This category is for recognitions article content.
On Monday, Dec. 12, 2016, the members of the School Board recognized the students of the month. Students included the following: Channing Bailey (Grade 1, son of Jennifer Morris and Joseph Bailey), Devondre Holman (Grade 8, son of Gail Holman and Douglas Townsend), and Sam Abbasi (Grade 9, son of Alex Abbasi of Cartersville).
Sam Abbasi and Channing Bailey were recognized as Students of the Month at the December meeting of the Cumberland School Board. [Not pictures is Devondre Holman.]
On December 1, 2016, Mrs. Pamela Stepko, second grade teacher at Cumberland Elementary School, was presented with the 2016 Impact Award at the Virginia Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (VASCD) Annual Conference. Impact Awards are presented each year to eight educators, one from each Superintendent’s region. Mrs. Stepko is the recipient for Region 8. Recipients must exemplify excellence in teaching, learning, and leadership.
The VASCD is a membership organization dedicated to advancing excellence in Virginia's schools. Membership is composed of teachers, superintendents, university professors, building leaders, teacher education students, and central office leaders. Members all share one goal, which is ensuring a world-class education for every Virginia student.
Dr. Amy Griffin (superintendent), Mrs. Pamela Stepko (teacher), and Mrs. Virginia Gills (Cumberland Elementary School principal) attend the 2016 VASCD Annual Conference, where Mrs. Stepko was presented with the VASCD Impact Award for Region 8.
Cumberland County Public Schools celebrated the second annual Betty G. Scales Day of Service with numerous activities and events. The Day of Service was established by proclamation of the Cumberland Board of Supervisors in honor of long-time educator Betty Scales, who died on May 12, 2015. Mrs. Scales was known for her dedication to education and her legacy of service to others. In her memory, students and staff members school-wide engaged in varied service projects, including the following:
The Cumberland High School Career and Technical Education department sponsored a Brunswick stew from Noon to 2:00 P.M. for all Cumberland First Responders. It was held in the horticulture class greenhouse, with a welcoming ceremony done by the JROTC. Other classes and organizations at the high school engaged in numerous activities, including making cards for veterans, soldiers, and nursing home residents; writing notes of inspiration to the patients of the Dialysis Center in Farmville, and collecting food and toys for the Cumberland Animal Shelter. High School administrators provided cinnamon buns and coffee for staff members.
Currently, Cumberland County Public Schools is piloting an inclusive pre-kindergarten classroom program. Previously, Early Childhood Special Education students were educated in a self-contained exclusionary setting and were transitioned into classes with general education peers as appropriate. However, research supports that children with disabilities (even children with significant disabilities) who participate in classes with young children without disabilities make gains. Thus the pilot program was born where three- and four-year-olds are taught in a multi-age inclusive class, with special a special educator working in collaboration with a general education teacher. Teachers and paraprofessionals work diligently to provide special services and instruction, and supports to all students.
According to Special Education Supervisor Bernice Ford, “Cumberland's Early Childhood Inclusive Model incorporates the values, policies, and practices that support the right of every young child to participate in a broad range of activities and contexts as full members of families, communities, and society. The desired results of inclusive experiences for children with and without disabilities and their families include a sense of belonging and membership, positive social relationships and friendships, and development and learning to reach their full potential.”
Mrs. Norma Crenshaw (special educator), Ms. Melanie Kehoe (general education teacher), and Mrs. Patricia Newcomb (paraprofessional) made a presentation to the Cumberland School Board at the November 2016 meeting. They explained the program and outlined how it was working. All three educators were enthusiastic about the program, stating that it provided numerous benefits to all the students in the class.