County board of education
convened its meeting at
on Monday at the board office on
Present were members Cynthia Dale, Jackie Collins-Frail,
Larry Harris and Jenna Jett. Board president Steve Whited was absent.
With building maintenance director Marlan Zwoll
attending a conference, superintendent Timothy Woodward updated the
status of the old Arnoldsburg School building. He said that a title
search had been completed and it showed that the school board purchased
the building at fair market value several years ago. At this point, no
search for heirs is necessary or required, and the board can move
The board will, at its next meeting, set the minimum
bid, which will not be made public, thereby allowing bids too low to be
rejected. Also, a decision will be made regarding whether the facility
and grounds are to be sold in sections or as a whole.
Woodward said there have been several inquiries daily
with people expressing their desires to own particular sections of the
property, but he believes it will be more valuable if left intact. He
hopes to be ready to open bidding by August.
Woodward added, “I think the board has pretty much
decided at this point that we want to sell it ‘as is’ and make it as
valuable as we can.”
He said there is basic lighting in the building to allow
potential buyers to see, and a draft has been kept open to deter mold.
Otherwise, there are no utilities present, as a means to keep costs at a
minimum: “Right now, there are a couple of nice freezers and a nice gas
stove, and I hope they will entice some bidders.”
Jenna Jett delivered a report on a Calhoun-Gilmer Career
Center meeting. Several
items were addressed:
--The 2013 audit report was presented for approval.
--Director Bryan Sterns presented a contract for
approval for Dan Minney, Calhoun County Schools director of finance, to
prepare the annual financial statement for fiscal year 2015.
--Permission to repost English and math positions for
--No action was taken on the embedded credit policy,
pending approval at the July meeting.
--Darlene Smithson will travel from Gilmer County
one day each week to remediate the special education students at the
--Sterns attended a special education workshop in
Clarksburg, with a goal of improved support for special education
students who attend the career center.
--Sterns is investigating means to replace the
automobile lift at the career center.
--Sterns expressed appreciation to Phyllis Starkey for
her for serving as a council member and for her support and dedication
to the staff and students at the career center.
--Sterns expressed his appreciation on behalf of the
students and staff to Ronald Blankenship for his long-time service,
support and dedication to the center, and wished him a happy retirement.
Woodward said that the automotive lifts that had failed
a safety inspection due to inappropriate stickers are now classified as
non-certifiable, meaning that use is prohibited “from this time
He said there would be some discussion on Tuesday about
obtaining new lifts. He added that Sterns is in the process of finding
and securing grants for lift replacement.
Two individuals who had applied for the imbedded English
credit program at the career center have withdrawn their applications,
leaving that position open. The position will be reposted. The imbedded
credit policy is out for review.
Harris reported that there will be no RESA V meeting in
July, with the next regular meeting set for Aug. 27 in Parkersburg.
In his superintendent’s report, Woodward addressed the
number of students transferring from Calhoun to neighboring schools for
the upcoming academic year: “You take those students and calculate that
by $4,838 or around $5,000 per student, it’s a concern.”
Woodward noted that around 99 percent of the parents who
call in say the move is due to proximity.
Woodward said he believed the state needs to take a look
at home schooling: “I think we make it too easy to home school
sometimes. I think there needs to be a lot of accountability that those
students are indeed learning the next generation common core standards,
and that’s something I will bring up with my (superintendent’s)
association. It is a concern that I have about the number of students we
lose each year, not just here. In Pendleton County, my request sheet was twice this
A team is in place and ready to interview candidates on
Friday for the principal’s position at Pleasant Hill School.
“I will bring you a recommendation, if things go as
planned, at the next board meeting,” said Woodward.
He said that the pool of candidates, from both inside
and outside the system, look very promising, and he is optimistic.
Dale, who was filling in for the absent Whited, called
for an executive session to discuss personnel. The board entered into
executive session at
and reconvened in regular session at , with no action taken.
A new Use of Schools Policy, which is under review,
reads in part:
“The primary use of school buildings and grounds should
be to accommodate approved school programs for students. However, the
board of education encourages the use of school facilities for community
activities and making school facilities available for non-profit use.”
Woodward said, “Like other counties I’ve worked in, I
think we’re going to have to make some charges for particular
facilities, and especially charges for the custodians. Groups who use
the facility are going to have to pay the custodians and custodial fee,
because we do not have the manpower, especially now. This would be an
opportunity also for our custodians who have lost some money (reference
to state-mandated cut back for all employees with 200+ contracts) to
make a little bit of money.”
He said that he is proposing a rate chart, and
speculated that there may be some complaints about the custodial and
usage fees: “We have to do our parts to pitch in and help pay for the
lights and utilities. We’ve all taken a hit here, so we need everybody
to pitch in and help us.”
In a closing statement, Woodward expressed his
appreciation to middle/high school principal Kelli Whytsell, who filled
in for him during his absence: “It doesn’t go unnoticed by the
superintendent and I do appreciate what you do and I just want the board
to know that.”
A special meeting will be held on Thursday, July 31, at The next regular meeting
will be on Monday, Aug. 11, at Both will be held at the Mt. Zion