Pocahontas Board of Education OK’s Costa Rica Trip after Zika Virus Assurances

At their February 8th Meeting, the Pocahontas County Board of Education tabled the approval of a Spanish Club trip to Costa Rica after concerns were raised about the dangers of the Zika Virus which is prevalent there. When the issue came back up at their February 22nd meeting, the Board heard from Spanish Teacher Shirlene Groseclose about the risks of traveling to Costa Rica. Groseclose said she has received assurances from the travel agency “EF” who has over 50 years experience with similar school trips that the only small risk would be to pregnant women, but now even that is in question. Groseclose.

“If you have been keeping up with the news, it is now believed that the actual cause of the Microcephaly in the Brazilian women is the use of larvacide in the water” said Groseclose. “It has not been prevalent in any of the other places that the Zika Virus has even affected pregnant women, just in Brazil. There have been other pregnant women affected with the virus in other places, and they have not had children with Microcephaly –which is small brain and head.”

Groseclose went on to talk about what she sees as the real risk the Mosquitoes of Costa Rica do pose.

“This mosquito, does it carry flu like symptoms?” asked Groseclose. “Yes, that’s about what it (the Zika Virus) gives you. If you get bitten you’ll get some flu like symptoms. Nobody has necessarily died, and everybody has recuperated in a short amount of time. The probabilities?, I can’t really tell you that but it seems EF has a group that really investigates those things. They will not send us to anyplace where there is any concerns. They currently have many trips down there right now. They are the biggest company – and that’s why I travel with them-because I have the most faith in them because they have the most experience, the most contacts, the most resources to save the students from any hazardous place.”

Groseclose went on to say that the parents and chaperones have all been apprised of the Zika situation and only one had any concerns, but in the end that person was satisfied the trip was safe. The Board voted to approve the trip provided waivers were signed releasing the Board of Education from any liability.

Superintendent Beam offered his special recognitions.

“The Archery Tournament was held last weekend and Marlinton Middle school won first place in their division and Marlinton Elementary finished second in theirs, so congratulations to those teams” said Beam. “Our Young Writers Contest was held recently and we’ll be recognizing those students at our April 11th Board Meeting. And finally, we will recognize Debbie Irvine of Marlinton Elementary School. They’re hosting a family engagement activity entitled ‘Fitness Fun’.”

Christina Smith, Coordinator of Teaching and Learning gave a report to the board about the Greenbrier Airport Essay contest and announced several upcoming events, including Social Studies Fairs, and hosting an upcoming RESA Math Skill Day at the NRAO on March 23rd.

Emily Booth, the High School Student Representative to the Board delivered her report talking about recent Basketball results, that Spring Sports are getting ready to start, the National Honor Society Inductions will be next week, and six students from the high school participated in the WVU Choral Festival the past weekend.

The Board approved various financial transactions, payroll, and reports. They also approved one grant.

The approved the School Calendar Policy and set two public hearings about the policy. One at 6:00 p.m. on Monday 3-14 at Hillsboro Elementary and one at 6:00 p.m. on Monday, 3-28 at the Green Bank Elementary-Middle School. Both of these sessions will be followed by regular Board Meetings at 7:00 p.m. at those locations.

They approved a Personnel Agenda which can be found with this story on our website, alleghenymountainradio.org.

The meeting ended with a closed executive session to discuss personnel matters and legal issues with their attorney.


Approved Personnel Agenda for the February 22nd Board of Education Meeting

ALESIA WAYNE was employed as a Substitute Tutor (Project SPLASH) at Green Bank Elementary-Middle School retroactive to 12-7-15 as needed at $20.00 per hour. (SPLASH Grant funded).

A Custodian III extra duty position was created for Energy Express 2 hours per day, 5 days a week at $12.00 per hour from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. shift effective June 27 through July 29, 2016 not to exceed $600.00. (Funded by WV Leaders of Literacy: Campaign for Grade Level Reading).

NICHOLE ROSE-TAYLOR was employed as an After School Tutor at Marlinton, Elementary School retroactive to February 8th, 2016 through June 1, 2016 at $20.00 per hour, 2 hours per day, 2 days per week. (Grant Funded).

JOSEPH W. RILEY –employed as Athletic director at Marlinton Middle School for the 2015-2016 season at a supplement of $750.00.

LAUREL DILLEY, ARON PUGH and ABRAM RITTENHOUSE were employed as PCHS coaches of Boys Track –dividing a supplement of $750.00 and also as PCHS Girls Track Coaches, dividing a $750 supplement for that position as well.

RANDALL IRVINE was employed as Head Baseball coach for the upcoming season at PCHS at a supplement of $750.00, contingent upon completing WVSSAC Course on February 25, 2016.

LORI DOLITTLE was employed as a Truancy Diversion Specialist for the Schools effective February 24, through May 25 at $20.00 per hour. (Funded by the Truancy Diversion Grant.)







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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