Beam Outlines Policy Needs During Pocahontas County Board Of Education Meeting

Marlinton, WV – Terrence Beam, the new Director of Federal Programs and Instruction for Pocahontas County Schools, spoke to the Pocahontas Board of Education members Monday night about policies he feels the county needs to have in place. He first spoke about early entrance. Generally children need to be five years old by Sept 1st in order to enter kindergarten. Beam says the county needs a policy in place for those born between September 1st and October 1st.

Beam says some counties use DIBELS to help determine whether a child is ready to enter school. DIBELS stands for Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills. But board member Jan McNeel disagrees with using that criteria. She explains what they’ve used in the past.

“When you have your kindergarten registration, what you actually have them do is go through stations – can they write their name and do they know their colors, do they know some of their letters” says McNeel. “Whatever the screening device is for kindergarten ought to be appropriate – I don’t think we need to reinvent the wheel.”

Another of Beam’s policy requests concerns home schooled children.

“One of the parts of my responsibility is home schooling, and I keep hearing these stories about kids in our community that haven’t been in school in two or three years” says Beam. “There’s no paper trail there’s not a state policy [but] there is a state law that says you’re supposed to have a county policy.”

Beam also spoke about the need for formal policies on mentors for new teachers and multicultural education in all county schools. He says he will form committees to discuss and formulate policies that will be presented to the board for approval.

In other business, School Supintendent CC Lester says Hillsboro Senior citizens may be moving into the old music room, adjacent to the Hillsboro Elementary School cafeteria. It will require some reconstruction work, and may include a bathroom as well. Lester also gave the board an update on summer school classes. He says there are a total of 28 students taking summer school classes at Marlinton Middle School, Green Bank Middle School and Pocahontas County High School. Of those, he says at least 25 students are on track to complete their classes successfully.

Board member Jan McNeel also went over a Westest Two assessment tool that she uses in her teacher consultation work. She urged Lester to encourage teachers to start thinking and planning now for the next Westest to help students be as prepared as possible.

The next meeting of the Pocahontas County Board of Education is Monday, July 26th.

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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