School issues dominate Point town hall meeting

by Bill Nachman - Posted on Feb 27, 2013 - 02:26 PM

Photo: A town hall meeting was held Monday night at Abingdon Elementary School. Approximately two dozen interested residents (top photo), plus some county and school staff, attended. The meeting was hosted by (bottom photo, from left) Troy Andersen, Gloucester Point member of the Gloucester School Board, and Chris Hutson, Gloucester Point member of the Gloucester Board of Supervisors. Photo by Bill Nachman

A town hall meeting was held Monday night at Abingdon Elementary School. Approximately two dozen interested residents (top photo), plus some county and school staff, attended. The meeting was hosted by (bottom photo, from left) Troy Andersen, Gloucester Point member of the Gloucester School Board, and Chris Hutson, Gloucester Point member of the Gloucester Board of Supervisors. Photo by Bill Nachman

More than two dozen people attended a town hall meeting Monday night at Abingdon Elementary School to learn the latest about plans to build a new Page Middle School, renovate the former T.C. Walker Elementary School, as well as other topics.

Hosted by Gloucester Point supervisor Chris Hutson and Troy Andersen, the Point’s representative on the Gloucester School Board, the meeting also brought out county administrator Brenda Garton, superintendent of schools Dr. Ben Kiser, several other members of the county supervisors and school board, and a few department heads.

Several residents raised concerns about the new Page Middle School, which will be built off T.C. Walker Road, which they claimed would offer students a better learning experience than those attending Peasley Middle School at Sassafras. But Kiser said that a collaborative teaching concept will be employed at both schools, with students at Page and Peasley all having access to the same technology and curriculum.

When asked about teachers having to bid for a spot on the Page team, Kiser said that the school system loses 20 or more teachers each year and that all teachers will have a choice of teaching at either of the middle schools. They can state their preference to be on a collaborative team or teach in a traditional classroom setting.

In response to questions about special education students, Kiser said they will be taught at both Page and Peasley. One woman had said she understood the new Page would not accommodate special needs students.