Schools to upgrade textbooks

Published 10:20 am Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Lunenburg County Public Schools (LCPS) Superintendent Charles Berkley and Assistant Superintendent James Abernathy gave a report about the school division during the Lunenburg County Board of Supervisors meeting, including reporting needed purchases to upgrade the textbooks for the school division.

He said the division is in the process of upgrading math textbooks for grades 1-12. He said the elementary school teachers currently do not use the textbooks because they are so far out of date.

“The copyright date is 2005,” Abernathy said, “and the SOLs for math have been revised a couple (of) times since that time.”

He said teachers are pulling resources from other sources in order to give the students adequate preparation for the SOLs.

“For middle school, the textbook series they’re using, the copyright date is 2012,” Abernathy said.

He said the division typically adopts a new textbook series every six years for core subjects.

“Now, of course, for the elementary level we are behind a couples of cycles and for the middle school we are behind just a little bit,” Abernathy said.

He said textbooks for the high school level vary depending on the subject, but would like to adopt an updated math textbook series.

Abernathy said expenditures for textbooks last year came to $16,130.67.

He said based on revenue from federal, county, state sources, the textbook budget came to approximately $233,000. Abernathy said a good chunk of the funds will be used to update the textbooks.

Abernathy said English will not be far behind of math in terms of adopting a new textbook series, estimating that the update could be within two years.

“We want to keep our textbook fund balance pretty high because we certainly want to provide our students with those current textbooks,” Abernathy said.

Members of the board voted to approve two transfers, $10,000 and $38,519, from the LCPS’ general fund to the school division’s food service fund and its textbook fund.

In other school matters, Berkley said the school division hired 22 new personnel after former staff retired or moved to other jobs. He said all of the positions have been filled with experienced employees.

Berkley said LCPS is evaluating its graduation program,

“We have our work cut out for us for the future,” Berkley said. But he said the division will continue to look forward and focus on its priorities.

Abernathy and Berkley said LCPS has adopted a free lunch program for elementary school students, meaning every student through fifth grade will receive a free lunch.