October 2022-Employee Newsletter

Staff Newsletter

October 31, 2022

It is Halloween and I hope you are ready for the ghosts and goblins that will be haunting your neighborhoods this evening.  We have now completed ten weeks of school and we are well into the school year.  Overall, it has been a great start to the school year and I continue to be impressed by the work of our students, faculty and staff.  I am extremely grateful for everything you have done to get us to this point and I am looking forward to the rest of the school year.

I am in the process of meeting with the faculties of all of the schools in the division to discuss where we are in the school improvement process and to get feedback from our staff.  I should complete all of the faculty visits by November 10, 2022.  I have enjoyed the visits I have conducted thus far and I look forward to the remaining meetings.

We completed our staff/family tailgates Friday October 21, 2022.  Overall, we feel the tailgates were a success and they gave our staff and families opportunities to interact with each other in a relaxed environment.   We estimated that we had between 350 and 400 staff and family members participate in the tailgates.  I appreciate all of our staff and families who were able to participate and I hope to be able to conduct additional events like this in the future.  It is important for us to find ways to interact in relaxing environments and spend time together as “family.”  A special thank you to Sam Addison and the Culinary Arts program for prepping the lettuce, tomatoes, and onions as well as making the desserts.  I also want to thank Mr. Crawford, Robert Curd and the high school staff as well as Brittany McNerney, Gary Roakes, and Tim Hoden for their assistance with the preparation and breakdown of the tailgate.

As part of my desire to hear from our staff, families, and community, ACPS is conducting a survey through Hanover Research.  The survey is anonymous and is designed to provide me with feedback on what you feel are our strengths as well as areas in need of improvement.  Your responses will help me develop my plans for the school division moving forward.  The survey will be active from October 26 through November 2.  Please see the link below to the survey.  You can also find a link to the survey on the ACPS website and our social media pages.  I encourage you to take a few minutes to complete the survey.

All schools in the division are participating in the Trout in the Classroom (TIC) project and have received their eggs from the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources.  The eggs have been hatching and all of our schools have trout that are in alevin stage of development.  I encourage you to stop by your TIC classroom and take a look at the trout as they move their stages of development. 

ACPS has been conducting Lockdown Safety Drills over the past two weeks.  These drills allow us to evaluate our crisis response at our schools and give us data to fine tune our crisis response.  Overall the drills went well and I appreciate everyone taking them seriously.  We have identified areas at each school that need to be addressed and we will work with each building administrator to develop a plan to address those needs.  We need to make sure we can all execute our crisis response plans as we never know when a situation may arise.   

On a lighter note, Amherst County held the County Fair October 20-23, 2022.  By all accounts there was good attendance and people seemed to enjoy the festivities.  I want to give a special thank you to all of the Amherst County Schools personnel who assisted with the fair.  I especially want to thank Mrs. Rhonda Campbell and the transportation department for operating the shuttle service, Mr. Gary Roakes for assisting with the parking and organization, Mr. Craig Maddox for serving on the Fair Committee and assisting with the fair, Mr. Marvin McGinnis and Mrs. Betty Stinson for assisting the ACPS Technology Club in the streaming and filming of the fair and Ms. Tyler Parr who served as the Chair of the Fair Committee.
I want to thank you for all you have done to support our #Show Up Amherst initiative.  There have been several functions in the schools and community that our staff and families have supported.  I ask that you continue to support our local businesses and #Show Up to events in the schools and county. 

As I stated in last month’s letter, your personal well-being is important to me and my staff.  The Wellness Committee has been meeting to discuss things ACPS can do to support you.  I ask you to contact the members of our Wellness Committee if you have any suggestions or needs. Please continue to find ways you can focus on your wellness to find healthy ways to reduce your stress levels and take care of yourself.  All ACPS employees are vital members of Team Amherst and we cannot operate the school division without you.  We have several upcoming breaks that we hope will give you a chance to “refresh your batteries” and get us through to the Christmas Holiday: November 7 and 8 are professional development and teacher workdays and Thanksgiving Break will start on Wednesday November 23.

I continue to be impressed by the work of our staff and our students. Although there is work that needs to be done, I am encouraged by what I am observing.  I am confident that if we all continue to work together there is nothing that we cannot overcome.  I hope everyone has an enjoyable fall season and can spend time with family and friends during the Thanksgiving Holiday.  Please feel free to contact me if I may be of assistance or if you have any concerns.



Stakeholder Survey

Amherst County Public Schools (ACPS) wants to understand the perception of staff, parents’ and community members,’ regarding the division’s strengths and areas for improvement.
As such, ACPS has partnered with an education market research firm, Hanover Research, to conduct a Stakeholder Survey from October 26 to November 2. The survey is intended to collect opinions and perceptions of staff, parents’ and community members,’ to help ACPS understand your needs so they can best serve you.
The survey should take about 10 minutes to complete. ACPS will receive survey results from Hanover Research in aggregate form only (i.e., no personally identifiable information will be collected or reported). Your participation is important to informing future decisions and improvements.
We look forward to hearing from you to help us best serve our school communities! Please contact (434) 946-9387 if you have any questions about the survey.

Click Here to participate in the survey

Upcoming Events

November 7: Professional Development Day
(No school for Students)

November 8: Teacher Work Day
(No School for Students)

November 23-25: Thanksgiving Holiday
(No School for Staff and Students)

This FREE professional learning community will provide an experiential and relational approach to stress management that aims to explore educator well-being. Join us for a practical exploration of stress management that encompasses a positive psychology lens to tools that query our individual awareness, perception, and thoughts by identifying, shifting, and applying strategies that influence behavioral outcomes. Sessions are 30 minutes each, over six weeks.


Unity Day

Orange was seen all across the division in celebration of Unity Day! Students and staff united against bullying by wearing orange and pledging to spread kindness and inclusion. Let’s all #ShowUp and be kind!



We are developing an ACPS School Counseling Advisory Council. School counselors work to improve student outcomes through the facilitation of school-family-community partnerships. School-family-community partnerships have increased students’ successful academic, career and social/emotional development. A School Counseling Advisory Council is a diverse group of stakeholders (school counselors, administrators, teachers, support staff, family members, community members, and students) who review school counseling related data and information, as well as provide input on existing and future school counseling programs. If you are interested in serving on the ACPS School Counseling Advisory Council, please contact Stephanie Moehlenkamp at [email protected] or (434)946-9386 ext. 9554.

Staff Appreciation Tailgates

Thank you to all of our staff and their families for joining us at our tailgates. The events were a great success!

All Points Employee Assistance Program

All Amherst County Public Schools faculty and staff, dependents, and household members have access to the full suite of Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Services – Mental Health Counseling, Work/Life Consultation & Referral, Personal Assistant Support, Financial Consultation, Legal Consultation, Life Coaching, Medical Advocacy. 

Click Here for more Information