ELKINS - With just two days before the start of the new school year, the Randolph County Board of Education met in a special session Tuesday evening to approve the hiring or transfer of 17 individuals to ensure instructors are in place as students head back to classes.
Randolph County Superintendent of Schools Terry George said he and his staff have been working to get everyone in place before Thursday's start of instruction.
"Mrs. (Pamela) Hewitt and Mrs. (Sarah) Martin were working on a checklist today to determine exactly which spots were open, in addition to the ones that will obviously be open after tonight's meeting," George said. "We have six positions coming down today, in addition to those from tonight."
George said other school systems are also searching to fill positions and this is a phenomenon happening all around the state.
"People are scrambling, trying to fill positions because with the new regulations, we can no longer post until... the school and faculty senates must meet to hire the employees," he said. "So it slows down the process by at least 10 days."
George said they have had setbacks in filling the voids.
"It's been a topsy-turvy summer," George said. "When you have people walking in retiring the week before school starts, it puts us in a tough situation."
BOE member Harvey Taylor asked what would happen with positions not filled by an instructor before the beginning of school.
"What will you do at Tygarts Valley High School with (VoAg instructor) Miss (Hannah) Sundberg?" Taylor said. "Will a substitute be in that position?"
"That job is posted," George said. "A substitute will go to work until we get her position filled. There will be someone in that classroom Thursday morning."
BOE members also approved the retirement of two professional personnel members, the transfer of one LPN, the resignation of two individuals and a leave of absence for yet another. They approved a job description for a career work skills instructor/career technical education coordinator.
"The old DCT position, the state has changed the acronym on it and it is now the career work skills training instructor," George said. "In the past, the nighttime administrator for nighttime programs had been tied to that position.
"After meeting with Mr. (John) Daniels shortly after he was named principal, he and I discussed that position and he felt that the current DCT position, really does not have enough during the week to justify a fulltime position. He wanted to give additional duties to that position."
George said rather than post two positions, they will be combined.
"It's actually going to save us money," George said.
The next regular meeting of the Randolph BOE is slated for 5 p.m. Aug. 19.