Pocahontas Schools Still Plan to Hold a Graduation Ceremony

At 8 a.m. on April 21st, the Pocahontas County Board of Education resumed their March 9th Tax Levy meeting and approved the tax levy for the 2020-2021 fiscal year as follows:

  • Class I   -$19,40
  • Class II  -$38.80
  • Class III -$77.60
  • Class IV -$77,60

They then adjourned that meeting and immediately began the April 21st Regular Board meeting, where School Superintendent Beam predicted -accurately as it turned out- that Governor Justice would probably decide later that afternoon to not reopen the state’s schools this school year. Beam said he still wants to hold some sort of graduation ceremony this year in June. One possible option Beam mentioned was a kind of a drive-in graduation limited to immediate family and held in front of an outdoor podium with the graduates and their families remaining in their cars. He said that he still has some hope there could be a more traditional indoor ceremony with the graduates walking across the stage, but that depends on what happens with the virus situation in the state. He mentioned that there could be an issue for graduates who have immediate family members living out of state.

Beam also said that students would be able to take their AP tests online in May and there would be credit recovery classes offered at some point this summer, even if they are virtual.

Beam said the meal program is going well, with six hundred and fifty meals being delivered on April 20th.

Beam said the deadline for submission of the final CEFP report has not yet been extended, but he is hopeful that it will be as they have been unable to hold CEFP meetings during this virus lockdown.

He congratulated Gaven Walls from Marlinton Middle School and Cyrus Scott from Green Bank Elementary-Middle School as this year’s Golden Horseshoe Award winners.

In addition to approving the routine financial reports, the board approved the 2019 Financial Audit and the 2020-2021 Fiscal Year Board of Education Budget which also included the Food Budget and the Step VII Budget.

During the miscellaneous portion of the meeting the Board approved the following:

  • The 2020-2021 schedule of Board Meetings
  • Seven dual-credit classes to be offered at PCHS next school year.
  • Six Advanced Placement (AP) classes to be offered at PCHS next school year.
  • A three week out-of-season practice for the 2020-2021 school athletic programs to run from June 8th to the 26th , however those dates are flexible depending on the return dates of on-campus activities following the virus restrictions.

They also approved a very lengthy Service and Professional Personnel agenda which can be found on our website.

During the Matters of the Board:

  • Board Member Campbell commented that the school meal distribution is going well despite occasional abuse.
  • Member McLaughlin said it was good when he heard some kids saying they actually missed going to school
  • Member Hollandsworth asked about the status of the Assessment testing, the SAT test and the ACT testing.  Ruth Bland responded and said the SAT and ACT would be put off until fall and there would be no assessment testing this year, but would occur next fall and again in the spring,
  • Board President Walker commented that the issue of creating a Technical High School has been put off for now but will be revisited after the virus lockdown is over. He also thanked the volunteers for helping with the school meal program.

The personnel agenda approved at this meeting can be found here:https://www.alleghenymountainradio.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/4-21-20-BOE-Personnel-Agenda.docx

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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