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Last updateThu, 19 Nov 2015 8pm

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Beach manager defends decision to raze ex-school

Foulds says building was unsafe, and several residents complained
The Colonial Beach town manager sai...

1st Annual Colonial Beach Bike Fest

1st Annual Colonial Beach Bike Fest

1st Annual Colonial Beach Bike Fest

Bike Fest a roaring good time

Bike Fest a roaring good time

About 10,000 attend first annual event in county

Bikers from D.C., Maryland and Virginia and points...

Council puts CB school demolition on hold

The Colonial Beach Town Council put a stop to a demolition notice for the town’s former elementary s...

Old school’s future in doubt

Old school’s future in doubt

A town official has ordered the former Colonial Beach Elementary School to be demolished in about tw...

Council tries to cut taxes, told it can’t

Despite their best efforts and good intentions, the Colonial Beach Town Council was unable to reduce...

 

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Schools criticize school grading plan

Richmond – Gov. Bob McDonnell is delighted but school superintendents are miffed that the House passed legislation Monday to give each public school a letter grade – A through F – based on its performance.
McDonnell issued a statement after delegates voted 54-40 to approve House Bill 1999, which would require the Virginia Board of Education to implement such a system.

Read more: Schools criticize school grading plan

CB superintendent leaving Nov. 30

With elections just four weeks away and three vacant seats on the Colonial Beach School Board and only two write-in candidates to fill those seats, Colonial Beach schools are facing another hard break with the exit of Superintendent DonnaPower.

Colonial Beach Superintendent Donna Power announced Thursday morning Oct. 11 that she has accepted another superintendent position in Page County Public Schools. 

She will remain in Colonial Beach until Nov. 30.

Read more: CB superintendent leaving Nov. 30

Collapse threat hinders progress

At the September Colonial Beach school board meeting members were stumped by the need for structural engineering services required by Colonial Beach Building Inspector Dextor Monroe. New details from Monroe shed light on his requirements. 

Monroe said in a phone interview Tuesday morning, Sept. 18, that the original engineer’s report from September 2011 stated that the building’s roof was in danger of collapse in the original two-story section.

Read more: Collapse threat hinders progress

New elementary school principal comes home

Colonial Beach School Board welcomed Mary Fisher as the new elementary school principal. A student in Colonial Beach from kindergarten to seventh grade, Fisher has returned to her childhood home after receiving an impressive education and built a long resumé. 

Fisher had returned to Colonial Beach for five years in 2001 where she gained experience in special programs, counseling and administrating. 

In 2007 she moved on to continue her education and gain more experience as an administrative intern/assistant principal. 

Read more: New elementary school principal comes home

Dual enrollment programs expand

Due to Mr. Michael Shumate’s background in business, marketing and IT, the Colonial Beach High School will be able to offer dual enrollment classes at the high school next year and seniors will also be able to attend college classes at Rappahannock Community College due to Power’s creative solution to transportation. 

Donna Alexander and Mr. Petie Norris from Rappahannock Community College in Warsaw were on hand at this month’s school board meeting to explain how the two programs would work. 

Norris, who will be the dean of the community initiative, explained that Shumate’s background is very extensive, “If we had someone like him on campus it would equal two people’s full load, so you’re going to get a tremendous return on your investment with him.”

Read more: Dual enrollment programs expand

Mod Pods dedicated

You can call them Learning Cottages or Modular Learning Centers, but if you call the new Middle School Mod Pod “trailers,” Superintendent Donna Power said jokingly, she will kick you out!

Power, beaming with pride, addressed a large crowd of teachers, parents, school board members and a few students at the dedication ceremony held on Monday.

Middle schools students walked into the new school on Jan. 3 with open, trusting arms according to Power, who has fielded questions from middle school students asking if the 100 year old building that was shut down due to damage will still be their school. Power tells them, “It will always be your school!” Power warns parents that the future is uncertain for the old building but assures them the school board and staff are doing everything they can to see if it can be restored to its former glory by working with FEMA and historical experts.

Power said building mandates and time constraints were challenging, but the teachers worked during their Christmas vacation to ready the building for students returning from break, adding that the Town of Colonial Beach including the Mayor, Council and Town Manager Val Foulds, have

Read more: Mod Pods dedicated

Stimulus money running out for schools next year

The Colonial Beach School Board learned at the January meeting, when Superintendent Donna Power presented the first draft budget of the upcoming 2012–2013 school year, that the school may be facing a possible $292,823 budget shortfall due to stimulus money ending or declining.

Total projected revenue for the next school year is estimated at $6,963,122 and expenditures are projected at $7,255,945.

Revenues have dropped due to federal grant and stimulus American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds either reaching their end date or phasing out. Because many programs funded by these moneys are

Read more: Stimulus money running out for schools next year

Transportation and Operations well within school budget

Despite the high cost of operating a school bus, the Colonial Beach school system has only spent a little over a third of its transportation budget for the first half of the 2011-12 school year.

Richard Tunstall, Director of Transportation and Operations for Colonial Beach Schools, reported at the Dec. 14 meeting that the school has spent only $130,538 out of its yearly budget of $371,345.

Safety inspections for each school bus takes a hefty portion of the transportation budget. The Department of Education requires buses be inspected every 30 days and every 180 days at a cost $45 each inspection. Buses must also be inspected through the Virginia Department of Transportation every year at a cost of $51 each.

Gas and oil consumption runs pretty high, with buses ranging anywhere from 6 – 9 mpg, reports Tunstall, and the school is currently paying $3.63 per gallon for diesel.

“Oil is running about $16.99 per gallon,” Tunstall said, and the school is using anywhere from 5 – 8 gallons per vehicle.

Read more: Transportation and Operations well within school budget

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