Shenandoah County School Board discusses VSBA amendments, accreditation improvement

Published: Oct. 28, 2022 at 3:15 PM EDT
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MOUNT JACKSON, Va. (WHSV) - On Thursday in Mount Jackson, the Shenandoah County School Board and Board of Supervisors held a joint meeting to discuss proposed legislative position amendments from the Virginia School Boards Association (VSBA).

Shenandoah County Public Schools Superintendent Melody Sheppard also provided an overview of the school system’s accreditation ratings and highlighted ongoing plans for improvement.

Each year the VSBA seeks legislative proposals from every school board in the state and creates a list of amendments to be voted on at a delegate assembly in November with representatives from each school board. This year there are 11 amendments being proposed.

Before that November meeting, school boards must review the amendments and submit any changes or removals they wish to propose. The amendments cover a wide range of topics from curriculum and testing to financing facility construction.

One amendment supports increased state assistance to help schools move from diesel to electric school buses.

“I know at one of our work sessions there was a concern about the electric bus proposal so I expect that is one that will be pulled out by some other school division or my board tonight may ask me to have that one voted on separately,” said Cynthia Walsh, a Shenandoah County School Board member, and the board’s VSBA delegate.

SCPS is also looking to improve its accreditation ratings by making changes that help students score better on standardized tests.

“The biggest issue for Shenandoah County is the writing requirement part of SOLs that’s where Shenandoah County has struggled and I know that’s a big focus for students right now is in all of their classes they’re trying to incorporate a writing component so students become more comfortable with that,” said Walsh.

All of Shenandoah County’s schools were accredited this year but some are accredited with conditions. During the school year, SCPS has already launched initiatives to address areas in need of improvement and remain accredited by the state department of education.

Both the school board and board of supervisors received an update on those initiatives on Thursday.