Bluestone FFA places top ten in State Convention

Members of the Bluestone FFA Chapter stand smiling after placing in the top ten at the State Convention.

The School Board was happy to be able to recognize Bluestone Middle & High School’s FFA Chapter in-person at this month’s meeting. The chapter competed at the FFA State Convention held at Virginia Tech in June. Out of 197 total teams, ours Agri-Science Technology Mechanics team and Small Animal Care team placed ninth and eighth in their respective fields.

The School Board was happy to be able to recognize Bluestone Middle & High School’s FFA Chapter in-person at this month’s meeting. The chapter competed at the FFA State Convention held at Virginia Tech in June. Out of 197 total teams, ours Agri-Science Technology Mechanics team and Small Animal Care team placed ninth and eighth in their respective fields.

The Agri-Science Technology team must explain and demonstrate safety practices, as well as reading and interpreting directions. They work to identify and use basic woodworking hand tools, select and use measuring devices and perform measuring skills to solve problems.

The Small Animal Care team concentrates on the identification, health, and nutrition of household pets. They demonstrate their knowledge in scientific terms used in animal care as well as new technologies in the field. They focus on cats, dogs, rabbits, fish, guinea pigs and birds.

The School congratulated Arianna Tolliver, Connor Whitten, Eli Walker, Jackson Medlin, Nicholas Gregory, Skylar Stevens, and Caroline Snead for the hard work.

“These students would not be successful tonight were it not for Mrs. Whitten. So we would like to recognize her publicly tonight,” Joan Hite added, alluding to Amy Whitten’s selection as the FFA’s National Teacher Ambassador.

Mecklenburg will also honor former Park View graduate Keldon Johnson for his achievement of being named to the 2021 U.S. Olympic basketball team.

The South Hill Chamber of Commerce Director, Shannon Lambert, came before the Board to thank them for the last minute use of Park View’s athletic field as the venue for their Battle of the Hometown Heroes charity softball game and the following fireworks show.

“With the help of some tremendous vendors, volunteers, board members and my staff, we were able to swiftly and efficiently transition the event from Parker Park in South Hill to Park View High School.”

Lambert continued, “The Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Department helped assist us, helped us in assisting the very large crowd in safely entering and departing the event. The new venue, Park View, received extremely positive feedback from all attendees. None of this would have been possible without the generous use of Park View.”

Work on the new middle and high school complex continues running smoothly. Current progress is as follows:

Steel erection is in progress. Decking is complete in middle school classrooms and joists are being installed in the auditorium.

Second deck slab has been poured in the middle school classrooms.

Truss installation is in progress over the CTE area.

Plumbing, electrical, and fire suppression are ongoing in the middle school classrooms and CTE wing. Ductwork pressure testing has been completed in the cafeterias.

Asphalt paving has been completed on the middle school track.

Force main is ongoing. Crew is boring through the wetlands.

Middle school concessions building walls are going up.

Within the next few weeks, Skansa projects the following:

Dryfall painting in the middle school auxiliary gym will begin July 19.

Fuel station construction is projected to start July 26.

Final slab on deck pour in the school building will begin July 29

Completion of the metal roofing in the high school gym will be July 30.

And they will begin wood trusses on the middle school concessions beginning August 1 or 2.

The completion date for the project still stands at August 1, 2022. The project also remains on track budget-wise at $110,224,553.

Last month, Stephen Whitten of the Mecklenburg Education Board asked the School Board to consider reestablishing a 220 sick day carryover policy which was voted out by the Board years ago.

When prompted for clarification, Christy Peffer explained the proposed reinstatement of the former GCBD-R policy on teacher compensation for unused sick leave.

“This is a policy on earned leave and overtime compensation. The new regulation is that anybody who works over 40 hours can no longer be compensated with a day off; they have to be compensated with money.”

She continued, “Our employees do not work a 40 hour week. The school employees work 37 and a half. The employees here at central office work 35 with an hour for lunch. So they will have five hours before they hit 40 to earn earned leave which can be compensated with a day off here or there. The school employees will be able to work two and a half days to earn leave before they hit that 40 hour a week. Anything over that 40 hours has to be compensated with money. It can no longer be saved up for a number of hours and then used to have days off. That’s the difference between the two: earned leave and then overtime compensation.”

The School Board voted unanimously against reinstating the former policy.

The Board will also hold a special meeting in the coming week regarding a K-12 Virtual Program Partnership.

The Agri-Science Technology team must explain and demonstrate safety practices, as well as reading and interpreting directions. They work to identify and use basic woodworking hand tools, select and use measuring devices and perform measuring skills to solve problems.

The Small Animal Care team concentrates on the identification, health, and nutrition of household pets. They demonstrate their knowledge in scientific terms used in animal care as well as new technologies in the field. They focus on cats, dogs, rabbits, fish, guinea pigs and birds.

The School congratulated Arianna Tolliver, Connor Whitten, Eli Walker, Jackson Medlin, Nicholas Gregory, Skylar Stevens, and Caroline Snead for the hard work.

“These students would not be successful tonight were it not for Mrs. Whitten. So we would like to recognize her publicly tonight,” Joan Hite added, alluding to Amy Whitten’s selection as the FFA’s National Teacher Ambassador.

Mecklenburg will also honor former Park View graduate Keldon Johnson for his achievement of being named to the 2021 U.S. Olympic basketball team.

The South Hill Chamber of Commerce Director, Shannon Lambert, came before the Board to thank them for the last minute use of Park View’s athletic field as the venue for their Battle of the Hometown Heroes charity softball game and the following fireworks show.

“With the help of some tremendous vendors, volunteers, board members and my staff, we were able to swiftly and efficiently transition the event from Parker Park in South Hill to Park View High School.”

Lambert continued, “The Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Department helped assist us, helped us in assisting the very large crowd in safely entering and departing the event. The new venue, Park View, received extremely positive feedback from all attendees. None of this would have been possible without the generous use of Park View.”

Work on the new middle and high school complex continues running smoothly. Current progress is as follows:

Steel erection is in progress. Decking is complete in middle school classrooms and joists are being installed in the auditorium.

Second deck slab has been poured in the middle school classrooms.

Truss installation is in progress over the CTE area.

Plumbing, electrical, and fire suppression are ongoing in the middle school classrooms and CTE wing. Ductwork pressure testing has been completed in the cafeterias.

Asphalt paving has been completed on the middle school track.

Force main is ongoing. Crew is boring through the wetlands.

Middle school concessions building walls are going up.

Within the next few weeks, Skansa projects the following:

Dryfall painting in the middle school auxiliary gym will begin July 19.

Fuel station construction is projected to start July 26.

Final slab on deck pour in the school building will begin July 29

Completion of the metal roofing in the high school gym will be July 30.

And they will begin wood trusses on the middle school concessions beginning August 1 or 2.

The completion date for the project still stands at August 1, 2022. The project also remains on track budget-wise at $110,224,553.

When prompted for clarification, Christy Peffer explained the proposed reinstatement of the former GCBD-R policy on teacher compensation for unused sick leave.

“This is a policy on earned leave and overtime compensation. The new regulation is that anybody who works over 40 hours can no longer be compensated with a day off; they have to be compensated with money.” She continued, “Our employees do not work a 40 hour week. The school employees work 37 and a half. The employees here at central office work 35 with an hour for lunch. So they will have five hours before they hit 40 to earn earned leave which can be compensated with a day off here or there. The school employees will be able to work two and a half days to earn leave before they hit that 40 hour a week. Anything over that 40 hours has to be compensated with money. It can no longer be saved up for a number of hours and then used to have days off. That’s the difference between the two: earned leave and then overtime compensation.”

The School Board voted unanimously to reinstated the former policy.

The Board will also hold a special meeting in the coming week regarding a K-12 Virtual Program Partnership.