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BOE concerned with preschool position at School Days

Suzanne Stewart
Staff Writer

With the first day of school getting closer, the Pocahontas County Board of Education is facing a new issue. At its meeting Monday night, director of special education/student services/transportation/tech coordinator Ruth Bland reported that the contract between the board of education and School Days Child Care, LLC is on hold, due to the loss of the preschool teacher.

“What has happened is School Days has lost their teacher,” Bland said. “They posted for a job and at this time, they are without a teacher. They’re still in negotiations for that teacher. The negotiations are not going very well. The prospective teacher is asking for much more money than what can be added, than what School Days can provide.”

School Days provides preschool services to Pocahontas County Schools if there are too many students to place in the elementary schools. Preschool students return to school August 24 and Bland is concerned about what will happen to the students enrolled at School Days.

“The situation that we are in – we have students that will be in that preschool that we have to serve,” Bland said.

Board president Emery Grimes asked what would happen if School Days does not have a teacher in place by August 24.

“Number one, they would not be able to go to school on August 24,” Bland replied. “If they cannot procure a teacher, we’re responsible.”

Grimes asked if the board would be required to add a preschool to one of the elementary schools and Bland said it might be a possibility.

“It would be in our best interest that we continue with School Days, LLC,” Bland said. “The other thing that you must consider is to be able to procure a teacher, you may have to change the amount on the contract that we have with School Days. The monetary amount may have to be different.”

Bland said the teacher currently negotiating terms with School Days is asking for $15,000 more than what the contract offers. Regardless of the added cost, Bland said it would be easier than trying to add a preschool to one of the elementary schools.

“Fixed cost, you’re looking at around $90,000 just for the fixed costs of the salaries,” Bland said. “Then you’re going to have to look at the space. We did have another preschool at Green Bank last year so we do have the equipment, but the other thing is, there is a square footage requirement for preschool, plus bathrooms have to be inside the preschool room.”

It is required by the West Virginia Department of Education for all school systems to collaborate with at least 50 percent of all licensed child care facilities in providing preschool services.

“Under Policy 2525, we must collaborate with at least fifty percent of the licensed child care facilities that are in Pocahontas County,” Bland said. “You must collaborate with agencies within the county, including HeadStart.”

School Days Child Care, LLC is the only facility in Pocahontas County licensed to provide preschool services. It is able to take up to 20 students each year.

Grimes asked Bland to keep the board informed on the progress in negotiations with the teacher.
In updates:

• Interim Superintendent Terrence Beam reported that State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Michael Martirano is visiting Pocahontas County Schools August 20. He will begin the tour at Green Bank Elementary-Middle School at 8:15 a.m., moving to Pocahontas County High School at 10:30 a.m. and finishing up at Marlinton Elementary School and the board office at 1 p.m.

“He goes into the classrooms and watches the teachers, and interacts with the students and teachers,” Beam said.

Beam asked board members to try to be at one of the schools to meet Martirano.

In miscellaneous management, the board approved the following:

• To accept bid from Flowers Baking Company of West Virginia, Inc., for bakery products, as indicated in bid, effective August 15, 2015 through August 14, 2016.

• To accept bid from Broughton Foods, LLC, for dairy products, as indicated in bid, effective August 15, 2015 through August 14, 2016.

• Contract with Richard F. McLaughlin to provide music instruction to preschool through fifth grade students, and instrumental music instruction to fifth grade students at Hillsboro Elementary School, one day per week or two one-half days per week, at $200 per day, effective for the 2015-2016 school year, not to exceed $7,200. Costs to be paid by Pocahontas County Title I funds.

• Service Agreement with H. Nelson Cowden, to present an informative session for instructional staff at Marlinton Elementary School August 12, at the rate of $150, including travel expenses from North Carolina, meals, lodging and presentation costs. Costs to be paid by Marlinton Elementary School Title I funds.

• Contract with Erica Marks, to provide gifted services and other evaluation services to students enrolled with Pocahontas County Schools for the period of August 17, 2015 through June 30, 2016, at the rate of $275 per day for gifted services, evaluation and consultation including IEP and SAT meetings, with the board and school teams, not to exceed $27,500. Two-and-a-half days per week for forty weeks.

• Contract with Christine A. Smith, to provide gifted services and other evaluation services to students enrolled with Pocahontas County Schools for the period of August 17, 2015 through June 30, 2016, at a rate of $275 per day for gifted services, evaluation and consultation, including IEP and SAT meetings with the board and school teams, not to exceed $12,000. One day per week for forty weeks.

• Contract with Melanie Mason to provide physical therapy services for Pocahontas County Schools for the period of August 17, 2015 through June 30, 2016, at the rate of $110 per hour with a minimum of five hours per week, not to exceed $9,000. The invoice will include a service log.

• Contract with Leslie Goodall, to provide occupational therapy services to students enrolled with Pocahontas County Schools who have an Individualized Education Program for the period of August 17, 2015 through June 30, 2016, at the rate of $60 per hour, not to exceed $15,000. The invoice will include service log.

• Contract with Kimberly Robin Groves, to provide physical therapy services as requested for the period of August 17, 2015 through June 20, 2016, at a rate of $85 per hour with a minimum of two hours per week, not to exceed $10,000. The invoice will include a service log.

• Contract with Nancy Martin, to provide technology support assistant services to the schools within Pocahontas County Schools for the period of July 27, 2015 through June 30, 2016, at a rate of $200 per day, not to exceed $28,000. Term of service will be 140 days.

• Contract with David B. Wamsley, to provide Psychoeducational Assessment services for the Pocahontas County School system during the 2015-2016 school year, at a per case fee of $340 per Psychoeducation Assessment and $45 per Rating Scale. The rate for conferences and consultation assigned by the special education director will be remunerated at $95 per hour.

• Contract with Rita Fortney to provide speech/language pathology and other evaluation services to students enrolled with Pocahontas County Schools for the period of August 17, 2015 through June 30, 2016, at the rate of $75 per hour for speech/language pathology evaluations, speech/language pathology evaluations, speech/language consultations including IEP and SAT meetings with the board and school team, not to exceed $15,000. Four-and-a-half hours per week for forty weeks.

• Contract with Pocahontas County Health Department to provide medical services to one specific child with diabetes attending school in Pocahontas County, at a rate of $25 per hour for a registered nurse and $20 per hour for a licensed practical nurse, four days per week, 7:40 a.m. to 3:40 p.m., with the exception of snow days, holidays and other days not in school.

• Lease with Pocahontas County Solid Waste Authority for a piece or parcel of land owned by the Pocahontas County Board of Education situated in the Green Bank District of Pocahontas County. The lease shall be effective August 10, 2015 for a term of 99 years, with no compensation.

• Creation of middle school football cheerleading program for Pocahontas County Schools, effective for the 2015-2016 season.

• Pricilla Shoemaker and Ashli Diller as volunteer coaches for middle school football cheerleading program for Pocahontas County Schools, effective for the 2015-2016 season.

In personnel management, the board approved the following:

• Employment of Lauren Prestopnik as teacher of English/language arts/reading at Green Bank Elementary-Middle School, effective for the 2015-2016 school year, at state basic salary based on degree and experience. Term of employment is 200 days.

• Employment Devan Simmons as teacher of multi-subjects at Hillsboro Elementary School, effective for the 2015-2016 school year, at state basic salary based on degree and experience. Term of employment is 200 days. Employment contingent upon release from current employment contract in Greenbrier County by December 23, 2015.

• Resignation of Jason C. Pyles as teacher of alternative education at Marlinton Middle School, retroactive to the end of the 2014-2015 school year.

• Employment of Margaret Worth as teacher of alternative education at Marlinton Middle School, effective for the 2015-2016 school year, at state basic salary based on degree and experience. Term of employment is 200 days.

• Rescind action taken at November 10, 2014 meeting where the board approved the resignation of Mali S. Minter, as teacher of Spanish at Pocahontas County High School, effective at the end of the day on January 9, 2015; the change in resignation date of Mali S. Minter to the end of the 2014-2015 school year; unpaid medical leave of absence of Mali S. Minter effective January 13, 2015 through the end of the 2014-2015 school year; as well as action taken at the May 26, 2015 meeting where the board approved the extension of unpaid medical leave of Mali S. Minter through August 1. 2015.

• Unpaid medical leave of absence of Mali S. Minter as teacher of Spanish at Pocahontas County High School, retroactive to January 13, 2015 through January 13, 2017.

• Employment of Kristy L. Tritapoe as assistant principal/athletic director at Pocahontas County High School, effective August 11 for the 2015-2016 school year, at a salary pursuant to WV Code 18A-4-2, in accordance with Pocahontas County Administrative Salary Schedule, commensurate with experience and education level, plus $4,000 supplement. Term of employment is 220 days.

• Requested transfers of Silas Sattler and Kenneth J. Samples, to different bus runs, effective for the 2015-2016 school year, at state basic pay. Term of employment is 200 days for each driver.

• Employment of Stephen D. McCarty as school bus operator for Pocahontas County Schools, effective for the 2015-2016 school year, at state basic pay. Term of employment is 200 days.

• Resignation of Michelle L. Arbogast as itinerant special education classroom aide/bus aide at Pocahontas County High School, effective August 5, 2015.

• Rescind action taken by the board at the February 23, 2015 meeting where the board approved the reduction in force (non-rehire) of Felicia L. Smith as itinerant special education classroom aide/bus aide for Pocahontas County Schools, effective at the end of the 2014-2015 school year.

• Employment of Felicia L. Smith as itinerant special education classroom aide/ bus aide at Marlinton Elementary School, effective for the 2015-2016 school year at state basic pay. Term of employment is 200 days.

• Employment of Patrick Duane Gibson as mentor for Dervin E. Lambert, effective for the 2015-2016 school year, at a supplement of $1,000.

• Employment of the following as substitute teachers for Pocahontas County Schools, effective for the 2015-2016 school year, as needed, at state basic pay based on degree and experience: Asaco Adkins, M. Susan Arbogast, Michelle L. Arbogast, AnnaLew White-Barb, Mathhew M. Barkley, C. Benjamin Blakemore, Melinda Gayle Boyette, Charles A. Burley, Susan Chappell, Lori Ann Doolittle, Salania N. Evans, Charles Larry Garretson, Patricia Heinemann, Edward R. Hill, Diane E. Hoover, Michael F. Hudson, Allen R. Johnson, Debora Johnson, Cheryl R. Jonese, Judith A. Kane, Stacy C. Landis, Maryln Y. McClendon, Mary Lois McCutcheon, Freda P. McKean, Maria T. McKelvey, David Lee Moore, Amanda N. Nottingham, Rebecca A. O’Brien, Susan G. Peck, Thomas E. Plumley, Aaron L. Pugh, Christine Rebinski, Lucy M. Rittenhouse, Sean C. Rodriguez, Jack M. Sanders, Virginia Shaw, Robert A. Sheets, Sharla G. Sherman, Christin D. Shinaberry, Jean O. Srodes, Louise Starke, Kevin Stitzinger, Linda H. VanReenen, Timothy VanReenen, Linda Wilfong and Cindy L. White.

• Employment of the following as substitute aides for Pocahontas County Schools, effective for the 2015-2016 school year, as needed, at state basic pay: Daniel E. Arbogast, II, Diane L. Arbogast, Michelle L. Arbogast, Melinda F. Bussard, Natashia Carr, Dottie Chestnut, Sarah A. Cover, Cynthia H. Defibaugh, Karen Dunbrack, Salania Evans, Donna F. Gragg, Kathleen Holzman-Henry, Diane Hoover, Kerrie Jack, Debora Johnson, Cynthia Landis, Corinne Landis, Andrew C. Myers, Heather Rhea, Lisa Rich, Kimberly Thompson, Tonya L. Warder, Rhonda Woodruff and Anita F. Workman.

• Employment of the following as substitute cooks for Pocahontas County Schools, effective for the 2015-2016 school year, as needed, at state basic pay: Lois Ann Beverage, Melinda F. Bussard, Natashia Carr, Dottie Chestnut, Cynthia H. Defibaugh, Karen Dunbrack, Martha Friel, Karrie Jack, Corinne Landis, Cynthia Landis, Andrew C. Myers, Vickie Lynn Vrable, Rhonda Woodruff, Tammy Wright and Thelma L. Wylie.

• Employment of the following as substitute custodians for Pocahontas County Schools, effective for the 2015-2016 school year, as needed, at state basic pay: Pamela Jo Bennett, Dottie Chestnut, James Chestnut, Martha Friel, Roger D. Irvine, Corinne Landis, Andrew C. Myers, Vickie Lynn Vrable, Tammy Wright and Rhonda L. Woodruff.

• Employment of the following as substitute school bus operators for Pocahontas County Schools, effective for the 2015-2016 school year, as needed, at state basic pay: Daniel E. Arbogast, Ryan C. Alderman, Keith E. Beverage, II, Daryl Shinaberry, David L. Vandevender, Jr. and Pam Vanorsdale. Emergency Use Only: Ian B. Bennett, Darin W. McKenney, Patrick D. Gibson and Justin Taylor.

• Employment of the following as substitute secretary/accountant for Pocahontas County Schools, effective for the 2015-2016 school year, as needed, at state basic pay: Diane L. Arbogast, Kimberly Jordan, Kimberly Thompson and Lisa Rich.

• Employment of Jamie C. Walker as substitute mechanic for Pocahontas County Schools, effective for the 2015-2016 school year, as needed, emergency use only, at state basic pay.

• Employment of Roger D. Irvine as substitute maintenance for Pocahontas County Schools, effective for the 2015-2016 school year, as needed, at state basic pay.

The next board meeting will be Monday, August 24, at 7 p.m. at the board of education conference room.

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