MILLBORO — Bath County’s on-time graduation rate reflects the state average.
Of the 56 Bath County High School students who entered the ninth grade in the fall of 2013, 91.1 percent of those students completed an approved diploma program within four years.
That compares to last year’s rate of 93.3 percent.
The state average on-time graduation rate for this group was 91.1 percent, compared to last year’s 91.3 percent.
The 2017 Virginia on-time graduation rate was released on Sept. 27 and discussed at Tuesday evening’s Bath County School Board meeting at Millboro Elementary School.
“It just takes one student to skew our percentage by quite a bit,” Superintendent Sue Hirsh explained. “We are at the average in the state.”
Hirsh, Transportation Director Ronnie Liptrap and the school board also spent some time Tuesday evening discussing the Bath County Public Schools policy regarding inclement weather routes for school closings and delays.
During the 2016-17 school year, concerns were expressed about the use of inclement weather routes when temperatures were very cold.
“You want to be safe for all students,” Hirsh said. “You don’t want students standing outside too long in the cold, and you don’t want our buses traveling on roads that are not safe.”
Following the discussion, the consensus among school board members was to maintain the current policy.
“I support the idea of leaving as-is,” Chairman Bryan Secoy said.
By Oct. 15 of each year, the list of inclement routes for school closings and delays is released. A draft of this list was reviewed Tuesday evening by the school board.
“The safety of our children is always a top priority,” school board member Rhonda Grimm said.
Also Tuesday evening, the school board proclaimed October as Bullying Prevention Month.
According to the Virginia School Boards Association Bullying Prevention Month proclamation, over 20 percent of the youth in the U.S. are estimated to be involved in bullying each year, either as a bully or as a victim.
An estimated 160,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade miss school every day due to a fear of being bullied.
A number of activities are scheduled in Bath County schools in conjunction with Bullying Prevention Month, and Grimm has long been a proponent of anti-bullying measures.
“I just wish it would stop,” she said. “I wish I knew what to do to make it stop. I would like to ask parents to be a positive role model, teach their children to be a part of the solution and not the problem.”
In other business Tuesday evening, the Bath County School Board:
— reviewed the annual surplus auction, held Saturday, Sept. 9, that resulted in a net profit of $2,401.28;
— received an update on an application for a School Security Equipment Grant;
— discussed the possibility of providing meals for athletes traveling to away games;
— approved the annual dual enrollment contract with Dabney S. Lancaster Community College;
— approved appointments of various school board members to school advisory committees;
— approved a proclamation designating Oct. 9-13 as National School Lunch Week;
— approved school board governance norms and protocols for 2017-18;
— authorized the superintendent to fill a Bus No. 8 route vacancy;
— approved the appointments of Dinah Johnson and Lynne Tanguay-Lambert as substitute cafeteria workers;
— approved James Nelson and Lettie Patterson as substitute drivers.
The school board will convene Thursday at 4:30 p.m. in the School Administration Building to conduct a student discipline hearing.