Braxton Citizens' News, Schools

Board of Ed gets update on Sutton Elementary School

The Braxton County Board of Education conducted their most recent meeting on May 7.

Sutton Elementary Principal Flora Cox updated the board on progress at her school. She discussed their four goals: attendance under 10% chronically absent; ELA scores of 80% at mastery, math scores of 75% at mastery; and parental involvement with one activity each nine weeks during the school day. Currently, 8.7% are chronically absent including the pre-k; without pre-k, 5.1%. Reading and math scores have increased on the iReady and benchmark testing from the beginning of the school to the midyear testing. Testing is currently ongoing for the end of the year scores. Principal Cox is hopeful the students will be able to reach their goals for math and reading. Various activities have occurred throughout the school year to enhance parent involvement.

Debbie Friend, Assistant Director for WVU Extension Service presented a program overview of services they provide in Braxton County. She highlighted programs related directly to schools. She requested an increase of $500 in the budget for a total of $16,800. The request was approved on a motion by Dr. Kenna Seal.

Superintendent Dr. Donna Burge-Tetrick provided board members with information from the WVDE on the school nurses. Braxton has one RN available and with the postings for two LPN aides, the county will have more direct contact with students than the previous year.

She addressed the discussion of the arts and music at the elementary level. Dr. Burge-Tetrick noted that all elementary teachers are certified to teach music/arts and have access to instruments in their schools.

WV Wesleyan Fellows contacted the superintendent about working with Community Care of WV on a grant for mental health programs for students. Braxton is one of a handful of counties to get the opportunity to participate.

Dr. Burge-Tetrick led the discussion for the approval of an Honorary High School Diploma for the life and work experiences of Chester Ellis Huffman. His daughter had reached out to her with the request. Huffman is 89 years old and was forced by his father to quit school in eighth grade to help on the family farm during the Great Depression. The daughter stated he always regretted not being able to finish school. The superintendent believes he has fulfilled the requirements to receive an honorary diploma. Larry Hardway made the motion to approve the request.

Dr. Leatha Williams, Director of School Improvement led a presentation and discussion on HB3035 (Third Grade Success Act) and what it means for the Braxton County School System.

Under regular business, the board approved the following consent agenda items on a motion by Lisa Ratliff: minutes of April 22, special meeting and April 23, regular meeting; treasurer’s report; budget transfers and supplements; and payment of bills.

The following personnel recommendations were approved on a motion by Larry Hardway: resignations of William Wells, technology systems specialist, retirement, Sandra Burchett, teacher, Flatwoods, Kelly Houghton, summer learning teacher, and William Lunceford, head girls basketball coach, BCHS; voluntary transfer of Tammy Arnold from first grade teacher to physical education/planning teacher, Burnsville, voluntary transfer of Patty Montgomery from third grade teacher to first grade teacher, Burnsville; rescind the contract termination of Clifton Long; and employment of Sterling Price Beane, technology/WVEIS coordinator, central office, Marie Armentrout, itinerant supervisory/transportation/instruction aide, Flatwoods, extra-curricular mowers-Jennings Conley, Christian Dille, John Childers, and Jacob Stevens. 

Also approved on the motion to the following job postings: itinerant LPN/transportation/instructional/supervisory aide; autism mentor/transportation/instructional/supervisory aide, Flatwoods; first grade paraprofessional/ECCAT/aide, Little Birch (required by the Third Grade Success Act); second grade paraprofessional/ECCAT/aide, Burnsville, Davis, Flatwoods, Frametown and Sutton (required by the Third Grade Success Act).

The following recommendations were also approved under personnel: addition of 15 days to the contracts of CTE tourism and hospitality instructor Amanda Gum and CTE business instructor Tyler Cunningham; addition of five days to the contract of school nurse Morgan Dennison; and permission to post for four summer mowers/maintenance/custodians to be paid for with county funds.

The board approved, on a motion by Lisa Ratliff, the new policy for dual credit and AP courses offered at BCHS. The policy will now be placed out for comment.

On a motion by Dr. Kenna Seal, the board approved for Braxton County to participate in the Auditor’s Local Government Purchasing Card Program and to appoint Erica Whitney as P-Card Program Coordinator.  Also approved in the motion was the first reading of Policy 1421 Braxton County Purchasing Card Policies and Procedures, placing it out for comment.

The request to rescind prior action taken April 23, on the bid for SchoolFunds Online (SFO) in the amount of $19,000.00 and to approve the purchase of TrackYourFunds – School Activity Fund Accounting Software and Givebacks – Online Payments at a cost of $3,860 for the first year was approved on a motion by Lisa Ratliff. New Director of Finance Erica Whitney was able to work with the company to get the lower costs for the first three years with the program.

The board approved to allow Grace Wine, Burnsville Principal to attend the Innovative Schools Summit in San Antonio TX, July 25 through July 28, 2024-to be paid with county funds and Braxton County High School’s Student Council and advisors to travel to Cedar Point and Great Wolf Lodge in Sandusky OH, May 12 – 13, 2024 on separate motions.

Board members ended the meeting discussing the positive activities going on in the schools including the recent scholarship and CTE awards at the high school and the Glow Night reading event at Little Birch.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:24 pm. The next regular meeting will be May 21 at 6:00 pm.