Braxton Citizens' News, Schools

Board of Ed hears about WV National Guard Future Leaders Program

The Braxton County Board of Education conducted their most recent meeting on June 6.

The meeting opened with board member Kevin Gregory welcoming Retired Sgt. Major Debra Patterson to speak to the board members about the WV National Guard Future Leaders Program. The program is not a federal program but a state program emphasizing leadership, citizenship, and life skills. FLP is a four-year CTE completer program and will cost the school system $80,000 to start it in the county. Currently 16 schools in nine counties are part of the program.

Superintendent Dr. Rhonda Combs briefly updated the board on the end of school year. She is working on the data collection for the end of the year and then will be meeting with administration to review the data.

She discussed plans for the next year and the job postings going out. Most of those will be internal from RIFs but hoping to have some new individuals applying as well.

There will be a safety meeting with principals to ensure they are facilitating safety measures at their respective schools.

She briefly touched on the strategic plan for the upcoming year and the HVAC bids coming in at the end of the month.

She requested the Teacher and Service Personnel of the Year and retiree recognition be held at the June 21 meeting.

Dr. Brenda Wells updated the board on the van purchasing. The board discussed looking at getting a used van instead of a new one.

Christina Bailey, Head Start Director, reviewed several items with the board members. First, she discussed posting for an Exceptional Children Support Specialist position. This position will be funded through SESC (Southern Educational Services Coop). The request will be placed back on the agenda in July for approval.

Director Bailey discussed the transportation waiver for Head Start services and the pre-k calendar for 2023-24. Both were approved by board members on separate motions.

She requested the board to post the family services position for Head Start to be paid by the Head Start grant. She also asked the board to change the posting to a professional position instead of a service. The request was approved on motion by Dr. Kenna Seal.

Director Bailey ended with giving the Head Start report. The program is funded for 111 students but averaged 86 during the previous school year and is on track to be very similar next year. She noted that 100% of the positions are filled with highly qualified individuals including nurses and LPNs. She reviewed the community programs and financial reports.

Courtenay Smith, nurse for BCMS and Flatwoods, spoke to board on Policy 4310: Medication Administration. The policy has been updated to include language on use of an opioid antagonist like Narcan that follows state policy. Each school has designated qualified personnel who can administer medications to students as well as staff. The policy in reference to Narcan is similar to the administration of an Epipen. She also briefly talked about the funding running out for the LPNs and the need for the positions in the various schools.

Dr. Leatha Williams, Technology and Food Services Director, reviewed the Local Wellness Policy 1006. The policy is required to be evaluated every three years, but was delayed due to the pandemic.

Both policies are out for comment and can be reviewed on the Braxton County Schools website or a paper copy can be obtained by contacting the board office.

Under regular action, the board approved the following consent agenda items on a motion by Larry Hardway: May 25 meeting minutes; transportation requests; budget transfers and supplements; and payment of bills.

The following personnel recommendations were approved by the action introduced by Lisa Ratliff: resignation of Christopher Cunning-ham, welding technology instructor, BCHS, Caleb Shaver, custodian, Burnsville, Samantha Davis, pre-school supervisory/instructional/transportation aide/ECCAT, Burnsville; and employment of Lisa Legg, from custodian athletic building to custodian, BCHS, Garalea Fulks, RIF to cafeteria manager, Burnsville, Madeline Wankmuller, RIF to cook, Burnsville, Linda Lemon, RIF to cook, Frametown, RIF, cook, BCMS, Lisa Allen, RIF to cook, BCHS, Robert Mitchell and Rebecca Wright, bus operators, summer school, and Mayson Shingler, 2023 summer school receptionist. Superintendent Combs noted that only one cook was remaining on the RIF list, however no position is available at this time.

The meeting ended with Board President Evelyn Post requesting a special meeting on June 27 for the swearing in of the new superintendent. The time will be announced later. The meeting was adjourned at 8:30 pm. The next regular meeting is set for Wednesday, June 21 at 6:00 pm.