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Free lunches at Augusta County Schools; Draft students win EV race; in-school vaccine clinics

Free lunches at Augusta County Schools; Draft students win EV race; in-school vaccine clinics

Free lunch, student parking part of new Augusta County fee structure

VERONA — The Augusta County School Board approved a change in the division’s fee structure at its March 7 meeting.

Among the big changes, according to Deputy Superintendent Doug Shifflet, Augusta County Public Schools qualified for the Community Eligibility Program. That means, beginning next school year, all students will receive free breakfast and lunch. There is a small charge for any a la carte item or a second lunch.

Currently students in elementary schools are paying $2.45 for lunch and $1.35 for breakfast. At the middle and high schools, students are paying $2.70 for lunch and $1.60 for breakfast.

The new fee schedule also reduces various other fees, including eliminating the $50 student parking fee.

As far as school programs, Shifflett said only the fees are being eliminated, not the programs.

“We want to continue to fund those programs,” he said, “but through the division’s budget, instead of passing these fees on to our parents.”

Among those fees being eliminated:

  • K-5 fine arts: $15

  • Middle and high school lockers: $10

  • Transcript request: $3

  • High school art: $25

  • High school drama: $10

  • High school career and technical education: $15

  • High school science (elective course only): $25

  • Athletic training I, II: $15

  • Foreign language IV, V: $10

“A lot of parents talked to me about the fees,” North River representative Sharon Griffin told Shifflett. “So you’re gonna make a lot of people happy.”

Stuart Draft students win International Electric Vehicle Grand Prix

Shenandoah Valley Short Circuits, a team made up of several Stuarts Draft High School students, recently won an international electric vehicle competition.

Shenandoah Valley Short Circuits, a team made up of several Stuarts Draft High School students, recently won an international electric vehicle competition.

STUARTS DRAFT — Seven Stuarts Draft High School students, championship trophy in tow, recently returned from Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates.

The students — Jaxon Stajduhar, Andrew Berry, Mary Farris, Maddy Miller, Lily May, Lauren Farris and Hailey Preuss — competed in the International Electric Vehicle Grand Prix, winning first place by two laps.

The team wasn’t affiliated with the high school or Augusta County Public Schools for the trip. The Augusta County School Board had rejected their request to travel as a school team because of safety concerns in the Persian Gulf.

Instead, like it did a year ago, the group went under the umbrella of the Shenandoah Valley Short Circuits, a private club, which was paid for by sponsors. Elemental Aviation, Gerdau North America and James River Equipment were the team’s three big sponsors.

They went with adult chaperones, including Ben Ham, a Stuarts Draft High School manufacturing engineering technology teacher.

The students competed against 28 teams from four different continents. In addition to the Stuarts Draft contingent finishing first, a team from Harrisonburg Public Schools, whose school division did sanction its team to make the trip, finished in third.

Only one Stuarts Draft student was part of the team that went overseas last year. Mary Farris is a junior this year.

“It was awesome, just seeing the different things we got to do,” Farris said. “We had a way better track than last year. It was a go-kart track this year. Last year it was like a bike park, I think. It was a lot smoother this year.”

The cars are three-wheeled and come in a kit. The body is similar to a soap box derby car. The goal in competitions is to make as many laps as possible on one charge, so it’s more of an endurance race. The Stuarts Draft students made 32 laps.

“You have an hour and it’s split into two 30-minute heats,” explained Miller. “There’s no charging in between.”

The team is made up of two pit crew members (Stajduhar and Lauren Farris), a safety and data team (Berry and May), two drivers (Preuss and Miller) and the crew chief (Mary Farris).

In addition to the competition, the students also got to tour some of Abu Dhabi.

“It was very beautiful,” said May. “All of the architecture and stuff. It was fun to experience their culture.”

The team will have two more competitions this year, including one in Rockingham County on April 13 and another in Washington D.C.

Waynesboro AP government students hold mock trial

Waynesboro students participated in a AP government mock trial.Waynesboro students participated in a AP government mock trial.

Waynesboro students participated in a AP government mock trial.

WAYNESBORO — Waynesboro students recently participated in an advanced placement (AP) government mock trial. Held on Feb. 29 in the Waynesboro circuit court, every student in the AP government class took part, with roles ranging from prosecution and defense to witnesses, jurors, bailiff, and clerks of the court. AS

The students put in months of preparations and received guidance from Commonwealth’s Attorney David Ledbetter and Senior Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Elysse Stolpe. They also got insight from Waynesboro Sheriff Chris Johnson.

“I appreciate the Commonwealth Attorney’s office embracing the idea of a mock trial, volunteering their time, and helping me see it through,” said Waynesboro AP government teacher Meredith Barber. “In addition, Sheriff Johnson and the Clerk of the Court, Nicole Briggs, also willingly stepped in to help guide my students as well. I could not be more proud of my students and the amount of time and effort they put into this event. While they amaze me on a daily basis, they really went above and beyond for this assignment.”

In-school vaccine clinics scheduled

The Central Shenandoah Health District will be holding in-school vaccine clinics for rising seventh and 12th graders within Staunton, Augusta County, and Waynesboro public schools this spring.

The types of vaccines available at these clinics are HPV, Meningococcal ACWY, and Tdap. The Code of Virginia requires children entering daycare, public, and private schools to give proof of vaccination before enrolling in school. The vaccines should be given based on the schedule recommended by the CDC, American Academy of Pediatrics, and American Academy of Family Physicians.

The locations and dates of these in-school vaccine clinics are below.

  • Staunton High School and Shelburne Middle School: Friday, March 22

  • Stuarts Draft Middle and High schools, Wilson Middle & High schools: Friday, April 5

  • Stewart Middle School, Beverly Manor Middle School, Fort Defiance High School: Friday, April 19

  • Waynesboro High School and Kate Collins Middle School: Friday, April 26

These vaccines are available at no cost for those with and without insurance. Those who qualify for the Vaccine for Children Program will not be billed. If a student has insurance, they must provide their insurance information since insurance will be billed. Parents must complete and submit to the school a signed consent form for their children to receive any vaccines at these clinics. Signed consent forms should be turned in to the children’s school prior to the clinic date. Without a signed consent form, children cannot receive any vaccinations.

“In-school vaccine clinics are one of the most convenient ways for children and parents to prepare for the next school year,” said Dr. Elaine Perry, acting health director. “They don’t require you or your student to take time out of your summer, helping you cross off a to-do earlier in the year, and ensuring your child starts their next school year on time”.

Only students enrolled in the individual schools and their corresponding clinics may attend these in-school clinics. School required vaccines are also available at your local health department; Call ahead to make an appointment.

This article originally appeared on Staunton News Leader: Free school lunches in Augusta County; in-school vaccine clinics; Draft students are EV champs

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