Braxton Citizens' News, Schools

Board of Ed hears LSIC presentations

The Braxton County Board of Education held their most recent meeting on March 7.

Two schools, Davis Elementary and Braxton County High School, gave their LSIC (Local School Improvement Council) presentations to the board members.

First up was Davis Principal Kyre-Anna Minney. She presented data to board members concerning test scores and attendance. She noted that though test scores were not where they should be, the students had shown a considerable amount of growth between the beginning of the year testing and mid-year testing.

Principal Minney discussed three areas, parent involvement, facilities/schoolwide improvement projects, and Partners in Education appreciation, the LSIC wanted to address and what the school had done to work on those areas.

Projects to work on parent involvement included luncheons with parents, red ribbon week, and various community parades.

The school turned an unused classroom in the “Dragon’s Lair” for students to use for work on improving the school’s facilities. The new room provides an opportunity for students to read, play board games, or to just hangout.

During the school year students also have the opportunity to visit the Gassaway Public Library as well as local businesses. GPL provides AR books, t-shirts to the school’s top readers monthly, and seasonal book displays for the school. Local businesses also step up in the community and provide items to the school throughout the school year. Principal Minney stated that in appreciation for what the entire 30+ Partners in Education do for the school, this year the school invited them for an Appreciation Luncheon. The students had the opportunity to give back to their Partners and thank them for their support.

Next to speak to board members was BCHS Principal Lori Stover-Williams. She discussed the goals of the LSIC with the board. The goals were raising scores, attendance, engagement, and building the culture at the high school. As with other schools, math and ELA scores are deficient and need to improve. Principal Stover-Williams noted that with the new iXL benchmark testing program scores are growing each nine weeks.

Programs at the high school to address concerns including Eagles Reboot (ER), Celebration Stations, work on master schedule allowing for better AP/dual credit scheduling, and the interventionists.

The number of students participating in ER has decreased from the first nine weeks and currently all 113 seniors are on track to graduate. There has also been a decrease in students failing classes.

Attendance is still a major issue but incentives tied to attendance like parking, the Soaring/Rising Eagle program, CTE job simulations, and CIS/PBIS rewards are helping address the issue.

Programs like Eagle Pride Day, college/career day, Eagle Fest, and homecoming work towards building the culture and the school and engaging the students especially with the community. Expanding the CTE program is also on-going to allow students different opportunities for career choices after graduation.

On two separate motions, the approved to accept the LSIC reports from both schools.

Under delegations, Shawn Crow spoke to board members asking for financial support for the freshman class field trip planned for the Clay Center and Bridge Valley campus. Board President Evelyn Post asked the item be placed on the next agenda for approval.

Superintendent Dr. Rhonda Combs gave a brief update to board members. She noted that the school system as a whole is focused on wanting the students happy to come to school and learning.

The strategic plan was submitted and approved by the state.

The plans to have graduation at the Mountain Lakes Amphitheater have changed and now it will be on the football field, weather permitting.

The professional learning trainings and meetings are ongoing and the plans for ESSERF funds for indoor/outdoor learning spaces are moving forward at each school. The high school will be breaking ground for their outdoor classroom later in the week.

Superintendent Dr. Combs discussed moving forward with the van purchasing. She noted there were some concerns with the safety of a passenger van and they were looking at options.

Under regular business, the board approved the following consent agenda items: minutes of the February 21 regular meeting and February 28 special meeting; transportation requests; treasurer’s report; budget transfers and supplements; and payment of bills on a motion by Larry Hardway.

The following professional, service and extra-curricular personnel recommendations were approved by the board on a motion by Dr. Kenna Seal: employment for 2023 summer teacher-Ryan Singleton, Amy Mullins, Jessica Smarr, Laura Allen, Heather Arnold, Rebecca DeNuzzo, Trisha Gregory, Lindsay Harman, Faith Harper, Lindsey Morris, Kathryn Singleton, Kelsie Tonkin, Erica Toler, Dawn Ward, Sue Ann White, Carol Young, Ocie Allen, Janice Jo Bane, Mindi Devilleneuve, Tina Knight, Jennifer Miller, Alice Smith, Ethan Backus, Shawn Crow, Anita Lambert, Joshua Porto, Sharon Desper, Jami Hefner, Susan Kearns, Marinda Locke, Kristy Wood, and Jo Malcomb; approval of contract agreement between principal and supervising aide, Addi Facemire, Sutton; employment for Lisa Allen, from cook, half-time position, Burnsville to cook, half-time position BCMS, Mark Rose, from bus operator bus #30A to general maintenance/carpenter II, Christopher D. Glaviano, school security officer, BCMS & BCHS, and Amanda Gum, $1 softball coach, BCHS.

Also approved by the board on separate motions were the following items: fundraisers; the first reading for Cell Phone and Electronic Communication Devices Staff (1950A) and Students (1950B) policy, currently one policy 1950, out for comment; third reading of Policy 5410: Volunteer Policy, adopted; purchase of the public announcement system for BCHS and BCMS; 3-hour early dismissal for March 31 for assessment training using accrued time; and the approval of HPS purchasing group RFP for child nutrition.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:57pm. The next regular meeting is scheduled for March 21 at 6:00 pm.