Pocahontas BOE Discusses Important Issues During Work Session
During their Work Session on Monday, November 2nd, the Pocahontas Board of Education (BOE) discussed several important issues. The board could not take formal actions regarding these issues, since this was not a regular meeting, but rather a work session.
Mr. Beam informed the board that Green Bank Elementary-Middle School has begun a fourteen-day virus quarantine, which places all students in virtual education until the quarantine is lifted. He said the school was closed because two individuals at the school have tested positive for COVID-19.
The board will consider letting the basketball teams play this season while following the WVSSAC’s COVID-19 safety guidelines as well as their own additional safety guidelines. Board President Hollandsworth summarized the board’s local guidelines:
“So, bus first, if we can’t get a bus driver then the parents will be driving to away games” said Hollandsworth. “two tickets per player and cheerleader for both teams; if the school gets closed, the basketball shuts down; temperature checks for everyone upon entry; concessions only if they are following the same guidelines that were set for football; media is limited to two people per team; and essential workers like the ambulance and the police are encouraged (to attend.”)
The state guidelines are included below at the end of this story.
The board also discussed their Slaven Property in Green Bank. Hollandsworth said that she understands that someone at the Greenbrier Valley Economic Development Corporation (or GVEDC) has been pressuring the County Commission to pressure the board to give that property to the GVEDC so they can sell it to Jacob Meck without holding an auction, which the board is required to do if it sells the land. Listen as Hollandsworth; Superintendent Beam; and Board Member Sam Gibson explain how they feel about this:
“And I think one of the reasons they want it back is so they can make sure Jacob Meck gets it” Hollandsworth said.
“And here is the other part of this” said Beam. “I am not sure if we agree to do that knowing that they had particular individuals to do that, that wouldn’t be an ethics violation on the board.”
“I think it absolutely could be” added Gibson.
While agreeing the board should not give the property away to the GVEDC, Board Member John Burns favors the board selling it themselves via public auction.
“My feeling is that we need to get it into the hands of somebody who is going to have to pay taxes on it” said Board Member Burns. “The county needs every penny they can possibly get, and the board of Education can use that cash.”
They discussed getting the property surveyed, appraise and possibly selling it at auction.
The board also held discussions on the 2020-2030 CEFP, which centered on possible future school consolidation or possibly passing a new levy in a couple of years to try and keep all 5 schools open; applying to the SBA for another Needs Project; and making a decision to install LED lighting in the schools to save utility money.
WVSSAC Basketball COVID-19 Safety Guidelines
- Face coverings of any kind must be worn if social distancing is not possible. This includes the people on the bench and people working at the scorers’ table. Before the game begins, teams meet at center court and shake hands and meet with the refs. The coaches will be able to meet for a pregame conference while socially distant, but without players.
- Athletic trainers and other personnel are not permitted to give out water bottles or cups. Each athlete will be asked to bring his or her own water. This will eliminate the use of water coolers and stations.
- Spectators in attendance will be seated at the fourth row and above. Cheerleaders will be required to wear masks or face coverings during the game.
- The jump ball will be eliminated to begin the game. Instead, the visiting team will be awarded possession to begin the game. Officials will stand six feet or greater away from the player in-bounding the ball to resume play.
- Gloves worn by referees will be permissible, and those gloves must be clear. Lastly, the referee typically signs off on the book. Now, the referee will provide the scorers’ table with an index card indicating the names and official numbers for each crew member.