By Ammie Ruddle
Ensuring each child has the tools and environment to succeed is just one of the many goals Pendleton County Board of Education members set yearly.
Among goals, Lisa Roberson, principal for North Fork Elementary School, discussed more strategic plans for the school year. The first goal is to have 50% of the students in grades second through sixth showing growth in reading and language arts from the beginning of the school year through May 2023. The second goal is to have 50% of students in grades second through sixth to show growth in math. In addition, students in grades third through sixth will be tested on multiplication skills by the principal.
Roberson also shared with BOE members the needs of NFES, which included staffing, a full-time interventionist, school security upgrades, and more parent involvement. Leadership and team goals, such as better communication with the staff, parents and students, were discussed. She told board members that they plan to achieve this by providing “weekly staff emails,” “monthly newsletter to families,” and “better organization and earlier event planning through a master school calendar.”
Cyrena Harper, president of the local school improvement council, also shared goals for NFES. These goals included painting the inside of the building, updating the preschool playground with more equipment and expanding the playground.
Other goals Harper discussed were adding a track or trail around the building, providing a “beautification” project in front of the building, and replacing gym and stage lights.
Four new hires will join the Pendleton County school staff: Shelby Mowery – kindergarten teacher at NFES; Ciera Nine-Miller – itinerant behavioral specialist (LD/BD/ID) w/autism certification at Franklin Elementary School; Bailey Rodgers –itinerant aide with autism mentor and CPI certificate half-time at Brandywine Elementary School and half-time at FES; and Elizabeth Warner- homebound teacher at Pendleton County Schools.
There were three resignations: James Alt – cheerleading coach at Pendleton County Middle/High School; Dawn Hedrick – substitute secretary at Pendleton County Schools; and Ciera Nine-Miller – preschool special needs teacher at NFES.
A unanimous approval was made to increase the contract bus driver pay rate from $43 to $50.
A motion was made to accept all volunteers and chaperones for each school in the county. BES had 55 volunteers and 56 chaperones listed for approval. NFES had two volunteers and one chaperone listed for approval, FES had a list of 77 volunteers and 81 chaperones on the agenda for approval. While PCMHS had 24 volunteers and 23 chaperones listed to be approved. The board members unanimously approved everyone who signed up to assist with the individual school needs.
J.P. Mowery, business manager and treasurer, discussed the financial reports and gave an update. He said, “Work is being done to finalize the year-end financial report to be presented at the Sept 27 board meeting.” He added, “there is some discussion at the state level to revisit the school funding formula.” Mowery has been asked to serve on that committee.
Travis Heavner, director of curriculum and instruction updated the board on facilities items. “The paving has been completed at PCMHS and the Kline building. The freezer project at PCMHS should be completed this week with hopes to get rid of the outside trailer by the end of the week. Columns and gates have been placed to hide the dumpster at PCMHS with brick to be placed when it is received.” He added, “The cooling unit issues at PCMHS have been addressed and the last unit in the office area is finally working properly. Padding for the auxiliary gym is still a work in progress, and the Lovegrove building work continues with a way to go before completion.”
He also said the parking lot at FES has been resealed and relined, hallway painting at FES has been completed and the video camera system has been installed at PCMHS for broadcasting ballgames.
In addition to facilities, Heavner discussed school improvements. He told board members that “technology issues have been difficult this year with the change to WVEIS 2.0.” He said, “Vendor feeds have not been working properly which has caused issues using other systems like Clever, Schoology, Live Grades and Star.” He added that issues will be addressed as they arise and “hopefully” will be corrected soon.
The next BOE meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. Sept 27 in the annex building in Franklin.