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Board hears from 5 schools

November 30, 2012
By Beth Christian Broschart - Staff Writer ( , The Inter-Mountain

The Randolph County Board of Education heard reports from five local school improvement councils at Elkins High School Thursday, and learned about each school's accomplishments.

Elkins High, Elkins Middle, Randolph Technical Center, Midland Elementary and Beverly schools offered reports to the board by members of the local school improvement council.

- David Fincham, principal at Elkins High School, welcomed board members, staff and guests to the school. He thanked members of the board of education for all the help and support of his school. He addressed the group regarding the school's credit recovery program.

"Teachers contract with the students who are very close to mastery level," Fincham said. "They work before or after school with the students to help them achieve their goal and complete the class work."

Board member Ed Tyre pointed out that this program helps keep students from dropping out.

Elkins High School student body president Kelli Carr used a power point presentation to share winners of various awards and recognitions during the year. Carr also discussed student travel, field trips, band competitions, exchange students and out-of-the country trips.

"Elkins High has developed and implemented an advisor/advisee program, developed a new structure for clubs and is offering 27 honors classes," Carr said. "All teachers have laptop computers and projectors and all juniors and seniors received laptop computers."

Hoy Ferguson, president of Elkins High School LSIC, presented the board with the school's requests for consideration.

"We would like to change out the restroom stalls and paint, would like air conditioning in the gymnasium, and installation of security cameras throughout the interior of the building," Ferguson said. "We understand these may be difficult since the bond did not pass. Other considerations we need are the reinstatement of an English teacher, interior painting in the halls and classrooms and an addition of a resource office, possibly someone in law enforcement."

- Beverly Elementary School Principal Paul Zickefoose thanked board members for the community eligibility pilot program, which is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and West Virginia Department of Education. This initiative provides free breakfast and lunch to every student attending these schools, regardless of family income.

Zickefoose said Beverly has a very active PTO program that sponsors family activities including Christmas around the world, the Old Brick Playhouse, Carnegie Science Center on the Road, school book fairs, Dr. Seuss day and a Fall Festival.

Beverly offered a Jump Start program for parents and students for two nights of kindergarten registration.

"This program was well-received and we will use it again," Zickefoose said. "We are trying to increase parental involvement in all of our classrooms."

Zickefoose said Beverly Elementary appreciates the support of the board.

"We would ask you to consider a new cafeteria and kitchen (and) the addition of a half-time custodian," Zickefoose said.

- Rich Carr, principal at Elkins Middle School, thanked board members for their help and support.

"We want to prepare our students for the future and help enhance their performance and health," Carr said. "It is important for us to help these students before they get to high school and fall further behind."

Carr said the school is striving to add an additional semester of math for those in sixth and seventh grades, and has put together an intervention team similar to credit recovery.

One new addition at the school is an archery team.

"Nick Alfred wrote a grant for the archery equipment, and it has been well-received," Carr said. "We hope to begin competition in the near future."

Carr said the school plans to raise academic success, offer tutoring access, put in a walking track for students and the community and increase parent involvement.

- Don Johnson, principal of Randolph Technical Center, said the school has 570 students this semester. They are offering three dual credit classes and edge credit for students attending community and technical colleges. Johnson said 109 students were program completers in the 2011 to 2012 school year.

"Our school achieved exemplary school status," Johnson said. "I give the credit to the staff and students for attaining this."

He said the adult basic education met 100 percent of the federal core measurements for 2012.

"Not only was this met this year, but yearly since 2007," he said.

Johnson said every semester, each instructor nominates an exemplary student, and they and their families are treated to dinner.

"The teacher introduces their student and tells of their accomplishments," Johnson said. "It is a great program."

Johnson said his school would ask for an English and Math instructor at the center to implement a community core curriculum.

- Midland Elementary teacher Beth Cooper said the school purchased Spelling City. This program is used with first through fifth grade students for assistance in spelling and vocabulary.

Teacher Roseann Harvey said a team of volunteers repainted the walls in the bathrooms. She said the school has teamed up with Steve Kerns and has a recycling program.

Midland Elementary principal Melinda Akers said the grades have buddied-up to build relationships among the classes.

"First and fourth grade students planted tulips," Akers said. "Kindergarten and third grade students help one another with reading projects."

Akers said the school would benefit from a full-time counselor, an upgraded security system and a new fire alarm.

Randolph Superintendent of Schools Dr. James Phares was not present at Thursday's meeting.

The Randolph County Board of Education will meet again at 6 p.m. Monday at the central office.



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