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Free meals available to all elementary students

By Staff | Jun 20, 2012

Curriculum changes and school lunch programs were among the topics under discussion at Monday night’s regular meeting of the Tyler County Board of Education.

Amanda Kimble, Director of Child Nutrition, Support Services, and Safety, and Jeff Davis, Financial Manager and Treasurer for Tyler County Schools, presented board members with information concerning an opportunity for all Sistersville Elementary and A.I. Boreman Elementary students to receive free breakfast and lunch during the upcoming school year, thanks to a new federally funded nutrition program for qualifying schools.

The program, Community Eligibility Option, is an innovative universal free meal service option and an alternative to collecting, approving, and verifying household eligibility applications for free and reduced price meals for students.

Kimble and Davis explained that both SES and AIB qualify for the program due to the percentage rate of students in those schools who receive free/reduced meals. The program not only eliminates some of the paperwork currently involved in processing applications, it also encourages an increase in breakfast and lunch participation among students.

“The plan calls for a 4-year agreement, but the county can opt out after one year,” explained Kimble. “If we find it doesn’t work for us, we aren’t obligated to continue in the program.”

“The only increase for us would be in food cost, but every elementary school student in the county will eat for free,” added Davis. “That means 645 students will benefit from the program.”

The program was implemented as a pilot program in some states during the last school year and has been offered to West Virginia public schools for the upcoming year. Every county in West Virginia has at least one qualifying school, Davis said.

Board members voted to approve the CEO program for a one-year trial period. This free/reduced breakfast and lunch program does not apply to TCHS/TCMS students, who will still be required to confirm eligibility for free or reduced meals.

Susan Boyles, Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction, spoke to the board concerning the re-design of high school course curriculum by the West Virginia Dept. of Education in order to align with Common Core State Standards.

Implementation of the CCS, called Next Generation Standards and Objectives, will be phased into the curriculum, to be established in the county by the deadline set by the state. This curriculum change concerns Social Studies, Health, English/Language Arts and Mathematics.

While the content of the course curriculum in Mathematics is identical to the previous course requirements, the approach to teaching the subject has been altered. Students will now address topics in Algebra seamlessly through the first three years of high school math. All students will take Math I and Math II, then choose the math course which suits their educational needs best in Year 3 (i.e. Technical Readiness, Math II (Liberal Arts), or Math III (STEM) for students interested in science, engineering and mathematics careers. Year 4 students would choose an additional course from a number of curriculum choices.

An additional course has been added in English: English 12 College and Career Ready.

Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium is working with K-12, administrators, and state policy makers to develop and test all changes that will be implemented in the 2014-2105 school year.

“The entire state is moving toward this program?” asked board member Jimmy Wyatt. Boyles explained that the curriculum changes were mandated by the WV Dept. of Education and all public schools were required to implement the program.

The board voted to approve the implementation of the Next Generation Content Standards for Social Studies and Health, and to phase-in the programs for English, Language Arts, and Mathematics.

In other matters, Tyler County school policies were approved; the Tyler Consolidated High School Golf schedule for 2012 was approved; a trip request for Janet Cline, FBLA advisor, to take one student to San Antonio, Texas (June 28-July3) to attend FBLA National Leadership Conference was approved; and several other requests were approved by the board.

The board accepted the resignation of Jamie Kerns, English Teacher at TCHS, effective immediately and approved employments/transfers for Rhoda Fitzsimmons, susbtitute teacher countywide, Charles Young, Energy Express bus operator, Middlebourne, Suzette Miller, secondary social studies teacher, TCHS, Kristen Wince, student council advisor, TCHS; and Samantha Livingston, head softball coach, TCHSW and secondary english teacher, TCHS.

At the conclusion of the meeting, school board president Linda Hoover presented a plaque of appreciation to Ralph “Doc” Boone for his many years of service on the Tyler County Board of Education.

All member were present at the meeting, including Superintendent of Schools Robin Daquilante, board president Linda Hoover, and members, Ralph (Doc) Boone, Ken Hunt, Larry Thomas, and Jimmy Wyatt.