The Caroline County School Board voted unanimously to adopt a $42.5 million dollar operating budget for the 2018-19 school year (FY 2019) at it’s school board meeting on June 13, 2018. The budget will utilize an increase in revenue of roughly $1.5 million to address several school division priorities, including a year 1 (of 3) implementation of the compensation plan. The County transferred an additional $400,000 for school operations and $74,523 for capital bus purchases and bus leases above the FY18 county transfer for a total of $14.25M. The FY19 budget also includes additional state revenue of $0.5M of which $0.3M are state grants. Additionally, the budget includes a one time use of insurance refund dollars in the amount of $300,000 to offset a portion of the cost associated with a rise in insurance premiums for the 2018-19 plan year.
The school system underwent a compensation study in March 2018 which identified 46 of the school divisions classifications (80.7 percent) as being below the market minimum. The FY19 budget includes a phased approach to the recommendations of the compensation study and the school division is implementing one-third of the compensation plan for teachers and support staff. The compensation changes will increase the starting teacher salary for FY19 to $40,600, an increase of 3.5% percent over the previous year.
The FY19 budget also includes an additional position for the expansion of the nursing program in the Career & Technical program. The position was required by the Board of Nursing to accommodate a greater number of students into the new Nursing Assistant Program at Caroline High School. Students who complete the program will be immediately eligible for employment in the healthcare field and are eligible to continue their training in the field of nursing at a post-secondary institution. The program will accept its first students in August and will be supported by partnerships with Bowling Green Health and Rehabilitation Center and Germanna Community College.
In order to pass a balanced budget the school division eliminated 7 positions through attrition made adjusted cuts to the budget across all operational categories. The reduced staffing was possible due to a declining student enrollment over the past four years.
The school division budget will need to increase a minimum of 2% each of the next two years to the operational budget in order to raise employee compensation to the recommended levels of the compensation study. The County conducted a similar compensation study for County employees in 2017. Recommendations from the study were implemented in 2017 and the current fiscal year.
Caroline County School Schools is saying farewell to Dr. George Parker, who will begin as the Superintendent of Newport News City Schools in July. Dr. Parker began in Caroline County in July of 2015. Over the past three years, Dr. Parker has taken the school system to greater heights through his visionary leadership, purposeful decision-making, and meaningful relationship building. Initiatives launched during Dr. Parker’s tenure include a retired teacher mentorship program for novice educators, a four-tiered instructional leadership model inclusive of Professional Learning Communities, Instructional Leadership Teams, Administrative Check-Ins, and School Support Teams, employee recognition programs, salary increases for employees, innovation grants, enhanced instructional programming and resources, and the CCPS Strategic Plan, Pathways 2022. Additionally, Superintendent Parker was instrumental in the digital conversion initiative, which will put a chromebook laptop in the hands of all 6th-12th grade students during the upcoming school year.
The School Board has begun their search for a new Superintendent. An online survey to seek community input on qualities it values in the next superintendent is available on the CCPS website. Additionally, a public hearing was held on Monday, June 11 before the monthly School Board meeting.
On Monday, June 11, 2018, the Caroline County School Board appointed Dr. George Victor Hellman, Jr. as Interim Superintendent for Caroline County Public Schools. Most recently, Dr. Hellman has served as Interim Finance Director for Caroline County Public Schools from January to April, 2018. He was also Research Project Director/Principal Investigator for Education Facilities Clearinghouse from 2014-2017 and Deputy Superintendent for Facilities and Business Operations for Hampton City Public Schools from 2006-2014. Dr. Hellman holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Virginia Tech and a Master of Public Administration from George Washington University. In 2007, he earned a Doctorate of Education from George Washington University.
Caroline County Public Schools thanks Dr. Parker for his service and guidance and welcomes Dr. George Hellman, Jr., who will begin July 9, 2018 in his position.
On May 18th, 2018 Caroline High School conducted graduation as normal at Mary Washington University in Fredericksburg, VA despite weather concerns that cancelled school for the day. The one aspect at this year’s graduation ceremony that was not considered “normal” was the presence of M.C. Dean Incorporated. M.C. Dean’s lead instructor for their Electrical Apprenticeship Program and Caroline County resident, David Nelson, presented five Caroline Cavaliers with job offers as they walked off the stage with their diplomas in hand.
The five students receiving job offers from M.C. Dean at graduation were Ymari Morton, Gavin Coleman, Isaiah Walker, Clint Terry Jr., and Alexander Crouch. These five students, plus Cavalier junior, Corbin Smith, completed multiple levels of Carpentry at Caroline High School with Mr. Archie Roberts over the last two years to qualify for an opportunity to complete the first year of the electrical apprenticeship program with Mr. Nelson. Mr. Roberts worked with students in class and after school during the months of October, November, and December to make sure they met the necessary qualifications to participate in the M.C. Dean Program. All five students, and Corbin Smith, were transported via school bus to the M.C. Dean facility from Caroline High School each Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday during second semester to learn essential skills from Mr. Nelson.
These five students will have the opportunity to work as electric apprentices at M.C. Dean this summer starting in June. The Division’s goal is to expand this experiential learning model to ensure all Caroline graduates have access to relevant learning experiences that promote workplace skills and college and career readiness.
Due to this weekend’s inclement weather there have been a number of road closures due to flooding that will hinder the busses transporting students for the first day of summer school; therefore the first day of summer school will be postponed to Tuesday, June 5th.
The summer school hours beginning Tuesday, June 5th will be from 8:00 to 1:00. Students who are not riding the bus, can be dropped off at 7:45. Summer school staff will report on Tuesday.
12 month employees are to report on time with liberal leave for Monday, June 4th.