Delegate Denise Campbell Briefs the Pocahontas County Board of Education on the Recent Legislative Session
Never be married to a bill!
“One of the big pieces of advice somebody gave me the first year I was in the Legislature they said the first thing you need to remember when you are in the Legislature is to never be married to a bill” said WV Delegate Denise L. Campbell.
You just heard Delegate Denise L Campbell who represents Pocahontas County in the WV House of Delegates explain to the Pocahontas County Board of Education her frustration to get a bill she had sponsored enacted which would have helped allow rural school systems avoid extending the end of the school year well into June because of multiple Snow Days.
The bill, based upon what is done in Ohio, would have allowed schools to issue students “blizzard packs” of instructional training. By completing these instructional packs while snow-bound at home students could have counted up to 4 days toward the 180 required days of school. The bill passed both the House of Delegates and the State Senate only to have it vetoed by Governor Tomblin. Delegate Campbell was clearly frustrated with the veto.
“It’s a process and it’s a process and you just have to keep at it like you’re a dog with a bone” said Campbell. “And even when you do that you can’t guarantee it will make it through. I was so disappointed when they called me and told me the Governor vetoed that bill, I was just furious”
Campbell went on to talk about a bill that was enacted which allows alternative teacher certification. Because of a critical shortage of teachers, particularly in Science and Math, the bill would allow qualified people with Bachelor or Master degrees who are experts in their field but are not certified as teachers to teach while going through a certification process. This will help with the teacher shortage.
In a related topic, Dr. Bechtel, Superintendent of Schools explained to the board that one reason the school year won’t end until June 18th this year is that the State School Board did not grant Pocahontas County any waivers on the 180 day rule.
“We did submit a waiver request as Mrs. Campbell had talked about” said Dr. Bechtel. “We were one of 27 out of 55 school systems. We asked for a waiver for 4 dates, February 17 and 20 and those were 2 days where all 55 systems were closed and then for March 5th and 6th which were the State of Emergency, and so we received notification last week that all waivers were denied.”
The Student Representative to the School Board, Heather Pritt, asked a very sobering question for which the Board had no immediate solution but agreed it needed to be looked into further.
“I have a question” said Heather. Is there a law or anything that actually requires there to be an EMT in a school? Because there was an incident at the High School a few weeks ago involving a student who tripped and fell through the glass in a door. And his wrist was slit wide open and it took the ambulance around 45 minutes to get there. And I know you can all understand this could be a very serious issue and it was a very serious issue.”
Briefly here are other actions and discussions at the April 13th Board meeting. For more complete information about this meeting see the news story on our website (alleghenyountainradio.org).
• Bob Martin, the County Commission’s Attorney came before the Board of Education to discuss the release of the deed restrictions on part of the county owned land at the Green Bank Industrial Park. The restrictions, placed on the property in 1990 when the Board deeded the property to the County require that the property be only used for “Economic Development”.
The Board asked Mr. Martin to look further into the restrictions to see if the property’s deed already had the restrictions on it when it was acquired by the Board of Education before 1990.
Mr. Martin also advised the Board that the County Commission wants to give to the Board of Education the emergency generator located at the Marlinton Middle School. This will ensure that the generator will be covered by the School System’s insurance policy should it be damaged or destroyed by lightening or other causes. The Board asked Mr. Martin to place this matter on its agenda for the next Board Meeting since it had to be voted on.
• The Board approved payment of various vender fees, a Budget Adjustment, several grants and out of state training in Florida and Atlanta Georgia for some teachers which is paid for by grants.
• Approved a new policy for using retired Teachers to fill in as critically needed substitute teachers. This policy would enable a retired Teacher to be hired as “a Critical Needs Substitute Teacher” for an unlimited number of days without negatively affecting their retirement. Previously there was a limit on the number of days a retired teacher could substitute without affecting their retirement pay. Critical Needs areas include: Reading specialist, Special Education, Elementary Education, Science, Mathematics, Art, Alternative Education, Career and Technical Education, Physical Education/Health and Administration.
• Approved a new policy for Extra duty and Extra Curricular Bus Operators. The policy sets forth, among other things, State and County policies regarding scheduling of events and drivers, Pay of drivers, and load limits for buses.
• Placed a proposed Entrance Age Policy for 30 day comment. This policy would establish, among other things, that a child first entering school must be at least 5 years of age before September 15th of the school term, must present a birth certificate, and pass an assessment test
• Approved Personnel hiring and transfers which are listed below
April 13, 2015
Professional and Service Personnel
Green Bank Elementary – Middle School:
CREATION OF POSITION: Teacher of Title I at Green Bank Elementary – Middle School, effective for the 2015-2016 school year, at state basic salary based on degree and experience, term of employment is 200 days.
Marlinton Elementary School:
EMPLOYMENT (from Preferred Recall List): ELLEN D. FORTNEY, as Teacher of Multi-Subjects at Marlinton Elementary Schools, effective for the 2015-2016 school year, at state basic salary based on degree and experience, term of employment is 200 days.
EMPLOYMENT(from Preferred Recall List): KIMBERELY N. SHINABERRY, as Teacher of Multi-Subjects at Marlinton Elementary Schools, effective for the 2015-2016 school year, at state basic salary based on degree and experience, term of employment is 200 days.
REQUESTED TRANSFER: LISA R. BURNS, from Teacher of English/Language Arts at Marlinton Middle School to Teacher of Multi Subjects at Marlinton Elementary School, effective for the 2015-2016 school year, at state basic salary based on degree and experience, term of employment is 200 days.
Pocahontas County High School:
REQUESTED TRANSFER: CORY A. FRIEL, from Custodian III at Pocahontas County High Schools/Green Bank Elementary – Middle School to Custodian III at Pocahontas County High School, effective for the 2015-2016 school year, at state basic pay, term of employment is 220 days.
Pocahontas County Schools (Recommended for Transfer for 2015-16 school year, W. Va. Code 18A-2-7):
MICHELLE L. ARBOGAST, from Early Education Classroom Aide at Green Bank Elementary – Middle School, to Itinerant Special Education Classroom Aide/Bus Aide for Pocahontas County Schools, effective for the 2015-2016 school year, at state basic pay, term of employment is 200 days.
LISA M. DENNISON, as Coordinator of Child Nutrition/Technology Integration Specialist for Pocahontas County Schools
STEPHANIE L. BARKLEY, as Secretary III/Accountant III for Pocahontas County Schools (assignment: Central Office).
JENNIFER M. BARLOW, as Executive Secretary/Accountant III for Pocahontas County Schools (assignment: Central Office).
CORA LEE CARPENTER, as Executive Secretary/Accountant III for Pocahontas County Schools (assignment: Central Office).
MELISSA A. ERVINE, as Executive Secretary/Accountant III for Pocahontas County Schools (assignment: Central Office).
KRISTIN L. KINNISON, as Executive Secretary/Accountant III for Pocahontas County Schools (assignment: Central Office).
EMPLOYMENT: Of the following as Substitute Teacher for Pocahontas County Schools, effective April 15, 2015 (or upon completion of the RESA Online Substitute Teacher Training and background clearance), as needed, at state basic salary based on degree and experience.
Melinda Gayle Boyette
Lori Ann Dootlittle
David Lee Moore