Published On: Wed, Feb 12th, 2014

Dropout Prevention and LINKS programs extending into summer

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Innovation Zone Dropout Prevention director Laura Young addressed the board of education Monday night with plans to extend programs into the summer for the benefit of the students.

Currently, Jean Srodes is an interventionist at Pocahontas County High School and Cheryl Jonese is the LINKS coordinator for PCHS and the middle schools. Young said she has enough money in the grant to extend the program into the summer.

“The reason I want to do that is the board of education at this point in time doesn’t have money to do summer school, so what we’re working on as the Innovation Zone Dropout Coalition is getting the credit recovery up in our local libraries,” Young said. “Jean is going to take those students from the high school who have a need for credit recovery and monitor them, and coach them this summer to see if they can get that credit recovery done.”

Young said students have recovered credits on their own in the past and having Srodes monitor the program will make it possible for more students to do the same.

Srodes also gave a presentation on the work she has been doing with at-risk students and provided a photo album of community service projects the students have completed.

Jonese asked to extend the LINKS program which started later in the year than planned.

“I have just started getting the high school on board,” Jonese said. “I’m just beginning to get the middle schools. Since I started this at the high school, I’ve had nothing but positive attitudes and excellent cooperation from teachers.”

LINKS is an advisor/advisee program pairing students with their homeroom teacher to discuss everything from coursework to college preparation.

The board agreed that extending the programs will be positive for the students. Extension of the programs will be on the next agenda for approval.

In updates:

• In response to commentsfrom the public about board members Cheryl Beverage and Hannah Sizemore knitting during the February 3 informative hearing on school calendars held at Marlinton Middle School, Sizemore addressed the board and public with an explanation and apology.

“It’s been brought to my attention that a number of people in the public were highly offended by Mrs. Beverage and I knitting at the public hearing last week, and I wanted to briefly explain why we were doing that and apologize for any unprofessionalism that we generated,” Sizemore said.

“Basically, all of us here are coming to these meetings after a full workday, and some of these meetings can last three to five hours,” she continued. “At that meeting, our primary job was to listen and it can be a challenge to sit and be attentive during a meeting after a long work day. Both Mrs. Beverage and I feel that we concentrate better when knitting.”

Sizemore added that because the two are public figure, she can understand why it was perceived that they were not paying attention to the meeting. She apologized on behalf of herself and Beverage.

• Superintendent Dr. Donald Bechtel reported that the board will give a grant presentation at the School Building Authority March 18 in Charleston. The presentation will be for upgrades to all the schools in the county which would amount to an estimated $8.8 million. Bechtel and board president Emery Grimes will have 10 minutes to give the presentation to the SBA.

The board received SBA funding in 2012 for the new cafeteria at Hillsboro Elementary School.

• Student representative Lyndsee Gay invited the board and public to attend the National Honor Society new member induction Sunday, February 16, at 2 p.m. in the PCHS auditorium.

She said the Tribe Club is also sponsoring a “Kisses and Hugs, Not Tobacco and Drugs” week. Students and community members who wear a chosen color to PCHS basketball games this week, will receive a treat for showing their support.

In financial management, the board approved the following:

• Pocahontas County board of education administrators to pursue levy for Pocahontas County for general election November 4.

In miscellaneous management, the board approved the following:

• Place the revisions of Policy IHA – Grading System for Pocahontas County Schools on 30-day comment.

• Procedures CGBAE – Director of Special Education/Preschools; CGBAD – Director of Federal Programs; and CGBAD – Duties of Director of Transportation.

• SkillsUSA team to travel by bus to Eleanor for SkillsUSA Vocational Competition, departing Pocahontas County High School on March 28 and returning to Pocahontas County High School on March 30.

• Pocahontas County High School Honor Band students to travel by personal vehicles to Marshall University in Huntington, departing Pocahontas County High School on February 20 and returning to Pocahontas County High School February 22.

In personnel management, the board approved the following:

• Resignation of Cathrine S. Crawford, due to retirement, as teacher at Marlinton Middle School, effective at the end of the 2013-2014 school year.

• Resignation of Janet A. Warner, due to retirement, as teacher at Marlinton Middle School, effective at the end of the 2013-2014 school year.

• Abolishment of position classroom aide/bus aide – preschool special needs/ preschool at Green Bank Elementary-Middle School, effective at the end of the 2013-2014 school year.

• Resignation of Linda L. Wilfong, due to retirement, as teacher at Green Bank Elementary-Middle School, effective at the end of the 2013-2014 school year.

• Resignation of Glenda C. VanReenan, due to retirement, as teacher of Pocahontas County High School, effective at the end of the 2013-2014 school year.

• Resignation of Dewey T. Hoover, due to retirement, as teacher of electricity at Pocahontas County High School, effective at the end of the 2013-2014 school year.

• Requested transfer of Valerie H. Lambert, from classroom aide/bus aide – preschool special needs/preschool at Green Bank Elementary-Middle School to itinerant supervisory special education classroom aide/bus aide at Pocahontas County High School, at state basic pay, effective for the 2014-2015 school year. Term of employment is 200 days, shift 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

• Resignation of Christine A. Smith, due to retirement, as teacher for Pocahontas County Schools, effective at the end of the 2013-2014 school year.

• Employment of Leah Shinaberry as mentor teacher mentoring Jennifer A. Nail and Laurel B. Dilley at a supplement of $800, effective for the second semester of the 2013-2014 school year.

• Employment of Jessica E. Cole, Alice D. Irvine, Tanya M. LaBounty and Kimberly D. Thompson as substitute secretaries for Pocahontas County Schools, as needed, effective February 12 for the remainder of the 2013-2014 fiscal year, at state basic pay.

• Creation of $500 incentive bonus for early notice of retirement by service personnel and professional personnel not covered by West Virginia Code 18A-2-2(g) and 18A-2-5a with stipulations concurrent with those of classroom teachers; early notice of retirement must be received by the superintendent by the end of the day on February 17. Incentive bonus to be paid for out of county funds.

• Creation of position Itinerant supervisory special education classroom aide/bus aide for Pocahontas County High School, at state basic pay, effective February 26 for the remainder of the 2013-2014 school year. Term of employment is 70 days. Term of employment shall be 200 days each year thereafter.

The board of eduction will hold a public information forum regarding the school calendar Monday, February 17, at 7 p.m., at Green Bank Elementary-Middle School.

The next board meeting is Monday, February 24, at 7 p.m., at the board of education conference room.

Suzanne Stewart may be contacted at sastewart@pocahontastimes.com

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