By Leigh Morris
For the Star-Gazette
Cautious optimism was the order of the day as the Virginia School Board reviewed the progress report on the new junior/senior high school building at its March 17 meeting.
Rick Horner of Holland Construction Services, the project management firm, said more favorable weather conditions are allowing workers to begin to make up some of the 57 days lost to weather delays. The project is scheduled for completion on Aug. 25.
The new cornerstone will be dedicated at 1 p.m. on June 7 by the Masonic fraternity, which also had dedicated the 1892 and 1912 school cornerstones. A community open house is planned for that day as well.
A special board meeting to review construction issues has been scheduled for 4:30 p.m. on March 26. Among issues to be discussed will be building furnishings. The meeting will be held at the school.
Principal Jason Vicich provided the board with a progress report on the school’s new Response to Intervention (RTI) math program. Ryan Cowsert joined the faculty in January as the district’s first full-time RTI math teacher.
Though math RTI is in its infancy, Vicich was able to tell the board that progress is being made by the elementary students in the program.
School officials have cited this year’s positive Annual Yearly Progress (AYP) test results as evidence of the success of Virginia’s RTI reading program. However, elementary and junior high students came up short on math results which led Vicich and O’Daniell to propose the creation of the RTI math program.
RTI is designed to address an academic deficiency before it becomes a serious problem. Vicich and O’Daniell have explained that RTI can help provide students with the skills they will need to succeed in high school and beyond.