for creation of a middle school includes adding one modular classroom unit, an assistant principal and two new teachers in the high school building. This alternative includes a cafeteria extension proposed to cost $150,000 and the total annual cost would be approximately $300,000.
Power plans to tap into the $571,000 in federal money provided for mandated high school improvement in 2010-2011 to cover some of the costs associated with creation of a middle school. Preliminarily, the town would have to come up with approximately an additional $60,000 to cover the annual lease of the modular unit. The federal money is provided for high school reform for three years, after which those funds would no longer be available.
It is Power’s contention that use of approximately $220,000 of the $571,000 provided by the federal government annually for three years for high school improvement to create a middle school is a good reform solution.
Power noted that “research indicates that success in middle school creates a successful high school.” Power further explained that the concept of creating a middle school “came parallel as Colonial Beach High School became identified as a school in need of improvement.”
Board members appeared to be in agreement with Power. According to a timeline provided by Power, board adoption of the reconfiguration model is scheduled for the June 9 school board meeting with June 10 set as the date for ordering the modular unit(s).
Chairman Trivett read aloud the resignation of Bronwyn “Anne” Congdon, which he received by e-mail on May 13. Before appointing a replacement to serve the two years remaining on Congdon’s term, the board will advertise for interested persons to submit a letter of interest and hold a public hearing. Trivett hopes to have a replacement appointed for the July meeting.
The board approved April expenditures in the amount of $578,325 and approved a 2011 graduation date of June 5. Member Mike Looney expressed the board’s appreciation for Vicky Dinenna’s years of service and wished her well in her new employment. The board also approved summer work hours consisting of a four-day week (7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) for 11-month and 12-month employees.
Elementary and high school teachers Nicki Carter and Robert Hunter were awarded “Teacher of the Year.” The May team player was Danny McNamara. Music Department awards were presented for band and chorus.
Arbutus Sanford was recognized for 37 years of service to Beach schools by Chairman Trivett. Sanford told the applauding crowd, “I’m going to miss the children and I’m going to miss the people.”
John Drew spoke on behalf of the Beach Water Coalition regarding a Living Shoreline project that affords 12 students an opportunity to spend three days studying ecology.
Larry Roberson spoke on behalf of the Colonial Beach Chamber of Commerce requesting the board to approve a plan for overflow parking on the water tower field for the jet ski competition that will be held the second weekend in August. The request will be considered after being placed on the agenda.