Part 2, 10-27-20 Pocahontas BOE Meeting -Board approves the CEFP

This is the second part of our report on the Pocahontas Board of Education’s October 27th meeting. In the first part we talked about two changes the board made to the school re-entry plan.

This meeting, held at the Marlinton Elementary School, was also a Local School Improvement Council (LSIC) meeting and they made presentations to the board.

The school’s LSIC President, Lucy Mosesso’s presentation was one of support for permanently maintaining Marlinton Elementary School at its existing location. She also pointed out some issues of concern. These included:

  • A need for greater outside lighting around the school.
  • A need to remove the abandoned former School Board Building which is next to Marlinton Elementary School.
  • The necessity for the Board of Education to come up with the funds to replace the school’s fire sprinkler system, perhaps by obtaining funding through a grant.
  • Necessary Improvements to the school’s playground, particularly the basketball court.

Marlinton Elementary School’s Principal, Phillip Anderson, provided an overview of the school’s enrollment and other data. He said the school currently has two-hundred and twenty-four (224) students, Twenty-three (23) professional staff and eight (8) service personnel. So far this year the school has had 97.5% attendance and only three (3) disciplinary incidents, which is a major improvement for the school, since last year there were one-hundred and seventy-seven (177) disciplinary incidents at the school. Anderson said that as of the date of the meeting, there were only 7 students remaining on the two-day-a-week attendance plan and thirty-five students attending virtual school

Shenda Smith spoke about the Family Engagement activities at the school, which have been somewhat limited because of the virus restrictions. She said they are working on getting the student of the month recognized in the Pocahontas Times; staying in touch with virtual students; and working with the Pocahontas Drug Awareness Coalition to provide students with project boxes

During a meeting of school staff with the board, the staff brought up the following items:

  • The expressed appreciation that the board provided the school with a full-time Counselor and a half-time Social Worker.
  • They asked for air purifiers in each classroom
  • They support leaving the schools closed to students on Wednesdays to enable teacher collaborations on those days, but supported mandating all students attend class the other four days each week.

In other actions at the meeting, the board received special recognitions and a report from Superintendent Beam, in which he said they have added seven (7) new service positions to the schools, but have to pay for those by not automatically filling the positions of employees who retire. He said the lawsuit the county schools have files to recover school aid money the state shorted them in years past is proceeding.

Jacob Kinnison, the Student Representative, delivered his report in which he said Homecoming and Spirit week, featuring a Hawaiian Theme went well.

The board took action on the following items:

  • They approved a memorandum of understanding with the Burlington United Methodist Family Services to provide services and support to meet the educational needs of foster children in the county.
  • They approved the 2020-2030 Comprehensive Educational Facilities Plan.

They also approved Service and Professional Personnel actions which can be found with this story on our website.

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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