The Waynesboro School Board received confirmation at its regular meeting Tuesday night about accreditation status for the 2019-2020 academic year.
“What I can tell you is we have accreditation status,” said Waynesboro Schools Superintendent Dr. Jeff Cassell. “All of our schools are accredited.”
School staff received results from the Virginia Department of Education last week, but had anticipated the results two weeks ago.
“We didn’t have the information to put that presentation together [for tonight],” Cassell said.
A presentation will be prepared for the school board’s regular meeting on Nov. 12.
He added that the school system is “particularly happy” for math scores at William Perry Elementary School, which brought the school accreditation without conditions.
“And that’s a real accomplishment,” Cassell said.
Schools accredited with conditions are Kate Collins Middle School for scores in writing, and Wenonah Elementary School for scores in science.
However, Cassell said, Wenonah Elementary’s scores in math and reading remain strong.
“We’re feeling confident in our success there,” Cassell said of the potential for both schools to gain accreditation without conditions.
Cassell reported to the school board Tuesday night that the school system’s enrollment as of Sept. 30 is 2,866 students.
The school board budgeted 2,900 students would be enrolled for the 2019-2020 academic year.
“That’s certainly manageable for us,” Cassell said.
In his monthly update report on renovations at Waynesboro High School, Cassell said the new locker rooms and team rooms are being used by students now.
Choral classes are moving into the choral room behind the stage.
“We’re slowly gaining full access to the first floor, and turning the second floor [to renovations],” Cassell said.
Waynesboro Schools Executive Director of Student Services Dr. Ryan Barber gave the school board a presentation about October as Virginia School Board Association Bullying Prevention Month.
He said that the code of Virginia defines bullying as “any aggressive or unwanted behavior that is intended to harm, intimidate or humiliate the victim.” The behavior exhibits a power imbalance between the parties involved, and is repeated over time.
Waynesboro Schools is proactive against bullying by providing Character Education curriculum, supporting the Virginia Tiered Systems of Support and providing staff to support students.
In recent years, the school system has begun an open-door policy for parents with concerns at all seven schools, as well as the central office.
The school system also gathers information from annual School Climate Surveys.
When the school system receives reports of bullying from the STOPit application, school officials take appropriate action.
Cameras in schools and on school buses are also helpful in combating bullying.
“What’s great about those is you can see what happened, but you can also hear what happened,” said Barber of the school buses cameras.
And the school system’s relationships with Augusta Health and Waynesboro Police Department are also instrumental in combating bullying in Waynesboro.
“We do know that there are students who are bullied in our schools,” Barber said.
At the end of Tuesday’s meeting, Waynesboro School Board Chairman Rick Wheeler read a proclamation from Gov. Ralph Northam declaring October as VSBA Bullying Prevention Month, “whereas school bullying has become an increasingly significant problem in the United States and in Virginia.”