Smith Pitches Science Camp Plan To Pocahontas Board of Ed

Marlinton, WV – Pocahontas County Schools Superintendant C.C. Lester told Green Bank science teacher Anne Smith to prepare a plan for a science camp for all county fifth graders. During Tuesday evening’s Board of Education meeting, Smith presented her idea.

Smith introduced Charlie Waters, education coordinator with the Mountain Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to conserving mountain ecosystems and communities. Waters describes a proposed two-day science camp, during which students would get hands-on experience collecting and analyzing field data.

“The field-based methods that we use involve the scientific method, as well as inquiry, so they’re learning about how to use certain tools out in the field,” she said. “How to notate, how to collect data and, eventually, how to analyze that data. One of my favorite things is that they are learning how to collect data using field journals, which is a skill of a scientist.”

The proposed camp would include instruction in stream sampling, geology, biology and map reading. Waters said the Mountain Institute would provide the instruction a cost of $8,000. The cost of room and board at NRAO would be an additional $4,000 – $5,000, but Smith said that cost could be reduced if students ate breakfast and lunch at Green Bank School. Lester said he thought it was a worthwhile project to pursue. Board member Emery Grimes says grant funding needs to be explored.

“I believe there is some foundations and organizations out there that would give grants for this,” he said. “We just got to figure out who they are.”

The board directed Smith to provide a detailed cost breakout and explore funding options.

Special education director Ruth Bland reports the results of a recent state inspection.

“The most important part of it is the administrative findings and the only place that we were out of compliance was under IDEA 300-600, continuum of services,” she said. “That means that we have to provide inclusive services, pull-out services, as well as self-contained services. At this point, we are, pretty much, only doing self-contained and inclusive services. So, of course, it’s going to take more staff to do the pull-out services.”

Bland said pull-out services means removing a special needs student from the classroom to provide focused instruction, when the student has difficulty with a particular concept. The director said she has a year to fix the problem and that additional special education teachers might be needed. The board directed Bland to keep them informed of her progress.

The board thanked student representative Chloe Bland for her service during the previous year and welcomed newly elected representative Cassidy Rao. The board applauded Bland for her academic, athletic and leadership excellence.

During her first report, Rao noted several important upcoming events: a band concert at PCHS on May 22 at 7 p.m.; the PCHS athletic banquet on May 23 at 6 p.m.; senior awards night on May 24 at 6:30 p.m.; a Baccalaureate service on May 25 at 7 p.m. and graduation on May 26 at 11 a.m.

The board approved an eighth grade trip to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on May 22-24. Students raised money to pay for the trip, which 18 students and 13 chaperones will attend. Highlights of the trip include a Pirates baseball game and visits to Kennywood Park and the Pittsburgh Zoo.

During the Superintendant’s report, Lester informed the board that advertisement for architectural services for Hillsboro School construction had been submitted for publication. Lester said construction would begin next year. The West Virginia School Building Authority awarded $1.3 million for the project last month.

Personnel actions approved by the board:

1) Resignations:
– PCHS teacher Robert Sheets, due to retirement
– Kay Wiley, as volleyball coach
– Substitute custodian Larry Strader
– MMS math teacher Samantha McClure
-PCHS physical education teacher Joshua Ashby
– Green Bank Middle School principal Melvin Lindsay

2) Employment:
– Derek Lambert as assistant principal at PCHS
– Timothy McClung as head boys basketball coach at PCHS, at a supplement of $3,300
– Cindy Brock as EMT for PCHS football, at a supplement of $2,500
– Kay Wiley as PCHS boys track coach, from March 13, 2012, at a supplement of $750.01
– Jennifer Whiteis as PCHS science teacher
– Lisa Dennison as coordinator of child nutrition and food services/technology specialist
– Joshua Moore as general maintenance/electrician II/plumber II
– Kay Wiley as PCHS athletic director from March 13, 2012, at a supplement of $258.00

3) Abolish position of math consultant for grades 6-12.

4) Create position of half-time math coach.

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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