The School Board approved the proposed 2017-2018 budget, $14,829,100 during its regular school board meeting, Thursday, March 9. Included in this amount is the food budget of $689,720. The proposed budget is an increase of only $55,337 from the 2015-2016 budget. Smith said, “I believe the proposed budget is my most accurate in regard to revenue, expenditures and expectations.” The proposed revenue by source is 59 percent-state, 34.4 percent-local, 5.3 percent federal, and 9 percent other. Revenue breakdown by category—66.3 percent instruction; 9.8 percent-maintenance; 6.2 percent-technology; 6.5 percent-transportation; 5.3 percent-federal programs, and .5 percent other-category. The proposed county contribution to Richmond County Public Schools remains the same as the previous year of $4,810.272.
Dr. Smith said, “High expectations, a caring environment, a supportive community and children first, are the secrets to success.” Among the many accomplishments achieved by the Richmond County Public school system, Smith highlighted two successes—the “1 to 1” laptop initiative. This initiative allows every student in grades 8 through 12 the option to receive a Dell laptop, with plans to expand to the lower level. Secondly, all the schools continue the long history of maintaining its full accreditation since the inception of the accreditation process. Full accreditation is granted by the Virginia Department of Education and Richmond County’s school division is 1 of 37 school divisions to receive such. “To achieve full accreditation is not easy,” said Smith.
In other actions, the School Board voted to change the former high school to “The Mackey Thompson Learning Center.” This is the first time the School Board has ever changed the name of a school.
William H. Mackey was an entrepreneur, community leader, principal of Richmond “County High School for 32 years, Director of Secondary Education in Albemarle County, and the second African-American Superintendent in the state of Virginia in Charles City. Mrs. Augustella.Y.Thompson was an influential community leader, educator and a community activist. She was also instrumental in the preliminary planning of the high school.
Donna Jackson is a Northern Neck News reporter.