GilmerFreePress.net

Calhoun-Gilmer Career Center Receives $51K in Grants for 09-10 School Year

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Calhoun-Gilmer Career Center serves high school students from both Calhoun Middle High School and Gilmer County High School along with adults from the area continuing their education.  Nine programs of study (Automotive Technology, Building Construction, Business Education, Criminal Justice, Culinary Arts, Environmental Technology, Health Occupations, Networking Technologies and Welding) are available to high school and post graduate students. Also, two Alternative Learning Centers serve high school students in need of credit recovery, and Adult Basic Education is provided which includes GED classes and testing.
 
Since opening in 1975, there has been a decrease in funding for the Calhoun-Gilmer Career Center.  Instructors have taken it upon themselves, with no extra pay, to secure funding through grant writing.  The West Virginia Department of Education, Division of Adult and Technical Education annually awards Program Modernization Grants of up to $20,000 for new technology and equipment to keep programs current with industry.  This spring seven instructors from C-GCC submitted grant proposals for the 2010 fiscal year, and a record four were awarded totaling $51,000.
 
Instructor Mike Jackson requested funding of a firearms simulator and homeland security lab to address the newly approved Content Standards and Objectives (CSO’s) for his classes.  Similar to the training at the West Virginia State Police Academy, students will learn proper weapon use in simulated situations.  The modernization grant for the Criminal Justice program was $17,000.

A grant of $16,000 was awarded to Networking Technologies.  New student workstations, a server with software and network security, and a fiber optical installation kit were requested by instructor Zane Gherke.  To hone their 21st century skills the thinking and reasoning, students will utilized this new equipment and be prepared for the workplace.

With President Barack Obama’s call for computerized heath and medication records, instructor Karen Blankenship requested five new classroom computers and software for the Health Occupations lab.  The medical record software is similar to that used at Minnie Hamilton Health Center to provided training to students in this program of study.  The modernization grant awarded to Health Occupations totaled $10,000.

An $8,000 modernization grant was awarded to the Environmental Technology program.  A class set of 10 global positioning system (GPS) handheld units, geographic information system (GIS) software, and two new classroom computers were requested by instructor Kris Snyder.  With the GIS software students will be able to combine known data with spatial relationships and determine the use of natural resources.

Modernization grant proposals emphasizing innovative thinking and 21st century skills are given most favorable consideration.  These grants cannot be used to fund personnel or facilities.
~~  By Bryan Sterns - C-GCC Director   ~~

Evenings Set for Parents to Activate Edline Accounts at GCHS

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Gilmer County High School has set aside three evenings for parents to activate Edline accounts.  The Media Center Computer Lab will be open from 4:00 to 6:00 PM on Tuesday, September 15 and Monday, September 21, 2009 and on Parent Teacher Conference evening, Monday, September 28, 2009 from 5:00 to 6:30 PM.  Parents must call in to reserve a time slot for any of three of sessions being offered so that the activation codes can be ready for parents.

Edline is an easy way for parents to keep-up-to-date online. Once a parent has activated his account, and GCHS has posted information, a parent can use Edline to check your child’s latest grades, receive email alerts when new grades are posted, receive emails with school or class information, see what homework is not turned in and read notes from your child’s teachers, view team and club activities, verify attendance, view “combined calendar”  to see all the events from the school calendar and your own child’s classes and activities, read daily announcements, lunch menus, school policies and classroom news.  A parent can access this secure information from any computer that has Internet access.

Gilmer County High School was the pilot school for Gilmer County last year. Since Edline became operational last year, the parents who have activated accounts have given Edline high marks.  This year, Edline is available in all Gilmer County schools.

“The response to Edline has been extremely positive,” said GCHS Principal Mrs. Nasia P. Butcher.  “Seventy-five of the parents activated Edline accounts at 7th grade orientation last week.  We have set aside these three evenings to help parents activate accounts.  While the process takes less than 10 minutes, the benefits of knowing how your child is academically progressing is timeless. This is an excellent tool for everyone—teachers, students, and parents.”

To schedule an time slot for Edline activation, please call the GCHS office at 304.462.7960.

WV Trappers Association Convention

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The West Virginia Trappers Association will have their 2009 convention at the Gilmer County Recreation Center in Glenville, Friday - Sunday, September 18 - 20, 2009.

A root auction will be on Saturday, September 19,2009, and demonstrations for trapping, snaring, skinning and fleshing will occur.

In addition, vendors will be selling trapping supplies.

There will be a seminar on small game cooking on Friday, September 18, 2009.

For more information, call Scott at 304.462.7270 or Janet at 304.772.5586 or visit www.wvtrappers.com .

More WV Schools Are Adding Gender Specific Classrooms

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More West Virginia schools are adding gender specific classrooms, all girls in one class and all boys in another class.

Doctor Leonard Sax with the National Association of Single Sex Public Education says parents should be given the option of putting their kids in those classrooms.  He says there’s proof such a splitting of the sexes works, helping students learn better, especially at the elementary school and middle school levels.

“There’s lots of variations among girls.  There’s lot of variations among boys,“ Doctor Sax said on Thursday’s MetroNews Talkline.

“A coed format works fine for some girls and some boys but, clearly, some girls learn better in the all girls format.  Some boys learn better in the all boys format.  So, why not make that format available?“

Doctor Sax was in West Virginia recently to talk about same sex public education at schools in Wood County, Raleigh County and Kanawha County.  Already, several West Virginia schools have gender specific classes.

“We live in a sexist society, a society that says art and poetry are for girls and computers and cars are for boys.“  Sax says the gender specific classes change that, if teachers are trained properly to teach all boys or all girls.

“With just a little bit of training, you can help teachers to use this format to bring down gender stereotypes and you can have the girls write stories about hunting and have the boys write stories about babysitting.“

Some argue that students grow up to live in a coed world, but Doctor Sax says the real world is nothing like middle school.

“In the real world, what’s important is, ‘Are you competent?  Do you know what you’re doing?  Do you show up for work on time?‘  That’s more important, 99.9% of jobs, that’s more important than whether or not you’re pretty,“ he says.

“But in the coed classroom, what’s really important is ‘Are you pretty?  Are you cute?‘ and not whether or not you know what you’re talking about.“

You can find out more about Sax’s organization at www.singlesexschools.org.

Outdoor Youth Challenge at National Hunting and Fishing Days Celebration‏

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Changes in the format of the annual Outdoor Youth Challenge will allow more participation from youngsters to test their skills in hunting, fishing, and other activities, according to Division of Natural Resources Director Frank Jezioro. The Outdoor Youth Challenge is part of West Virginia’s Celebration of National Hunting and Fishing Days, scheduled for September 26 and 27, 2009 at Stonewall Resort State Park in Lewis County.

“This celebration is one of the best outdoor recreation events held in West Virginia, with hands-on learning and instructional opportunities for youth and the entire family in celebrating West Virginia’s wildlife and outdoor heritage,” said Jezioro.

A major change instituted last year and continuing this year involves removing the competition factor in all the Outdoor Youth Challenge events, unless a youth requests to be competitively scored.  Last year the result was more than 350 youngsters over the two-day weekend participating in approximately 20 different events, up substantially from previous years.

Any youth between 6 and 18 years of age may participate in the Outdoor Youth Challenge events.  However, those youths 11-18 years of age who would like to compete will still be able to do so, with five scored competitive events which include casting for accuracy, archery, .22 rifle, muzzleloader and skeet shooting.

All youths who wish to participate must complete a free, on-site registration.  They will be given a color-coded registration card with map showing the Outdoor Youth Challenge events.  The Outdoor Youth Challenge will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.  There will be approximately 25 events and each youth must complete at least 10 events to be eligible for prize drawings.  Upon completion of each event, the youth’s registration card will be validated by the official overseeing that event.

Two types of registration will be offered for the Outdoor Youth Challenge.  The first will be for those youths 6 to 18 years of age who would like to participate in the Youth Challenge event just for the fun and experience, but do not wish to compete.  The second type of registration will be for youths 11-14 and 15-18 years of age who wish to compete in the scored events.  The numerical score for the five scored competitive events will be recorded on the youth’s registration card.  These youths, in addition to completing the scored events, must also complete at least five of the un-scored Youth Challenge events.

Again this year, the grand prizes are two lifetime hunting and fishing licenses.  For those youths who want to compete in the five scored competitive events, a Junior Conservation Camp Scholarship (junior group ages 11-14) and a state Conservation Camp Scholarship (senior group ages 15-18) will be awarded each day.  Many other quality prizes, dealing with hunting, fishing and other outdoor recreation activities, will also be given away each day.

For more Outdoor Youth Challenge information call Shawn Head at 304.637.0245

GSC Training Tomorrow’s Nonprofit Leaders

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In an effort to meet the ever-increasing need for nonprofit professionals and volunteers and to encourage involvement in community service, the Glenville State College Business Department is now offering a minor in Nonprofit Leadership and Management. This twenty credit hour program includes: Principles of Accounting, Applied Business Communications, Dimensions in Professional Development, Business Law, Human Resource Management, Principles of Marketing, Introduction to Nonprofit Organizations, and Nonprofit Practices and Procedures.

In addition, Glenville State College is also offering the American Humanics Certificate in Nonprofit Management and Leadership. American Humanics (AH) is a national alliance of colleges, universities, and nonprofits dedicated to educating, preparing, and certifying professionals to lead nonprofit organizations. AH was founded in 1948 by H. Roe Bartle, a thirty-year professional in the Boy Scouts of America, who was concerned about the lack of educational opportunities available to young people desiring careers in the service community. The American Humanics Program is now offered on over sixty campuses across the country. Glenville State College will be the only college or university in West Virginia to offer this program for at least the next five years.

“The addition of the Nonprofit Leadership and Management minor and the American Humanics Certification to our curriculum at Glenville State College will broaden our students’ options for employment in both the profit and nonprofit sectors,” said Dr. Sherry Jones, GSC Professor of Business Education and Department Chair.

Any student of Glenville State College, regardless of major, is eligible to take the new minor and/or earn the American Humanics Certification. Non-degree seeking students are also welcome to enroll in the American Humanics Certification Program which takes approximately one year to complete. All students who want to earn AH Certification must also complete a three-hundred hour internship in the nonprofit sector.

Meredith Gillett is the GSC American Humanics Coordinator. “Students who earn American Humanics Certification increase their marketability. The required internship will provide valuable real-life field experience. Many nonprofit organizations seek and recruit AH students. The link that AH has with over sixty institutions results in great networking opportunities,” she said. American Humanics trains professionals for many of the country’s most respected nonprofits including: the American Red Cross, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of America, Boy Scouts of America, The Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Camp Fire USA, Feeding America, Girls Incorporated, Girl Scouts of the USA, The Humane Society of the United States, Junior Achievement, March of Dimes, National Urban League, United Way of America, Volunteers of America, and YMCA of the USA.

Gillett relocated to her native West Virginia from California to head the AH program. She has extensive experience in the nonprofit sector beginning in Girl Scouts as an active member then became Program Director at a summer camp in Kansas City, Missouri. She completed an internship with the national office of Camp Fire USA, and following her AH Certification and Bachelor’s degree, she became an Exploring Executive for the Boy Scouts of America in Little Rock, Arkansas. Gillett will be starting a Student Association for those involved in the AH program and those interested in community service.

The first nonprofit class, NPLM 101 – Introduction to Nonprofit Organizations will be taught at Glenville State College during the Spring 2010 semester. Among other topics, this class will focus on the following: mission and role of the nonprofit organization; board and committee development; and program planning, implementation, and evaluation. A second class, NPLM 201 – Nonprofit Practices and Procedures will likely be taught in the Fall 2010 semester and will focus on the following: fundraising and grant writing; public relations; and effective risk and crisis management.

The Glenville State Robert F. Kidd Library is building its collection of books and periodicals in the nonprofit area to support learning about nonprofit organizations.

In working with many nonprofit organization executives over the years, Glenville State College President, Dr. Peter Barr, realized the need for trained nonprofit professional in a vastly expanding industry. “Glenville State College will now be educating the nonprofit leaders of the future. The practical knowledge and experience that students will gain from these programs will better prepare them to meet the needs of the nonprofit sector,” he said.

Nonprofit organizations interested in taking advantage of the Glenville State College American Humanics intern program or seminars that will be available are invited to contact Gillett for more information.

Individuals interesting in taking one or more nonprofit classes or for more information about the GSC Nonprofit Leadership and Management minor contact Gillett at 304.462.6260 or “meredith.gillett@glenville.edu”.
~~  Bob Edwards - GSC Public Relations Department Assistant   ~~

Flatwoods Days Spaghetti Dinner

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The Flatwoods Days Spaghetti Dinner will be held Friday, September 4, 2009 from 4:30 PM to 6:45 PM at the Flatwoods Community Building.
The menu is Spaghetti, Salad, Roll, Dessert and Drink.
The cost is $6.00 for adults and $3.00 for children 10 and under.
This is sponsored by Flatwoods Park and Recreation.
Contact Paul Beatty at 304.765.5568 for tickets.

WV’s Judicial Reform Hearings Set

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Three public hearings on possible judicial reforms in West Virginia will be held over the next month.

The first hearing from Governor Joe Manchin’s Independent Commission on Judicial Reform will come Friday at Marshall University’s Memorial Student Center in Huntington.  The focus of the hearing will be on campaign finance.

Former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Conner, Honorary Chair of the Independent Commission, is scheduled to attend the hearing on Monday, September 21, 2009 at West Virginia University’s College of Law where the topic will be judicial selection.

The final hearing, focused on judicial organization, will be held on Monday, September 29, 2009 in the Governor’s Press Conference Room at the State Capitol in Charleston.

The Independent Commission has until Sunday, November 15, 2009 to present its findings to Governor Manchin.

For more information, go to www.judicialreform.wv.gov .

Movie: Box Office 08.30.09

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TWLWTitleWOC
1NThe Final Destination1
21Inglourious Basterds2
3NHalloween II (2009)1
42District 93
53G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra4
65Julie & Julia4
74The Time Traveler's Wife3
86Shorts2
9NTaking Woodstock1
107G-Force6

TW = This Week     LW = Last Week   WOC = Weeks On Chart

Braxton County’s 911 in New Building

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Work crews continue to get the former Lyons Equipment Building in Flatwoods ready for Braxton County emergency services to move in.

County Commission approved the lease-purchase agreement July 17, 2009 but employees have only been in the building two weeks.

The goal is to eventually have all the county’s emergency services at the building. In the past they were at three different locations.

The county is expected to purchase the building January first for $600,000.

GSC vs UT-Chattanooga Tickets Available

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There are a limited number of tickets available for the Thursday, September 3, 2009 contest in Chattanooga, TN.

The cost for these tickets and sitting in the Glenville State section at the stadium will be $5 per ticket.

Game time is 7:00 PM local time.

For more information, or to reserve these seats, please contact Brent Walters at “brent.walters@glenville.edu” or 304.462.6223.

Michigan Players Allege NCAA Violations

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Ask University of Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez about Mike Barwis, and the superlatives will flow.

“He’s my guy,‘’ Rodriguez told the Detroit Free Press in the summer of 2008. “I won’t go anywhere without him.‘’

Barwis has been Rodriguez’s strength and conditioning coach for six years - four at West Virginia University, two at Michigan. The 46-year-old Rodriguez, entering his second season at Michigan, has said Barwis might be even more important than Rodriguez’s assistant coaches because of all the time Barwis spends working with players.

But how much time is too much?

The NCAA, which governs college athletics, has strict limits on how much time coaches can require players to spend on their sport. But Rodriguez’s team has routinely broken the rules since he took over in January 2008, people inside the program told the Free Press.

Numerous players on the 2008 and 2009 teams said the program far exceeded limits intended to protect athletes from coaching excesses and to ensure fair competition.

Two players called Michigan’s offseason requirements “ridiculous.‘’ The players described the coaches’ expectations as an ongoing concern among many teammates. Parents of several players agreed.

The players and parents agreed to talk only if they were not identified because they said they feared repercussions from the coaching staff.

The Free Press outlined the allegations to U-M officials on Friday and requested responses from Rodriguez, Barwis, compliance director Judy Van Horn, athletic director Bill Martin and President Mary Sue Coleman. U-M issued brief written statements from Rodriguez and Van Horn.

Rodriguez said, “We know the practice and offseason rules, and we stay within the guidelines. We follow the rules and have always been completely committed to being compliant with all NCAA rules.‘’

Van Horn said, “Compliance and administrative staff conduct in-person spot checks of practice during the academic year and summer. We have not had any reason to self-report any violations in this area with any of our sports.‘’

Officials said Martin and Coleman were unavailable. Athletic Department spokesman Bruce Madej said Barwis would not comment because Rodriguez speaks for the football program.

‘It was mandatory’

In the past two offseasons, players said, the Wolverines were expected to spend two to three times more than the eight hours allowed for required workouts each week. Players are free to exceed the limit, but it must be truly voluntary.

The players said the offseason work was clearly required. Several of them said players who failed to do all the strength and conditioning were forced to come back to finish or were punished with additional work.

“It was mandatory,‘’ one player said. “They’d tell you it wasn’t, but it really was. If you didn’t show up, there was punishment. I just felt for the guys that did miss a workout and had to go through the personal hell they would go through.‘’

In addition, the players cited these practices within the program:

Players spent at least nine hours on football activities on Sundays after games last fall. NCAA rules mandate a daily 4 -hour limit. The Wolverines also exceeded the weekly limit of 20 hours, the athletes said.

Players said members of Rodriguez’s quality-control staff often watched seven-on-seven offseason scrimmages. The non-contact drills, in which an offense runs plays against a defense, are supposed to be voluntary and player-run. They are held at U-M’s football facilities. NCAA rules allow only training staff - not quality-control staffers - to attend as a safety precaution. Quality-control staffers provide administrative and other support for the coaches but are not allowed to interact directly with players during games, practices or workouts.

If the NCAA investigates and concludes that U-M willfully and repeatedly violated the rules, the NCAA could find the football program guilty of major violations for the first time in the football program’s history.

For this report, the Free Press interviewed 10 current or former players and the parents of four others. In separate interviews, five players gave almost identical accounts of how the program is run, and a sixth player confirmed most of the descriptions. Other players, as well as parents of additional players, discussed the conditions in general. Several players declined to be interviewed at length but did not dispute the allegations when asked specifically about them.

‘All the rules are . . . clear’

At U-M’s football media day last week, two of Rodriguez’s freshmen talked freely about the tough training regimen for the Wolverines, saying they spent many hours in workouts during the offseason.

Those freshmen apparently were unaware of the NCAA’s time-commitment rules. But some veteran players who came in under previous coach Lloyd Carr said they were familiar with the rules, and Carr’s staff followed them.

One veteran player said the Wolverines talk to each other about the excessive hours under Rodriguez “all the time, but there is nothing we can do about it.‘’

Chuck Wynne, director of Communications Strategy for the NCAA, said the time limits went “to one of the central tenets of the NCAA, which is: We’re all about student-athlete well-being. We recognize that student-athletes need a balance in their lives.‘’

Wynne was commenting generally, not about the specifics of the U-M players’ accounts. Former coaches at other schools, also speaking generally, said the rules were important and, they believed, widely followed.

“All the rules are pretty clear,‘’ said former Baylor University coach Grant Teaff, executive director of the American Football Coaches Association since 1994. “Rules are rules. Some carry greater penalties than others. The rules are to be adhered to, period. You’re not partially married. You’re either married or you’re not married. ...

“If you’re my neighbor, and I see you’re breaking the rules, my responsibility if I want to criticize you for breaking the rule is turn you in. It’s not to turn around and start breaking the rule because you are doing it.‘’

Teaff said most of these rules were instituted in the last 20 years for the health and safety of players.

The coaches association is often consulted by the NCAA and sometimes proposes rules changes. Rodriguez has been on the AFCA’s Board of Trustees since 2005.

One player, echoing the words of others, said the workouts in the past two offseasons at Michigan “affected people’s grades. People were falling asleep in class.‘’

One parent said: “It’s very difficult for kids that take the programs seriously. They’re exhausted. According to the coaches, what they’ve told our kids is, ‘This is permitted.‘“

The players said they had not personally reported their concerns to the athletic department’s Compliance Services Office - and, in fact, had signed forms stating that rules had been followed.

“They were making us sign those - you’d get in trouble if you didn’t sign,‘’ one player on the 2008 team said. “We signed that and joked about that: ‘We work out way more than this.‘ We can’t do anything. We were trying to play.‘’

‘Wow, this is absurd’

In December 2007, Rodriguez and Barwis walked into the weight room at Schembechler Hall, home to the football program, and immediately declared it inadequate. At their request, athletic director Bill Martin spent more than $1 million upgrading it.

Martin also authorized the expansion of the football staff. Carr, before retiring, had three people on his quality-control staff; Rodriguez has five. Barwis has seven full-time assistants (some work with other U-M teams), one part-time assistant and 10 interns - a significant increase over Barwis’ predecessor, Mike Gittleson.

Barwis received a $190,000 salary last year, school records show. The only members of the football program who were paid more were Rodriguez - who makes $2.5 million annually and whose contract runs through 2013 - and his offensive and defensive coordinators.

Barwis has been praised in some corners for his advanced workout techniques and for getting players into the best shape of their lives.

Earlier this month, he told fan Web site GoBlueWolverine.com: “In reality, the work that they do, the commitment that they have and things they are put through, they are not going to be put through it at any other level, at any other time in their lives. The NFL guys we have back think, ‘Wow, this is absurd the amount of work they are putting in.‘“

In 2006, when Barwis and Rodriguez were at West Virginia, Barwis described the Mountaineers’ offseason workout regimen to the Associated Press: On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, the players did Olympic and conventional lifts, functional and balance training, injury prevention, core training, plyometrics and explosive training, functional flexibility and conditioning. Tuesdays and Thursday were for speed, agility and flexibility training.

Barwis runs the same program at U-M.

Several players said that on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays during the past two offseasons, they were expected to be in the weight room for three to four hours, followed by a run of 45 minutes to an hour.

Players said that on Tuesdays and Thursdays, they were expected to spend two to three hours working on speed and agility. That brings the total time commitment to 15 to 21 hours a week - more than the NCAA’s weekly 8-hour limit, which includes time spent watching film.

On top of the strength and conditioning, many players are expected to participate in seven-on-seven scrimmages five days a week, for about 45 minutes a day, during much of the offseason.

Why do Barwis’ workouts take so long? The volume of weight-lifting sets and exercises is only part of the explanation.

By Michael Rosenberg and Mark Snyder

Detroit Free Press

DETROIT - Ask University of Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez about Mike Barwis, and the superlatives will flow.

“He’s my guy,‘’ Rodriguez told the Detroit Free Press in the summer of 2008. “I won’t go anywhere without him.‘’

Barwis has been Rodriguez’s strength and conditioning coach for six years - four at West Virginia University, two at Michigan. The 46-year-old Rodriguez, entering his second season at Michigan, has said Barwis might be even more important than Rodriguez’s assistant coaches because of all the time Barwis spends working with players.

But how much time is too much?

The NCAA, which governs college athletics, has strict limits on how much time coaches can require players to spend on their sport. But Rodriguez’s team has routinely broken the rules since he took over in January 2008, people inside the program told the Free Press.

Numerous players on the 2008 and 2009 teams said the program far exceeded limits intended to protect athletes from coaching excesses and to ensure fair competition.

Two players called Michigan’s offseason requirements “ridiculous.‘’ The players described the coaches’ expectations as an ongoing concern among many teammates. Parents of several players agreed.

The players and parents agreed to talk only if they were not identified because they said they feared repercussions from the coaching staff.

The Free Press outlined the allegations to U-M officials on Friday and requested responses from Rodriguez, Barwis, compliance director Judy Van Horn, athletic director Bill Martin and President Mary Sue Coleman. U-M issued brief written statements from Rodriguez and Van Horn.

Rodriguez said, “We know the practice and offseason rules, and we stay within the guidelines. We follow the rules and have always been completely committed to being compliant with all NCAA rules.‘’

Van Horn said, “Compliance and administrative staff conduct in-person spot checks of practice during the academic year and summer. We have not had any reason to self-report any violations in this area with any of our sports.‘’

Officials said Martin and Coleman were unavailable. Athletic Department spokesman Bruce Madej said Barwis would not comment because Rodriguez speaks for the football program.

‘It was mandatory’

In the past two offseasons, players said, the Wolverines were expected to spend two to three times more than the eight hours allowed for required workouts each week. Players are free to exceed the limit, but it must be truly voluntary.

The players said the offseason work was clearly required. Several of them said players who failed to do all the strength and conditioning were forced to come back to finish or were punished with additional work.

“It was mandatory,‘’ one player said. “They’d tell you it wasn’t, but it really was. If you didn’t show up, there was punishment. I just felt for the guys that did miss a workout and had to go through the personal hell they would go through.‘’

In addition, the players cited these practices within the program:

Players spent at least nine hours on football activities on Sundays after games last fall. NCAA rules mandate a daily 4 -hour limit. The Wolverines also exceeded the weekly limit of 20 hours, the athletes said.

Players said members of Rodriguez’s quality-control staff often watched seven-on-seven offseason scrimmages. The non-contact drills, in which an offense runs plays against a defense, are supposed to be voluntary and player-run. They are held at U-M’s football facilities. NCAA rules allow only training staff - not quality-control staffers - to attend as a safety precaution. Quality-control staffers provide administrative and other support for the coaches but are not allowed to interact directly with players during games, practices or workouts.

If the NCAA investigates and concludes that U-M willfully and repeatedly violated the rules, the NCAA could find the football program guilty of major violations for the first time in the football program’s history.

For this report, the Free Press interviewed 10 current or former players and the parents of four others. In separate interviews, five players gave almost identical accounts of how the program is run, and a sixth player confirmed most of the descriptions. Other players, as well as parents of additional players, discussed the conditions in general. Several players declined to be interviewed at length but did not dispute the allegations when asked specifically about them.

‘All the rules are . . . clear’

At U-M’s football media day last week, two of Rodriguez’s freshmen talked freely about the tough training regimen for the Wolverines, saying they spent many hours in workouts during the offseason.

Those freshmen apparently were unaware of the NCAA’s time-commitment rules. But some veteran players who came in under previous coach Lloyd Carr said they were familiar with the rules, and Carr’s staff followed them.

One veteran player said the Wolverines talk to each other about the excessive hours under Rodriguez “all the time, but there is nothing we can do about it.‘’

Chuck Wynne, director of Communications Strategy for the NCAA, said the time limits went “to one of the central tenets of the NCAA, which is: We’re all about student-athlete well-being. We recognize that student-athletes need a balance in their lives.‘’

Wynne was commenting generally, not about the specifics of the U-M players’ accounts. Former coaches at other schools, also speaking generally, said the rules were important and, they believed, widely followed.

“All the rules are pretty clear,‘’ said former Baylor University coach Grant Teaff, executive director of the American Football Coaches Association since 1994. “Rules are rules. Some carry greater penalties than others. The rules are to be adhered to, period. You’re not partially married. You’re either married or you’re not married. ...

“If you’re my neighbor, and I see you’re breaking the rules, my responsibility if I want to criticize you for breaking the rule is turn you in. It’s not to turn around and start breaking the rule because you are doing it.‘’

Teaff said most of these rules were instituted in the last 20 years for the health and safety of players.

The coaches association is often consulted by the NCAA and sometimes proposes rules changes. Rodriguez has been on the AFCA’s Board of Trustees since 2005.

One player, echoing the words of others, said the workouts in the past two offseasons at Michigan “affected people’s grades. People were falling asleep in class.‘’

One parent said: “It’s very difficult for kids that take the programs seriously. They’re exhausted. According to the coaches, what they’ve told our kids is, ‘This is permitted.‘“

The players said they had not personally reported their concerns to the athletic department’s Compliance Services Office - and, in fact, had signed forms stating that rules had been followed.

“They were making us sign those - you’d get in trouble if you didn’t sign,‘’ one player on the 2008 team said. “We signed that and joked about that: ‘We work out way more than this.‘ We can’t do anything. We were trying to play.‘’

‘Wow, this is absurd’

In December 2007, Rodriguez and Barwis walked into the weight room at Schembechler Hall, home to the football program, and immediately declared it inadequate. At their request, athletic director Bill Martin spent more than $1 million upgrading it.

Martin also authorized the expansion of the football staff. Carr, before retiring, had three people on his quality-control staff; Rodriguez has five. Barwis has seven full-time assistants (some work with other U-M teams), one part-time assistant and 10 interns - a significant increase over Barwis’ predecessor, Mike Gittleson.

Barwis received a $190,000 salary last year, school records show. The only members of the football program who were paid more were Rodriguez - who makes $2.5 million annually and whose contract runs through 2013 - and his offensive and defensive coordinators.

Barwis has been praised in some corners for his advanced workout techniques and for getting players into the best shape of their lives.

Earlier this month, he told fan Web site GoBlueWolverine.com: “In reality, the work that they do, the commitment that they have and things they are put through, they are not going to be put through it at any other level, at any other time in their lives. The NFL guys we have back think, ‘Wow, this is absurd the amount of work they are putting in.‘“

In 2006, when Barwis and Rodriguez were at West Virginia, Barwis described the Mountaineers’ offseason workout regimen to the Associated Press: On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, the players did Olympic and conventional lifts, functional and balance training, injury prevention, core training, plyometrics and explosive training, functional flexibility and conditioning. Tuesdays and Thursday were for speed, agility and flexibility training.

Barwis runs the same program at U-M.

Several players said that on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays during the past two offseasons, they were expected to be in the weight room for three to four hours, followed by a run of 45 minutes to an hour.

Players said that on Tuesdays and Thursdays, they were expected to spend two to three hours working on speed and agility. That brings the total time commitment to 15 to 21 hours a week - more than the NCAA’s weekly 8-hour limit, which includes time spent watching film.

On top of the strength and conditioning, many players are expected to participate in seven-on-seven scrimmages five days a week, for about 45 minutes a day, during much of the offseason.

Why do Barwis’ workouts take so long? The volume of weight-lifting sets and exercises is only part of the explanation.

Barwis assigns players to groups of eight or 10. Every player in a group must complete a weight-lifting set before any of them can move on to the next task. Barwis and his assistants work with them.

At the school’s news media day, the Free Press asked freshman Brandin Hawthorne what winter conditioning was like. Hawthorne, a linebacker from Pahokee, Fla., enrolled in January.

“It’s crazy,‘’ said Hawthorne, who was not complaining about his coaches and was apparently unaware of the time-limit rules. “I work out at 8. We’ll work out from, like, 8 to 10:30. We come back later, have one-on-ones, seven-on-sevens, a little passing. Then I’ll go watch a little film.‘’

The Free Press also asked freshman receiver Je’Ron Stokes about Michigan’s offseason program. Stokes, from Philadelphia, arrived at the Ann Arbor campus in June.

“Hooooo!‘’ Stokes said. “A typical week is working from 8 a.m. in the morning to 6 or 7 at night, Monday through Saturday.‘’

And that was starting in June?

“Yes, sir,‘’ Stokes said. “We do the weight room at least three times a week, and seven-on-sevens and one-on-ones. Speed and agility on the other days. Every day we have something new to get ready for the season. The coaches have done a great job of stressing the importance of getting us ready for the big season that we’re about to have.‘’

Stokes was not complaining. Like Hawthorne, he apparently was unaware of the rules.

On top of the regular workout schedule, every Tuesday during winter term, a few players on the team are required to spend additional hours at Schembechler Hall for what they call Torture Tuesdays. Players say Rodriguez created Torture Tuesdays to maintain school discipline and class attendance.

Those players must show up before dawn on Tuesday for a series of rigorous physical tasks: Army crawls, barrel rolls, long piggyback rides, wheelbarrow races back and forth across the field. Sometimes the players have to move every dumbbell in the weight room to the other side in a few minutes.

Players have been known to get physically ill on Torture Tuesdays because of the workouts. But they are still expected to complete their two to three hours of speed and agility work later that day.

‘We work hard’

Barwis is the first to say he is demanding.

“Occasionally, some people do go the other way when it’s a little too much work for them,‘’ Barwis told the Free Press in January 2008, his first month on the job. “Regardless, it’s a system where we work, we work hard, we expect to outwork the opponent, we will outwork the opponent. ...

“When you’re tired and don’t feel like doing it, you’re going to do it anyway. It’s a pretty simple process.‘’

Several players said the offseason hours contributed to the program’s high attrition rate - more than 20 players have left the program early since Rodriguez was hired. They said that Michigan coaches have a saying: “Workouts aren’t mandatory, but neither is playing time.‘’

This echoes the words of Rodriguez’s All-America center at West Virginia, Dan Mozes. In the summer of 2006, Mozes told the Associated Press: “The way I say it is, ‘The workouts aren’t mandatory, but neither is your playing time.‘“

Six months ago, Rodriguez and Barwis hired Mozes as a part-time assistant strength coach.

According to NCAA rules, coaches must do more than just declare weight-room workouts as “voluntary.‘’ If attendance is kept or an athletic department staffer relays information about the activity to the coaches, the activity is mandatory.

Michigan players said their offseason conditioning was done at the direction of Rodriguez’s staff.

“They know the rules,‘’ one player said. “Of course they know the rules. There was a time when the offensive line coach [Greg Frey] told me, ‘You’re not doing nothing different than anybody else in the country is.‘“

But veteran players told the Free Press that Carr and his director of weight training and conditioning, Gittleson, strictly followed the NCAA rules. Players were expected to spend up to eight hours a week pushing themselves in the weight room during the offseason, but anything beyond that was truly voluntary. They also were encouraged to fit their workouts around their class schedules.

Players said that offseason workouts are not the only dramatic change under Rodriguez.

Under Carr, offseason seven-on-seven drills were run by players, without coaches or staff members present, players said. The only staffer there would be a trainer, in case anybody got injured, as allowed under NCAA rules.

Several players said Rodriguez’s coaches were more likely to insist they participate in seven-on-seven scrimmages, which have become more frequent. They also said that members of the program’s quality-control staff frequently watched seven-on-sevens.

“They usually just watched and would write down who wasn’t there,‘’ one player on the 2008 team said.

Another said graduate assistants would track them down.

“The phone would ring: ‘Where you at? ... You gotta come.‘ ‘I’m in class.‘“

Quality-control staffers are not allowed to attend voluntary drills, according to the NCAA.

Players also said members of the coaching staff sometimes lingered nearby to watch seven-on-seven scrimmages. Players said the coaches were not physically coaching them, but their presence made it apparent that attendance was being noted and their performances were being evaluated. NCAA rules require such scrimmages to be voluntary.

And when the season started, every week began with a violation.

‘Sundays were miserable’

The 2008 Wolverines were shocked by how much Rodriguez required on fall Sundays.

Rodriguez required his players to arrive at Schembechler Hall by noon the day after games. They would then go through a full weight-lifting session, followed by individual position meetings and a full-team meeting. Then, at night, they would hold a full practice. Often, they would not leave the practice facility until after 10 p.m.

In September 2008, three weeks into Rodriguez’s first season, senior defensive tackle Terrance Taylor talked about his previous Sunday.

“It was, like, 10 hours,‘’ Taylor said. “Everybody was like, ‘Where were you at?‘ ‘I was at practice all day.‘ My parents were still here. They were like, ‘Where were you at?‘ I was like, ‘I was at the building all day.‘“

The NCAA limit is 4 hours a day for required activities.

“The Sundays were miserable,‘’ one player said. “I could never get healthy. You’d go through a game and then go through a hard workout. Sundays would just kill you.‘’

The NCAA also limits teams to 20 hours a week, and Rodriguez apparently exceeded that limit as well.

The NCAA counts competition days - usually Saturday for U-M football - as 3 hours against the weekly limit, even though players at all programs actually devote six or seven hours to football on those days, not counting travel.

With three hours on Saturday and a full day on Sunday, players tallied about 12 hours on those two days. They were off Monday. Players said they would spend an additional three to four hours with the team on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons, bringing the weekly total to 21- 24 hours.

They also had to work out on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. There was a walk-through of the plays for at least an hour on Fridays.

‘I wish I had more time’

As he prepares for his second season, Rodriguez has said he is pleased by how hard his players are working, especially in the weight room.

Rodriguez has posted a big sign above the entrance to the team’s weight room that says, “Through these doors walks the best conditioned, most disciplined, and hardest working football team in America.‘’

If that’s true, it did not show on the field last fall. For the season, the Wolverines were outscored, 166-157, in the first half - and 181-86 in the second half, when conditioning is crucial.

Michigan finished with a 3-9 record. The low point came in October, when the Wolverines lost at home to Toledo.

Two days after that loss, Rodriguez was asked if there were anything he would have done differently in his short tenure.

“The only thing I wish I would have had in the last seven, eight months, is I wish I had more time to spend with the players,‘’ Rodriguez said. “You have NCAA rules. We can’t go over the time limits, all that.‘’
~~  By Michael Rosenberg and Mark Snyder - Detroit Free Press - AP   ~~

Copen School Reunion

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The annual Copen School reunion is set for Saturday, September 5, 2009.
We had a wonderful time last year and will use the same format this year.
Bring a covered dish and a lawn chair.
Please don’t put off coming, as we are aware that several students and two teachers have passed away since our first reunion.
Any questions, call 304.853.2396

Flashlight Tour of the Monster Landing

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The flashlight tour of the monster landing will be Friday, September 4, 2009 at 9:00 PM.
The cost is $5.00.
Participants will meet in front of Granddad’s Store, Flatwoods. Contact Steve Smith at 304.765.3194 to purchase advance tickets or for more information.

Daily Prayer: 08.31.09

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Good to see this program return after having it gone missing under the state appointed superintendent.

It was reported there was no place for it to take place.

Thank you Gilmer County Board of Education for making it happen.

By Some remember on 05.21.2018

From the entry: 'FREE breakfast and lunch this summer for Gilmer County Kids'.

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Pam,
Sorry to read of your mom’s passing. I remember may times spent in your home with your parents and brothers. Sending love and prayers to you and your brothers.
Sherry Broggi

By Sherry Straley Broggi and Rita Straley on 05.17.2018

From the entry: 'Lora Faye Tomblin'.

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Really cool project to all who volunteered and those helping financially as well!

Where’s DR? He never misses these events?

By Very nice project - great volunteers! on 05.17.2018

From the entry: 'CommunityImprovement™: Pavilion'.

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The GSC retention post must relate to those beginning in 2014 who planned for 4 year degrees and they dropped out. There probably were students who began in 2014 and they earned 2 year degrees before 2018 so they were not drop outs.

By GSC RETENTION? on 05.15.2018

From the entry: 'Education system perpetuates fraud at every level'.

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Congratulations kids!  Setting up a scholarship fund is a GREAT idea! Where can we get information on who to contact and what local needs are?

By Reader on 05.14.2018

From the entry: 'Calhoun-Gilmer Career Center Celebrates Seniors'.

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How large was GSC’s graduating class of 2018 last week and what was its original size the fall of 2014?

Accurate information should be available to indicate retention. One news source reported that 100 graduated in the class of 2018.

By Alumni on 05.13.2018

From the entry: 'Education system perpetuates fraud at every level'.

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Some interesting results.  Should shake the trees a little.

By Spring cleaning! on 05.09.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Local Election Results - May 2018'.

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So sorry for your loss.  Prayers.

By Betty Woofter on 05.07.2018

From the entry: 'Ina Mae (Foster) Clem'.

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Anyone interested in facts for graduation rates after four years of college can access information on WV’s Education Policy Commission web site.

The last time information was reported WV State was listed at 13.6% compared to WVU’s at 35.9%. GSC was at 25.1%.

Comments submitted so far flag a serious problem in WV. Student achievement information is scattered all over with it being reported by the State, the federal government, and testing organizations including ACT.

Because WV lacks an effective State clearing house to sort through the information and to interpret it for practical application in improving our pubic school systems, too much important quality control material is neglected.

When citizens take initiative to obtain the information and they cite it they are often berated to be a form of “attack the messenger”.

Then too there are the perennial apologists who say that everything is “just fine” to help confuse the issue even more to detract from school improvements.

By WVDE Career Employees on 05.06.2018

From the entry: 'Education system perpetuates fraud at every level'.

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Too often students have to go an extra year or longer to graduate from college with under graduate degrees because they were not prepared when they got there to enable them to complete on time.

The 35% graduation rate includes incoming freshmen who do not finish in four years, and it is factual that some of our public colleges have worse records than others.

WVU does above average, but it has large numbers of-out-of state better prepared students.

By R. Page on 05.06.2018

From the entry: 'Education system perpetuates fraud at every level'.

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Rex Page claims we have a college graduation rate of approximately 35%.

In essence that is a FAILURE rate of 65% !

Think of how many dollars are wasted, and how many students are burdened with student loans, that basically will do them little good in life.

Oh yes.  It does pump money into the flawed system.

By Wv Has a FLAWED educational system ! on 05.05.2018

From the entry: 'Education system perpetuates fraud at every level'.

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Even with enrolling in colleges where acceptance is noncompetitive, meaning that all applicants with at least C averages are accepted, the graduation rate to get a degree is around 35%.

This fact is more evidence for WV’s failed public education system and solid proof that a major top to bottom over haul is needed.

If we accept the often cited excuse that there is a problem with kids and their families to cause under achievement in school that line of reasoning suggests that West Virginians are inherently flawed. This is untrue and the problem lies with WV’s under performing education system.

By Rex Page on 05.03.2018

From the entry: 'Education system perpetuates fraud at every level'.

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Disgraceful that WV lacks a top quality education system to prepare more high school graduates to be eligible for acceptance into the best colleges where there is competition for acceptance.

The deficiency forces students to attend lower tier places where everyone is accepted.

Why does WV fail to make improvements? It is because education delivery in our State is designed to be void of meaningful accountability for administrators.

By WVDE Watcher on 05.03.2018

From the entry: 'Education system perpetuates fraud at every level'.

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Little doubt the block schedule system at the high school gives GC lower scores.

This has been proven over and over in other school systems.

Its an out dated and antiquated system.  Our board of education needs to get rid of it.

Gilmer County Board of Education….are you up to the job?

By Block Schedule Supported By Blockheads on 05.02.2018

From the entry: 'Education system perpetuates fraud at every level'.

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Hopefully this is the beginning of doing better with getting out school news to Gilmer. It is far better to read timely news than to have to go to the Cornerstone to get it.

We wish Mr. Shuff the best in improving learning results at the HS. If he tackles problems like he engaged in athletics the HS will be put on the map for academic excellence.

When he gets his school improvement plan together everyone in the County will pitch in to help him succeed. Thank you GCBOE.

By Pleased Parents on 05.02.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Board of Education News'.

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Mr. Williams has it nailed down.  Solid.

America’s entire education system is a farce.
Education administrators worry about their job than worry about the children.

Youth is our future.
By creating dummies, do not expect much of a future.

The children are being short changed, robbed.
America is being short changed, robbed.

But the failed administrators keep their jobs.

By Time To Clean the Education House! on 05.01.2018

From the entry: 'Education system perpetuates fraud at every level'.

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Is this article some sort of a joke ?
Certainly would seem so!

We are almost daily bombarded with chemical spraying from above.
We rarely actually have that clear, deep blue sky that God gave us.

If it happens we do get a clear(?) day, we will have the light blue, almost whispy white cloud sky.

Set a white bowl out in the rains.  Check to see what color the water is after a rain.  You will be
surprised.  Color will vary depending what is being sprayed on a given day.

If it were winter, I’d tell you to look at the snowflakes.  No more are all snowflakes different.  Watch what falls on your clothing, you will see 1,000’s of flakes all the same shape.  Again, depends what toxic material we are being blasted with.

Asthma attacks, ER visits are on the rise.
Do some web searching, plenty of websites report this travesty.  You tax dollars at ‘work’.

By WHERE ARE THE ENVIRONMENTALISTS ? ? on 05.01.2018

From the entry: 'Air Quality Awareness Week is April 30 – May 04'.

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Fraud is not only rampant in education, it consumes Gilmer County..  Those who Have want to keep it any and all costs, and those that don’t, want.  Gilmer needs a good house cleaning of court and legal ‘authorities’ as well if anything is Ever going to change.

By Spring cleaning! on 05.01.2018

From the entry: 'Education system perpetuates fraud at every level'.

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Fraud is committed in Gilmer County when citizens are told that our high school grads are prepared to be highly competitive for entry into the modern world.

The misinformation conflicts with verification that our grads lag when it comes to being college and career ready.

By being disadvantaged academically too many students drop out of college when they cannot compete and they often must go an extra year at a greater expense to catch-up.

There is another type of fraud not pointed out in the posting. It relates to bragging about the “fine” ACT test scores made by students at the GCHS.

For the ACT the average GCHS score as touted by school officials is close to 20. This may be slightly higher than average State scores, but here is the rub.

Our kids could not get accepted into top quality colleges and universities with stringent academic requirements to include those for ACT scores higher than most made at the GCHS.

What do they do? They attend institutions with relaxed acceptance criteria with some not having any basic requirements for ACT or SAT scores.

As a parent with a son at the Career Center I know that there must be remedial instruction in math and English for success in chosen career fields. It is called embedded instruction.

Because teachers must be hired at the Center for the catch-up it means that tax payers are paying twice (more fraud) for instruction that should have been done at the GCHS!

What can we do? Gilmer County must determine what must be done in our schools to make necessary improvements for the better to enable our kids to be the best they can be after HS. Simple isn’t it?

By We Want Better Schools on 04.30.2018

From the entry: 'Education system perpetuates fraud at every level'.

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It is easy to see through the motive for avoiding application of the same assessment approach in all of WV’s school systems.

The powerful in control do not want to make achievement results available for voters to compare academic results among districts!

That way opportunities for more accountability in ways school systems are administered will be nipped in the bud.

Interesting isn’t it that for sports minute attention is paid to comparing performances of all kinds of teams throughout WV.

Unfortunately the strategy will be to keep voters keenly focused on sports so they will not ask questions about education spending and how children are doing in mastering subjects in our school systems.

By WVDOE Disgusted on 04.20.2018

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: State might let counties switch standardized test from SAT to ACT'.

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The West Virginia State Board of Education has operated as a “pin the tail on the donkey” bureaucratic nightmare for over a generation.

Currently, it is hard to envision any positive change in their SOP?

Try this, try that.  Change this, change that.
Continual evidence that all is being run as an experiment?
The WVBOE has no real clue what to actually do, in order to fix anything.

Money wasted. Children cheated of a good education.
Parents and taxpayers cheated.  Opportunities missed.

This is the WVBOE legacy.

By State BOE - dysfunctional is an understatement? on 04.16.2018

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: State might let counties switch standardized test from SAT to ACT'.

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Maybe Jimmy can pay some of his tax bills now?

By Justice, pay your tax bills! on 04.15.2018

From the entry: 'City to purchase club owned by the governor’s company'.

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Reread the article and see what a wonderful set of excuses have been set forward.

Taxpayers give the state the funds for education.  It is then properly squandered leaving students with substandard educations.

These people have the audacity to blame the teachers on top of it.

State BOE, suck it up, fix the problem you and your previous board members have created. 

Make President Truman’s desk saying your motto:  “The buck stops here.“

That is, if you are up to it.

By Kanawha Reader on 04.15.2018

From the entry: 'State board members react to national test results'.

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West Virginia made national news again with its spending per student to be in the top third among the 55 states.

We spend more than $11,000 on average per pupil in our public schools. For comparison Utah spends about $6,500 per pupil and it ranks in the top third for the quality of its education system.

It would be interesting to know how much Gilmer County spends per pupil counting total funding from all sources.

WV is certainly no way near the top third with getting students college, career, and jobs ready right out of high school. Where is all our money going? What could we learn from rural states similar to Utah?

The worst culprit seems to be too many high paid people on WV payrolls who are non-contributers to making better lives for our kids.

By Economist on 04.14.2018

From the entry: 'State board members react to national test results'.

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Those of us who keep close tabs on student achievement want to know reasons for unacceptable reading, science, and math scores in Gilmer County and what is being done to correct them. For something this important the problems and solutions surely have been looked into.

By R. A. Beasley on 04.14.2018

From the entry: 'State board members react to national test results'.

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HaHaHaHaHaHaHa!

By Don't bring them to Gilmer! on 04.13.2018

From the entry: 'NEW “ALMOST HEAVEN” CAMPAIGN'.

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No matter what is going on in the State our concern is Gilmer County. The State reports on Zoom that 10th graders at the GCHS perform at the 35.9% proficiency rate for science.

Proficiency for 11th graders is 37% in math and it is commendable that the rate for them for reading is 64%.

What is being done to make improvements for science and math when students are about ready to graduate from HS? We hope that scores for reading hold up and even improve.

Why do we fail to receive updates for plans for proficiency improvements in the County’s schools?

In other WV counties superintendents provide that type of information on a routine basis.

By GCHS Parents on 04.12.2018

From the entry: 'State board members react to national test results'.

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This well written article makes is clear what actually a businessman can do.

Businessman turned politician.  Can actually make an entire state look like idiots.  Idiots for electing him at the minimum.

Looks like we have to find the patience to tolerate this bs two more years…...and hope he turns into a one term disaster.

Congratulations to the WV state employees giving him a good lesson. Nice job folks.

By Makin Arch Look Good on 04.09.2018

From the entry: 'ICYMI™: A 'billionaire' should be embarrassed to let schools, local governments, vendor bills'.

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Why is important school system improvement news of the type addressed in the other comment not on the County’s school system’s web site?

Someone in the board office should be assigned to write up news to keep citizens informed.

We are expected to vote in more tax money to run the schools and we deserve to be informed of positive improvements being made with our money instead of taking our support for granted. It works both ways.

By R. Curry on 04.06.2018

From the entry: 'Howard O'Cull: School 'work action' a teachable moment'.

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This is a suggestion for getting breaking news out to the community concerning important new improvements in the County’s school system.

We hear that improvements are being made to increase student performances in mathematics, reading, and other areas. The changes include getting back to basics for math teaching to eliminate achievement gaps.

Would someone write up something to explain the new changes to keep the community informed? One improvement I know is that progress reports come home regularly so families can track how kids are doing.

There is nothing wrong with positive news getting out to demonstrate that Gilmer County is positioning itself to become a leader in public education. The County deserves all the positive press it can get.

By Appreciative Parent on 04.05.2018

From the entry: 'Howard O'Cull: School 'work action' a teachable moment'.

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The Governors and the elected Legislators made the time ripe for the “educators revolt”.

The past 20 years, state employees, all who work outside the ‘capitol complex’ have been dissed.

Put off.  Put down.  Worked around.
That was clearly understood by our state employees.

That dissention was completely ignored by our failed state leadership.

Clearly it was time for action.  Social media was a major player….for the good.

The Governor, the Legislators, have now been put on notice to not ignore state issues, while they feather their own nests.

Now, lets see social media swing into action,  straighten out the Public Service Commission, and their gross failure to hold Frontier Communications lack of customer service to the fore. Some leader needs to step forward and make it happen.

We see what can happen with some leadership.  Social media is the citizens friend.  The election is just a few weeks away.  Its time to build a fire under the Public Service Commission.  Governor Justice you might even give it a shot to fire them…...up?

By J.P. on 03.30.2018

From the entry: 'Howard O'Cull: School 'work action' a teachable moment'.

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We want the County to become WV’s star performer known throughout the State for producing the highest achievement students.

How can this be done? Simple. Establish goals for math, science, and other subjects and aggressively manage the school system accordingly.

This will require establishment of a clearly written, professionally done holistic plan containing specific goals to achieve, establishment of personal accountability at different levels in the school system, accurate and timely reporting of achievement results as we proceed, and applying improved approaches when necessary to keep the plan on track.

We have heard for too long that everything is “just fine” in the County, and we continue to hear it today from some quarters.

Folks, things are not ‘just fine’ when too many of our students leave high school unprepared for college and careers. Where we go from here is the primary responsibility of the elected school board.

Teachers and staffs are more than ready to deal with obstacles confronting them and all they need is to be enabled to do their jobs.

The time is over for continuing to be hampered with lame excuses for why major improvements cannot be made i.e., Gilmer County is too poor, too many kids lack family support they deserve, and keen focus on public education is foreign to the community’s culture.

By Gilmer County Teacher on 03.30.2018

From the entry: 'Howard O'Cull: School 'work action' a teachable moment'.

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Public Service Commission is a joke.  Sorry.

They are the regulatory agency that is basically letting FRONTIER COMMUNICATIONS run unregulated for all landline customers.

Frontier customers wait days and days for landline service.  Many in our state live where there is no cell coverage, so no other choice for service.

Our elected reps need to pressure the Public Service Commission to get their chit together, do their job, and stop giving in to the Frontier lobby crew.

West Virginians deserve better!

By West Virginia resident on 03.30.2018

From the entry: 'PSC and GHSP Join Forces to Emphasize Seat Belt Safety Message'.

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Nice information. I think CANADA is also a very good place to live.

By Rahul on 03.22.2018

From the entry: 'The 10 Best Cities to Live In on Planet Earth'.

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I am so sorry and shocked to learn of Mike’s passing.  I think he would have liked he words printed here about him. Always a good man with a smile on his face and it didn’t take much to tickle him. West Virginia lost another good one. RIP Mike.

By Marlea Cottrill on 03.19.2018

From the entry: 'John Michael “Mike” Peters'.

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Yes, it would appear that Gayle M. has lost some of her ‘luster’ ?

The question now.  Will she pop back up somewhere else like that Whack-a-Mole game?

By Charleston Reader on 03.18.2018

From the entry: 'Justice names acting Secretary for Education and Arts'.

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Brian and Montie send their condolences to Gary’s family, especially to Nancy and Sharon for the death of a husband and father.  Nothing can really prepare us for such a loss as this. We are thinking about you at this sad time.

By Brian and Montie VanNostrand on 03.17.2018

From the entry: 'Gary Don Williams'.

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The centerpiece of nationally reported fake news pertained to Gayle Manchin’s plan for making WV’s southern coal field area a model for school system turn-a-rounds.

After the intense trail of high profile TV appearances to tout Manchin’s plan and pouring in money down there, nothing worked out as promised. 

The lesson from this sad saga is to focus on facts instead of what politicians try to pull over on voters.

The chronic problem in WV is that facts are routinely hidden by some politicians to keep voters misinformed.

By Bill Williams on 03.16.2018

From the entry: 'Justice names acting Secretary for Education and Arts'.

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Gilmer County has long memories. We recall the hill crest fund raiser out along Mineral Road to raise money for the Manchin political machine.

That was followed by Gayle’s insulting rant against the County leading to the damage of our school system and outlying communities during the State’s six years of iron rule intervention.

The good news is that Gayle is gone along with all other members of the WV State Board of Education responsible for our County’s intervention and the waste and mismanagement it wrought. Karma is alive and well WV!

By B. Jones on 03.16.2018

From the entry: 'Justice names acting Secretary for Education and Arts'.

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Brad got it all mixed up.
Gayle Manchin’s *resignation*....?

T-V, radio, newspapers across the state and beyond, even national news sources, all reported
that Governor Justice FIRED Gayle Manchin.

Brad, your effort to smooth that puts you squarely in concert with the rest of the BS fake news world.

By Brad got it mixed on 03.15.2018

From the entry: 'Justice names acting Secretary for Education and Arts'.

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Interesting.  Yet not so long ago, Gilmer local police weren’t interested when informed an out of state convicted felon was in possession of a trunk full of stolen guns.

By BangBang on 02.14.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County man sentenced for illegal possession of a firearm'.

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Great guy, who would do anything to help you. He would have probably got a kick out of having some strange woman’s face plaistered on his obituary. He would have had something smart to say about it I’m sure. smile

He had a great sense of humor. I saw him a little while back. I stopped by his house and visited with him a couple hours and as I went in I told him I stopped by to see if I could borrow his fancy car parked out front, expecting to meet with some resistance to that idea. Without missing a beat he said “Sure, just don’t let any of my kids drive it!“ We had a really nice visit that day - talking about cars and reminscing.

Our prayers are with the family.

By Connie Turner on 02.10.2018

From the entry: 'Kenneth Lee Page Jr.'.

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Justice, do you lay awake at night thinking up this stuff?

Can’t we West Virginian’s have some woodland that has not been molested by humans?

Keep the saws out of our state forests!

West Virginians are being raped once again.  The new generation of robber barons have bought off the governor and elected.

By Another Clueless Politician's Scheme on 02.10.2018

From the entry: 'Former Administrator: State Park Logging Plan Numbers Don’t Add Up'.

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so sorry to hear this news.  He took over Steve Grossmann’s mail route and we sure did appreciate his getting the mail delivered in all kinds of weather.  Slipping and sliding all the way. I loved his little dog that would look for snakes in the Normantown P.O.

By Cookie Setty on 02.09.2018

From the entry: 'Kenneth Lee Page Jr.'.

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Would it be possible for our new college president to involve Mr. Gallagher and student Evan Merical to attempt a revival of the defunct GSC Main Street Small Business Center? 

The community sure could benefit from it.  New management might just be what it needs?

By Question for Pres. Pellett on 02.07.2018

From the entry: 'GSC Student Speaks at One Stop Business Center Grand Opening'.

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Not surprised the Board of Ed supporting employees for raises and insurance. These people show they care about good employees over and over.
Just after they got our school system out from under state control they stood unanimously against the state appointed superintendent and his hand picked lawyer who tried to take away jobs from 8 professionals including Teachers and 4 service personnel. Can’t even count the number of transfers.  Gilmer’s Board of Ed just said no to that hit list. They stand up for this county and the kids..

By And we Appreciate It on 02.02.2018

From the entry: 'ATTENTION ALL EMPLOYEES OF THE GILMER COUNTY SCHOOL SYSTEM'.

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The state of WV overall has a dismal record of salaries and finance.

The jail system has issues.  Has for years.
The highway department.  Yup, them too.
The school system.  Ditto.

One per cent per year for 5 years?  That’s a real insult to any employee.

Teachers.  If you don’t get something that’s good, wait until warmer weather and strike.  Stand your ground !

The legislature and governor seem to have plenty $$$ to spread around Kanawha County.  Make sure they spread some towards teachers and staff salaries!!

By Give 'em some $$$ ! on 02.01.2018

From the entry: 'ATTENTION ALL EMPLOYEES OF THE GILMER COUNTY SCHOOL SYSTEM'.

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Rumor mill is saying that teachers and possibly other state employees will have to wear a wrist bracelet to track their lifestyles? 

Or pay higher insurance premiums?

True/false?

By is it true? on 02.01.2018

From the entry: 'West Virginia board revises high school requirement, grading'.

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Sorry to hear. He was a classmate at Sutton High School class of 1956.

By Nancy Rose Westfall on 01.31.2018

From the entry: 'Franklin D. “Frank” Conley'.

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A call to all candidates for all seats:  You can submit the information about yourself to us and it will be published at NO COST.

By Free Press on 01.31.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County: List of Candidates for 2018 Election'.

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Long list of candidates for the School Board. It would help voters decide if each candidate would publish a write-up of their personal backgrounds to include special qualifications for serving on the school board, and to include detailed goals for what they would like to achieve as a board member. The information would be far more useful to voters than signs plastered all over the County.

By Active Voter on 01.31.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County: List of Candidates for 2018 Election'.

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How about the new superintendent of Gilmer’s schools giving a progress report on her accomplishments so far in improving the quality of our schools to produce better prepared HS graduates for college and careers, plans for continual upgrading of academic achievements by our students, and how results will be accurately measured and reported to be convincing that our County is moving ahead? Doesn’t sound too much to ask for by bill paying citizens.

By Gilmer Parents For Accountability on 01.29.2018

From the entry: 'West Virginia board revises high school requirement, grading'.

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Gilmer County must set its own standards for student learning and to do what is necessary to achieve them with full involvement of highly motivated teachers.

We know that major improvements are needed to make our kids more competitive, but we have not heard details for what is planned in our school system to make critically needed changes.

Ignore what the State does with is long history of failure and let’s go ahead on our own.

Top down management in education has never worked in WV with its crippling grip of politics to emphasize the importance of making improvements through local initiatives.

By Glenville Teachers on 01.29.2018

From the entry: 'West Virginia board revises high school requirement, grading'.

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This is just another failure by the West Virginia State Board of Education!

It does NOTHING to improve education!

Just one more attempt to make everything “look nice”.

The State Board members are too far removed from the classroom.

That board needs populated with 4 or 5 of our better teachers who are not afraid to speak up.

By Troy Parent on 01.28.2018

From the entry: 'West Virginia board revises high school requirement, grading'.

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The question for the County’s sitting School Board is what is being done with corrective actions to get the County’s HS graduates out of the worst prepared bottom group for college and career preparedness as the State has reported?

Because more students graduate it does not mean that they mastered key subjects to promote success in the modern work place. Can anyone say grade inflation?

By B. Beckett on 01.26.2018

From the entry: 'West Virginia board revises high school requirement, grading'.

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Reduce requirements.
Lower teacher standards.

Produce less educated students.
Continue WV’s downward education spiral.

The current State Board of Education is less prepared to lead than back in the Gayle Manchin
days of failure.

Do not fool yourselves. Realize Paine is pain.
Do not expect WV educational leaders to improve education.

They have been showing us for years that goal is
out of their reach.

By Failed State BOE on 01.18.2018

From the entry: 'West Virginia board revises high school requirement, grading'.

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Does anyone know the County’s plan for getting us out of the State’s bottom group for college and trades ready after high school?

What are the causes for our being at the bottom for being ready and what is being done to solve them?

Causes never cease by themselves and the only solution is top quality leadership pushing a highly focused corrective program.

By Rusty Moore on 01.16.2018

From the entry: 'West Virginia board revises high school requirement, grading'.

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Example of a yes/but situation. Just because kids are pushed through does not mean that they are college and career ready. Read past comments about Gilmer’s being in the failing category for academic preparation. The way WV info is reported allows selective use of results to bloat up claims of how well a high school does in preparing students for the real world.

By R. Wells on 01.16.2018

From the entry: 'WEST VIRGINIA HIGH SCHOOLS RECOGNIZED FOR EXEMPLARY GRADUATION RATES'.

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Sunday’s Charleston Gazette-Mail had a warning that just because a high school has a high graduation rate that does not mean that its students are college ready. Gilmer County is one of them to put us in the State’s bottom category for readiness, but you won’t hear about it locally. Kids call it dumbing down.

By Give Citizens The Facts on 01.14.2018

From the entry: 'West Virginia board revises high school requirement, grading'.

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What about all the septic in the hollers that is draining into the creeks??

By Ugly on 01.10.2018

From the entry: 'PSC Investigates Impact of New Corporate Tax Law on Utilities'.

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This point should be kept in mind i.e. “The Commission has directed all privately owned electric, gas, water, sewer and solid waste facilities to track the tax savings resulting from the 2017 Federal Tax Act on a monthly basis beginning January 01, 2018. “.

By Michell J. Hill on 01.07.2018

From the entry: 'PSC Investigates Impact of New Corporate Tax Law on Utilities'.

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Troyan advocates for competition among schools with survival of the top performers. Her point is that the lack of accountability for county school system administrators must change to be similar to the way corporate America functions. Failure must have consequences!

By Accountabilty Needed on 01.03.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Board of Education Minutes of Regular Meeting - 11.27.17'.

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Gilmer singled out again in article by Jessi Troyan for our being at the bottom for preparing high school grads for college. We know we have a serious problem. We await on top school system leadership to devise a workable remedial plan for the County. Denial of having problems cannot be used anymore to cover up

By B. Post on 01.02.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Board of Education Minutes of Regular Meeting - 11.27.17'.

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You were in my life for what seemed like a short time but will be in my heart forever. I’ll see you at the family reunion one day again.

By Dana Linger on 12.29.2017

From the entry: 'Kathern Fay (Cogar) Linger'.

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Concerns about urgent need to upgrade student learning have persisted for too long in the County. 

We are tired of hearing lame excuses that under-achievement is caused by uncaring parents who do not emphasize the importance of education.

Parents are keenly important for contributing to student learning, but they cannot compensate for school “culture” deficiencies linked to leadership short comings.

By Parents For Better Leadership on 12.29.2017

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Board of Education Minutes of Regular Meeting - 11.27.17'.

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Those who go to college perform down at the bottom in comparison to high school graduates in other WV counties. This evidence suggests that Gilmer’s students who don’t go to college are short changed too. Immediate leadership changes to straighten out under achievement are in order!

By E. Moore on 12.28.2017

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Board of Education Minutes of Regular Meeting - 11.27.17'.

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Jeanette,
I am so sorry for your loss.

By Margie Shook on 12.18.2017

From the entry: 'Warren Curtis Pierce'.

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The whole child concept is admirable, but with GCHS grads being behind in proficiency for academic subjects we need to make changes to drastically improve learning to enable our kids to compete in the highly competitive modern world.

Our being the 52nd worse off among 55 WV counties for college remediation rates is undeniable proof.

Administrators must determine legitimate causes of our bottom ranking for use in improving learning instead of applying usual low payoff tinkering to be passed off as progress.

By B. K. Brooks on 12.15.2017

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Board of Education Minutes of Regular Meeting - 11.27.17'.

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That’s the #### dems new ploy, they can’t win on policy so they charge sexual harassment.

By The Silent Majority on 12.15.2017

From the entry: 'Meet the Miss USA Contestant from Gilmer County, WV Accusing Trump of Sexual Misconduct'.

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Why was there no outrage like this when Billy Boy was doing his deed in the White House? and other places?

Oh, I forgot.  He was the media’s boy?

By HOW COME NOW ? on 12.14.2017

From the entry: 'Meet the Miss USA Contestant from Gilmer County, WV Accusing Trump of Sexual Misconduct'.

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Wanna bet that in green counties when results sag there is no hesitancy to make administrative changes when needed? In Gilmer County the approach has been to hide facts and to manufacture rosy ones to report to citizens.

By Moore on 12.11.2017

From the entry: 'More college-going students in WV need remedial classes'.

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This is basically the process for an improvement plan. A school board specifies student achievement standards and it assigns a superintendent to work with central office staff and school administrators to produce a comprehensive plan for making needed changes. After putting a plan in place results are closely monitored by a school board while holding a superintendent personally accountable for achieving the standards.

By School Board Member In A Top Performing County on 12.10.2017

From the entry: 'More college-going students in WV need remedial classes'.

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Did I miss the County Commission Agenda for the December meeting?  The GFP site is displaying a little differently and I can’t seem to find it.  Do they still meet on First and Third Fridays??

By Searching on 12.10.2017

From the entry: 'More college-going students in WV need remedial classes'.

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The no excuse rate for Gilmer County is 59% and there are only three other WV counties worse off. This alarming information flags dire need for the County’s school board to do its job by implementing an improvement plan.

By Gilmer Students Ripped Off on 12.08.2017

From the entry: 'More college-going students in WV need remedial classes'.

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“We’re going to see a sea change in American agriculture as the next generation gets on the land,“

Yeah, right.  That will last about as long as it takes to discover exactly how hard farming is, and the amount of work it takes to make even a minimal living.

Sincerely

Pat McGroyne

By Pat McGroyne on 11.30.2017

From the entry: 'A Growing Number Of Young Americans Are Leaving Desk Jobs To Farm'.

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