Redevelopment will begin on new Clarksville Elementary School in August of this year. The multi-million dollar project will provide the school with a state of the art new building which has been specifically designed to suit the needs of the students and the local community.

A letter to the stakeholders read, “the new school complex has been designed in partnership with our stakeholders and it will be located on the existing elementary school site. The upper school, which is being fully replaced, will meet the lower newer section of the school. Renovations to the newest section of the elementary school are included in plans. The building will contain modern classrooms for the English, Math, Science, and Social Studies departments, as well as Art, Music, and Library. A large gymnasium and stage for performances will also be provided, as well as staff work rooms, conference rooms, and offices. In addition, there will be modern food services facilities, which at the click of a switch can be turned into a theater to seat students and families for assemblies and to enjoy creative arts performances.”

Improvements to the building that is being retained by refurbishing existing classrooms and providing additional facilities for science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics laboratories.

While the site is under construction, Clarksville students will attend the old Bluestone High School. Completion of the project is planned for fall 2025. 

Gavin Honeycutt said that he has heard some concerns from parents about the condition of the Bluestone facility and asked Brian Dalton to “put their minds at ease”. 

Dalton said that he plans to keep the Board and parents updated on the work being done to upgrade the school before students attend. He said that the roof repair work is currently underway, along with classroom painting.

In other business, Dr. Paige Lacks highlighted key components in applying for federal program funding. 

Lacks said that school staff is keeping an eye on their Title I application, aimed at improving the academic achievement of the disadvantaged.

“We currently pay for 25 positions out of Title I. In the past two years we’ve actually seen a decrease in our funding and you all are aware we are projecting to do a raise across the board so we have to keep an eye where we are with the allocation we receive from the state and I’m hoping to continue to pay our 25 positions out of there. We have 12 teachers and 13 paraprofessionals paid out of Title I.”

Title II funding is used for teacher recruitment and retention. There are a couple of class size reduction teachers paid from this funding, however most of it is used to reimburse teachers who have passed their practice 2 test and to send teachers to conferences. 

First Christian School will continue to participate in equitable services from the Title II funding as it has done in the past. 

Title III is for supporting English language learners within the school system.

“We have seen a significant increase in our ‘L’ population this year. Last year we reported ending the year with 56 L’s and we are currently at 74 L’s. We’re going to continue monitoring this number and how that will affect our funding in the future,” said Lacks. 

Title IV is the grant that supports the student academic enrichment. In the past the schools has chosen to transfer their Title IV funds into Title V; they are requesting to do the same this year. 

According to Lacks, Title V funds allow “more flexibility” in what the funds can be used for. Those funds are currently being used to pay two paraprofessional salaries as well as online virtual programs to support students. 

As a rural school division looking to meet the needs of low income families, Mecklenburg County qualifies for Title V fund. Those funds are used to support secondary schools and the resources that they need. 

The Board also voted to convey Bluestone and Park View Middle Schools, along with Park View High School to Mecklenburg County.