By Stephen Smoot
Pendleton County’s Board of Education held its second meeting of the month. Board president J. D. Wilkins gave the invocation in which he said “thank you for the opportunity to serve.”
The board received better than expected reports on attendance in the fifth and sixth months of the 2022-23 school year. According to the reports, attendance across the board in these two months rose to the highest levels all year.
North Fork Elementary helped to lead the charge in excellent attendance. The fifth grade enjoyed a 100% attendance day in the fifth month. North Fork’s sixth grade recorded 97% attendance for the sixth month of the school year. Best attendance in one grade in a school in the fifth month was Franklin Elementary School.
Brandywine Elementary School was the best school overall in the sixth month with a 94.384% rating. Additionally, the high school’s attendance exceeded last year’s count while the best grade countywide was kindergarten. Board member Sonny O’Neill exclaimed that “it says a lot when you have such good attendance in kindergarten.”
Members also weighed a calendar adjustment that resulted in, as Charles Hedrick, county superintendent, said would “make sure the staff has the entire week off” over spring break. Unless there are more cancellations for weather, Hedrick said, “we’re out Memorial Day weekend.”
Board members also took up a request from the West Virginia University Cooperative Extension service. They requested $800 in addition to the $5,000 received last year. Funding helps to support 4-H programs. Hedrick proposed raising the contribution to $5,900, noting that “the county commission pays quite a bit more.”
Two longtime county school employees requested a resignation. The first was Kelly Sites, assistant coach for the high school golf team. Karen Propst also resigned her position as the keyboarding and business teacher at the high school. Wilkins stated that “The reason my daughter is a CPA is because of Karen.” It was also noted that Propst was the last active employee who taught at Circleville High School.
Board member Sonny O’Neil said, “I make the motion with regret,” to accept the resignations.
Hedrick also updated the board on the timetable for moving into the new building. “We have moved a lot of stuff out of the board office,” he noted. “Next week we should have our employees in the new building.” Hedrick added, however, that it might take until midsummer to move every item into the new building. “There’s plenty of room,” he said, “just a lot to move.”
Finally, the board approved a new policy on its second reading. The policy establishes that the county school system will use the “lowest qualified responsible bidder” in contracts. This means that the bidder has met the competitive requirements of the bidding process and also submitted the bid at the lowest cost.