Suzanne Stewart\r\nStaff Writer\r\n\r\nAt the May 11 Pocahontas County Board of Education meeting, the board received an update from the newly formed multi-cultural education committee about its progress in creating a curriculum for the five county schools.\r\n\r\nDirector of student services Ruth Bland, who leads the committee, said the first meeting went well and the large group of employees and parents focused on the requirements for providing a multi-cultural education to students in all grade levels.\r\n\r\n\u201cWe went over the policies and went over the dispositions that are in policy regarding multi-cultural education and the developmental levels for each disposition level,\u201d she said. \u201cWe are going to reconvene at the end of the month and move forward with middle schools and the high school.\u201d\r\n\r\nBland explained that the committee is not dictating what the curriculum will be, but, instead, is compiling the guidelines the schools must follow when creating their curriculum.\r\n\r\n\u201cWe are not choosing curriculum for them,\u201d she said. \u201cWe are bringing the standards to them and then, as a group, they are going to make the determination as to what materials will be used to teach the different areas that are in the dispositions.\r\n\r\n\u201cDispositions have to do with global citizenship, individual responsibilities and financial responsibilities,\u201d she continued. \u201cAs we go through those dispositions as they are taught, then we are going to be looking at materials that will match those.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cI thought it was a very good meeting,\u201d she said. \u201cA lot of parents attended. A lot of parents didn\u2019t realize that multi-cultural education is dictated by state law, as well as state policy. So it\u2019s always good to educate \u2013\u00a0not just our children \u2013\u00a0but also our parents because policies are something that we have to follow every day. When they\u2019re in policy, we have to do it.\u201d\r\n\r\nThe board thanked Bland for the update and were pleased with the committee\u2019s progress.\r\n\r\nDuring the delegation portion of the meeting, members of the community are given an opportunity to address the board with concerns or information regarding the schools or students.\r\n\r\nParent and volunteer Brad Dunz addressed the board about his disappointment over an incident which recently took place at Marlinton Middle School. He explained to the board that one of his cub scouts \u2013 a well behaved student \u2013\u00a0was sent to the principal\u2019s office because a teacher thought he was using an inappropriate hand signal.\r\n\r\nDunz said the boy was exiting the bathroom and was approached by another student, who asked him if it was okay to enter the bathroom. The first boy used the \u201cokay\u201d signal to let his classmate know he could enter the bathroom. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, there is a limit to how many students may be in a bathroom at one time.\r\n\r\nDunz continued, saying a teacher saw the boy use the \u201cokay\u201d signal \u2013\u00a0forming an O with his thumb and forefinger with his other three fingers fanned out \u2013\u00a0and thought the student was making a white power signal.\r\n\r\nDunz said he was very disappointed and upset that the principal and teacher did not believe the student when he said it was the \u201cokay\u201d signal and that he knows this student would not use a white power signal or even know that it meant white power.\r\n\r\nDunz said he wanted to stand up for the student and his family because he knows that the student did not deserve to be punished for what he did.\r\n\r\nThe board thanked Dunz for sharing his concern and gave both the principal and teacher an opportunity to speak on the matter. Both declined to speak, but the principal said she would talk to the board members individually if they had any questions regarding the incident.\r\n\r\nIn updates:\r\n\r\n\u2022\u00a0Superintendent Terrence Beam announced the Golden Horseshoe winners for 2020-2021\u00a0\u2013\u00a0Eden Smith, of Marlinton Middle School and William O\u2019Ganian, of Green Bank Elementary-Middle School.\r\n\r\nBeam also told the board about the special event at Green Bank Elementary-Middle School in which students spoke to Astronaut Mark Vande Hei who is currently stationed on the International Space Station.\r\n\r\n\u201cI was really impressed by how it went and the back and forth conversations that took place,\u201d he said. \u201cIt was a really neat activity. I emailed the person who was in charge of organizing it and thanked her for including our students in that.\u201d\r\n\r\nIn regard to the reentry plan, Beam said he made two adjustments due to the current changes made by the CDC and Governor Jim Justice. He said students and staff are no longer required to wear face coverings while outside as long as they maintain a six feet social distance.\r\n\r\nHe added that although there have been changes, that the field trip rule for this year is still in effect. The only field trips allowed are inside West Virginia and that no out-of-state trips will be permitted.\r\n\r\nIn miscellaneous management, the board approved the following:\r\n\r\n\u2022\u00a0Memorandum of Understanding between the Pocahontas County Schools and the MIT Noyce Fellowships Project related to Jennifer Nail-Cook as the Cohort 1, in supporting improvement in the mathematics teaching and learning as a second year of the five-year program to be revisited\/approved each subsequent year, August 2021 through July 2022.\r\n\r\n\u2022 To change the three week out-of-season athletic practice dates for the 2021-2022 season to now reflect July 5 to July 23, per WVSSAC announcement.\r\n\r\n\u2022 Pocahontas County flat-fee supplement for principals for the 2021-2022 school year, based on programmatic formula.\r\n\r\n\u2022\u00a0To pay Carolina Industrial Trucks $12,000 plus out-of-state tax and\/or shipping fees for a 2018 Hyundai 24\u201d fork lift for CT programs.\r\n\r\n\u2022\u00a0Superintendent\u2019s evaluation and the 2021-2022 goals.\r\n\r\nIn personnel management, the board approved the following:\r\n\r\n\u2022 Professional leave of Robert J. Mann as teacher of music at Pocahontas County High School, effective May 6 to May 28, for a period of up to four weeks, as needed, for basic leadership course with the United States Armed Forces.\r\n\r\n\u2022\u00a0Abolishment of position assistant principal\/athletic director at Pocahontas County High School, effective at the end of the 2020-2021 school year.\r\n\r\n\u2022 Creation of position assistant principal\/assistant career and technical education director at Pocahontas County High School at state minimum salary based on degree and experience plus equity and $6,000 supplement, effective for the 2021-2022 school year. Term of employment is 220 days.\r\n\r\n\u2022\u00a0Creation of position extra-curricular athletic director at Pocahontas County High School at a supplement of $5,000, for the 2021-2022 athletic season.\r\n\r\n\u2022\u00a0Appointment of Sherry L. Radcliff as treasurer for Pocahontas County Schools, bonded requirement by the State of West Virginia, as per Code 18-9-6, effective for the 2021-2022 fiscal year.\r\n\r\n\u2022 Abolishment of position itinerant special education classroom aide-bus aide half-time\/custodian III half-time at Hillsboro Elementary School.\r\n\r\n\u2022\u00a0Creation of position half-time custodian III at Hillsboro Elementary School and half-time custodian III\/truck driver\/groundsman for Pocahontas County Schools, at state basic pay, effective for the 2021-2022 school year. Term of employment is 220 days.\r\n\r\n\u2022\u00a0Creation of position general maintenance\/truck driver\/groundsman\/sanitation plan operator\/heating and air conditioning\/mechanic II for Pocahontas County Schools, at state basic pay pursuant to qualifications and licensure under West Virginia Code 18A-4-8a and Pocahontas County salary schedule, effective July1, for the 2021-2022 school year. Term of employment is 261 days.\r\n\r\n\u2022\u00a0Creation of position technology systems specialist for Pocahontas County Schools at state basic salary based on degree and experience, effective for the 2021-2022 school year. Term of employment is 210 days.\r\n\r\n\u2022 Employment of the following at academic interventionists for Pocahontas County Schools, effective August 23, through May 13, 2022, at $22 per hour, three and a half hours per day, up to five days per week, as needed, not to exceed $12,000 for each position. Darla J. Huddle and Lucy Rittenhouse \u2013 Green Bank Elementary-Middle School; Sean Rodriguez \u2013\u00a0Hillsboro Elementary School; Teresa Barb and Kayla Kelley \u2013\u00a0Marlinton Elementary School; and Teresa Rhea \u2013 Marlinton Middle School.\r\n\r\n\u2022 Employment of the following after-school teachers for Pocahontas County Schools, at $22 per hour, four days a week, two hours per day, 32 weeks, not to exceed $5,632, effective August 30 to May 6, 2022. Greg Morgan and Anne Smith \u2013 Green Bank Elementary-Middle School; and Teresa Rhea and Jeanette Wagner \u2013\u00a0Marlinton Middle School.\r\n\r\n\u2022\u00a0Employment of the following as parent involvement coordinators for Pocahontas County Schools at $22 per hour, 150 hours, not to exceed $3,300 per position, effective July1 through\u00a0May 20, 2022. Schedule to be determined by the director of federal programs but cannot be extended beyond May 20, 2022. Lucy Rittenhouse \u2013\u00a0Green Bank Elementary-Middle School; M. Susan Arbogast \u2013\u00a0Hillsboro Elementary School; and Shenda Smith \u2013\u00a0Marlinton Elementary School.\r\n\r\n\u2022\u00a0Employment of F. Herbert Barlow and Shawn K. Ervine as substitute school bus operators for Pocahontas County Schools, at state basic pay, effective May 13, 2021, for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year, pending proper certification.\r\n\r\n\u2022 Employment of Sarah E. Hamilton as substitute teacher, emergency use only, for Pocahontas County Schools, effective May 13, as needed, for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year, at state basic pay.\r\n\r\n\u2022\u00a0Resignation of Laurie Corbin as substitute aide for Pocahontas County Schools, per her request, retroactive to April 29.\r\n\r\n\u2022\u00a0Resignation of Melissa Nelson as Green Bank School head boys basketball coach, effective at the end of the 2020-2021 athletic season.\r\n\r\nThe next board meeting will be Tuesday, June 1, at 6 p.m. at the board of education conference room.