Board conducts expulsion hearing and other business

The Braxton County Board of Education conducted their most recent meeting on December 7. The meeting was called to order at 5:15 pm for a student expulsion hearing by board member Evelyn Post. Board President DeAnna Whipkey was absent.
An executive session was held to conduct the hearing from 5:16 to 5:46 pm. The board approved the superintendent’s recommendation of a 365 day expulsion with placement in AEP once coming out of executive session.
Board member Dolores Wright requested an update on the status of new bus operators. Superintendent Kathy Hypes stated that a couple of the current applicants are close to completing the process to obtain their certification and one former operator may be returning. Evelyn Post asked about looking into different marketing strategies. Superintendent Hypes stated that Director Brenda Wells had tried several different methods of marketing, but the bus driver shortage was a problem throughout the country.
Evelyn Post presented a letter of interest from Frank Blake to sit on the facilities committee. She requested board members review the letter and consider adding him to the committee.
She also discussed Skidmore Development providing shoes for all students at Little Birch and Burnsville Elementary. Superintendent Hypes stated an out of state business provided shoes for Frametown.
Superintendent Hypes informed the board that the state board of education has given the county full accreditation for this school year. Evelyn Post asked if Little Birch and Burnsville Elementary schools would still be receiving state support. Superintendent Hypes stated the support would continue.
She also discussed enrollment and the state reimbursement formula. The official enrollment for Braxton County Schools for the 2021-2022 school year is 1722. That is a decrease of only 14 students from the previous school year. The current enrollment with the state formula allows for the number of professional staff to remain the same. However, service personnel staffing is over formula by 12.4. The county will have to pay the salary for those individuals.
Superintendent Hypes provided an update on the roofing project for the high school. The School Building Authority will be releasing the results the first of next week and the county will know at that time if the project will be funded by the SBA. Also, the walk-in freezer project at the high school has received pre-bids and that project is moving forward.
Hypers also provided a brief update on COVID numbers. Eleven students tested positive and zero staff for the previous week with 83 students being placed on quarantine and no staff. Sissy Price from WVU Medicine stated that the omicron variant had not been seen in the state yet, but the delta variant was still prevalent.
Under regular action, the board approved the following consent agenda items: approval of the November 2, November 12, and November 16 meeting minutes; transportation requests; payment of bills; budget transfers and supplements; and treasurer’s report.
The following professional, service, and extra-curricular personnel recommendations were approved on a single motion: employment of Kerri Lemon, special education (LD/BD/MI/AU) teacher (anticipated), BCHS, pending completion of certification requirements (alternative certification), Brandon Shinaberry, substitute teacher, Lisa Allen from kindergarten/first grade supervisory/instructional/transportation/ECCAT aide, Little Birch, to half-time cook (9:30 am to 1:00 pm), Burnsville, Robert Lloyd, assistant boys basketball coach, BCHS, and Jamie Given, $1 assistant wrestling coach, BCHS; and resignations for G. Renae Friend, substitute secretary, Bryan Nottingham, school bus operator, and Tara Given, substitute aide.
The board also approved all fundraisers as presented and Braxton County Board of Education Policy 2306: Instructional Resources Adoption on separate motions. Superintendent Hypes stated that there were no comments or revisions needed on the policy.
The Superintendent discussed Policy 3210: Substitute Professionals in Areas of Critical Need and Shortage. The old policy needs to be revised and replaced by state code. The county has to submit critical needs areas yearly to the state. This policy allows for that and to cover using retirees to fill positions that can’t be filled by certified teachers. Hypes stated she was very grateful to those retirees that fill those positions.
The meeting was adjourned at 6:27 pm. The next regular meeting is scheduled for December 21 at 6:00 pm. As always, members of the Braxton County community are encouraged to attend regular board meetings. Anyone wishing to speak as a delegate or with public concerns may do so by signing in up to 15 minutes prior to the start of the meeting.