Student achievement, facility improvements and compensation are some of the key elements Halifax County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Mark Lineburg have on his radar for 2020.
In addition to not only maintaining full accreditation status, but progressing, the superintendent said high school officials are working to become more relevant to the profile of a graduate.
The profile of a graduate focuses on the five Cs: critical thinking, creative thinking, collaboration, communication and citizenship.
It also includes focus on content knowledge, workplace skills, community engagement, civic responsibility and career exploration.
Principal Michael Lewis and his innovation team at Halifax County High School have been finding more ways to be in line with the profile of a graduate.
In July, the high school received a $500,000 redesign grant to be shared with Charles City, Henrico and Mecklenburg counties as part of the Design Virginia High School Innovation Network.
At that time, Lineburg said the network will have four points of emphasis: collaborative and blended classes, student advisory, work readiness such as internships and apprenticeships and develop a network improvement community.
The superintendent said they will gather with their colleagues at a two-day meeting in Richmond in February to carry on discussion on the network.
He said they have continued to look at ways to combine classes such as English and career and technical education classes that may align a student with a particular profession.
When looking at facilities, Lineburg said it is clear that there is an immediate need to make a decision about how the future of Halifax County High School will be approached.
He said it would be a key topic of discussion at the Halifax County School Board’s Jan. 13 meeting.
Most recently, the board put a $4,000 retainer fee down on 12 acres that adjoins the high school that allows for the listing to be removed from the market for 120 days.
This additional property would supplant space for new construction, provide options to necessitate required parking/bus lots and/or trailer space should the high school be renovated, according to interim supervisor of secondary education Scott Worner.
In November, the school board also appointed chairman Sandra Garner Coleman and ED-2 trustee Roy Keith Lloyd to a subcommittee to meet with members of the board of supervisors to form an action plan for the renovation or construction of the high school and other schools.
When the school board last met to discuss the FY 2020 budget, the superintendent said he did not know the figures yet for salary adjustments for graded pay plan for employees and teachers.
“We’ve made improvements the past few years, but I don’t think we’ve made enough,” said Lineburg.
The board and Lineburg also agreed they need to address support staff pay.
In December, Governor Ralph Northam announced his budget that included $1.2 billion proposed investments for K-12 education including $145.1 million for a 3% salary increase in the second year for funded Standards of Quality instructional and support positions.
But, the superintendent said it was too early for him to comment on the governor’s budget.
“I think it’s clear those are the three things were battling,” Lineburg concluded.