By Kaylyn Christopher
Times West Virginian
Throughout the fall, Local School Improvement Council meetings were held in each attendance area in Marion County.
Superintendent of Schools Gary Price said the meetings proved to be informative, highlighting the accomplishments of each individual school and also identifying their needs.
"Those meetings prove to be very beneficial and very productive because it gives the principals and other representatives of the schools an opportunity to meet face to face with the superintendent and the board of education,” Price said.
“They let us know some of the things they’ve done that they’re proud of and some of the things they’re working on to try to make their schools a better environment.”
According to Price, communication and cooperation are the keys to enhancing the education environment.
“Improving the education in any one school is a team effort and takes everyone working together,” he said. “It takes the principal; it takes the teachers; it takes the students, the parents; and of course, it takes support from the central office and the board of education to move forward.”
Each school had the chance to provide Price and the board with a list of improvements that need to be made. Those improvements include items such as fencing in playgrounds, restriping parking lots, replacing windows, paving parking lots, doing HVAC upgrades, replacing carpet, adding personnel and/or increasing personnel availability time and more.
Price said that careful consideration and discussion is put into prioritizing those needs.
“We have conversations with the principals to try to find out how serious each need is,” Price said. “And we try to knock off as many low-cost items as we can to try to get those out of the way.”
Price said that external factors such as weather will also play a role in which improvements are completed first.
According to Price, one improvement that is at the top of the list is the renovation of bathrooms at Barrackville Elementary and Middle, Blackshere Elementary, East Dale Elementary, Pleasant Valley Elementary, Rivesville Elementary and Middle, and Watson Elementary.
“That’s a high priority for us, and we will be able to work on that during the school year because it’s inside,” Price said.
Price said that the renovations will be a continuous effort, and as each school gets completed, others will be added to the list.
“We’re going to try to work methodically through that because that’s something that needs constant attention,” Price said. “With the wear and tear of hundreds of kids going through the restrooms, they need constantly upgraded.”
Email Kaylyn Christopher at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter @KChristopherTWV.