Amherst County Public Schools plans to host a Community Winter Festival event on Monday, Dec. 9 at the Amherst Central Medical Center.

Superintendent Rob Arnold said the purpose of the event is to invite the Amherst County community to get engaged in the division’s recently adopted comprehensive plan for strategic planning and goals to steer the school system through the next five years.

The event, from 6 to 8 p.m., will feature arts and crafts, Christmas themes, food and music, Arnold said.

“We hope it’s going to be a big event,” Arnold said. “We will have lots of students helping. We want to make sure everyone comes.”

The division will be running buses to get people from across the county to the Ambriar Plaza shopping center in Amherst where the Centra facility is located.

“We don’t want transportation to be an issue,” Arnold said.

Arnold said administrators recently wrapped up showcasing the new plan to all schools and staff.

“Those have gone very well,” he said of those presentations.

Amherst school officials also are hosting a legislative luncheon event from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 4 at the high school. Arnold said the event is a “relaxed environment” for school leaders to discuss matters of importance to education prior to the Virginia General Assembly’s session in early 2020.

Arnold told the Amherst County School Board at its Nov. 14 meeting Sen. Mark Peake, R-Lynchburg, and Del. Ronnie Campbell, R-Rockbridge, have confirmed they will attend and he also has reached out to Wendell Walker, who recently was elected to Virginia’s 23rd House District seat, and U.S. Rep. Ben Cline, R-6th District.

Arnold said school officials and legislators will tour the high school’s career and technical education facilities and the culinary arts program will prepare lunch.

The board met last week at Monelison Middle School as part of an initiative to hold regular meetings in all county schools. Monelison’s chorus sang a few songs and the school’s Rubies students group presented board members with gift boxes.

Monelison Principal Regina Phillips welcomed the board and spoke of the school’s attributes, including receiving state accreditation in 11 of the past 12 years and educators doing whatever it takes for the good of the students.

“Monelison has always felt like family,” Phillips said, adding: “We’re a team.”

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Reach Justin Faulconer at (434) 385-5551.

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