Braxton Citizens' News, Schools

Board hears updates on school systems’ progress

The Braxton County Board of Education held their regular meeting on February 7.

Superintendent Dr. Rhonda Combs followed up with the board on the presentation from the last meeting by Directors Kim Dennison and Tim Via. She noted the schools were coming up on the third quarter and continued focusing on foundational skill, especially math. Schools were also working towards students learning independently, specifically in reading.

She gave board members a brief update on the first personnel meeting Dr. Combs will be having with principals soon. She informed the board she anticipates having positions for any staff members displaced and the school system should be able to keep them employed.

Dr. Combs also informed board members of upcoming safety training on February 20 at Days Inn.

Board members discussed possibly purchasing Suburban type vehicles instead of passenger vans for use within the school system. Board President Evelyn Post noted the board had been discussing the purchase of one or two vans as the old one is no longer usable. Dr. Brenda Wells, Transportation and Facilities Director, noted she had been working on getting quotes and information on the passenger vans, but the car dealerships have none in stock and it will be eight to ten months before they will be able to get any. The board asked Dr. Comb and Dr. Wells to move forward with getting bids on Suburbans, Expeditions and other larger type passenger vehicles.

Dr. Wells also briefly went over the protocol for snow removal and the salting of parking lots and sidewalks at the high school. She discussed putting extra salt on the areas where the spring water comes up on the parking lot. Dr. Kenna Seal asked about what snow equipment the school system has for removal. Dr. Well stated they have one truck with a plow to be used at all eight schools.

Beth Atkins spoke to board members on behalf of the Town of Sutton and their request for the old school bell. The bell came from the first school in Sutton and the town would like to use the bell in the town museum located in the Sutton Community Building. The board approved the donation on a motion by Larry Hardway.

Athletic Director Dan Wilson spoke to the board to request funding to help to pay for the use of the armory during basketball season. President Evelyn Post noted the budget allowed for funds to the athletic department. Superintendent Dr. Combs will meet with Finance Director Ginger Altizer to get the correct amount and have it for release at the next meeting.

Dr. Leatha Williams, Technology Director, presented options to the board for a district-wide phone system replacement. The current system is at the end of its licensing and needs an immediate upgrade. The options ranged in price from $475,864.45 for a basic phone system only to $1,170,473.23 for the phone system plus the integration of the K12 public address intercom, bell, clocks and emergency notifications. The board approved the lowest option for the basic phone system on a motion by Kevin Gregory.

In regular action, the board approved the following consent agenda items on a motion by Larry Hardway: minutes of the December 20 special meeting and the January 24 regular meeting; transportation requests; budget transfers and supplements; and payment of bills.

The following professional, service and extra-curricular personnel recommendations were approved on a motion by Dr. Kenna Seal: employment of Nathaniel D. Hall, substitute teacher, Mark Rose, from bus operator, bus #39A to #30A, Addi Facemire, from substitute aide to instructional aide, grades 1 & 2, Sutton, Angela Snyder, from full time cook, BCHS to cafeteria manager, BCHS, and Nathan Short, $1 baseball coach, BCMS; and resignation of Nathan Short, $1 wrestling coach.

Fundraisers were approved on a motion by Kevin Gregory. 

Dr. Seal made the motion for approval of Kristy Lowther, Becky Jones, Christina Bailey and Miranda Nutter to attend the Innovative Schools Summit in Orlando, FL March 30 to April 2, funded through special education funds.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:11 pm. The next regular meeting is scheduled for February 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.