HCPS Board Holds Retreat: School Building Improvements and Staff Retention Discussed | Local News

The Henry County Public Schools Board (HCPS) met for a retreat after its regular monthly board meeting on Thursday to discuss the nomination of a new board member, the strategic plan for the school year, installation projects and more.

HCPS Deputy Superintendent for Teaching and Learning, Lisa Millner, presented updates to the strategic plan, with a focus on providing high-quality education, high-quality professionals, d a safe and innovative learning environment and family and community engagement.

Areas of focus in providing higher quality teaching in schools are grading, assessments, differentiation, teacher support, and administrator support. To provide high-quality professionals, HCPS plans to expand recruiting, work on interpersonal skills, promote employee retention, and have Henry County Human Resources conduct a compensation study.

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“We want to empower them. We want to make sure they have what they need, the resources they need; we want to keep them,” Millner said of the employees.

Millner said HCPS plans to provide a safe and innovative learning environment by improving building monitoring system, replacing lighting in buildings, painting building interiors, improving access controls exteriors and improving the furnishings of the secondary school.

“The final area is family and community engagement,” Millner said. “And although we already do these things, of course we can do them better.” She said HCPS wants to expand partnerships with students, parents, businesses, higher education and community organizations. “You always want to improve and you always want to grow,” she added.

Next, HCPS Director of Human Resources, Christy Landon, gave a presentation on the changes the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) has made to the formation of the VDOE Superintendent Performance Appraisal System.

“It’s the same system you’ve all used to rate the Superintendent over the years,” Landon said. The presentation contains only revised elements, including the weighting of performance standards and revised guidelines.

The guidelines that have been revised are: updated research; revised the names of the four rating levels for summative assessment to very effective, effective, almost effective, and ineffective; a new performance standard titled Equitable and Culturally Appropriate Divisional Leadership; and other minor changes to the valuation standards which can be viewed on the VDOE website at https://www.doe.virginia.gov/teaching/performance_evaluation/index.shtml.

HCPS Assistant Superintendent for Operations and Administrative Services David Scott presented the capital plan in terms of revenue streams from federal, state and local funding.

“We still have a bunch of items that were on a long list since the last comprehensive facility assessment,” Scott said. “We are in the process of doing another assessment like this and hope to see the results this fall.”

He then presented a list of projects in four categories: grant-funded HVAC projects, campus improvements, structural changes, and repairs and installation.

Grant-funded HVAC projects include: HVAC, ceiling and lighting at Bassett High School (BHS); air conditioning in the gymnasium and locker rooms at Laurel Park Middle School (LPMS); air conditioning in the locker rooms at Fieldale-Collinsville Middle School (FCMS); replacement of the air conditioning unit on the roof of the LPMS; and additional HVAC system upgrades.

Campus improvement projects include: installing artificial turf at Magna Vista High School (MVHS) and BHS; country houses at BHS and MVHS; and track replacement and resurfacing.

Repair and installation projects include: installing a heater in the bus garage; the Center for Community Learning (CCL) parking lot roadway; replacement of bleachers in secondary schools; and civil repairs to MVHS, CCL, and Meadow View Elementary School (MVES).

Structural change projects include: a bus passenger canopy at Drewry Mason Elementary (DMU); renovations and additions to Sanville Elementary; roof replacement at LPMS; and elevators at Campbell Court Elementary (CCE), DME, and GW Carver Elementary (GWCE).

“We know there could be more projects that will come up as a result of the facilities assessment that we are doing and some of the other projects that are listed here are things that have increased a bit with the introduction of the funds” , Scott said.

Council then went into recess instead of adjourning so it could resume at the August 15 public hearing on the interim council member.

Registered voters in the Ridgeway District can suggest their names for the unexpired term of council member Francis Zehr, who died July 29. The acting member will hold office and participate in all school board functions from September 1 to November 1. 30, until voters fill the seat in a special election.

Registered voters who live in the Ridgeway District and wish to serve as an interim school board member should submit a letter of interest to Monica Hatchett at [email protected] or PO Box 8958, Collinsville , VA, 24078 by Monday, August 15.

Applicants will be interviewed by the school board following submission of letters and verification of qualified status as registered voters. A public hearing will be held at 6 p.m. on August 15.

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