Parent Advisory Committee Meeting

Parent Advisory Committee to the Superintendent

Meeting Summary Notes: September 10, 2018


Meeting Summary Notes are intended to serve as the superintendent’s reflection on the discussions that occur during advisory committee meetings.  They are not intended to be exhaustive.  Instead, they are intended to serve as a general record for our on-going efforts to assess our needs, determine our goals, map out our strategies, and evaluate our policies, procedures and programs.  Participants should contact the superintendent if they observe any critical oversight or misinterpretation.


Participants present:  Dwayne Ross (AHS principal), Karen Staunton (AHS athletic director), Ty Dobbs (AHS assistant principal), Winter Crance (AHS), Amber Hepler (CES), Amanda Tucker (CES), Michelle Via (CMS), Molly Gilbert (CMS), Tonya Crossland (MVES), Schuyler Fury (SES), Josh Craft (CES principal), Sherman Callahan (SES principal), Lorie Bess (Administrative Assistant), Mary Jane Mutispaugh (Dir. of Instruction), and Eugene Kotulka (Superintendent).


  1. Schedule of PAC meetings for 2018-2019: September 10; October 8; November 5; February 6; March 11; and April 8. All meetings will be held at the Central Office building in Low Moor and will begin at 6:30 p.m.  If schools are closed due to inclement weather, the PAC meeting is also cancelled.


  2. 2.Mr. Kotulka welcomed everyone to the meeting and discussed the purpose of the parent advisory committee.  He reminded participants it is helpful to send any suggestions, concerns, or questions to him ahead of time as some topics require research.  He explained the committee provides valuable input and it should be considered an open forum, unless there is a specific personnel issue, which would need to be discussed privately.  


  3. 3.Mr. Kotulka discussed the New Tech program at Alleghany High School.  He explained it is a different way for students to learn and SOL information is still incorporated.  He stated he realizes it is a change but he believes it will make our students ready for college and/or the workplace after high school.  He reported the school will hold a public extravaganza on November 13 to showcase the program and encouraged everyone to attend.


  4. 4.Mr. Kotulka discussed Career Pathways.  He noted each student begins one in the 7th grade and it will follow them through high school.  He noted we hope to offer seniors an internship in the field they are interested in and perhaps the opportunity to follow a community member.  He stated the goal is to get students passionate about their future.


  5. 5.Mr. Kotulka discussed the new accreditation system.  He reported superintendents have been working with the state to look at subgroups (white, black, ESL, SPED, Asian, etc.) because it is not accurate to use generalized groups.  He stated accreditation isn’t only about academics; you also have to look at chronic absenteeism, graduation rates, dropout rates, CTE certifications, and other things.  He stated schools need to be accredited based on more than just test grades. 


  6. 6.Mr. Kotulka reported Ms. Mutispaugh is forming a committee to discuss grading scales and will report to the school board in February. 


  7. 7.Mr. Kotulka reported we currently use 6-week grading periods and questioned if parents prefer a 9-week grading period.  He asked for everyone’s input and to report their feedback to Ms. Mutispaugh.


  8. 8.Mr. Kotulka discussed teacher salaries and stated the state does not support us.  He encouraged everyone to be vocal and share their thoughts with Delegate Terry Austin and Senator Creigh Deeds. 


  9. 9.Mr. Vaughan discussed safety.  He noted all schools now have entrances that lead visitors directly to the main office.  He noted as a new safety measure, all visitors who intend to go into the building must leave their photo ID at the office.  He reported there are now SRO’s at each building.  He stated all school safety plans have been revised, reviewed and accepted.  He stated he recently attended a school safety conference and is pleased our division is, in some ways, ahead of the game on safety measures. 


  10. 10.Mr. Kotulka invited everyone to the “Coffee with the Superintendent” event on October 27, 10:00 a.m. at the Mountain View Restaurant in Covington.


  11. A participant reported orientation at CMS this year was somewhat disorganized.  She reported students did not get their locker numbers, schedules, lunch times, or have an opportunity to meet their teachers.  She noted parents were not notified of the orientation.  Another participant stated it was very crowded, lunch times were not listed, and one teacher stated he wasn’t sure what subject he was going to be teaching in two days. Mr. Kotulka replied he would discuss this with the principal.   


  12. A participant asked if parents would be given access to ECHO so they could see their child’s grades.   Mr. Ross replied letters would be going home the next day to parents with login information.  Mr. Kotulka stated Mr. Alleman would attend the next PAC meeting to give a demonstration of getting into the system and how to view grades. 


  13. A participant reported her child’s bus driver would not allow them to fully lower the bus windows on humid days.  Mr. Kotulka replied the windows are designed to be safe even when fully lowered and he would make sure Mr. Truett discusses this with the drivers.  



The meeting ended at 7:15 p.m.  NEXT MEETING:  October 8 at 6:30 p.m.


The Alleghany County School Board does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, political affiliation, disability, or age in its programs and activities. The following have been designated as the contact regarding compliance issues associated with this non-discrimination policy and compliance with Title IX: Director of Human Resources and Pupil Personnel and Director of Assessment and Accountability. For questions and compliance with Section 504 and ADA contact the Director of Special Education. Alleghany County School Board Office, 100 Central Circle/P.O. Drawer 140, Low Moor, Virginia 24457. 540-863-1800.