The Times West Virginian

Local News

January 24, 2014

Winter conditions hot topic for BOE

‘It’s still not a very safe environment to bring students and our staff in’

FAIRMONT — Cold temperatures and harsh winter weather conditions proved to be a hot topic at the Marion County Board of Education meeting Thursday.

The board reviewed photos from schools’ parking lots taken to assess safety conditions after the most recent snowstorm.

Maintenance workers have scraped each school’s lot, but the frigid temperatures make  it impossible to scrape down to the pavement. Ice and compacted snow increase the risk of falls and potential injuries.

“Despite the fact that our maintenance men have been out there working hard in the parking lots, it's still not a very safe environment to bring students and our staff in,” said Superintendent of Schools Gary Price.  

If more snow falls Saturday, maintenance workers will come out Sunday to try to keep up with clean-up and safety management.

Although Price commends the road workers on their efforts keeping up with winter weather, he is still fearful of conditions in areas farther out of town.

“There are always a lot of different considerations of why you do or do not decide to cancel school. In a lot of our outlying areas, there is not a wide enough path cleared for a school bus and a car to pass each other. It’s just a very unsafe situation, and when you have that much snow packed on the roads, you don’t have a place for kids to stand.”

The area may see more heavy snowfall over the weekend and into next week, bringing up concern about future school closings.

Marion County schools are allowed eight snow days.

Days missed so far will be made up on May 28-30 and June 2-5, which were previously designated as Outside School Environment days.

Any further days missed will not be made up, and teachers will need to condense their lesson plans to ensure all material is covered before the end of the school year, Price said.

June 5 will be the last day for students, and graduation day has been scheduled for May 23.

Since the last Continuing Education day was taken for a weather make-up day, school employees now only need 12 hours of development credit.

Looking forward, Price proposed to realign fourth-grade classes from Fairview Elementary School to Fairview Middle School, and to also realign preschool classes from Fairview Middle to Fairview Elementary.

When a preschool was added to the Fairview, there were no other public or private preschools to serve that area. The only space for the program was at Fairview Middle School, which was why preschool was run at that facility in the first place.

"We would like to realign the grades so that they more closely configure the students with similar ages," said Price. "We feel it would be advantageous to the preschool to be with the kindergarten and those other primary grades at the elementary school. It would make sense for the fourth grade, the oldest grade, to closely align with the middle school."

Melvyn Coleman, principal of Fairview Elementary, and Steve Rodriguez, principal of Fairview Middle School, both have been very receptive to the idea.

“Mr. Coleman would like to have the preschoolers in his building so he can start working with them so as they move on up into kindergarten and first grade he's familiar with them and they’re familiar with him and the teachers. Both principals feel it would be a good realignment, but we will give the public an opportunity to have their input,” Price said.

The board decided to hold a meeting that will be open for public input and questioning on the topic. Both principals will be present to assist with answers and provide their input, as well.

If approved, the board would like to make the realignment for the 2014-15 school year.

Also discussed in the meeting:

• Rooftop heating units have been replaced at Fairview Elementary School, and two more will be installed. The weather did not cause problems with the heating, and the new units warmed the building to 74 degrees while the students have been away, according to an electronic monitoring system.

• Instructors Paula Chrobak, Richard Henderson, Terry Mattern, Yvonne Pethtal, Connie Rush and Lois Schoolcraft will retire this school year. The board commends them on their years of service to Marion County’s students.

• The board passed Price’s recommendation that a bus driver be suspended two days without pay because his bus was “red-tagged” and taken out of service. A red tag consists of anything that can cause a bus not to be permitted to service students. The bus driver failed to fix the problems during the time period allotted to do so.

• The board approved a recommendation to expel a student for one calendar year for violating the Safe Schools Act.

Email Chelsi Baker at cbaker@timeswv.com or follow her on Twitter @CBakerTWV.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • erin autism 1.jpg East Dale student, loyal to twin bother, promotes autism awareness

    Erin Pride, 12, is a sixth-grader at East Dale Elementary School.
    She likes to play basketball, is a Girl Scout and just started learning the clarinet for school band.
    This Christmas, she received a rubber band bracelet loom. Rubber brand bracelets are very popular, and she started making bracelets and trading them at school.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tuesday deadline for voter registration

    The deadline for new voters to register before the May 13 primary is fast approaching.
    Residents have until 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday to go to a government office, such as the county clerk’s office or the DMV, and fill out a voter registration card.

    April 19, 2014

  • Swimming Challenge available for children with autism

    The Corridor Chapter of the Autism Society of West Virginia (AS-WV) and the YMCA of Clarksburg will be sponsoring the second annual Swimming Challenge for children affected by autism.
    The swimming challenge gives children with autism the opportunity to attend swimming lessons and work on their swimming skills one-on-one.

    April 19, 2014

  • CASA Superhero 5K set for April 26

    The second annual CASA Superhero 5K will be held April 26 in Fairmont.
    The event is at East Marion (Wave Pool) Park and is an annual fundraiser for CASA programs in Harrison, Marion, Monongalia and Preston counties.

    April 19, 2014

  • 041814 Fishing 2.jpg Fun, prizes mark annual event at Curtisville Lake

    An annual family fishing event begins at 9:30 a.m. today.
    The Marion County Parks and Recreation Commission and the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources are having the annual Family Fishing Day. The event will take place today at Curtisville Lake, with registration beginning at 9:30 a.m. and prizes being given away at 10:30 a.m.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Police: Shooting of boy accidental

    A boy remains in critical condition after being shot more than a week ago, and police officials are now saying the incident was accidental in nature.
    On Wednesday, April 9, at 7:52 p.m., police were dispatched to a Fairmont residence after an 11-year-old boy sustained a gunshot wound inside the home.

    April 18, 2014

  • FGH oncology to benefit from cleanup

    Proceeds from this year’s town cleanup and recycling in White Hall will go toward comforting local cancer patients.
    During Monday’s council meeting, recorder Charlie Mason said the town will hold its annual cleanup from 7 a.m. to noon Saturday, May 3, at Fabric and Foam in White Hall. He said only White Hall residents may bring their garbage to throw away, but any Marion County resident may bring metal (excluding computers, televisions and tires) to recycle.

    April 18, 2014

  • Pleasant Valley approves phase two of cemetery project

    Pleasant Valley City Council approved phase two of a project to fence in Samuel Linn Cemetery in Benton’s Ferry at the council meeting Tuesday.
    The cemetery was started in 1852, with the death of Samuel Linn.

    April 18, 2014

  • UPDATE: Police say 11-year-old shot in 'accidental discharge of a firearm'

    A boy remains in critical condition after being shot more than a week ago, and police officials are now saying the incident was accidental in nature.

    April 17, 2014

  • Attorney General - CB.jpg Morrisey wants to work with all to ‘help transform West Virginia’

    State Attorney General Patrick Morrisey wants to work with citizens to “help transform West Virginia.”
    Morrisey was the guest speaker for the Marion County Chamber of Commerce’s “Lunch and Learn” event Wednesday at the Mon Power headquarters, located in the I-79 Technology Park in Fairmont. His trip to the Friendly City followed a town hall meeting in Harrison County Tuesday night.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
TWV Video Highlights
NDN Editor's Picks
House Ads