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School boardSoon Central Elementary School will open its brand new STEAM lab – a space to inspire integrative learning in science, technology, engineering, arts and math, the Fluvanna County School Board learned at its meeting Wednesday (Aug. 10) night.The STEAM lab, which ought to be complete around the beginning of September, was built by funds from the Deborah Rose Altschull Endowment for Youth. The Board recognized the endowment’s trustee, Cliff Altschull, who is also a member of Fluvanna’s Rotary Club.

 

 

While accepting the certificate of appreciation, Altschull reminded the Board of ongoing programs the endowment supports: Bright Start for Kids and Shoes for Success.
The endowment is in honor of Altschull’s late wife, who always had a heart for helping children, he said.

The Board then recognized Dorothy Cosner, a 2016 graduate of Fluvanna County High School (FCHS), for winning a $500 superintendent’s scholarship provided by RRMM Architects. Cosner said she is studying criminal justice at Piedmont Virginia Community College and hopes to transition to a four-year college to get her bachelor’s degree. Superintendent Gena Keller showed the Board the student-produced video “Dare to Imagine.”  Staff first saw the video, which can be seen on FCHS’s YouTube channel and at the Fluvanna Review’s Facebook page, at staff convocation.

School Board member Carol Carr said she had questioned how the Board’s vision  of “Dare to Imagine…engaged inspired learning every day” would translate into something concrete.
“And there it is,” she said.
Finance Director Ed Breslauer gave a budget update. Starting hopefully by January 2017, payroll will be made via the new MUNIS software, he said. An employee self-serve module will allow staff to log in to see past and present pay stubs and make changes in their payroll profiles.

When discussing the county’s capital improvement plan (CIP), Breslauer said three new 77-passenger buses are on the road. The schools’ goal is for all in-use buses to be under 20 years old.
Another part of the CIP is to have all computer technology on a replacement cycle. Right now computers are used until they die, which means using out-of-warranty materials, taking possible security risks, and forgoing sell-back capital.

 

When School Board member Perrie Johnson asked a question about the recent efficiency review, Breslauer said the Board was required to meet 50 percent of the recommendations and has met 77 percent.

During public comments, County Administrator Steve Nichols congratulated the Board and staff for the first day of school, which was Aug. 9.
“I just want to say I’ve not gotten one call. I’ve read no Facebook complaints,” Nichols said. “That means everyone worked hard together to make a difference.”