Pocahontas County School Superintendent’s September Report, PART1
Terrence Beam, the Interim Superintendent of the Pocahontas County Schools provides his September update to the public. The first part of this report will be about the recently established goals of the Board of Education. Part two, to be aired later this week will be about changes to the Alternative Education Program.
Mr. Beam begins with the Goals.
“The first thing on my agenda I want to talk about today is the goals the County Board of Education has set for this year” said Beam. “For the last few months our board has been meeting in work sessions and also with the State Board of Education Association to develop some goals for our County. To my knowledge it’s the first time in a few years that they’ve actually sat down and determined what the goals will be. And we wanted to get that out in the community so that people would know what we are trying to strive for this current year.
Mr. Beam talks about the first goal
“The first goal is to create a positive atmosphere of collegiality and collaboration between the Pocahontas County Board of Education and the Pocahontas County Schools and the entire school community” said Beam. “I think that’s something we’ve been needing to work on and I think that we are working on that. I think the situation is improving but we want to get the support of the community on our side and in order to do that you have to have a positive atmosphere.”
The second goal involves fixing problems with the school buildings themselves, as Mr. Beam explains.
“Our second goal is to address the issue of improving or replacing our school facilities through open forums and media outlets that involve both the County schools employees and the school community as a whole” said Beam.
Mr. Beam says that the first public open forum about this will be held on Monday, September 28th at 5:00 pm at Marlinton Elementary School, and he invites everyone to attend. It is no coincidence that this first public meeting about school facilities is at Marlinton Elementary School as Mr. Beam explains.
“The Board has determined, and I concur, that the most important facility we need to address at this time is Marlinton Elementary School” Beam says. “ Simply because it is located in the flood plain and we’ve had, as you know, multiple floods in our county and so it’s a good idea to get those kids out of the flood plain if at all possible and so we’re going to be talking on the 28th about the process of how that might occur. We’re meeting with some contractors this week to look at our facilities and determine what our options might be, and then hopefully on the 28th of September we’ll have more detailed information about that.”
Mr. Beam says that they need to submit a plan to the West Virginia School Building Authority by October 1st and the Marlinton elementary School issue will be the number one priority, but that is not the only issue which will be discussed. MR BEAM
“The second part of that project is going to be to address the issues at the High School as far as the number of students they have, the number of programs they can offer and the plant itself” Beam says. “And then the third part of this project will be the Green Bank Elementary-Middle School who has issues with their facilities also. So each of those, in their own right, have major issues that need to be addressed. And we are going to categorize and prioritize those and submit a plan to SBA (WV School Building Authority). So that’s our second goal, to address our facilities.”
Mr. Beam goes on to discuss the third Board of Education Goal.
“And our third goal is to allow teachers more time to plan lessons together , collaborate and share instructional strategies designed to improve both their performance and student learning” said Beam.
Mr. Beam says that this is necessary because even though Pocahontas County Schools were among the first to adopt the next generation standards required by the Common Core Curriculum , the teachers still need to get together as a grade level or subject level group to ensure they are using the same and most correct methods of instruction and curriculum. He said that Christina Smith, the Coordinator of Teaching and Learning has been meeting 2 or 3 times a year with grade group teachers to go through the lessons and this third goal is designed to enhance her efforts to do this.
Again, in part 2 of this story to be aired later this week, Mr. Beam will discuss changes to the Alternative Education Program in the Pocahontas County Schools