Braxton Citizens' News, Schools

Board of Education discusses 2024-25 school calendar

The April 9 meeting of the Braxton County Board of Education opened with the second public hearing on the 2024-25 school calendar. Director of Teaching and Curriculum Linda Sears noted the delay in getting the calendars out for comment. She requested that they wait to approve the calendars to be released for staff voting at the special meeting next week.

Director Sears also discussed the school system using NTID (non-traditional instructional day) in the upcoming school year. A survey will be going out to parents for them to have input on the NTID.

Next, Michelle Winemiller, Davis Elementary Principal, provided an update on her school. She discussed four areas of relationships they strive to achieve: students, staff, families and the community. She reviewed programs in place to grow those relationships. 

Principal Winemiller reviewed testing scores in both math and ELA for each grade level and the student’s growth since the beginning of the school year. She also spoke about their work addressing attendance issues and getting the students into the school to learn.

Superintendent Dr. Donna Burge-Tetrick happily shared the news that the PSAT scores were back for the high school. Students did extremely well, exceeding state averages and some national averages. She noted attendance was up by almost 10% overall and the positive attitudes in the school system.

She informed board members the LSIC presentations would be on May 28 at the BCHS Eagles Roost Coffeehouse. Presentations would begin at 9:00 am and go until 2:00 pm. Each presentation would be approximately 20-30 minutes and they would have an hour break for lunch.

Superintendent Dr. Burge-Tetrick discussed the desperate need for vehicles. She is working on developing a plan to start refreshing the fleet. She requested approval to purchase a 2017 Ford F150 from Performance Chevrolet in the amount of $19,038 for the maintenance department. Larry Hardway led the action for the approval of the purchase.

The final item she brought to the board was the first reading of Policy 2501-Extra-Curricular/Interscholastic Physical Education. This policy allows WVSSAC approved activities and marching band to count as a non-graded credit for physical education. Currently all high school students must complete one year of PE in order to graduate. With the new policy, students may use their extra-curricular/interscholastic activity as an alternative option for PE. This will only give them credit for the course and will not be graded. They must successfully complete one season of an WVSSAC approved activity in order for the credit to apply. On a motion by Dr. Kenna Seal, the board approved the first reading and the policy will be placed out for comment.

Under regular business, the board approved the consent agenda items on a motion by Lisa Ratliff: minutes of the March 26 and the payment of bills.

On a motion by Larry Hardway, the following personnel recommendations were approved by: resignation of Mahala Petrulak, PE/Wellness teacher, Davis; employment of substitute teachers-Abigail Long, James Smallwood, Talia Morrison, and Kayla Montgomery, and 2024 Summer Learning custodians-Allen Shaver, Chelsea Hosey, Billy Rose, April Thayer, and Lisa Legg; permission to post and hire two cosmetologist teachers for BCHS to be paid for with county funds for the 2024-2025 school year and to post; hire Summer Learning Credit Recovery Curriculum Planning and Development teacher to be paid for with federal funds; employee leave request for MaryAnne Backus, teacher at Davis on May 10, using unpaid.

Board members ended the meeting discussing the positive changes going on in the school system. Board President Evelyn Post thanked Burnsville Public Library for their donation of the eclipse glasses for all students in the county. Every school participated in viewing the event.

Dr. Seal and Larry Hardway discussed the recent LSIC Town Hall meeting for Flatwoods that they attended. Hardway noted there was a lot of discussion concerning keeping principals in the same location He also stated that this goes for the superintendent position as well as at the positions at the central office to keep stability within the system.

The board will be having a special meeting on April 16 at 6:00 pm to finalize the levy estimates per state code requirements. The next regular meeting is scheduled for April 23 at 6:00 pm. 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.