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Weather tops agenda

By Staff | Feb 2, 2011

Bad weather resulting in school closings and delays was a topic of concern to Tyler County Board of Education members in their Monday evening meeting. “Where are we concerning days off school?” asked Board Member Linda Hoover.

It was reported that Tyler County students had missed 10 days of school due to the inclement weather. (Tyler County started the school term with eight “snow days” built into the calendar. )

“What’s this doing to our curriculum, and where we want to be instruction-wise?” asked Ken Hunt.

“It’s been hard on students and teachers,” replied Superintendent Robin Daquilante. “The instructors have had to cut out ‘frills’, but the situation is the same all over the state. I know that the teachers are anxious to be in school. They want to be in class.”

Due to state guidelines, school must not run over 40 weeks because of contract service personnel. “It really depends on what happens between now and February,” added Daquilante, explaining that make-up days had not been scheduled yet. School can run no later than June 9 for students.

“I want to commend Superintendent Daquilante on the job you’ve done concerning school closures and delays this year,” commented board member Jimmy Wyatt. “You have parents out there that need to know, and with the phone call alerts, it is going well.” Parents may request to be taken off the call list if they so wish, it was explained.

Assistant Principal and Athletic Director Mr. Ryan Walton addressed the board, speaking about the athletic program and giving an expense report . The subject of scheduling make-up games was also discussed. Walton informed the board that varsity sports are looking “pretty good” but that “lower level games are suffering” due to a shortage of officials. “Officials are being assigned to varsity games,” he explained, “which leaves no one available for the middle school games. It’s tough to get officials. You may have people who are qualified to do some games, but not others.”

In budget matters, Walton reported that so far, the athletic department is solvent. “We are trying to break even this year,” he remarked. “One of the big things this spring will be bus bills due to all the spring sports.”

“You’re keeping your head above water and you’re doing a nice job,” commended board member Jimmy Wyatt. “How are we doing on uniforms?”

Walton reported that the only uniforms needing replaced in the future would most likely be girls’ basketball uniforms, as they are five years old. “As you know we have all team uniforms on a five-year rotation,” he added. He also said that baseball and softball equipment would need to be purchased for the spring sports.

A “Resolution of Recognition” honoring the 50th anniversary of West Virginia University – Parkersburg was approved by the board. The college plans several events throughout the coming year to commemorate the milestone. The resolutions from many local county boards will be on display at the school.

Amanda Kimble, director of Child Nutrition, Support Services and Safety, also spoke to the board concerning the quarterly safety report. She presented board members with a copy of her report and proceeded to explain safety training classes and other programs implemented.

Kimble reported that the cooks had participated in a foodhandler’s class and took a class on food safety. When reporting on the cooks’ training, Ms. Kimble was asked by Superintendent Daquilante, “Are we serving lots of fruits and vegetables?”

“”Yes, we are serving many fresh fruits and vegetables,” replied Kimble.

“How is it going expense-wise?” queried Daquilante.

“It is expensive,”replied Kimble. “I would like to see some grant funding the for the program, but currently they are only funding schools who have a higher rate of free or reduced lunches than our county.”

“How are the kids responding (to the menu changes)?” asked Daquilante. Ms. Kimble reported that numbers are down.

Custodians attended a safety conference in Charleston last August, she reported. Other training programs included emergency preparedness, for cooks, custodians and maintenance personnel, and disaster preparedness. Tom Cooper from the Office of Emergency Management conducted a training session.

Ms. Kimble also reported that a visit from the Fire Marshal resulted in a finding of 39 violations, most of them minor. The number was significantly down from last year, she added.

In project updates, it was reported that air conditioning units would be installed in the school kitchens and that the video surveillance system was installed and completed. The surveillance system will also be expanded to Sistersville Elementary, A. I. Boreman and the pre-K classes. This project was funded by the Safe and Secure Schools grant.

Six transfers of teachers were approved by the board. Transfers were: Rebecca Weekley, transfer from Reading Specialist at TCMS to second grade teacher at Arthur I. Boreman Elementary; Tomela Paden, transfer from multi-categoried Special Education Teacher at TCHS to multi-categoried Special Education Teacher at TCMS; Judy Thorbun, transfer from Itinerant Teacher Coach for Intervention and Diagnostician half-time at SES and half-time at AIB Elementary to fourth grade teacher at AIB Elementary; Shawna Hamilton, transfer from preferred recall list county wide to fifth grade teacher at SES; and Lisa Feldmeier, transfer from preferred recall list county wide to sixth grade teacher at TCMS. All transfers are effective as of July 1, 2011.

The meeting was then called into executive session to discuss a personnel matter.

Those attending Monday night’s meeting were: Robin Daquilante, Linda Hoover, Dr. Ralph Boone, Larry Thomas, Ken Hunt, Jimmy Wyatt, Ryan Walton, Amanda Kimble, and others.