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 or follow her on Twitter @CBakerTWV.

Text Only
Local News
  • Some county schools offer free lunch, breakfast

    They say there’s no such thing as a free lunch.

    July 28, 2014

  • Boil-water notice lifted

    The boil-water notice issued for School Street in Barrackville and surrounding areas has been lifted.

    July 28, 2014

  • Monongah water plant receives positive report

    The Town of Monongah’s water plant has received a positive report — with no violations — from the state.

    July 28, 2014

  • Morgantown man charged with sexual abuse

    A Morgantown man has been arrested for the rape of a 12-year-old girl in Marion County.

    July 28, 2014

  • Storm Cleanup Cleanup continues after storms

    Residents and emergency crews continued to clean up the mess Monday from Sunday evening’s storms.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gayle Manchin: Issue of Common Core Standards has been politicized

    The state didn’t do a very good job of “telling the story” of Common Core Standards, state school board president Gayle Manchin said Monday morning, which opened the door for an onslaught of public and administrative criticism of something few understand.

    July 28, 2014

  • Purple Heart Memorial fundraising continues

     Despite three years of fundraising, a memorial remains unfinished.
    The Purple Heart Memorial was planned three years ago. It is part of the Vietnam Memorial at the Wave Tec Park and was planned to honor all of those who were wounded or killed in action in any war.
    Danny Greene has been working to complete the memorial since the project began. He is a member of the local Purple Heart Chapter.

    July 28, 2014

  • End of Fairview water project on tap

    Officials say the Fairview water line extension project is on track to meet the goal of making water available to all new customers by the end of this week.
    Fairview Mayor Arley Simmons said workers have recently been busy pulling samples and flushing the lines in order to get new customers hooked up for water service.
    “It should have been done a year ago,” he said of the project.
    However, the end of the endeavor is now nearing completion. The hope has been to have everybody on line before this month is over, Simmons said.

    July 28, 2014

  • Barbara Yanero.jpg Like a Springsteen song

     Barbara Yanero grew up in Monongah, on Shaver Street. The street has a long history. For quite some time, Polish and Italian immigrants lived on that street.
    Yanero’s family started living there with her great-grandparents, who moved there around 1927. Later, her great-grandfather made a house for her grandmother and grandfather out of a barn that was already on the property.
    “He was an amazing human being,” Yanero said. “And my mom and dad ended up living there as well, and now me.”
    In Monongah, the neighbors formed a tight-knit group.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Local water project nearing completion

    Officials say the Fairview water line extension project is on track to meet the goal of making water available to all new customers by the end of this week.

    July 27, 2014

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