It was a decision they never thought they would need to make, but at the November 29 meeting, the Pocahontas County Board of Education approved to stock Narcan kits at all county schools.
The discussion began at a previous board meeting when school nurse Jenny Friel told the board she was looking into creating a policy and finding supplies to have Narcan available at the schools in case of an overdose.
When the board discussed the issue at that meeting, Friel explained that she received information from other West Virginia counties that have already passed a policy for Narcan. She also reached out to health facilities in the community to get supplies.
“I have talked with Scott McGee at Seneca Mental Health, and he’s going to take it to his supervisors, but it looks like they’re going to be able to provide us with the Narcan in the schools,” Friel said. “If that falls through, University of Charleston is willing to help us, too, because our local health department doesn’t have a grant right now to provide us with that.”
Friel said she has planned to have two kits for each of the five schools. Each kit has two nasal sprays, which can be administered to an individual who is possibly suffering an overdose. Friel said if the first nasal spray does not work, the second can be administered a few minutes after the first.
She added that if the individual was having a medical episode that was not an overdose, administration of Narcan will not have a negative effect.
Friel said she will provide Narcan training to all the LPNs and staff who administer medications at the schools. During school hours, the Narcan will be readily available, but after hours, it will be locked in a case.
• English/language arts coach and teacher Stephanie Burns gave a report on several of the reading programs that have been implemented to improve literacy in the schools.
Burns said students participated in summer programs including Battle of the Books and early literacy initiative. For Battle of the Books, students were able to pick up books for the program at their local library. The early literacy initiative also utilized the local libraries and included reading, crafts and other activities related to the books they were reading.
Burns added that the schools have continued to participate in the Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program, which provides books to all children, birth to five years of age. Pocahontas County is one of the top counties in the program in regard to percentage of children served.
• Superintendent Terrence Beam recognized the art students at Green Bank Elementary-Middle School who made holiday artwork for the board members and board staff.
In miscellaneous management, the board approved the following:
• American Institute of Architects (AIA) document agreement between The Thrasher Group, Inc. and Pocahontas County Board of Education concerning Marlinton Elementary School reroof/boiler replacement project.
• Adoption of West Virginia Department of Education revisions to Policy 2419 – Regulations for the Education of Students with Exceptionalities, retroactive to November 14.
• Memorandum of Agreement with West Virginia Department of Education, Mountaineer ChalleNGe Academy and Pocahontas County Board of Education will implement a system to create transcripts through WVEIS and grant high school diplomas for students who successfully complete MCA, retroactive to October 28.
In personnel management, the board approved the following:
• Rescind employment of Marsha L. Beverage as mentor for Kristin A. Baer, effective for the 2022-2023 school year, at $25 per hour, not to exceed 50 hours or $1,250.
• Employment of Cindy L. Himelrick as mentor for Kristin A. Baer, effective for the 2022-2023 school year, at $25 per hour, not to exceed 50 hours or $1,250.
• Rescind employment of Sara H. McClintic as substitute administrator for Pocahontas County Schools, at state basic pay, based on degree and experience for the 2022-2023 school year, as needed.
• Consent to change Krystal A. Beers from teacher of multi-subjects/teacher of special education (multicategorical)/autism at Hillsboro Elementary School to itinerant teacher of special education (multi-categorical)/ autism at Hillsboro Elementary School, effective November 30, for the 2022-2023 school year. Term of employment shall remain 200 days.
• Employment of Jennifer S. Stewart and Tracey L. Valach as substitute teachers for Pocahontas County Schools, at state basic pay, based on degree and experience, for the 2022-2023 school year, as needed.
• Resignation of Devan E. Gum as both part-time assistant boys track coach and part-time assistant girls track coach, effective for the 2022-2023 athletic season.
• Appointment of Devan E. Gum as volunteer track coach for boys and girls track teams, effective for the 2022-2023 athletic season.
The next board meeting will be Tuesday, December 13, beginning with a Local School Improvement Council meeting at 3 p.m., at Marlinton Middle School.