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Board hears from concerned citizens

By Staff | Aug 13, 2014

A delegation of concerned citizens appeared before the Tyler County Board of Education Aug. 5 to express their displeasure with a change in a bus route on Jefferson Run Road and a portion of Low Gap (Bus #6) that will affect their children.

Elizabeth Logan, representing the group, said there is a problem with picking the kids up and dropping them off. She said her children are less than two miles from the bus stop, so she understands the bus doesn’t have to run the route. She was concerned about the Jefferson Slip and how it is affecting the route. She said they need to have a bus run the route, even if they have to take a longer way around.

She was also concerned with the safety of the children, mentioning some of them would have to wait longer at the bus stop and the change makes it tough to get the kids to the pick up area.

Other parents asked to speak but were told if they all come on the same issue, then only one person would be allowed to speak for the whole delegation. Several parents questioned this, saying, “We are all here for the same reason, but we all have different circumstances.”

Superintendent Robin Daquilante said the problem arose last year when the Jefferson Slip occurred, making it difficult to get the bus to the end of its regular route. She said Troy Smith, director of transportation for Tyler County Schools, and Tom Cooper, director of Tyler County Office of Emergency Management, are both working with the state on the slip problem. She said she understands the problem and will be traveling the route with them to see what can be done.

Daquilante and all the board members thanked the parents for coming to the meeting and assured them they would try to find a solution to the problem.

Under the Superintendent’s Report: Daquilante reported Brendan Negie, one of the county’s mechanics, won the first place state mechanic’s award. She said he will now go on to the national event.

All the board expressed appreciation for Negie and his skills as a mechanic. Board member Jimmy Wyatt noted it was a special award, since Negie has only been with the county for less than a year. They all wished him well at the next level of competition and said they would see that he gets to go.

Melinda Walton, attendance director of Tyler County Schools, presented the board with the Compulsory Student Attendance Policy for the 2014-15 school year. She gave the board a rundown on school attendance and how the law applies to each student and his or her family. She spoke to the board about tardiness, unexcused absences, makeup work, illness or injury, medical and dental appointments, weather related absences, and many other reasons why children miss school. Walton said Tyler County is one of the best schools in the state when it comes to attendance. She said Tyler Consolidated is always in the 90-95 percent range.

Walton said it is important for students to be at school; students are allowed five parent/guardian excuses per semester. She stressed to the board that strict adherence to the policy will be equally applied to all students. Excuses will not be accepted unless they are given to the appropriate school staff within the 48-hour time period. Calling in a child’s excuse is not considered a written excuse. Parents must provide written excuses for all absences. She said, if a child is absent for a medical appointment, they will only be excused for a potion of the day, unless the location of the doctor’s office requires the entire day to travel to and from the appointment. If the school calls for a parent to pick up their child due to illness, the parent’s signature on the sign out sheet is considered a written note; therefore, you do not have to provide another note for that day. However, if the child misses additional days, a written note must be provided.

Walton also explained the responsibility a child has to makeup work lost due to absences. She said Tyler County will have a zero tolerance policy regarding school attendance violations. The county attendance director and principals will carry out the maximum penalties allowed by law against any parents who fail to require their children to attend school.

The Tyler County Board approved the following.

Athletic schedules: Tyler Consolidated Middle and High School 2014 Cross Country.

Requests: Khristy Goddard was granted permission for her daughter, Hailey Jo Cook, to cross county lines to attend Tyler County Schools for the 2014-15 school year, pending release from the Wetzel County Board of Education.

Lori Likens granted permission for her daughters, Monica Likens and Megan Likens, to cross county lines to attend Tyler County Schools for the 2014-15 school year, pending release from the Pleasants County Board of Education.

Under personnel: Resignations were approved for Benjamin Thomas, assistant girls’ basketball coach, Tyler Consolidated Middle School, effective July 21; Nancy Carpenter, substitute teacher, countywide, effective immediately; Joe Snider, bus operator, effective Aug. 16.

Employments and Transfers were approved for the following: Melissa Snyder, as bus operator for Bus Route One, effective immediately.

Paden Morris, as head wrestling coach, Tyler Consolidated Middle School, effective immediately.

Katie Klages, substitute teacher, countywide, effective Aug. 6, pending CIB results.

Curtis Northcraft, substitute teacher, countywide, effective Aug. 6, pending CIB results.

Rob Schupbach, half-time long-term Substitute for Alternative Learning at A. I. Boreman Elementary School, effective immediately.

The board agreed to contract with Patsy Fletcher for training and support services to be provided to a first-year secretary at A. I. Boreman Elementary School and to contract with Jeff Watson, Class II Water System Operator for testing, monitoring, and treatment services of water at A. I. Boreman Elementary School, effective July 1.

Katie Klages, was also employed as assistant volleyball coach, Tyler Consolidated Middle School, effective immediately.

The board, on a motion from P.J. Wells, authorized the payment of bills. They also approved the minutes of the July 21 regular meeting.

On a motion from board member Wells, the board unanimously agreed to enter into executive session under Item two, as per the School Laws of W.Va., 6-9A-4, “The appointment, employment, retirement, promotion, demotion, disciplining, resignation, discharge, dismissal, or compensation of any public officer or employee, or other personnel matters, or for the purpose of conducting a hearing on a complaint against a public officer or employee, unless such public officer or employee requests an open meeting”. The board entered in to executive session at 8:17 p.m. and came out at 9:14 p.m. No action was taken.

The next regular meeting of the board will be held on Aug. 18, 7:30 p.m., at the Tyler County Board of Education Office.