Reading Consultant Eager To Continue Work With Pocahontas County Teachers

Marlinton, Wv – Katherine Snyder has a plan to help Pocahontas County teachers be more effective in their teaching. Since retiring from full time teaching, she has been doing consulting work all over the State, with an emphasis on reading skills. She describes one of her methods.

“What I do is either have a meeting after school or before school or a training [session] before or after school” she says “And then I model and demonstrate those instructional strategies in a classroom. Sometimes it’s over a period of time. I model the reading block, it’s not just for one day, it’s over a period of time so they can see each day and how it’s different and how it progress through the weekly cycle. Then I meet with the teacher and we debrief and we talk. Then I come back and sometimes we team teach.”

Snyder says she also meets with Principals to update and debrief them as well. She showed the Board before and after scores for one school, whose scores improved from mostly 2s and 3s to predominantly 4s and many 5s, with three being the bench mark for the scale she uses. She told the Board that she uses tools such as West Virginia Writes and Acuity. She says that with these computer-based programs, she is able to check each class for activity and analyze results and provide e-mail feedback.

Board President Kenneth Vance asked if there is sufficient funding to continue the program next year. Terrence Beam, Director of Federal programs says he’s not sure as he’s still waiting on some budgetary numbers.

“We’re looking”says Beam. “When I get my Title 1 budget for sure [and] when we get my Title 2 budget – when I get those set in stone, then I’ll have a better idea. But I’m hoping that we can continue doing this.”

Snyder said she is working on her schedule for next year and would like to continue her work here. She says for the time being, she will hold days open in next years schedule to accommodate Pocahontas County.

Darrin McKenney tells the Board that the sprinkler system at Marlinton Elementary is in bad shape. He and school Superintendant CC Lester have discussed it. They will have to try to work it into the Budget and try to get funding. The Fire alarm system may also have to be replaced.

Vance asked if the new Community Building [to be built next to Marlinton Elementary] will be tied into the school. McKenney says he doesn’t know but if it will be, but, if it is, the Fire Marshall will have to approve it.

McKenney also told the Board that the high school drainage project will soon be completed. The gutters are hooked up and weather permitting, they’ll pour concrete during spring break. Additionally, the gutters, and fascia boards at Marlinton Middle School will have to be replaced.

The problem arose because drip strips and flashing were not part of the original installation. McKenney says that he will be able to do the work once the materials have been procured.

Diane Delfino shared the results of two recent inspections of the School Systems food service areas. She says, except for one item, the discrepancies were minor and have either been resolved or are in the process of being fixed. The one area of concern is at Marlinton Middle School. Delfino shared State Inspector E.E. Walker’s thoughts about the warehouse facility at the school.

“The facility is too crowded and that’s our holding space for our commodities” says Delfino. “And his suggestion is that we do need to come up with another idea; that we have to have some other structure that has a freezer or refrigerator, and a produce refrigerator in it. He suggested to Mrs. Irvine that we look into maybe disaster relief since the middle school is our disaster center, that maybe we could get some funds through them. But Mr. Walker did say that if it’s a new structure, that he has to be part of that, that he has to okay the plans for it.”

Some early thoughts for another facility are the garage at MMS or having the Vo-Tech classes construct a building. In any case, the necessary coolers and such will have to be purchased.

In other actions, the Board approved the abolition of a number of obsolete policies. At Vance’s suggestion, several of the policies will be reworked and retained as procedures. They approved posting the new Local Wellness Policy on a 30 comment period. They also approved paying teacher Christine Campbell for 8 days of work for the American Federation of Teachers, contingent upon receiving reimbursement from the AFT.

The Board also approved a number of personnel actions for the 2011-2012 school year:

Employing as part time Academic Interventionists:
Jennifer McCarty at Green Bank, Teresa Barb and Lyann Zelinsky at Marlinton Elementary, and Mary Dawson at Hillsboro

Employing as part time at risk Interventionists:
Cheryl Jonese at Green Bank, Michael Burns and Jessica McLaughlin at PCHS
Employment of Shannon Anderson as a Title 1 Reading Specialist Half time at Hillsboro

Transfer of Cynthia Shreve from Special Ed to teacher of science at Marlinton Middle

And Carolyn Pennington from half time Special Ed Aide at Hillsboro to the same position at Marlinton Middle

They also accepted the Resignation of Susie McCree as substitute cook for Pocahontas County Schools.

The Board will meet in a Budget work Session on Wednesday May the 4th at 5 pm in the Board Conference Room.

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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