Braxton Citizens' News, Schools

Board hears update on BCMS

The Board of Education for Braxton County conducted their most recent meeting on November 7. The meeting opened with an update on Braxton County Middle School by Principal Amy Perkins and Assistant Principal Sharon Helmick. They discussed promoting student academic success, decreasing absenteeism, new CTE opportunities, fall sports achievements, and organizations for students among other things. They also discussed the implementation of “Inspiring Dreams Network,” an anti-bullying program.

Superintendent Dr. Donna Burge-Tetrick updated the board on the work being completed at the high school gym. The original flooring was underneath and will be cleaned up and used until the new floor can go into place.

The superintendent also spoke about the October child count numbers. The numbers continue to show the declining enrollment in the county.

Chris Campbell with ZMM Architects provided an update on the HVAC renovations at the high school. The bids have come in under budget and they will be able to add more units for replacement. He will present the update plan at the next board meeting for approval.

Joyce Floyd gave a presentation to board members on the “Science of Reading.” This is part of the Ready, Read, Write initiative to increase literacy proficiency for all students. The science of reading is based on decades of research. This has led to the development of the five “Pillars of Reading”—phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension.

Lisa Ratliff briefly spoke about the Recess Book Club at Frametown Elementary with nearly half of the students participating.

Kevin Gregory thanked Linda Sears for taking him around a couple of the schools to observed testing and programs. He stated he was amazed at what going on at the schools and looks forward to visiting other schools.

Larry Hardway thanked Joyce Floyd for her presentation on the science of reading and noted he enjoyed the information provided.

Dr. Kenna Seal noted that with the amount of items being covered during regular meetings, the board may need to consider adding meetings.

Board President Evelyn Post spoke to other members about her recent meeting with Ike Morris and his staff on the property for the sports complex. She state she was “hopeful and excited” about the opportunity.

Under regular business, the board approved the following consent agenda items on a motion by Larry Hardway: October 17 regular meeting minutes; budget transfers and supplements; treasurer’s report; and payment of bills.

The board conducted an executive session from 6:31 pm until 7:28 pm before the approval of personnel items. The following personnel recommendations were approved on a motion by Lisa Ratliff: employment of Jessica Porto, head start family services provider, Steve Rollins, general maintenance/HVAC mechanic, Addi Facemire, from pre-school/instructional/transportation aide to supervisory/instructional/transportation aide/ECCAT, Burnsville, Lori Ferrel, half time cook, Burnsville; resignation for Charles Harman, custodian, BCMS; and contract agreement between principals and supervising aides for Jessica Ward, Nicole Brooks, Linda Utt, Michelle Shreve, Zendria Butcher, Flatwoods.

The board approved the following agenda items on separate motions: auction excess bus garage tin/metal roofing on Public Surplus; pay bills before any board meeting that may become delinquent prior to meeting; place the demolition of the Sutton Town Hill house out for bid; to implement Esports program and hire coach at BCHS, to be paid with county funds; hire an assistant wrestling coach, BCMS, to be paid with county funds; hire two mentor special education teachers, to be paid for with Step 7d funds; hire and after school site coordinators, BCMS and Flatwoods, to be paid for with federal funds; hire up to four after school tutors each for BCMS and Flatwoods, to be paid for with federal funds; medication supplement for Marsha Skeens, aide, BCMS; and the purchase of a 2025 Bluebird 77-passenger “Vision” conventional school bus from the West Virginia bid for $133,899.

The board discussed the first reading of three policies, Policy 1651 Non-Traditional Instructional Days, Policy 3210 Substitute Professionals in Areas of Critical Need and Shortage, and Policy 3211 Critical Need and Shortage: Substitute Bus Operators.

They moved the second reading of Policy 4201 Student Freedom of Expression on to its third and final reading. This policy had received one comment concerning the wording of the policy. Melissa Adkins, Legal Counsel, will look into the state code to get verification of the wording for the policy.

The board approved Amended Policy 3250 Performance Evaluation of Professional Personnel on a motion by Dr. Kenna Seal. There were no comments received on the policy.

The final act of the meeting was the approval to reschedule the November 21 meeting to November 28, the January 2 to January 9 and the January 16 to January 23 due to the holidays. This was approved on a motion by Larry Hardway.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:58 pm. The next regular meeting will be on November 28 at 6:00 pm.