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Last updateTue, 04 Nov 2014 9pm

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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

School spending will always be public knowledge

School Board Chairman, Tim Trivett, addressed citizen concerns regarding school spending at the meeting on Nov. 9. Trivett assured citizens that the school is looking at all options in relation to resolving the recent damage to the middle school and finding permanent placement for middle school students.

Sparking citizen concerns was the recent meeting with representatives of Moseley Architects, who briefly outlined the cost of housing all students Pre K-12 on one campus, either in one building or several. Trivett

Read more: School spending will always be public knowledge

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