Suzanne Stewart\r\nStaff Writer\r\n\u00a0\r\nEvery 10 years, the West Virginia Department of Education requires all boards of education to create a Comprehensive Educational Facilities Plan [CEFP] which lays out plans for the school system for the following 10 years.\r\n\r\nThe plan includes suggestions for upgrades to existing school facilities, addition of new facilities, curriculum changes and predictions about the size of student population for the next decade.\r\n\r\nIn July 2019, the Pocahontas County Board of Education assembled a committee consisting of community members, school employees, school administrators and board members to collect the data needed for the CEFP.\r\n\r\nThe committee was joined by Thrasher Group, Inc., the architectural firm hired by the board to help complete the CEFP task. With the help of Thrasher\u2019s Matt Breakey and Bill Ratcliffe, the committee completed the plan.\r\n\r\nOn Tuesday, October 6, the plan was presented to the board at a special meeting which was also used as a public hearing to allow community members to be part of the discussion.\r\n\r\n\u201cThe first phase is the information gathering phase,\u201d Breakey explained. \u201cOur big part of that is really looking at your physical facilities and identifying needs in your current facilities. So, where it stands now is the CEFP has been put up for public comment for a period of time.\r\n\r\n\u201cNow is the time for the public to weigh in and comment on the plan, whether to reinforce it or offer some other comments.\u201d\r\n\r\nThe CEFP committee chairperson Suzanne Stewart, of Green Bank, acted as moderator during CEFP meetings and kept members informed on meeting updates and changes.\r\n\r\nThe committee faced challenges due to the Covid-19 pandemic which made it harder for a large group to meet together, but the members adapted and attended meetings through Zoom as much as possible.\r\n\r\n\u201cWe started this in July 2019, which feels like it was three years ago,\u201d Stewart told the board. \u201cI think we had about fifty people on the committee and, of course, it became a most difficult time to try to do this because of COVID, but we were able to have meetings.\u201d\r\n\r\nWhile it was difficult for the entire committee to meet, the majority of members worked together to discuss possible changes for the school facilities in the next decade.\r\n\r\n\u201cWe had a lot of passionate people on this committee,\u201d Stewart said. \u201cYou could tell they weren\u2019t doing this for anything other than the betterment of the education in this county. We did have some heated arguments, and I know that one of the biggest concerns \u2013\u00a0and it always will be a concern in this county \u2013\u00a0is consolidation.\r\n\r\n\u201cThere are no plans in this CEFP to close facilities,\u201d she continued. \u201cIt was discussed. It was suggested, but we decided \u2013\u00a0and Thrasher even said \u2013\u00a0instead of looking at closing and consolidating \u2013 just look at what you would do to upgrade all the buildings you have and then if consolidation does come up, you can always change it. It is a living document, and it can be changed at any time, multiple times a year, even.\u201d\r\n\r\nBreakey said it was good to have strong and opinionated minds on a committee of this nature because it is important to look at all possibilities for the schools and not just all agree on one option.\r\n\r\n\u201cIt\u2019s good when you see that in a committee \u2013\u00a0that difference of opinion \u2013\u00a0because you get a sense that all sides are being heard,\u201d he said. \u201cIt\u2019s not just one direction.\u201d\r\n\r\nStewart recognized all the members of the committee and commended them for volunteering their time to create the CEFP.\r\n\r\n\u201cWe had a lot of hard working community members, teachers and administrators coming together to work on this in their free time,\u201d she said.\r\n\r\nThe CEFP was further discussed and individuals who attended the meeting through Zoom were given time to ask questions and provide opinions on the plan.\r\n\r\nDuring the meeting, the internet went down for roughly 20 minutes, but once it came back up, the meeting and discussion continued.\r\n\r\nFor those who were unable to attend the meeting and wish to read the CEFP and make comments, there is a copy on the board of education website at\u00a0http:\/\/pocahontas-k12.wvnet.edu\/boe\/3647-2\/\u00a0\r\n\r\nAll comments will be considered and included in the CEFP.\r\n\r\nThe board of education will be presented the plan, complete with public comments, for approval at the Tuesday, October 27 board meeting.\r\n\r\nAt the September 22 board of education meeting, the board took the following actions:\r\n\r\nIn miscellaneous management, the board approved the following:\r\n\r\n\u2022\u00a0Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Pocahontas County Schools and the M3T Noyce Fellowships Project related to Jennifer Nail-Cook as the Cohort, in supporting improvement in the mathematics teaching and learning as a five-year program to be revisited\/approved each subsequent year, retroactive to August 2020 through July 2021.\u00a0\r\n\r\n\u2022 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Pocahontas County Board of Education and Community Care of West Virginia, Inc., to provide healthcare services in the School Based Health Care Center facilities at Green Bank Elementary-Middle School and Pocahontas County High School for the 2020-2021 school year.\r\n\r\n\u2022 To authorize the superintendent to obtain surveys and appraisals of the Pocahontas County Board of Education\u2019s Green Bank property \u2013\u00a0otherwise known as the Slaven Property \u2013\u00a0in whole and\/or part thereof (98.78 +\/- total acreage), in preparation for possible future determination that whole or part of the property is not necessary for school purposes.\r\n\r\n\u2022\u00a0Superintendent\u2019s goals for the 2020-201 school year.\r\n\r\n\u2022 James \u201cBo\u201d Casteel as volunteer 7th and 8th grade football coach; and Robert A. Cummings as volunteer Pocahontas County High School football coach for the 2020-2021 season, pending certification.\u00a0\r\n\r\nIn personnel, the board approved the following:\r\n\r\n\u2022\u00a0Employment of Anne M. Smith as teacher of science at Green Bank Elementary-Middle School, at state minimum salary based on degree and experience plus equity, effective September 21, for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year. Term of employment is 175 days in addition to days already worked. Term of employment shall be 200 days each year thereafter.\r\n\r\n\u2022 Employment Darla J. Huddle as academic interventionist at Green Bank Elementary-Middle School at $22 per hour, three hours per day, as needed, not to exceed 375 hours or $8,250, effective September 8, 2020 through May 14, 2021.\u00a0\r\n\r\n\u2022\u00a0Mutual consent to change Sherri L. Howe from cook III at Marlinton Elementary School and Marlinton Middle School to cook III at Marlinton Middle School for four days and Hillsboro Elementary School for one day, effective for the 2020-2021 school year, at state basic pay. Term of employment is 200 days. Assignment will be reviewed after the first nine weeks.\r\n\r\n\u2022\u00a0Employment of Darlene D. Arbogast to mentor Tessa M. Himelrick, effective for the 2020-2021 school year, at $22 per hour, not to exceed 50 hours or $1,100.\r\n\r\n\u2022\u00a0Employment of Derek R. Trull as site coordinator of the Community in Schools Program at Marlinton Middle School, at state minimum salary based on degree and experience, effective September 1, for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year. Term of employment is 189 days in addition to days already worked. Term of employment shall be 200 days each year thereafter, provided grant funding. Salary to be paid for by the CIS grant.\r\n\r\n\u2022\u00a0Employment of the following as Virtual School Facilitators, extra-curricular, at $22 per hour, as needed, effective for the 2020-2021 school year, as needed: Darlene Arbogast, PCHS special education; Kathy Mason, PCHS ninth through 12th grades; Teresa Rhea, MMS sixth through eighth grades; Alison Safrit, GBEMS, six through eighth grades; and Jeanette Wagner, MMS special education.\r\n\r\n\u2022\u00a0Employment of the following as Virtual School Instructors, extra-curricular, at $22 per hour, as needed, effective for the 2020-2021 school year, as needed: Darla Huddle, MES; Kimberly Shinaberry, HES\/GBEMS kindergarten through fifth grade; and Jeanette Wagner, HES special education.\r\n\r\n\u2022\u00a0Employment of Darla Huddle and L. Brooke Nottingham as teachers of Homebound Instruction for Pocahontas County Schools, at $22 per hour, as needed, effective for the 2020-2021 school year, as needed.\r\n\r\n\u2022 Employment of Jessica Beard, Laurie Corbin, Kristi Dinkins, Elizabeth Hefner and Tomma Johnson as substitute special education\/ classroom aides\/bus aides for Pocahontas County Schools, effective September 24, as needed, for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year, at state basic pay, pending background checks.\r\n\r\n\u2022\u00a0Employment of Jessica Beard, Laurie Corbin, Kristi Dinkins, Tomma Johnson and Pippi Miller as substitute cooks for Pocahontas County Schools, effective September 24, as needed, for the remainder of 2020-2021 school year, at state basic pay, pending background checks.\r\n\r\n\u2022\u00a0Employment of Pippi Miller as substitute custodian for Pocahontas County Schools, effective September 24, as needed, for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year, at state basic pay, pending background check.\r\n\r\n\u2022\u00a0Employment of George Jaharias and Larry Price as substitute maintenance for Pocahontas County Schools, effective September 24, as needed, for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year, at state basic pay, pending background checks.\r\n\r\n\u2022 Permission for the superintendent to post and fill positions prior to board approval until October 13, 2020.