Hillsboro Elementary Wants To Keep 5th Grade At The School

Hillsboro, WV – Hillsboro Elementary PTO President Wildman Adams urges the Pocahontas County Board of Education to keep the 5th grade at the school. He made his case at a meeting of the Hillsboro Local School Improvement Council [LSIC]Monday night.

“I would like to voice my concern that maybe our 5th grade will be moved to the high school, says Adams. “I really think it’s dangerous to put 9,10 year olds with 13 and 14 year olds. I think in the long run it will be detrimental to our county if we do that and I don’t think there’s anything more important resource that we put our money into than our children.”

Board President Kenny Vance says it’s not a decision left solely to the board.

“It’s not really us; you need to keep the parents that have 5th graders, keep them here,” says Vance. “Because this year there were quite a few students but they went to the 5th grade at Marlinton [Middle school] The one’s that are deciding to move their children to Marlinton Middle school, that’s what’s affecting us.”

The current 5th grade class at Hillsboro is relatively small, but this years’ third grade class has 20 students, so some argue that’s a good incentive to keep a 5th grade class at the school. Principal Ricky Sharp says one of his big goals for the next year is to increase parent involvement in the school. Although Hillsboro LSIC President Don McNeel was at the meeting, many of the LSIC members were unable to attend.

Teacher Darlene Arbogast talks about a new reward system for students at the school, Red Devil Bucks, named for the schools team name.

“The children can get Red Devil Bucks, and it is for their behavior,” she says. “We also have a game room, we have three Wii stations in there; we also have a foosball table that Mrs. (Jenny) Friel donated to the school, Wii fit. We allow students to purchase a game day pass with their Red Devil Bucks.”

Hillsboro Mayor Ann Workman was also at the meeting to talk about a state division of highways grant program that could pay for sidewalks in the town. She says part of the money would also be used to promote health and fitness at the school through the Fun Walking Friday’s program.

“How we’re going to be doing that is through Fun Walking Friday’s, which is a walking school bus,” says Workman. “We start at the Presbyterian Church Friday morning at 8:30am, we wait for the school buses to drop the children off, they check in with us. Then as a group with parents [and] teachers, we walk from the Presbyterian Church up to the [school] cafeteria.”

Workman says the each child who walks is tracked and a record is kept for each class. She says at the end of the year, the class with the most miles accumulated wins the Golden Sneaker award.

The Board praised Sharp for his work at the school. Sharp for his part, thanked the Board for attending the LSIC meeting and for their concern for keeping a 5th grade class at Hillsboro.

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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