Pocahontas Youth Reporting Center Explained at BOE Meeting

During the December 19th Pocahontas County BOE meeting, Edward Dougherty explained that Youth Reporting Centers (YRC) exist in many West Virginia Counties, but only some of them are actual Schools, like the one in Pocahontas County.  Dougherty said that while he works for the WV Schools of Diversity and Transition, he is also a certified teacher and a qualified Options Pathway teacher.

He explained that the YRC is funded entirely by the state, and is associated with the West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation, but it is by no means a jail or corrections facility, nor is it an alternative learning center. Those, according to Dougherty are common misconceptions that some teachers believe about the YRC.

He said the Pocahontas YRC, through referrals by teachers and principals, identifies students who are at risk of not being able to graduate or of dropping out of school. The YRC ‘s job is to either take over educating those students until they graduate, or they help get them back on track to graduate from the county schools, and sent them back to their regular school.

Dougherty said that since the Options Pathway teacher position recently became vacant at Pocahontas County High School, the YRC is now performing that Option Pathways instruction for the schools as well. He explained that Options Pathway is an existing program at PCHS which works with kids who are unable to learn in a traditional schooling program, to enable them to either get their full diploma plus a Career and Technical Education Certification (CTE,) or to get a GED.  The YRC does this at their school in Cass, and transports these students back to PCHS for their CTE instruction if needed.

Dougherty said they also operate a summer school in Cass whereby students who need to make up credits for classes they failed during the school year can do so. He said this is particularly important since PCHS recently changed the way credits are awarded. In the past, if a student failed the first semester of a class, they could raise their grade to a passing score for the entire class by getting a high enough grade during the second semester of the class to raise their overall grade. But now if a student fails the first semester of a class, they lose the credits for that first semester, no matter how well they do in the second semester. This change makes the summer school credit recovery even more important. He said they can handle up to 16 students that is 8 students in each of the two sessions they run in the summer for these credit recovery classes.

Dougherty said the YRC also works with chronic truancy students referred to them by the schools, and also helps students make the transitions to or from state juvenile placements.

In summary, he said the YRC works with academically challenged or behaviorally difficult students to help them obtain an education and get jobs in the future.

Also, at this meeting; it was reported that the installation of the new boilers at Marlinton Elementary School is on hold while the state considers approval of the method used for the installation. It was also announced that since the LSIC meeting at Hillsboro Elementary School was cancelled earlier this month due to inclement weather, the January 9th board meeting will be held at Hillsboro Elementary School, with the LSIC meeting beginning at 3:30 pm and the regular board meeting at 4:45 pm.

The board members also:

  • Voted consent approval of routine financial matters and reports.
  • Approved a Memorandum of Understanding with Seneca Health Services
  • Approved an overnight trip from February 25th to the 27th, for Ms. Teresa Mullens and two Pro-Start students to the Greenbrier Resort for the WV HEAT competition.
  • Approved the recommended service and professional personnel actions, which you can find by clicking on the link to the official meeting agenda at the end of this story on our website, alleghenymountainradio.org.

The board members conducted a Matters of the Board discussion in which Board Member Morgan McComb, commenting on the Juvenile Resource Center presentation, said “a diploma is the difference between getting a paycheck or a welfare check.”

Board President Sue Hollandsworth announced that Teacher Justine Dilley has received an award from the American Chemical Society.

To see the personnel actions taken at this meeting, click on the following link to the official meeting agenda – 12-19-23 Official BOE Agenda PDF


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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