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Monique Holland

Support for Martinsville City Public Schools (MCPS) Special Education Services continues next year with three teachers and 15 specialized assistants.

The MCPS Board approved a request for federal funds for fiscal year 23-24 totaling $635,198 through the Special Education Annual Plan that will continue to fund existing jobs within the city’s schools.

“Each year school districts are required to apply for federal funds through the Virginia Department of Education,” said Dr. Cynthia Tarpley, executive director of MCPS Special Education and Student Services.

Tarpley came before the Board of Directors at the April 13 Board meeting in Council Chambers to request permission to apply for Title VI federal funds through the Special Education Annual Plan and the Board unanimously approved.

Tarpley said the requested amount is based on the previous year’s appropriation. Last year the demand was $599,661.

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Part B Section 611 grant funds for grades K-12 accounted for $627,197. This is to fund three special education teachers and 15 special education assistants which includes the cost of salaries and benefits for those positions.

For Part B, Section 619, grant funds for early childhood education accounted for the remaining $8,001. This covers a portion of Special Education Assistants.

The actual allocation of funds is awarded around October each year, Tarpley said.

The Board approved the staff report. The appointments were: Candace Horton as teacher and Mary Ashbrook as young girls’ soccer coach. The resignations were: Lisa Pickett, Jill Collins, Michael Williams, Ebony Milner, Vanessa Hynes and Joanna Wilson.

Kristi Ditherge, director of natural history education at the Virginia Museum, spoke to the board about the programs, classes for teachers and students, summer camps, a reptile festival, and other community outreach programs offered.

MCPS Math, Science, and STEM Coordinator Jill Collins introduced Odyssey of the Mind teams from Albert Harris Elementary School, Patrick and Henry Elementary School, and Martinsville Middle School.

Martinsville Middle School (MMS) math teacher Tanner Switzer introduced two teams of MMS students who won prizes in the VMI Math Day competition.

MCPS Superintendent Dr. Zeb Talley recognized the MCPS Associate Principals for Associate Principal Appreciation Week and gave them a gift each.

Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Representatives David Gilleran and Tim Halpin named Beverly Woody the VFW Teacher of the Year and presented student Brennan Coleman MMS to the winner of the Patriot’s Pen Essay of the Year.

Talley gave an update on school discipline saying that he and the board, faculty, and staff at the school take disciplinary matters very seriously to ensure student success.

MCPS Director of Pupil Personnel and Alternative Care/Homeless Liaison Felicia Preston said Kindergarten registration will be today through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day at the central office, 746 Indian Trail.

MCPS Assistant Superintendent of Instruction Dr. Angel Downing has announced dates for the SOL exam, which will begin Monday24 April.

Martinsville High School Principal, Dr. Aggie Dixon, gave information to seniors saying that graduation will be held outside this year on May 27 with a rainy location for the high school auditorium, each student will be given 13 tickets if held indoors, and it will be prom. Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Big M is on May 18th.

The Board approved the approval agenda containing the minutes of the March meeting, the special meeting on April 11, and the financial report.

Talley presented the superintendent’s report highlighting the end of the third nine weeks of school, a meeting with City Manager Leon Twarnicki on the budget, the Harvest Foundation Books and Bunnies event and the Piedmont Arts programs within MCPS.

The Board has agreed to consider policies that contain minor modifications and language changes.

MCPS Chair Donna Dillard gave an appointment reminder:

  • Today: MHS Employee Appreciation Banquet
  • Thursday: National CTE Signing Day at Patrick and Henry Community College
  • Saturday: Junior and Senior Concert
  • Monday: The SOL Test window begins
  • Monday: MHS concert
  • April 25th: MMS concert
  • April 26: Joint meeting of the School Board and City Council
  • April 28th: ​​High School Decision Day
  • May 4: Blue Ridge Regional Meeting
  • May 5: Special Education Day
  • May 5-7: Musical Shrek