Herald News Briefs: Schools plan advances, mansion still not sold

Published 8:26 am Wednesday, October 11, 2023

What’s the long-term plan for Prince Edward County schools? District officials are working on the final version. But before a draft becomes available for residents to see, it’ll be time this month for the school board to weigh in. 

“We have already finished two sections (of the plan),” Prince Edward Superintendent Dr. Barbara Johnson said. “The academic section and the family community engagement section (are done). We still have operations, we still have safety and security, and we have policy. Those are the three sections we need to work on.” 

Johnson hopes to have at least one work session with the school board over the next two weeks, to get their input and finish the draft. She hopes that will be enough to finish the draft version of the project. 

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“We are continuing to work on this and have about two more sessions, at least one more session worth of work to do,” Johnson said. “I will create a draft for the public. I would like to show the public what we’ve been working on. That would go on our website and our social media.” 

Johnson said her goal is to have a solid draft for the public to provide feedback on by November. During November, she hopes to have some public sessions based around the strategic plan and then adopt it no later than December.

Update on Dunnington

No, the Dunnington Mansion hasn’t been sold. We’ve had that question posed to us several times over the last few weeks, as people claim to have seen something online. We can confirm that the property has not changed hands. We can also confirm when the next tour will take place. The Dunnington Mansion Foundation has been running a series of “open house” tours where residents can walk through the area. The next one of those will take place on Saturday, Dec. 2, beginning at 2 p.m. To sign up for this next open house, visit dunningtonmansion.org.

SVCC wants to hear from residents 

Do you have questions about Southside Virginia Community College? Is there something you want the school to offer or have questions about one of their current programs? SVCC President Quentin Johnson and his staff plan to do a tour of the region at the end of October and beginning of November. Johnson’s staff says they’ll be giving an update about what’s happening at the school, while also listening from residents. The first two will be in Emporia and South Boston on Oct. 24 and 25. 

Then Johnson and his staff will come to Farmville on Tuesday, Oct. 31. That meeting will be held at Centra Hospital, located at 510 W. 3rd Street, beginning at 10 a.m. If you miss that one, you can attend another on Tuesday, Nov. 9 at the Occupational Technical Center in Blackstone. That’s located at 1041 10th Street and will also be at 10 a.m. 

Feed More connection with schools

The Herald has put the spotlight on the Feed More Food Market before. It’s a project designed to help deal with hunger in Prince Edward County. And it is a problem. In Prince Edward County and the surrounding area, 1 out of every 9 people struggle to find food. According to the food bank Feed More, an estimated 50,500 of those, or 1 in every 6, are children.

A partnership between the food bank and Prince Edward County Public Schools aims to address that. The next Food Market will take place on Tuesday, Oct. 31, beginning at 4 p.m. This will be held at the Fireman’s Sports Arena, with food delivered to each parked vehicle. There is one qualifier, however. To receive food, you must have a student currently enrolled in Prince Edward County Schools.