Madison Elementary School
Based upon a recommendation from the CIP Committee, the Caroline School Board voted to reject all bids on the Madison Elementary School Additions project. The project cost exceeded the available funds so the Caroline School Board requested that OWPR re-bid the project along with the Caroline High School Additions and Renovations project in the fall. The two main factors in the cost over-runs were the cost of the site work and the cost of technology add-ons for the project. Together, these two items accounted for most of the higher cost. The site work is being re-designed to allow for a lower cost storm water collection basin and the scope of the added technology will be substantially reduced. The overall school addition design will remain the same and the existing building will still receive a new two-way intercom system for each of the classrooms and additional fire alarm components. The revised design package will be submitted to the School Division and County for review in September.

Caroline High School
The design package for Caroline High School Additions and Renovations will be complete in September and will be submitted to the School Division and County for review. Due to rising construction costs, the Technical Review Committee and CIP Committee have been working closely with OWPR to develop design documents that will allow the Contractors to build the large additions as quickly as possible with as little disruption to the existing building as possible. Additions will include a new central secured entrance, new Media Center, new Administration and Guidance Area and new 14,000 square foot Gymnasium along with three new Team Rooms, concessions and new weight room. Renovation work will include a new roof, new windows, new locker rooms, ADA restrooms, 6 new science labs, conversion of the old library and administration to classrooms, new HVAC system, new lighting and electrical switchgear replacement. CTE programming additions will include a CNA Program, Sports Medicine Program, Robotics Program and HVAC Technician Program. Culinary Arts will be expanded to include a new dining room that could be opened to serve the public and TV Production will be housed in a new classroom being built adjacent to the Auditorium and Stage to allow for greater collaboration with Performing Arts and use of shared equipment. OWPR recently walked through Caroline High School with Kevin Wightman, Caroline County Building Official and Geoffrey Honan, Supervisor of Maintenance, to make sure all building code related issues are adequately addressed in the renovation and expansion.

Caroline High School Running Track
Work on the high school running track project is nearing completion. The new drainage system has been installed, the new field events features relocated and the black asphalt base on the track has been installed. In the next two weeks the blue surface will be installed on the track and the field events areas and the track striping will be painted. New sod has been installed where the new drainage system was constructed. It is anticipated that work on the track will be complete by early September.

There will be a Special School Board Meeting on Monday, August 18, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. in the conference room at the School Board Office to discuss the HVAC in the CHS Project.

Teachers from Bowling Green Elementary joined an innovative initiative designed to change how science is taught across Virginia.

Rebecca Schieber and Qamiya Dubose began a year-long program with the Virginia Initiative for Science Teaching and Achievement (VISTA), which kicked off with an intensive, four-week Elementary Science Institute at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Funded by a $34m grant from the U.S. Department of Education, the program applies the principles of hands-on science, student-centered inquiry, the nature of science, and problem-based learning. The goal is to shift science instruction from the traditional teacher-led classroom to examining “real world” problems and thinking like scientists to find solutions.

VISTA aims to improve student learning by offering teachers free professional learning opportunities, free personalized coaching and mentoring, a $5,000 stipend, $1,000 for classroom supplies, a trip to the Virginia Association of Science Teachers Professional Development Institute, and a diverse community of practice to support them throughout the school year.

For more information about VISTA, click here. The initiative also offers free professional development for new middle and high school science teachers, and district science coordinators.

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The August Caroline County School Board Meeting will be held on Monday, August 4, 2014 at 5:30 p.m. in the auditorium at Caroline Middle School.