Tyler County Schools Awarded
The Tyler County Board of Education held a regular meeting on Feb. 4 at 7 p.m. All board members were in attendance, as well as educators from Tyler Consolidated High School (TCHS), Tyler Consolidated Middle School (TCMS), Sistersville Elementary School (SES), and Arthur I. Boreman Elementary School (AIB).
This meeting began with the board’s approval of the minutes from the Jan. 22 regular meeting. The motion to approve this was made by PJ Wells and seconded by Larry Thomas. The motion was carried.
After the approval of the previous minutes, Superintendent Robin Daquilante introduced Matthew Hicks of the West Virginia Department of Education to all present. It was said that Hicks was in attendance in order to present awards to Tyler County schools for achievement results.
Hicks thanked the board for allowing him to participate in the board meeting, and informed those present that there was much to be proud of regarding Tyler County Schools.
He then reminded those present of the current accountability system in place. This system was said to have multiple factors they oversee including mathematic achievement, English Language Arts achievement, graduation achievement, and post-secondary achievement. Hicks then informed the board that schools were being recognized for each category.
The West Virginia Department of Education representative then discussed annual targets, which he described as a goal they want schools to meet by the 2029-2030 school year.
It was said that this system reviews the current position in the aforementioned areas in each school, and makes a target for what’s expected each year in order to achieve this goal.
Three Tyler County schools are reported to have reached the annual targets, which Hicks said was a big indicator of overall success and something to be proud of. SES and TCMS met their annual targets for mathematic achievement, and TCHS met the mathematic and English Language Arts annual targets. The three schools received an award celebrating this feat.
Hicks also told the board that the Department of Education was recognizing schools that exceeded standards in at least one of the aforementioned areas. Statistics were given on schools that received this award saying that only 51 of 634 schools in the state achieved this, with TCHS being one of these schools.
It was also reported that TCHS is one of 34 high schools in the state that is recognized as a distinguished school and one of 16 that is recognized for exceeding standards in post-secondary achievement. Hicks said that TCHS seems to be properly preparing students for the workforce or college, and congratulated them on account of this.
Immediately following this, Wells made a motion to go into an Executive Session in order to discuss a disciplinary action regarding a student. Dave Roberts seconded this motion, and the motion was carried. This session lasted for about 20 minutes, and the regular session was reconvened with a motion made by Roberts and seconded by Katrina Byers.
Daquilante reported that, as a result of this session, she recommended a 365 day expulsion in the case of the student discussed. Wells made a motion to approve of this recommendation, and Thomas seconded it. The motion was then carried.
Following this board decision, Daquilante invited Kelly Myers – a science teacher at TCMS and president of the Tyler County Education Association – to discuss matters involving Senate Bill 451. Daquilante reported that both she and Myers share the same “philosophy” on this bill and the way in which to handle it. The board was also informed that the Tyler County Education Association would be having a service personnel meeting regarding this subject the following day.
Myers brought the board an update on this bill, otherwise known as the Omnibus Education Bill, reporting it had been passed by the Senate that day. However, there were amendments made. Some of these amendments include educators receiving $500 for every 10 days of approved sick leave instead of a month of insurance, the Board of Education needing approval by a public vote if they are to raise regular levy rates, and charter schools will no longer be permitted to participate in non-charter public school extracurricular activities. Despite this, charter schools will still have permission to use school rooms and its students will be permitted to take classes of higher education that are not offered at the charter school. It was reported that Tyler County will not receive funding for this, and the result of these amendments will cause public schools a lot of loss.
Myers and Daquilante both believe that this will greatly effect Tyler County. However, Daquilante asked that people be patient and calm in regards to Senate Bill 451, and allow it to be handled by the correct authorities. She assured those in attendance that action is being taken to solve this issue, and asked that people wait to see what the outcome of the bill will be in the House.
Daquilante also informed the board that all West Virginia counties will be asked to take a vote, which Myers said is to give permission to call for a one-day or long-term action, linked only to Bill 451. Daquilante told the board that this vote does not promise that action will be taken immediately.
The board then questioned Delegate David Kelly’s stance in regards to the bill, and it was reported that he is understanding of it and fighting parts of the bill. Wells then asked he be contacted in order to express the board’s feelings on this matter. Daquilante informed the board that she has been in contact with Delegate Kelly, but would also pass his information onto the board.
Although this bill comes with a pay raise for educators, Myers will reportedly continue to fight this bill.
“A bill that is tied to a pay raise is not worth it when it’s on the back of children.” Myers expressed.
Also in relation to this matter, a resolution was made by the Tyler County Board of Education in order to share their opposition. Daquilante informed the board that this was an action many boards in West Virginia were taking.
In this resolution, it conveys that the entire state Public Education system is underfunded which leads to shortages in staffing, and can negatively affect the students. This resolution also claims that county boards of education budgets are “severely strained” although a five percent pay raise was promised by the Governor in October 2018. The Omnibus Bill was also stated to be “detrimental to public schools”.
The resolution also said, “The Tyler County Board of Education opposes SB 451, the Omnibus Education Bill, and urges the West Virginia Legislature to pass the Governor’s pay raise bill and engage West Virginia’s education stakeholders in developing meaningful education reforms necessary to improve educational outcomes for all children served by West Virginia’s public schools.”
A motion to accept the resolution was made by Wells and seconded by Roberts.
In other business, a project update was given by Daquilante. It was said that the HVAC project is complete on TCMS’ side.
Following this, a monthly attendance report was reviewed. Information from this packet showed that the county was down 10 students. Daquilante reminded the board that this is often seen during holidays as it is a big transition time.
In other business, TCHS and TCMS track schedules were reviewed for the 2019-2020 season. A motion was made by Wells to accept both athletic schedules. The motion was seconded by Roberts and subsequently carried.
Approval was needed for the following trip requests: Matt Jennings to take the TCMS Band to perform at AIB and SES on Feb. 21 or Feb. 26 in case of a snow date – as well as New Martinsville McDonalds between performances, Matt Jennings to take TCMS/HS bands to the WV Bandmasters Association’s State Band Festival on April 9-10 at John Marshall High School, and Tristan Boso to take 10 cheerleaders to a cheer competition on Feb. 23 at Liberty High School. All trips were requesting bus transportation.
These trips were reviewed by the board, and Wells made a motion to approve all three. Thomas seconded the motion, and the motion was carried.
An individual was also requesting permission for her son to take a Leave of Educational Value from May 3-13 in order to take a Caribbean cruise with family. Thomas made a motion to approve this request, and Wells seconded it. The motion was then carried.
Daquilante also informed the board that in a previous meeting, they had approved one teacher for maternity leave beginning on Feb. 28. However, she was ordered bed rest by her physician, so a request was made to approve immediate maternity leave. The motion was carried.
Under personnel matters, the following resignations were reviewed: Matt Bailey as TCHS Assistant Girls Track Coach effective immediately and Vance Ash as TCHS Assistant Baseball Coach effective immediately. The motion to accept all resignations was made by Wells and seconded by Byers. The motion was carried.
Approval was also needed for the following requests for employment: Seth Patterson as SADD Advisor at TCHS effective immediately, Matt Bailey as Assistant Boys Track Coach at TCMS effective immediately, Dylan Harter as substitute custodian effective immediately, and Sarah Patterson and Heather Weekly as substitute cooks effective immediately. The motion to approve all requests was made by Wells and seconded by Roberts. The motion was carried.
Following this, a motion made by Wells and seconded by Roberts authorized payment of the bills.
The board then went into an Executive Session.
The next regular Board of Education meeting will be held on Feb. 18 at 7 p.m. at the Tyler County Board of Education Office in Middlebourne.