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PCHS math program selected for national collaboration

Superintendent Dr. Donald Bechtel shared two pieces of good news at the board of education meeting Monday night concerning the math department at Pocahontas County High School.

The department was selected by the U.S. Department of Education to be technical advisors in a study titled “Promoting Students Success in Algebra.”

“As a result of their feedback, as far as what they found, as far as strategies with working with students, they may chart instruction for the whole United States,” Bechtel said. “The American Institute of Research came and observed our students and our teachers. They were really impressed. We were one of five sites.”

As part of the study, the math teachers will have the opportunity to collaborate with other teachers.

The math department was also selected to develop classroom content which will be used nationwide.

“Through the funding of the Nellie Mae Foundation, we’ll be one of three high school math departments to create tests and refine classroom tools to deepen student engagement with mathematics,” Bechtel said. “Pocahontas County High School teachers have been invited to participate in the project. Ultimately, the give and take, our students will ultimately be enhanced through knowledge that our teachers will get.”

The program will also lead to after-school opportunities for PCHS students.

In updates:

• Sue Ann Heatherly, with the Pocahontas County Free Libraries, addressed the board concerning the lease agreement for the Hillsboro Public Library. The library is owned by the board of education and is leased to PCFL.

Heatherly said the Pocahontas County Libraries Friends 501(c)3 is planning to build an addition to the building and asked if several parts of the lease could be reworded to give the library peace of mind.

The main concern regards what would happen to the building if the BOE ceased ownership. Heatherly added that they want the lease to state the exact square footage of the area involved in the lease.

Board president Emery Grimes said he did not see any issues with making the changes. He asked Dr. Bechtel to send the information to board attorney Jason Long. He asked Heatherly to have the PCFL attorney work with Long to make sure the lease is worded correctly.

• Dr. Bechtel shared form letters and a list of addresses for legislators with the board. He said they are hoping to generate interest in the legislature through a writing campaign concerning the “forestry money” that was not included in the Legislative budget. Due to the loss of the money, the BOE is facing a $150,000 deficit in its own budget.

Bechtel urged the board members, staff and the public to send letters expressing the need for funding.

• Board member Steve Tritapoe reported that the Pocahontas County Archery Team is hosting a tournament at PCHS, Saturday, February 21, at 9 a.m.

In financial management, the board approved the following:

• Payment of vendor listings of claims in the amounts of $23,630.87, $7.704.47 and $47,679.51.

• Budget transfer requests.

• Annual review of financial records for Pocahontas County Schools.

• To pay bills associated with the Pocahontas County Archery Team tournament registrations, prior to board approval.

In miscellaneous management, the board approved the following:

• Policy EBF – Excessive Heat in Schools Policy.

• To place Policy ID – Alternative Education Policy on 30 day comment.

• Christina M. Smith to travel to New Orleans, Louisiana, February 8 through February 11, to attend Success for all Experience Site Conference. All expenses are to be paid by Old Dominion Grant.

• Hillsboro Elementary School third, fourth and fifth grades to travel by chartered bus to Hershey Park, Pennsylvania and Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, departing HES on May 21 and returning to HES May 22. Trip to be paid for by fundraising.

• Brian M. Smith as volunteer fourth grade basketball coach at Marlinton Elementary School.

In personnel management, the board approved the following:

• Creation of position teacher of alternative education at Green Bank Elementary-Middle School, effec- tive for the 2015-2016 school year, at state basic pay based on degree and experience. Term of employment is 200 days.

• Creation of position teacher of alternative education at Marlinton Middle School, effective for the 2015-2016 school year, at state basic pay based on degree and experience. Term of employment is 200 days.

• Resignation of Susan Chappell, due to retirement, as librarian/media specialist at Pocahontas County High School, effective at the end of the 2014-2015 school year.

• Change in resignation date of Mali S. Minter, as teacher of Spanish at Pocahontas County High School, retroactive from Friday, January 9, to the end of the 2014-2015 school year.

• Unpaid medical leave of absence of Mali S. Minter, as teacher of Spanish at PCHS, effective January 16 through the end of the 2014-2015 school year.

• Resignation of Charlotte Burgess, due to retirement, as school bus operator for Pocahontas County Schools, effective March 24.

• Creation of position of general maintenance, for Pocahontas County Board of Education, extra duty, as needed, for the remainder of the 2014-2015 school year. Shift: 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The next board of education meeting is Monday, February 9, at 7 p.m., at the board of education conference room.

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