Personnel matters dominated Monday evening's regularly scheduled Tyler County Board of Education meeting. Duane Dober, director of Student Services, Personnel, and Pre-school, presented recommendations to members of the board concerning reduction in school staffing.
"The needs for reduction in personnel compels us to make recommendations that are not easy to identify or pleasing to any of us," began Dober.
Figures from the Office of School Finance (WV Dept. of Education) show Tyler County Schools are currently funding positions within the school system in excess of the school aide formula.
"Administrators and board members must act responsibly to provide the best educational program possible despite dramatic budget reductions," said Dober.
Reductions in available funds have been made from state grants, federal Rural/Low Incomes Schools funds, federal special education funds, federal Title I, and the State Aide formula.
Eight professional positions and two service personnel positions will be eliminated as a result of funding cuts and/or lack of need for the position.
Four professional positions will be vacated by retirees. Two federally funded positions will be eliminated; six state aide funded positions will be eliminated. This will render a savings of $423,264 from the budget. Six professionals will be placed on RIF/recall notice, and five professionals will be transferred into other positions within the school system.
Service personnel will have three employees placed on RIF/recall notice, three formal transfers into other areas of the school system, and two positions eliminated. Cost reductions from the move totals $93,273.
The total savings for the Tyler County School system is $518,687. Positions eliminated include one LD/BD/MI instructor, TCHS; one supplemental Math instructor, TCMS; one kindergarten instructor, AIB; one pre-school special needs instructor, TC Preschool Center; one fourth grade instructor, AIB; one speech assistant, AIB; one first grade instructor, SES; one Title I Math instructor, AIB; and service personnel positions including one instructional aide AIB; one secretary position, TCMS; and one custodial position, TCMS; Service personnel placed on the transfer for subsequent assignment list include: one Autism Mentor, TC preschool; one multi-classified secretary/custodial position, TC preschool; and one itinerant halftime cook II, AIB/TC preschool. After meeting in executive session, the recommendations were approved by the board.
Superintendent of Schools Robin Daquilante told members of the board and others present that last meeting's request by Justin Turner concerning open prayer at board meetings was still under advisement.
"I have been contacting other boards of education across the state," said Daquilante, "and am waiting their responses to this matter." Daquilante stated research into the feasibility of the request was ongoing and the matter would be voted upon at a yet-undetermined date.
Daquilante also informed the board she was recommending the voluntary participation in the Drug Free Clubs of America for Tyler County students in grades 9-12.
In other matters, it was reported that Tyler County's attendance rate for the last month was 94 percent overall, with AIB at 95 percent, SES and TCMS at 94 percent, and TCHS at 93 percent.
"These are good numbers," said board President Linda Hoover. "Mrs. Walton (attendance director) is very diligent about working with parents and students on attendance issues."