Wetzel County Superintendent of Schools Dennis Albright brought several matters to the board's attention at their Aug. 5 meeting, including a listing of his initial thoughts on his goals for the year. Albright encouraged feedback from the board and stated that after the feedback is submitted and applied, he would give the final revision of his goals for Sept. 15 approval.
Albright also continued discussion from the board's previous meeting on the employee of the month. "I incorporated a few things from our discussion last time to try to make it a program that will be worthwhile." Albright also mentioned a possible incentive program, based on years of employment, to keep technology coordinators at the school.
Albright stated Paul Huston, principal of Long Drain School, had requested approval for the Little Hornet basketball program to use the outdoor court in the fall. The board policy requires that the program have board approval, along with insurance. "(Huston) said they have insurance and are waiting for a copy of the policy, but he wanted me to run it by you. Once they get that piece of paper in hand, can we let them go ahead and start out there?" President Mike Blair said he had no objections, and fellow board members agreed.
In another matter, Albright encouraged each board member, along with staff at the board office, to go to a Wetzel County School at the start of the school year, if their work schedule permits such. "I, historically, go to each school, check with the principal there, and see if everything went off with a good start. I'd like to work with the central office. I know work schedules may not allow, but I'd like to extend that opening to anyone who would like to go out and be a part of the opening day. It's a time of renewal, going back to school each year. Even though we've been through it for a long time, it's exciting and special to see kids come in, especially the younger ones." On a personal note, Albright stated that he would be headed to Maryland soon for a visit to see his granddaughter begin Pre-K.
Albright stated that Secretary Jo Beth Simmons had sent out two informational items to board members for their perusal, including information concerning Mid-Ohio Valley Technical Institute working on a simulated workplace program throughout the state, which would include random drug testing in some of their programs.
Albright also stated that through some of the conversations he had had with people from the community, he had gathered that there is a drug issue in Wetzel County with youth. "In Braxton County we had an activity student drug testing program." Albright stated it was a random process that he had run himself from his office. "I was the only one who ran it in my office because of confidentiality." Albright asked that the board take a look at the matter, as it could be something considered in the future. "It's something we could start in the winter sports season, work on it through this season, and start it in the winter."
At the conclusion of the Aug. 5 meeting, Board President Blair requested that Treasurer Jeff Lancaster, along with Albright, take a look at the issue of a Prevention Resource Officer at Magnolia High School, including a proposal that had been submitted by the city of New Martinsville. Blair encouraged the two to get back to him for further discussion so an appropriate, final decision could be made.
Seeing as grant money has run out for a PRO at MHS, funds will be needed to pay a salary.
The board discussed having to pay this salary, as well as possibly having to pay another salary when the grant funds run out at Valley High School in another year. Board member Carolyn Gatian mentioned a need for accountability: "I've never honestly read through the guidelines for what a PRO is anticipated by the grant to accomplish. There has got to be an accountability on where their time is spent. We are paying salaries without goals and without calendars, so when someone comes out and says they want to know what they did today . . . I don't want to know what they did today, but I want to know what they have been doing, what their goals are."