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LCPS leaders give report

Charles Berkley, Jr.

Lunenburg County Public Schools (LCPS) Superintendent Charles Berkley Jr. and Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations James Abernathy presented on the activity for the school division and the upcoming school year. The presentation took place at Thursday’s Lunenburg County Board of Supervisors meeting.

Berkley said employees have been preparing facilities for school to start Aug. 19.

Open houses are scheduled for all schools, Berkley said. This includes Victoria Elementary, Kenbridge Elementary, Lunenburg Middle and Central High, which will host open house events on Thursday from 1-6 p.m.

Berkley said that all teaching and instructional assistant positions are filled. He said there were a few retirements and other teachers who moved on to different opportunities. Berkley said the teachers and staff hired to fill vacancies would be finalized on Monday during the county’s school board meeting, which has since passed.

Students from both Kenbridge and Victoria elementary schools and Lunenburg Middle School will receive free breakfasts and lunches. Central High School did not meet the criteria this year, but Berkley said he hopes that could change the next year.

All schools in the division are fully accredited, Berkley said. There are always areas for improvement, he said.

Berkley said students’ attendance and graduation accountability improved during the most recent school year, as did SOL scores.

Berkley said the division is looking for ways to fund resources for the students and to implement Portrait of a Virginia Graduate, a program set by the Virginia Department of Education that describes the well-rounded qualifications students need to graduate.

“We have our work cut out for us in the future,” Berkley said. “We’re not going to stop working hard and staying focused. Our priority is maintaining and improving the education for students here in Lunenburg County.”

Abernathy spoke about the school division’s carry-over and fund balances.

For fund one, he said the division projected an estimated carry-over of approximately $7,500.

For fund nine, the division’s food fund, Abernathy said the carry-over comes to approximately $60,000.

For fund three, the division’s textbook fund, the carry-over comes to approximately $34,000.

Abernathy said the division is anticipating accruing August sales tax, anticipating approximately $58,000.

He said there will also be expenditures that would be incorporated in the next few weeks.

Abernathy said for textbooks during this fiscal year to date, the division spent approximately $206,000.

“This was an adoption year for math,” Abernathy said, meaning that the school division purchased new textbooks for the schools’ math programs.

Abernathy said a similar course of action is taking place with English textbooks, though he doesn’t anticipate that to be as large as the adoption of the math textbooks.

Abernathy requested the board of supervisors to take anticipated carry-over and place it in the division’s textbook funding.

“Everything is going to be in the black this year,” Abernathy said.

Abernathy and Berkley mentioned the higher-than-estimated number of students at the division this past school year. There were approximately 1,479 who enrolled, up 70 from the estimated 1,409.

For the Fiscal Year 2020 budget, Abernathy said he estimated 30 fewer students enrolling at 1,467.

“Of course that is based on what we know on our graduates and then the students that we had to register for kindergarten in the spring,” Abernathy said.

Berkley said the senior graduating class is expected to be smaller this upcoming school year.