Schools, The Braxton Democrat

New Superintendent Discusses Objectives with BoE

The Board of Education for Braxton County held their most recent meeting on Tuesday, July 19.
Board President Evelyn Post opened the meeting by reminding the board members of their goal setting special meeting on July 27. She also discussed WVDE Policy 2322. The state policy is for accountability of Board of Educations throughout the state. During her recent presidents’ retreat, the policy was discussed and the state will be doing audits of agendas and meeting minutes this year to make sure boards in compliance with the policy.
Director Linda Sears gave a brief update to board members on the fourth week of summer school. She noted students are really enjoying the field trips. She informed the board, at the middle school students worked on more construction projects for the outdoor area as part of their unit on measurement. Director Sears also reported the high school credit recovery is still ongoing and more students are coming in for classes.
Superintendent Dr. Rhonda Combs discussed her plans moving forward in reference to her continuous school improvement updates. She stated she planned on sharing the most recent data as it was available and will discuss this in more detail at the upcoming special meeting.
Dr. Combs stated the summer program was a huge positive for the schools with the large number of students attending. She also plans on working with the directors over the summer with continuing professional development and the back to school continuing education plans.
She is still working with Director Brenda Wells and John Hoffman on school safety plans and wants to complete a full safety audit of all of the schools to help with the planning.
Director of Attendance Tim Via gave a brief overview of open enrollment and out of attendance area policies because of questions from the last meeting. The state open enrollment policy states the county has to allow out of county enrollment if room is available for the grade level requested. These students do not have to go into their first choice school if room is not available there, but can be placed in another school that has an opening available. The out of attendance area students are in county students asking to attend schools out of their attendance area. If more students than openings apply for a place, a lottery drawing takes place by the board for placement.
Head Start Director Christina Bailey presented the board with the Head Start grant application of which the majority, 68%, goes to salaries for the program. Currently Braxton has eight classrooms with eight teachers and eight assistants. The grant allows for 70% of their salaries to be covered. The county has two family service positions which are 100% funded and a pre-k/head start coordinator which receives 99% salary funding. Also 100% funded by the Head Start grant is two part-time academic coaches and Director Bailey at 33% and her secretary at 35%. Included in the grant application is funding for background checks, supplies, training and travel. She also noted that all head start/pre-k playgrounds have been updated through the program as well with head start pandemic funds.
Under regular business, the board approved the following consent agenda items on a motion by Dr. Kenna Seal with a second by Larry Hardway: payment of bills; budget transfers and supplements and treasurer’s report.
The following professional, service, and extra-curricular personnel recommendations were approved on a motion by Lisa Ratliff with a second by Kevin Gregory: employment of Amy Perkins, from assistant principal, BCMS to principal, BCMS, Johnna Cable, 2022 summer-special education supervisory/instructional/transportation aide (as needed), Jennifer Arambula, flag/majorette coach, BCHS, and Forrest Taylor, head track coach, BCMS; and resignations for Carmen Skiles, second grade teacher, Burnsville, and Sherry Moats, substitute aide and cook.
Also approved by the board on two separate motions were permission to post for BCHS girls soccer coach and permission to post classroom instructional aide, 1st/2nd grade, Burnsville, and English as a second language instructional support specialist, part-time position. Board member Kevin Gregory asked about the federal source for those two positions. Director of Federal Programs Kim Dennison stated the aid was coming from a continued school improvement federal funds and the specialist was from Title I funds.
The board approved the permission to attend school in Braxton County on a motion by Dr. Seal with a second by Lisa Ratliff.
Fundraisers from Little Birch, BCMS and BCHS were approved on a motion by Kevin Gregory with a second by Lisa Ratliff.
The board ended the meeting with the appointment of board members to various committees. Lisa Ratliff will serve on the 4-H Extension Service committee, Dr. Kenna Seal with continue with the Head Start Advisory Committee, Larry Hardway will now serve on the Recreation Authority, and Kevin Gregory will sit on the new School Safety/Crisis Management committee.
The meeting was adjourned at 7:08 pm. The next regular meeting will be August 2 at 6:00 pm in the board office. As always, members of the Braxton County community are encouraged to attend regular board meetings. Any parent or concerned community member 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.