Accomack County School Superintendent Chris Holland addressed the Accomack County Board of Supervisors Wednesday night with a report on the start of the 2022-23 school year.  Holland thanked several supervisors for addressing the staff at their meeting before school began.   He also thanked the Board for approving $22 million for the schools which enabled the staff a 5% raise.

Holland told the Board that there were 4,370 students attending on the first day of school which was 166 over the total last year.  The school system currently employs 981 staff members with 785 women and 286 males.

Holland said that all Accomack County Schools are now accredited.

In reference to the difficulties faced over the last two school years coping with the COVID pandemic, the superintendent said he was focusing on the future, not the past. He said that students need to be in school both academically and socially.

Holland told the Board that proactive measures are being taken to prepare should there be an incident like the one in Uvalde Texas.  He said there have been active shooting drills and maps have been created and distributed to law enforcement so that if something should happen, police would know where to go and how to get there.

Extra lighting has been acquired to help prevent incidents in the parking lots during and after sports games.  He said that there have been no problems the first four Friday nights of football so far.

While acknowledging that test results have shown students lagging both academically and socially following the pandemic, his main focus is creating a safe learning environment so students can continue their education.

Holland said that there are plans to develop 5 Cal Ripken stem labs, a Navy Junior ROTC program is in the works, an EMT program is set to launch in January, and a new partnership with Eastern Shore Rural Health has resulted in a dental clinic at Nandua Middle School.