Wetzel County BOE Approves Matters and Gives Update
The Wetzel County Board of Education held a Statutory Session of Continuation from a March 9, meeting, combined with a regular session on April 21, on YouTube. Mr. Grace led in the Pledge of Allegiance and Bill Jones followed with the invocation.
The first order of business unanimously approved by the Board, was from the March 9, meeting which was a vote on the Levy order of the General Current Expense Fund and entering the same into the school budget for the fiscal year, beginning July 1, 2020.
Also being approved by a 4-1 vote was the 2020-2021 School Calendar which was Option 1, where teachers report August 24, students August 27, and school year ending June 1, 2021. Amy Cooley voiced her concern on a couple items in that option and was opposed.
Next the Board heard from Carol Zombotti and Candace McBee, the Speech Therapists for Wetzel County schools. Both was asking for a raise that the teachers got for three years, which they were excluded from when the state passed House Bill 206 in 2019. Zombotti said she has worked for the Wetzel County schools for 25 years without a raise. McBee stated they make approximately $10,000 less than the state average and do not have a Speech Therapist, at Hundred High School or Long Drain school. They also provide Tele-speech at those schools to help the students. Mr. Grace told them that someone would reach out to them soon on their concern.
In Personnel Matters, approval was given under Service personnel, for Pamela S. Hoskins’ change in assignment from countywide substitute custodian to afternoon custodian at New Martinsville School, 228-day contract, 682/B, effective April 22, 2020.
The Board approved the Non-Traditional Instruction Day Packets (Snow-Day Packets) and acceptance of the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2019. The Board also declared the contents of their Audit, available for inspection by all offices and by the public.
Assistant superintendent, Mr. Darren Cook commented on the hiring of college students this summer. He stated with the current situation it may not happen this year, but he still has hope it will.
Mr. Lancaster said after a meeting with the contractors for the Valley High School fieldhouse project some revisions were made and the Board was able to save $20,000. He also said they had an August 21, completion date but with contractor lay-offs and the virus they extended the contract 30 days without charging the contractor a penalty. He added that the balance of the new budget would be due on May 11, and needed to schedule a Special meeting for his Budget Workshop. After asking all the board members, Mr. Grace scheduled the special meeting for April 30, at 9:00 am.
Mrs. Wells spoke next about the excellent job everybody is doing with this new learning curve. She recognized Hannah Sapp, teacher at Hundred High School as being selected to provide learning lessons on the WV schools Instructional Webinar Hub site. Wells added that the WV schools could have picked any teacher in the state, but picked Hannah from our county school system. She said that Sapp was a good choice because she is an adaptor and adopter of new technologies and learning and will do a good job. We are lucky to have Mrs. Sapp as an educator in our county.
Next to speak was recently named WV Schools Nutritionist Director of the Year, Amanda McPherson. She commented on the good job the bus drivers, and helpers are doing delivering the student lunches. Since March 16, they have delivered 76,000 meals. On April 13, they changed companies suppying the meals, making it much easier because they package all the meals. She said that the Department of Education with the DHHR are working on the process to supply meals through the USDA. Parents would receive a card for each student in our county to provide meals for them to offset the program currently being provided. She will keep updating on the progress of the process and hoping it passes.
Superintendent Ed Toman commented that he is happy with the communication from everyone learning on the fly! He is extremely proud of the great job teachers, counselors, bus drivers and everyone else is doing for our students during this pandemic. Toman said there will be lots of discussions on the matter of being able to hold the graduation for our seniors, but he said they will not put the students in any danger at all if anything is unsafe.