By: Jennifer Britt
The Parsons Advocate
In special executive session the Tucker County School Board of Education members conducted the year end evaluation of Superintendent Lambert. In closing statement, the board said, “As a school system, we believe we are heading in the right direction. We should never be satisfied where we are presently. We can always do better.
We would like to see student chronic absenteeism decrease in all schools and see students who are home-schooled become re-enrolled.
We safely guided our students through the COVID epidemic and look forward to another productive school year in 2022-2023.”
TCHS Principal Alex Cork proposed to the BOE members a new course called STEM Lab Productions. Last semester Cork and staff have been bringing thousands of dollars’ worth of equipment out of storage. The intent for the course is to reestablish some form of the STEM Lab/Makers Space the school has had before. For two years the equipment has been unutilized.
According to Cork, “This course would teach students how to utilize the school’s modern technological equipment to produce items for a “school store”. The course would also teach students practical business skill utilizing standards similar to a WVDE CTE course called Business & Marketing, 1439.”
In the “school store”, the students would be able to use the equipment provided to produce items such as TCHS T-shirts, coffee mugs or key chains. They could produce many items by developing the ability to design and produce marketable items utilizing sublimation printers, 3D printers, CNC routers, large scale printers and any other modern STEM equipment.
By enabling the students to participate in this class they will develop skills in customer relations, economics and financial analysis. The students will also grow in the areas of emotional intelligence by applying ethics to demonstrate trustworthiness and information management by acquiring a foundational knowledge to understand its nature and scope.
Students will also benefit by learning operations roles/functions. As well as professional development geared towards self-development skills that enhance relationships and improve efficiency in the work environment.
The BOE voted to approve the proposed course effective for the 2022-2023 school year.
Cork also proposed making the 35-minute enrichment period count as a quarter (1/4) credit per semester for a total of a half (1/2) credit per year. The class will officially be recorded as course #7656 RETEACH/ENRCH on student transcripts according to the WVDE course code manual.
Cork said, “The course will provide enrichment, remediation, and support for students who are behind state grade level standards in math and English. The school would reserve the right to use a combination of grade level specific Edgenuity Math and English enrichment pathways. These pathways may be selected by the use of benchmark data, PSAT data, SAT results data, or grade level.”
Students would be exempt from the reading and writing enrichment if they score at or above 480 on SAT’s evidence-based reading and writing section. Students are exempt from the math enrichment if they score at or above 520 in the SAT’s math section. If a student meets these scores in both sections, they would be exempt from both enrichment periods.
Cork explained the teachers will have a dashboard to keep track of the student’s progress. The teacher will be the facilitator and will hold the students more accountable and responsible thus making the students do better.
The board voted to approve the proposed course credit effective for the 2022-2023 school year.
The board, with the help from the Finance Director, Tracy Teets, worked diligently to resolve an over 20-year issue with the extended employment, supplemental, and extracurricular salary scale, This is the scale used to determine what amount coaches and assistant coaches are paid.
After several drafts and hashing out details the board was finally able to accept a presented scale for a pay increase for most of school sport coaches. Teets first designed a matrix that would use a number scale to determine who got what based on things such as how many students were coached and how long was the season.
Superintendent Alicia Lambert said, “We wanted to use the sustainability factor. We did not want to have to cut (wages) in the future.” Teets stated as of right now the accepted scale would be feasible for the current budget.
Head coaches at all schools will also a $25 per year of experience. For example, if a coach has five years’ experience coaching football that coach will receive $25 for each of the five years on top of the set salary. But, if for example, a coach leaves football and goes to softball the year of experience starts over.
Board member Jessica Wamsley stated, “The important thing to keep in mind is nobody is trying to underscore anybody’s effort. It is not about that. I even feel a little bit sad for football even though they were making by far the most of anybody.
I know those guys in those positions and they will all be fine cause they are not doing it for the money they are doing it because they love football, and they love the kids.
I just hope that the idea as a board, as a school system, and as a community of parents, everybody appreciates what the coaches are doing and what they go through.”
The school board also regretfully accepted the resignation of Program Specialist Keith Nichols effective July 1, 2022. Board member Wamsley said, “This one hurts.”
The retirement of Wanda Knotts as custodian at TCHS effective at the end of the 2021-2022 school year was also accepted. Knotts will remain on as substitute custodian for the 2022-2023 school year.