Suzanne Stewart
Staff Writer

At the Pocahontas County Board of Education meeting Monday evening, the board received good news concerning the West Virginia Schools Balanced Scorecard. The Scorecard evaluates schools in four areas: academic performance, English learner proficiency, student success and the last, benchmark indicators at elementary and middle school levels, and graduate rates at high school level.

Sitting in for superintendent Terrence Beam, who was in Charleston for a meeting, director Ruth Bland informed the board that two schools received accolades for their success on the Scorecard.

“Hillsboro Elementary School is being recognized for meeting its annual target in the following area in the 2017-2018 school year, and that’s for mathematics performance,” Bland said. “When we have a lot of conversations going on about the schools not functioning in the state of West Virginia, we have right here a score that determines that we are.

“This is the one that we should be the most proud of,” she continued. “The West Virginia Schools Balanced Scorecard recognizes Pocahontas County High School for meeting its annual target in the following areas – English/language arts performance, mathematics performance and the four year graduation rate. At one time, we were in the seventies [percentile] with our graduation rate, and we have come up to eighty-nine percent. They have done a marvelous job.”

Along with recognizing the students, Bland said it is important to congratulate the staff, as well.

“This is a testament to the hard work that our teachers and our administrators are doing in the schools, so I’m very, very proud of both of these schools, and we hope to see more schools having these certificates next year,” she said.

In updates:

• The board approved signing a resolution stating that the Pocahontas County Board of Education opposes the current Omnibus Bill which was drafted by the Senate Education committee and is up for approval by the Legislature.

• Student representative Jarod Liptrap reported that the PCHS robotics team is participating in a Vex Robotics competition Saturday, February 16, at Fairmont State University. He added that the winter sports teams are finishing up a great season and practice for baseball, softball and track will begin soon.

• PCHS band director and music teacher Bob Mann addressed the board with his plans for the rest of the school year and band camp. Mann is joining the Army National Guard and will be taking a leave of absence beginning in April to attend training.

Mann has made plans with fellow music teacher Rick McLaughlin and substitute Shenda Smith to make sure the transition for students is smooth. He has also scheduled the spring concert for March 17 so that he will be able to direct the band before he leaves.

Mann shared a copy of his plan with the board and thanked them for supporting his decision and allowing him to take a leave to serve his country and his community.

The board thanked Mann for his hard work with the music and band students, as well as his focus on ensuring the students are taken care of in his absence.

• Marlinton Middle School parent Brad Dunz returned to the board to continue a discussion about transportation for the boys basketball team to travel to away games. Dunz gave the board suggestions on ways to save money in order to allow the team to have a bus, such as allowing parents to ride the bus and charging them to ride, but he was informed that there are strict rules enforced by the West Virginia Department of Education which do lot allow parents on buses.

Dunz said that he plans to raise funds for a bus for the boys team next year and wants to be assured the money will only be used for the boys team. The board stated it will look into the legality of earmarking a donation just for one team and get back to him.

In miscellaneous management, the board approved the following:

• Memorandum of Understanding between Glenville State College and Pocahontas County Schools regarding teacher shortage solution.

• Stephanie Burns and Kristi Tankersley to travel to Columbus, Ohio, to attend the reading recovery council, retroactive to February 9-12.

• Pocahontas County Schools community volunteers for the 2018-2019 school year.

• Lonnie Armstrong as volunteer baseball coach at Pocahontas County High School for the 2019 season.

In personnel management, the board approved the following:

• Employment of Kaitlyn Buzzard as substitute aide for Pocahontas County Schools, effective February 13, for the remainder of the 2018-2019 school year, as needed, at state basic pay.

• Employment of Greg Rich and Joseph Rose as substitute custodians for Pocahontas County Schools, effective February 13, for the remainder of the 2018-2019 school year, as needed, at state basic pay.

• Employment of Greg Rich as substitute maintenance for Pocahontas County Schools, effective February 13, for the remainder of the 2018-2019 school year, as needed, at state basic pay.

• Employment of Jerald Ramos as substitute school bus operator, emergency only, for Pocahontas County Schools, effective February 13, for the remainder of the 2018-2019 school year, as needed, at state basic pay.

• Employment of James Chaney as technology systems specialist, assigned to support and maintain local area networks, servers, computer workstations or other computer related systems or technologies, effective February 13, for the remainder of the 2018-2019 school year, at state basic pay. Term of employment is 85 days. Term of employment shall be 210 days each year thereafter.

• Requested transfer of Stephen McCarty, as school bus operator, from current route to a new route, for the remainder of the 2018-2019 school year.

• Medical leave of Lisa B. Herold as teacher of multi-subjects at Marlinton Elementary School, effective April 15, for up to six weeks.

The next board meeting will be Monday, February 25, beginning with a calendar hearing at 5:30 p.m., at the board of education conference room.

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