By Heaven Hunter
The Calhoun County board of education met Tuesday, June 19, at 5 p.m., to discuss educational concerns and improve student achievement.
Following the approval of minutes, superintendent Kelli Whytsell presented School Building Authority and School Safety/Facili-ties reports.
She said that only one bid was submitted for the restroom renovations and wastewater treatment project.
Whytsell said, “The only formal bid was over budget, which is very discouraging. The bid was $300,094 over the budget. We are going to do some value engineering, and see what we can do to get it within budget.”
Board members agreed and the bid was not accepted.
Board vice president Jenna Jett delivered the Calhoun-Gilmer Career Center report, which covered Policy 32-32, representation at Skills-USA, embedded credit, law and public safety curriculum, dress code, and calendar adjustments.
Jett gave the following information: “Mr. Sterns informed the council that Policy 32-32 will soon be put out for comment. He expressed the desire to meet with superintendents and principals to discuss approved curriculum. He shared with the council policies discussing local shares.”
The career center council was also presented with a complete Local Education Agency plan, which was approved.
A resignation letter was received from chef Annette Benson from the Culinary Arts program. She will not return next year.
The position will be taken over by Jonathan McCormick, who has re-signed from the Network-ing Technology/Robotics program.
Annaliza Marks will fulfill McCormick’s duties as the head of the net-working program, upon certification completion.
Marks is an adminis-trative application soft-ware specialist in the Office of Technology at Glenville State Col-lege, with 14 years of experience.
The next Calhoun-Gilmer Career Center administrative council meeting will be on Tues-day, July 17, at 11 a.m.
Jett also gave the RESA V report: “The last meeting I attended was a whole lot of wrap up, trying to get everything out of the buildings. There has been much disagreement over distribution of items and the future of the buildings.”
Whytsell said, “We still have some items (at RESA) that we will be getting June 29. They needed the items to keep operational.”
Whytsell provided the superintendent’s report, opening with a general update: “We have finished with school, everybody is out, but it’s a busy time for us, and the work towards our projects.”
Grant updates included work on the consolidated plan and the strategic plan. Whytsell said that those are all the title funds.
She also discussed new information about the way grants are processed and submitted. The new system is described as a GPS system.
Via speakerphone, board president Jackie Collins-Frail inquired about the new system, and asked if it was operated by the State Dept.
Whytsell said, “It is the State Dept. They con-tracted with a company to build this system, which they took out of WEVIS and moved to a new portal, including things like our 21st century grant, etc.”
The professional de-velopment plan consisted of the 2018-19 approach of strategic plans and APL training.
Whytsell said, “APL training is just good teach-ing practices. We have aligned our walkthrough with these practices. We have had this for many years in Calhoun County, and once again, it comes down to just really good fundamental teaching practices.”
Concluding the super-intendent’s report, Whyt-sell shared that on July 31, the school system would be having all things special education, which will deal with everything related to special education, as well as regular education teaching.
“Special education stu-dents are in all classrooms. We are inclusive. We want everybody to be comfortable and to under-stand the legal require-ments of dealing with students who have a disability, but also just good classroom practices. This is for all students, not just those with an identified disability,” said Whytsell.
On Aug. 6, profes-sional development for teachers will be held.
Teachers can pick various sessions to learn more about programs and curriculum.
On Aug. 7, those who received APL training will be able to share that knowledge with other teachers.
Whytsell concluded her report by saying, “This year is going to be all about math,” reflecting on the new textbook adoption. “The first year of textbook adoption comes with a lot of professional development and additional resources, and we want to make the most of it.”
Items approved under personnel included the following:
–Termination of con-tract per service substi-tute county policy: Helen Kellar, substitute custo-dian.
–Resignations: ser-vice, Patsy Kisner, multi-classified parapro-fessional/aide, PHS; extra-curricular, Charles Hicks, $1 assistant varsity football coach and assistant baseball coach; Argil Jones, assistant varsity softball coach; summer school, Cole Ritchie, summer boost mentor; administration, Nathan Haynes, chief operational officer for administrative services.
–Employment: profes-sional, Leigha McIntyre-Smith, vocational agri-culture teacher; service, Lisa Hawkins, literacy tutor-supervisory aide II, AES; Kenneth Dawson, literacy tutor-supervisory aide II, PHS; Kenneth McCumbers, multi-classi-fied bus operator, central office; summer school, Shaylah Wilson, Kaitlyn Toney, Daerra Stull, student tutors; extra-curricular, John Persinger, assistant varsity football coach, CM/HS.
The board entered into an executive session on personnel before adjourning.
The school board will have a special meeting on Monday, July 2, 5:30 p.m., at the Mt. Zion office.