Adventure Pocahontas Plans Expansion for 2022-2023 School Year

Tracy Valach, who runs the widely acclaimed Adventure Pocahontas Program in the county school system, announced at the May 3rd Board of Education meeting that next school year, the program will expand to all grades as part of Nature’s Mountain Classroom. Valach explained the expansion.

  • For Pre-K and first grade, there will be four “Playground Adventures,” one for each season. These will be led by high school students who are part of the Leadership Pocahontas program.
  • For second through fifth grades, the traditional Adventure Pocahontas Program will continue, with activities such as hiking, kayaking and mountain biking.
  • Sixth grade students will have a fall Science Adventure Camp at Jackson’s Mill in Weston, WV.
  • Seventh grade students will be exposed to Adventure safety, emphasizing ATV and shooting sports safety, as well as a focus on environmental conservation.
  • Eighth grade students will have a spring Backcountry Adventure Learning program.
  • High school students will participate in the Adventure Leadership program, which includes leading the first grade Adventure Days, and supporting the Adventure Pocahontas Programs for grades two through five.

Valach said in addition the program will add a Family Engagement piece and a middle school ski club.

Regarding the budget for all of this, Vlach said that if the Board of Education can fund the $45,000 Curriculum Fee, she can secure the remaining $55,000 for the program through grants and other donations.

Rachael Burns, the Student Representative, talked about the success and fun of the donkey Basketball game held at PCHS on Saturday, April 30th. For those who don’t what that is, the ball players ride live donkeys and shoot baskets, as well as fall off the stubborn animals.

Additionally at the meeting, Superintendent Beam announced that the Super Scholars event this year honored 221 qualifying students. He also said that on May 5th representatives of Glenville State College will hold a meeting with students and parents interested in the “Grow your Own” Program; on May 6th, Mac Warner, the Secretary of State is presenting the Jennings Randolph Award at PCHS; and on May 19th, Dr. Gordon Gee, President of WVU would be here to recognize Sarah Warder. Additionally, Beam said graduation will be held on May 22nd at 2:00 pm on the football field, with the last day of school for students being May 25th.

Beam said that the board members must do his annual evaluation as well as the new state-mandated self-evaluation by board members at the May 24th or the June 7th meeting.

Rusty Webb of the Webb Law Center telephoned in and invited the board to join in their class action law suit against JUUL and other vape and e-cigarette manufacturers for creating a “legal nuisance” by marketing to teens. Later in the meeting the board approved doing this.

Additionally, the board:

  • Discussed and approved acquiring flood insurance on all remaining school buildings.
  • Approved the bid of Woodford Oil company to provide diesel, gasoline and heating oil from July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2024.
  • Approved a one-year contract with Diamond J Heating and Cooling LLc to provide HVAC repairs when needed.
  • Approved the adoption of science instructional materials for the next six school years.
  • Approved recommended Service and Professional Personnel actions.

During the Matters of the Board discussion, it was revealed that there will be a new YEW Mountain Middle School opening in the fall, which will be a private school. It was also said that there will be four weeks of summer school offered this year, 2 weeks in June and 2 weeks in July.

Story By

Tim Walker

Tim is the WVMR News Reporter. Tim is a native of Maryland who started coming to Pocahontas County in the 1970’s as a caver. He bought land on Droop Mountain off Jacox Road in 1976 and built a small house there in the early 80’s. While still working in Maryland, Tim spent much time at his place which is located on the Friars Hole Cave Preserve. Retiring in 2011 as a Lieutenant with the Anne Arundel County Police Department in Maryland, Tim finally took the plunge and moved from Maryland to his real home on Droop Mountain. He began working as the Pocahontas County Reporter for Allegheny Mountain Radio in January of 2015.

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