BOE Hears About Innovative H-2 Science and Social Studies Lesson Plans

At the March 28th Pocahontas County Board of Education meeting, Mary Sue Burns, an Itinerant Instructional Support Coach, told the members that her mission is to help facilitate Kindergarten through 2nd grade (K-2) teachers by mentoring them in science instruction lesson plan designs. She said she edits and enhances lesson plans designed by teachers; creates instructional support materials and collaborates with teachers in designing lesson plans that meet all the science standards for the grade.

Shannon Rittenhouse, also an Itinerant Instructional Support Coach, told the members that she is doing something similar for K-2 involving Social Studies lesson plans. She said the goal in her lesson plans is to open up the world to the students to nurture them to become effective citizens. She said history and social studies need to be taught at the same time as basic reading and writing.

During his report, Superintendent Terrence Beam announced that Pocahontas County is hiring the first Apprentice Teacher in West Virginia as part of the “Grow Your Own West Virginia Teacher” program. The board approved hiring Jazzlyn Peter as a Grow Your Own Apprentice Teacher later during the personnel agenda portion of the meeting.

Beam also said that one Special Education position and a couple of teacher positions will be Riffed, however he said positions may be eliminated, but not people. The occupants of those positions will still be employed at the same rate of pay, but may find themselves at a different school next school year.

Haley Spencer, the Student Representative, said the county Math Field Day winners went to regional’s and had the top score there.

Sherry Radcliff provided the members with the tentative dates this summer when the HVAC projects will be constructed at the Green Bank School and Marlinton Middle School. She also said they will be submitting an application for a Major Improvement Project to do this at PCHS.

Additionally at the meeting the board approved the following:

  • Routine financial reports
  • The 2023 state audit, which was said to be very good.
  • They exempted themselves from Workers Compensation for the upcoming school year.
  • An agreement with the Web Law Center to join a class action lawsuit against the damage social media companies have done to education. That is the same law firm representing them in a similar lawsuit against the Juel Vape Company.
  • To partner with GameChangerUSA to use their anti-drug program with students. The program theme is “One Pill Can Kill.” There is no charge to do this.
  • To acquire an integrated sports video program called “Hudl” which will enable the school’s sports teams to capture and analyze videos of games. This three-year contract will cost $24,000. Whether this happens or not still depends on the schools setting up a video streaming system to the football and baseball fields. This passed 4-1, with Board Member Sam Gibson the lone vote against it.
  • They also approved additional parent and community volunteers.

They also passed the recommended list of personnel actions, which included hiring a new Director – Amy R. Robertson as Director of Secondary Education/CTE, effective April 3, 2023, and as mentioned earlier, Jazzlyn Peter as an apprenticeship teacher under the Grow Your Own West Virginia Teacher Program, effective March 30, 2023. To see the rest of the personnel actions, click on the following link to the Official Agenda- 3-28-23 Official BOE Agenda PDF

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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