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What a great crew to work with a great project

The Free Press WV

What a great crew to work with and many thanks to Aimee Figgatt who brought her Soil Tunnel Trailer to Leading Creek Grade School for the day.

The entire school was able to go through the trailer plus have a short class room session on soil instructed by Kelley Sponaugle, A Soil Scientist.

Thanks to Farm Bureau, Wes-Mon-Ty, and WF Conservation.

Larry Sponaugle Conservation Supervisor, Chester Sholes, Aimee Figgatt, Jane Collins Conservation Supervisor, Ann and Pat Nestor.

A hard working group

Ceremony Held to Break Ground on Greenhouse at GSC

 

On Friday, November 04, 2016 Glenville State College broke ground on the newest addition to its campus facilities, a greenhouse. The new space will be located in the open area behind college housing and adjacent to the Waco Center on the College’s Mineral Road Campus.

When it is completed, the greenhouse will serve many functions for the college and community including a research site for Science and Mathematics and Land Resources Department faculty and students, a location for activities sponsored by GSC’s Environmental Club, a site for students to experience the operation of a greenhouse/high tunnel, and a place for community engagement by Land Resources and Biology faculty members.

The Free Press WV
Tom Snyder (GSC Land Resources Department Instructional Assistant),
Walt Helmick (WV Agriculture Commissioner),
Dr. Milan Vavrek (GSC Vice President for Academic Affairs),
Tom Ratliff (GSC Physical Plant Director,
Dr. Rico Gazal (GSC Land Resources Department Chair), and
Dr. Gary Morris (GSC Science and Mathematics Department Chair)
turn soil at the groundbreaking ceremony


The West Virginia Department of Agriculture provided $6,300 in funding to Glenville State College to complete the project and Agriculture Commissioner Walt Helmick was on hand at the ceremony.

“Providing opportunities like this helps engage people in the agriculture industry. This project will give a great opportunity for Glenville and the students at Glenville State College and we’re happy to be an integral part of it,” said Helmick. “Glenville joins a large number of state schools from primary level upward that we have helped with high tunnels, which we see as a critical technology for moving West Virginia agriculture into the future,” he added.

The Free Press WV
Walt Helmick, WV Department of Agriculture Commissioner,
speaks at the groundbreaking ceremony


“We are appreciative of the support that the Commissioner is providing to this project at Glenville State College. Many of our students, faculty, and staff on campus look forward to being able to make full use of this greenhouse when it is completed,” said GSC President Dr. Peter Barr.

A timeline for construction of the greenhouse has not yet been specified.

High Tunnel to Be Constructed at the New Gilmer Elementary Grade School Becomes a Reality

The beginning of this year, Mr. Louis Aspey, State Conservationist with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) notified the 14 Conservation Districts in WV that each district would be receiving $5,000 to develop School Community Gardens in their counties.  Schools had to submit a proposal for the grant and each district would select a school to receive the grant.

Gilmer County Elementary principal, Toni Bishop, submitted a proposal to the West Fork Conservation District for a High Tunnel and was awarded the $5,000 grant. The High Tunnel will provide an educational opportunity for students on agricultural production, food nutrition, and conservation education and other topics.

The Free Press WV
(L-R) Phil Osborne, Conservation Supervisor for Harrison County, Bill Coffindaffer, Chairman of West Fork Conservation District, Tom Radcliff, Gilmer County Board of Education, Jane Collins, Conservation Supervisor for Gilmer County, Carl Amour, Gilmer County Board of Education, Walt Helmick, WV Commissioner of Agriculture, Mr. Devono, Superintendent of Gilmer County Schools, Toni Bishop, Principal, Larry Sponaugle, Conservation Supervisor for Gilmer County, Louis Aspey, State Conservationist with USDA, Brian Farkas, State Conservation Agency Executive Director.


The goal for the project was finding an innovative way to bring conservation education to the classroom through a fun hands-on-activity that also could provide fresh produce to local schools. The total cost of the project was $9,000.

The grant was a start but it would not cover all the expense involved in constructing a high tunnel.  A partner needed to be secured in order to get this project completed.

Conservation Supervisors for Gilmer County, Larry Sponaugle and Jane Collins contacted The Department of Agriculture office in hopes of securing more funding to get the project completed.

The proposal for a high tunnel was explained to Ag. Commissioner Walt Helmick, who was excited to become a partner in the financing of this project and on June 06, 2016, Mr. Helmick traveled to Gilmer County and presented an additional $4,000 for the completion of the High Tunnel.

With the additional funding on this project from Mr. Helmick it has made the completion of this high tunnel a reality.  Many thanks to AG Commissioner Walt Helmick for helping compete this project for Gilmer County.

 

Glenville: Gilmer County Farmers’ Market - Today

The Free Press WV

The Gilmer County Farmers Market is open every Saturday from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM at the Gilmer County Senior Citizens pavilion in Glenville, WV.

Lots of vendors are set up with plants and some vegetables are now available,  baked goods, honey, jelly and jams, fresh farm eggs, and much more.

Come out and see what our Farmers Market has to offer.

Kids’ Day at Gilmer county Farmers’ Market - Today

The Free Press WV

High Tunnel Educational Dinner

The Free Press WV

The Gilmer County Farm Bureau and the Wes-Mon-Ty Soil Conservation District sponsored an educational dinner meeting on Thursday, December 03, 2015 at the Gilmer County Recreation Center beginning at 6:00 p.m.
The topic presented was High Tunnels and was conducted by Joseph Hatton from USDA/NRCS office in Morgantown.
Does fresh vegetables ever come to mind when thinking about winter? No? High tunnels make winter gardens not only possible, but remarkably uncomplicated to manage.

The Free Press WV

The Free Press WV

The Free Press WV


Hatton, also an owner of a sustainable farm, helped interested Gilmer County residents understand what all is involved in high tunnel gardening.
“So the plants go in high tunnels, and I have one high tunnel,” Hatton said.
The high tunnel, at his farm consists of a frame and plastic covering. The covering keeps cold winds out, while letting the sun come in and nourish the many different crops.
“I grow some winter vegetables,” Hatton said. “Basically, you start them in September or a couple weeks before, and then if they are in a high tunnel structure … that’s enough protection that they do not freeze or really go through a cold spell.”

The Free Press WV

The Free Press WV

The Free Press WV


Some crops are less delicate.
“Broccoli and cabbage will go through a couple frosts, and they are fine, but they can’t freeze. They do need some kind of protection over them,” he said.
Hatton said greens are a big part of the winter crops.
PVC pipes, clamps and plastic covers are all that is needed to make a low tunnel hoop house.
Hatton said West Virginia’s sun is strong, some winter days the plastic may need to be removed so the plants do not get too hot.

The Free Press WV

The Free Press WV

The Free Press WV


“You’re going to need a little bit of something else at night time,” he said. “The plastic is good to keep it warm when the sun is out, but it has no insulating properties when the sun goes down.”
If the garden is small enough, Hatton said a sheet can be thrown over the top to keep the plants warm at night.
“There’s a difference between cold-season crops and warm-season crops,” he said.

The Free Press WV

The Free Press WV

The Free Press WV


Warm-season crops are vegetables like eggplants and peppers, which originated south of the equator. Cold-season crops are mostly greens, originating north of the equator.
Hatton pointed out a lot of advantages about growing during the winter.
“West Virginia is just at the perfect climate for a high tunnel because we have sunny days that aren’t very cold,” he said.
Hatton added that he prefers winter farming because there is no excessive heat and very few fungal and insect problems.

The Free Press WV

The Free Press WV

The Free Press WV

Variety of Oaks Available from West Virginia State Tree Nursery

Few trees are as versatile and resilient as the mighty oak. Oaks come in a variety of species and sizes from the massive white oak with its majestic crown and high-quality lumber to the relatively small-growing English oak, a prolific acorn producer.

Clements State Tree Nursery, West Virginia’s only forest tree nursery, has six species of oak available this year for planting in spring of 2015. All trees are bare-root seedlings and are 1-2 years old. Seedlings are sold in bundles of 25. Prices depend on the number of seedlings ordered, and there is a 30% discount offered on orders of 5,000 or more. The nursery will accept orders through April 30, 2015.

Please note, because all oak species listed below grow to a mature height taller than 25-30 feet, they should never be planted under or near utility lines.

The Gilmer Free Press


White oak reaches a height of 100 feet or more. The white oak’s leaves turn red or brown in autumn and often stay attached to the tree in winter. It is a slow-growing tree and one of the most valuable timber trees in the state. White oak acorns are excellent mast for livestock and wildlife.

The red oak has a rounded crown that turns an eye-catching shade of red in the fall. Great as a shade or ornamental tree, red oak also is of commercial value and its wood is used in furniture, flooring, crossties and fence posts. Red oaks grow 75-100 feet tall.

Chestnut, Chinkapin and sawtooth oaks are medium-sized trees. Chestnut oaks grow 60 to 90 feet tall and are great for planting on rocky ridges. Chestnut oak lumber is used to make crossties and fence posts. Chinkapin oaks grow to a height of 70 to 80 feet and are highly valued for their excellent acorn production. Sawtooth oaks grow to heights of 40 to 60 feet and have a pyramidal shape.

English oak is a relatively small oak, usually growing 30-40 feet in height and width. It is an excellent acorn producer and likes well-drained soil and full sun.

Order online at www.wvcommerce.org/ClementsNursery or call 304.675.1820.

STRAWBERRY GROWERS NEEDED FOR FESTIVAL MARKET 2015

The Gilmer Free Press


Fresh, local strawberries are needed for this year’s West Virginia Strawberry Festival to stock a “Strawberry Market” planned for the May 09-17, 2015, event.

The Strawberry Festival board, the City of Buckhannon and the West Virginia Department of Agriculture (WVDA) are working cooperatively with private farmers to have local berries for sale at locations throughout West Virginia’s “strawberry city.”

“This great festival is an excellent opportunity for local farmers to benefit from the visitors that pour into Upshur County each May,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Walt Helmick. “But like the other tremendous food-related opportunities in our state, we need more growers to become involved.”

While local growers have continued to produce small amounts of berries for the traditional strawberry auction and other festival events, retail sales of West Virginia berries has been nearly non-existent for decades. At one time, the area grew a surplus of strawberries that were shipped out of state following the festival. One undated historical report in the archives of the Upshur County Historical Society notes that more than 1,500 gallons of berries were shipped to Pittsburgh. It also said that farmers would be supplying cherries, raspberries and currants “later in the season.” But over the years, that supply was replaced by berries from large-scale, out-of-state producers.

However, local berries made a reappearance in 2014. WVDA project coordinator Buddy Davidson said that the few berries provided by state growers sold well last year.

“We sold 200 pints of berries at quite a premium over farmers’ market prices, and that was only at one location and only over two days,” Davidson said. “I think we can duplicate that number at three or four other locations in Buckhannon.”

He noted that the timing of the festival has been problematic for growers, who have had a difficult time having berries ripe in mid-May. The increasing prevalence of high tunnels – low-cost, unheated greenhouse-type structures – makes fresh berries in mid-May a more practical proposition than in past years. In fact, many farmers report using the tunnels to grow some types of produce year-round.

He noted that the WVDA will be able to purchase berries up-front as a way of simplifying the financial aspects of the project. Berries will be then be priced to recoup the price paid to growers, with a little bit left over to donate to the Upshur County FFA club for helping with the sale.

“We serve two goals with this project,” said Davidson. “One is to help farmers take direct advantage of the pricing opportunity they have with a large, popular namesake festival. The other is to educate high school students about agriculture and business, and steer some of them to become food producers in the future.

The age of the average farmer in West Virginia and the U.S. continues to climb and few young people see farming as a viable career option, but it is, he noted.

“People will always need to eat and more and more, they prefer to eat food produced close to where they live,” Davidson said.

For more information, contact WVDA Communications Officer Buddy Davidson at 304.558.3708, 304.541.5932 (cell), or .

Annual Berry Plant Sale Deadline Line Extended Until This Friday, February 27, 2015

The Gilmer Free Press

Gilmer County Farm Bureau and WVU Extension Service- Gilmer County will once again be placing a bulk order for berry plants.

The berry plants that are available this year will be strawberries, blackberries, raspberries (both red and black), and blueberries.

We will also be offering asparagus roots.

If you would like to improve your garden by adding one or more of these berry plants contact the WVU Extension Service- Gilmer County at 304.462.7061, of the Calhoun Office at 304.354.6332, and we will mail you an order form.

Orders and payment is due by February 27, 2015, at the close of business, 4:00 PM. 

Once plants arrive all participants will be called and plants will need to be picked up within 5 days.

Do not miss out on this opportunity to add some fresh berries to your future family meals.

Annual Berry Plant Sale Deadline Line Extended until Friday, February 27, 2015

The Gilmer Free Press

Gilmer County Farm Bureau and WVU Extension Service- Gilmer County will once again be placing a bulk order for berry plants.

The berry plants that are available this year will be strawberries, blackberries, raspberries (both red and black), and blueberries.

We will also be offering asparagus roots.

If you would like to improve your garden by adding one or more of these berry plants contact the WVU Extension Service- Gilmer County at 304.462.7061, of the Calhoun Office at 304.354.6332, and we will mail you an order form.

Orders and payment is due by February 27, 2015, at the close of business, 4:00 PM. 

Once plants arrive all participants will be called and plants will need to be picked up within 5 days.

Do not miss out on this opportunity to add some fresh berries to your future family meals.

Taking Orders Now for Annual Berry Plant Sale - Order by 02.22.15

The Gilmer Free Press

Gilmer County Farm Bureau and WVU Extension Service- Gilmer County will once again be placing a bulk order for berry plants.

The berry plants that are available this year will be strawberries, blackberries, raspberries (both red and black), and blueberries.

We will also be offering asparagus roots.

If you would like to improve your garden by adding one or more of these berry plants contact the WVU Extension Service- Gilmer County at 304.462.7061, and we will mail you an order form.

Orders and payment is due by February 22, 2015, at the close of business, 4:00 PM. 

Once plants arrive all participants will be called and plants will need to be picked up within 5 days.

Do not miss out on this opportunity to add some fresh berries to your future family meals.

STRAWBERRY GROWERS NEEDED FOR FESTIVAL MARKET 2015

The Gilmer Free Press


Fresh, local strawberries are needed for this year’s West Virginia Strawberry Festival to stock a “Strawberry Market” planned for the May 09-17, 2015, event.

The Strawberry Festival board, the City of Buckhannon and the West Virginia Department of Agriculture (WVDA) are working cooperatively with private farmers to have local berries for sale at locations throughout West Virginia’s “strawberry city.”

“This great festival is an excellent opportunity for local farmers to benefit from the visitors that pour into Upshur County each May,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Walt Helmick. “But like the other tremendous food-related opportunities in our state, we need more growers to become involved.”

While local growers have continued to produce small amounts of berries for the traditional strawberry auction and other festival events, retail sales of West Virginia berries has been nearly non-existent for decades. At one time, the area grew a surplus of strawberries that were shipped out of state following the festival. One undated historical report in the archives of the Upshur County Historical Society notes that more than 1,500 gallons of berries were shipped to Pittsburgh. It also said that farmers would be supplying cherries, raspberries and currants “later in the season.” But over the years, that supply was replaced by berries from large-scale, out-of-state producers.

However, local berries made a reappearance in 2014. WVDA project coordinator Buddy Davidson said that the few berries provided by state growers sold well last year.

“We sold 200 pints of berries at quite a premium over farmers’ market prices, and that was only at one location and only over two days,” Davidson said. “I think we can duplicate that number at three or four other locations in Buckhannon.”

He noted that the timing of the festival has been problematic for growers, who have had a difficult time having berries ripe in mid-May. The increasing prevalence of high tunnels – low-cost, unheated greenhouse-type structures – makes fresh berries in mid-May a more practical proposition than in past years. In fact, many farmers report using the tunnels to grow some types of produce year-round.

He noted that the WVDA will be able to purchase berries up-front as a way of simplifying the financial aspects of the project. Berries will be then be priced to recoup the price paid to growers, with a little bit left over to donate to the Upshur County FFA club for helping with the sale.

“We serve two goals with this project,” said Davidson. “One is to help farmers take direct advantage of the pricing opportunity they have with a large, popular namesake festival. The other is to educate high school students about agriculture and business, and steer some of them to become food producers in the future.

The age of the average farmer in West Virginia and the U.S. continues to climb and few young people see farming as a viable career option, but it is, he noted.

“People will always need to eat and more and more, they prefer to eat food produced close to where they live,” Davidson said.

For more information, contact WVDA Communications Officer Buddy Davidson at 304.558.3708, 304.541.5932 (cell), or .

Plan for Abundance with the WVU Extension Service 2015 Garden Calendar

Plan your garden from the ground up with the 2015 Garden Calendar from the West Virginia University Extension Service, available now at the Gilmer County Office!

The new calendar’s theme is Planning for Abundance, with a focus on helping you get the most from your garden.

Articles by WVU Extension experts range from deciding what to grow and how large a garden to plant, to garden location and soil preparation.

The Gilmer Free Press


Learn to effectively tend your garden, harvest when crops are at their tastiest and preserve your harvest so you and your family can enjoy the flavors – and health benefits – of your garden all year-round.

“The garden calendar is one of the most popular pieces we produce each year,” said Steve Bonanno, WVU Extension Service interim director.

“Whether it’s your first time planting or you’re a perennial gardener, our faculty agents and specialists provide tips and techniques to help ensure your garden is a success.”

As always, there is “by the date” garden information to remind you when certain gardening chores should be done.

There’s also a bonus article introducing two uncommon vegetables you can try this gardening season and the latest planning zone map.

The free 2015 WVU Extension Service Garden Calendar is available at the WVU Extension Service- Gilmer County Office and at local businesses around town while supplies last.

You can also download the calendar information and other gardening resources online at www.anr.ext.wvu.edu/garden_calendar.

Plan for Abundance with the WVU Extension Service 2015 Garden Calendar

Plan your garden from the ground up with the 2015 Garden Calendar from the West Virginia University Extension Service, available now at the Gilmer County Office!

The new calendar’s theme is Planning for Abundance, with a focus on helping you get the most from your garden.

Articles by WVU Extension experts range from deciding what to grow and how large a garden to plant, to garden location and soil preparation.

The Gilmer Free Press


Learn to effectively tend your garden, harvest when crops are at their tastiest and preserve your harvest so you and your family can enjoy the flavors – and health benefits – of your garden all year-round.

“The garden calendar is one of the most popular pieces we produce each year,” said Steve Bonanno, WVU Extension Service interim director.

“Whether it’s your first time planting or you’re a perennial gardener, our faculty agents and specialists provide tips and techniques to help ensure your garden is a success.”

As always, there is “by the date” garden information to remind you when certain gardening chores should be done.

There’s also a bonus article introducing two uncommon vegetables you can try this gardening season and the latest planning zone map.

The free 2015 WVU Extension Service Garden Calendar is available at the WVU Extension Service- Gilmer County Office and at local businesses around town while supplies last.

You can also download the calendar information and other gardening resources online at www.anr.ext.wvu.edu/garden_calendar.

Glenville: Gilmer County Farmers’ Market - Saturday, July 12, 2014 - Today

image

The Gilmer County Farmers Market is open every Saturday from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM at the Gilmer County Senior Citizens pavilion in Glenville, WV.

Lots of vendors are set up with vegetable and flower plants and some vegetables are now available, fresh lamb meat,  baked goods, honey, jelly and jams, fresh farm eggs, lunch is available, and much more.

Come out and see what our Farmers Market has to offer.

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For ‘weedless gardening’ next spring, begin now

The Free Press WVMost gardening books tell you to dig or at least scratch fertilizer into the soil. Forget about it: Do as Mother Nature does and sprinkle it on the surface of the soil. Water and time will work it down [ .... ]  Read More

Fragile trees, shrubs need some help getting through winter

The Free Press WVWinterizing fragile trees and shrubs is a simple and prudent exercise in landscape management [ .... ]  Read More

When to plant bulbs in the fall? Science, nature offer clues

The Free Press WVTo ensure that bulbs planted in the fall will bloom in early spring, timing is important [ .... ]  Read More

Trimming and tidying: Perennials need care too

The Free Press WVThe great attraction in growing perennial flowers is that you never have to replant them, at least in theory [ .... ]  Read More

Fertilizing 101: It’s not as complicated as you might think

The Free Press WVEvery garden needs periodic fertilization. “Designer” fertilizers are available for some kinds of plants, and so are fertilizers that you’re directed to apply at specified times throughout the season [ .... ]  Read More

How to fertilize your garden organically

The Free Press WVIn gardening, whether you’re talking about pest control or fertilization, “organic” generally means natural [ .... ]  Read More

Romaine lettuce outbreak update: 98 people sick in 22 states

The Free Press WVThe food poisoning outbreak linked to romaine lettuce has spread to three more states [ .... ]  Read More

Taking Orders Now for Annual Berry Plant Sale

The Free Press WVGilmer County Farm Bureau and WVU Extension Service- Gilmer and Calhoun County will once again be placing a bulk order for berry plants [ .... ]  Read More

Aphrodisiac plants are as close as the nearest supermarket

The Free Press WVMoney can’t buy you love, but it can buy you plants. And maybe plants can win over your Valentine [ .... ]  Read More

How to keep evergreens green in winter

The Free Press WVDid you notice browned areas on your evergreens at the end of last winter? You may still be able to do something to prevent a repeat performance of this condition, winter burn, which happens when evergreen leaves lose too much water in winter [ .... ]  Read More

Growing citrus indoors takes patience, pays off handsomely

The Free Press WVDo check the roots each spring to see if the plant requires a larger pot. Change pots when the roots ae circling the bottom of the container or coming out of the bottom [ .... ]  Read More

Do you know your soil by name?

The Free Press WVYou might wonder what a “soil survey” really is. Isn’t it all just dirt — some perhaps stickier, or redder or deeper — that lies beneath forest, meadow, farm, home and garden?  [ .... ]  Read More

Your Garden

The Free Press WVPlan and budget for a good return on your garden investment

Gardening Answers for Raised Beds, Invasive Plants and More

The Free Press WVGardening columnist Adrian Higgins answered questions recently in an online Washington Post chat.

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During intervention the State had dictatorial control of our school system to include all decisions related to the GCES.

One result is that the GCES was built too small.

An investigation is needed to determine who was responsible for the bad decision, and what role the no-bid architectural firm had in designing and constructing the school.

Something major happened to cause the GCES to be built too small. Was something dropped at the expense of adequate class room space as a result of having to spend extra money because a poor site was selected?

Minimally, gross incompetency on the State’s part is the explanation for the disaster foisted onto the County.

A question pertains to the new gym. Lots of effort was taken by the State to try to convince the public that a competition gym instead of a regular gym was needed.

Did the competition gym cost extra money at the expense of needed classroom space? If the answer is affirmative who was responsible for deciding on the more expensive gym?

What about the enormous pit at the GCES? Was money spent on it at the expense of classrooms because something was wrong with the school’s site that was selected by the State?

Nothing similar to the pit has been seen at other sites where new WV schools were built.

Why has there been a failure for a thorough investigation to have occurred to expose the facts?

The obvious explanation is that powerful elitists in control do not want tracks leading to them, and they have veto power over a meaningful investigation including one done by a leading newspaper.

By GCES Built Too Small Scandal on 01.15.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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Pat McGroyne is spot on.
High speed internet is simply another failure of WV state government.

If the elected in our state, were doing the job expected by voters….we should have very few problems or issues?

By Gilmer resident on 01.14.2019

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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Muddling has another distinct symptom. It is the tendency for administrators in control to emphasize processes and procedures while avoiding disclosure of progress, or the lack thereof, in achieving learning results.

The purpose is another way to avoid personal accountability for school system failures.

By Muddling Epidemic In WV School Systems on 01.14.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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West Virginia is number one!
Our politicians are the best that can be had.
They are also the lobbyers dream come true.
No one—-can out-muddle our elected reps !

By we know it on 01.13.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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Suggestion after reading strategic plans for the GCHS and the GCES.

How about the school board requiring that for each school an informative executive summary be written to include——where each school stands on reading, math, and science proficiency, what the term proficiency means to eliminate the confusion, student proficiency goals for the two school, target time to expect goals to be achieved, and a statement to commit to keeping the public informed of progress in achieving the goals at designated intervals (e.g. quarterly) during a school year.

Omit confusing abbreviations and technical terms understood only by a select few in the education field, and written for comprehension by reasonable persons.

Leave it up to the County’s professional educators to determine how to get the job done with continual laser-like focus on getting results.

By Student Learning at GCHS and GCES on 01.13.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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Muddling infects federal, state, and local government entities where personal accountability for top officials to get measurable results rarely exists.

Muddling practitioners are famous for passing off information unrelated to measurable proof that effective problem-solving has occurred. A common example is emphasizing how much public money is being spent to attempt to convince tax payers that magnitudes of expenditures are always directly correlated to levels of problem-solving successes.

Muddling by an organization is characterized by the existence of thick planning documents replete with vagueness and lack of clarity, undefined technical terms, and mysterious acronyms.

Muddling thrives on intentional ambiguity and confusion designed to protect muddlers and their organizations.

By Muddling 101 on 01.11.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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Gilmer County is not the only place in the USA that has been faced with its students failing to meet proficiency standards for science, reading, and math.

The difference here is that evidence is lacking to conclusively demonstrate that Gilmer County’s officials in control have exerted proper efforts to profit form powerful lessons learned elsewhere to use that knowledge to help solve learning deficiencies in our schools.

In fact, a convincing argument could be made that the approach in the County has been the one professional planners designate as muddling through.

Classic symptoms of muddling through include failure to thoroughly analyze categories of causes contributing to problems followed up by using the information to develop a comprehensive plan to do the most good in getting better results by treating key causes instead of symptoms.

Muddling typically involves officials assigning blame for lack of progress to outside forces e.g., the “culture”, the State did it to us, and poverty. Haven’t we heard plenty of that?

Muddling must be eliminated if we want progress in solving non-performance problems within the County’s school system. Does anyone disagree?

By End School System Muddling on 01.09.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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It is unclear after reading school board meeting minutes what progress if any is being made by GCHS and GCES principals in improving student proficiency in reading, math and science.

Why not allocate a few sentences in the minutes to summarize what the two principals reported to the school board?

All it would take to get the critical information out to citizens would be for the new school board to act on this.

Does anyone have a problem with the suggested change to keep Gilmer’s bill paying public informed?

By Need Specifics For Principal's Reports on 01.09.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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“High speed broadband – a necessity for today’s homes, businesses and other institutions – remains a huge unmet need for rural residents, despite promises by a succession of Governors from both parties (a contributing factor in why we’re losing population at a rate higher than any other state).“

I disagree with much of what Mr.Boggs believes.  That said, high-speed broadband is the single most important step the State of WV could take to improve the business climate and provide more opportunities for its citizens.

Sincerely

Pat McGroyne

By Pat McGroyne on 01.08.2019

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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Conversation at local eatery.
Shortly after election.
Individuals were educators.

‘You think we have school problems now, wait until these new folks take the steering wheel’.

‘Students, parents, staff are all going to be in the soup’.

Sounds as if Christmas, New Years, Thanksgiving vacation-deer season times have all taken a big hit.  If that is true, the union teachers need to come together, stand their ground, along with parents, and hold this new board accountable.

Have a local strike if need be.
Request resignations.
Vote of no confidence.

Schools employees can win.
You have done it before.
Just stick together.

By overheard conversation on 01.08.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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Scholarship must be the most important focus in Gilmer County’s schools.

Brought up the ZOOMWV Data Dashboard site to review the most recent State achievement test results for GCHS’s 11th grade.

Folks, Gilmer is in serious trouble. Proficiency for math=24%, reading=41%, and science=24%.

On an A through F grading scales the GCHS gets an F for all three subject areas.

What does the new school board have to show for inroads it has made since last July to make critically needed proficiency improvements at the HS? Citizens deserve answers to the question.

By ZOOMWV Data Dashboard on 01.07.2019

From the entry: 'IOGAWV Scholarship Program'.

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A thorough accounting for where all the public money went could be easily achieved by a competent accountant.

Isn’t there a special account at the County’s school board office for expenditures related to all bills paid and who got the money?

Following the money trail always gets results along with verification of means, motives, and access.

By Let An Accountant Dig It Out on 11.21.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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If central office financial records for all public money paid out for everything from site planning, site studies and development, and everything else to get to completion of the GCES and the LES—- what is the reason?

It is known that money was spent on the Arbuckle site and Cedar Creek, and public money was paid out for the LES too.

Were County records for the spending purged and if that happened who ordered the action? The records are either in the County’s central office or they aren’t.

By End Financial Secrecy on 11.21.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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Hasn’t the time come to finally start naming names and making people accountable?

By Get It Done on 11.21.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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How about the “BIG WV WINDFALL”....?

For 3 or 4 months now we keep hearing about the millions of dollars of tax revenue collected.

Millions and millions above ‘estimates’.  Were those ‘estimates’ honest, or fudged to begin with, so as to request higher tax rates?

Well, Justice and the Legislature now have our dollars, what will become of this windfall? Will we see tax rates lowered?  Doubt full, but we should.

Likely this windfall, created by “over-taxation”, will simply create a “party atmosphere” of legislative spending. Watch the Charleston ‘gangsters’ get their wish lists ready this coming session.

By taxpayers always lose on 11.21.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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Yes.  The blame Does seem to fall to ‘local’ people. In small places like Gilmer County, it’s just a poker game, boys, and the deep pockets win.  Money speaks volumes where ‘officials’ stay silent.  Go ask for the records, see what they’ve got.

By CheatersNeverWin on 11.20.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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Teachers and staff knew from the beginning that the GCES was going to be too small. They were ordered by the State to keep quiet about the shortfall and other serious concerns too.

A sixth grader could understood how many rooms were needed by dividing total student numbers to attend the school by how many students should be in a classroom.

Under sizing was the State’s fault and it cannot be rationalized any other way including to assign the blame to local people. Same applies to the over sized LCES.

By Corrupt State Intervention on 11.19.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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There will never be a full, public accounting of the gross mishandling of tax dollars during WVDOE intervention.
Too many local jobs and too many embarrassments of both elected and appointed bureaucrats.
These types cover dirt for each other.

Any local whistle blowers?  Doubtful.

One school built short 4 classrooms and another built with 5 too many.  Can it get more stupid than that?
Mr. Degree and Ms. Common Sense seldom travel together.

By Full accounting will never be revealed. Never. on 11.18.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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GCBOE when the two principals give reports at board meeting could the gist of what they said be summarized in minutes to keep the County informed?

It was a welcomed development by the Board to require principals to give reports particularly if there are required updates on progress designed to improve student learning for reading, math, and other subjects.

We still have not been informed about the status of science proficiency at the GCHS based on the latest testing. Why has the State failed to release the data? Were results too dismal?

By More Specifics For Principal's Reports on 11.17.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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If it is going to cost extra money to eliminate over crowding at the GCES the financial information referenced by Do It Ourselves should be presented to Charleston and the press too.

That would help frame a solid case that crowding problems were not caused by Gilmer County because all decisions related to facilities were dictated by officials over whom the County had no oversight authority during the State’s intervention.

By Follow The Money on 11.16.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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It is assumed that all records for spending to include money paid out for the LCES, dropped Arbuckle site, dropped Cedar Creek site, and all bills for the GCES are in the Gilmer Schools central office.

The new GCBOE has authority to get to the truth by demanding a thorough accounting for all the spending.

Afterwards the financial officer in the central office could easily access existing computerized records and to use the information for a report to the GCBOE and the public.

By Do It Ourselves on 11.15.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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Notice that most of the ‘officials’ in Gilmer County also hold regular day jobs - sometimes working on more than one paying ‘job’ at a time in the same office space. This common practice is concerning for many reasons, and it needs to be talked about when so many go without.

By QuestionablePractice on 11.14.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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There are two views in the County related to the under built GCES. Although the State built the school with inadequate classrooms one group believes that we should move on to let go of the past.

Isn’t this a form of advocacy for a coverup to prevent accountability for the State’s incompetence and mismanagement?

The other group believes that there should be a full accounting for all public money spent up to the time the GCES was completed to include disclosure of recipients of the public money. 

The accounting should be done for all public money spent at the LCES, the Arbuckle site, Cedar Creek, and finally the GCES.

Reasons for the under built GCES should be fully disclosed too. When the State was in control this information was kept secret from the public with loud claims that there was adequate space at the GCES.

Now it is known that there is inadequate space at the GCES and the problem is left to Gilmer County to fix. Only in WV!

By Citizens For Financial Disclosure on 11.14.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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Unprofessional issues,rude commentsand rolling eyes at the high school has become an issue. Being on cell phone talking to boyfriends,when parents etc.going into the office. Since the teachers were ask not to be on them while students in the classroom. The one in the office should not be allowed to talk personal to her boyfriend, or whoever. Also, I hope this is corrected, the personal days, etc that the board provides to staff shouldn’t be allowed to use to work or operate a second job. Let’s get the priorities straight.

By Jo Ann conrad on 11.11.2018

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

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GULMER COUNTY BOE. It is time for me to let you know some issues that is going on at the High school.  I’m hoping this will be addressed at the next board meeting. 1. It should not matter if an employee has a second job or run a business. The priority job is for the board. One should not be allowed to use any time from the board to run your business. There is going on
If they want to run your business than go but not on the boards time. I would like for all employees be treated the equal. They should not be allowed to use the time the board gives them for other jobs.

By Jo Ann conrad on 11.11.2018

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

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While at it there should be an investigation of why the LES was build with too many classrooms and the GCES was built with too few. At the very least what happened is a WV horror story example of the State’s waste and mismanagement.

By Where Is The Investigation? on 11.11.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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It is obvious that the GCES has a major space problem.

What options for dealing with the State’s mismanagement to cause the serious blunder are being considered by the Board of Education?

Could the original architectural design for the dropped Cedar Creek site be compared to what resulted at the GCES to accurately determine the extent of classroom space alterations?

If the architectural design at the GCES is different than the original plan for Cedar Creek the next step should be to determine reasons for the changes and where the money originally planned for needed classrooms went.

By INFO REQUEST TO GCBOE on 11.09.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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It’s long been known that Justice doesn’t happen in Gilmer County “because it all comes down to money”. And for those in charge of handling it and making decisions, it comes down to being competent to do the job,  keep accurate books and accounts and I’m sorry to say, that is seriously lacking in Gilmer County.

By Follow the Paycheck(s) on 11.06.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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What is GSC’s BOG’s plan for getting money for the next payment on the $38,000,000 bond loan the Gilmer County Commission approved?

Will the State pay or will the money come from private donations?

Money will have to come from somewhere to avoid a default.

By Where Is The Money? on 11.05.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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So sorry to hear of Kendall’s passing. I have fond memories of him at Uncle Paul’s store and the family reunions. I’m sure he will be missed greatly by those closest to him.
Please accept condolences from me and my family.

By Steve Lewis on 11.04.2018

From the entry: 'Kendall Goodwin'.

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GSC’s present plight is no secret and its future existence is in question.

Instead of expressing attitudes that GSC is being picked on could the Blue Ribbon Commission reveal why the College “tested out” as it did to fail to get more State money?

Was the “grading system” based on student enrollment trends, retention, time taken to get a degree, academic reputation, inept governance and administration, and other factors to block more funding? Informative specifics were not disclosed.

Teachers know that concerned students who want to do better always seek advice on what needs to be done to get better grades.

Similar to concerned students GSC’s supporters should be informed of what needs to be done to position the College for improved chances for survival to include eligibility for more State funding.

Saying that GSC is being picked on does nothing to help solve its nagging problems.

By What Was The Grading System? on 10.30.2018

From the entry: 'WV Legislative Update'.

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Well thank you, Details Please,  for asking!  So many problems in Gilmer and education is just one.  Look at the town, take a good look around.  Remember who runs unopposed at election time.  Vote.  Make a difference.  Hold authority figures responsible.  Allow videos, minutes and more to be shared on GFP again, for transparency.  Know your neighbors, help a friend.  Be good to each other. Amen.

By Reader7 on 10.29.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

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I will truly miss my Uncle Stephen.  Telling me so much information about from gardening to canning. Just to listening to him talk with such passion for everything that he does… he had a sense of humor that always warms my heart.. listening to him play the banjo sometimes even when he didn’t feel good. he is always willing to share his recipes and his ways of doing things… his solar information he was always studying something ... I’m remember one time we asked him where he got his blackberries when it wasn’t Blackberry season and he go there’s a store down the road it’s called Walmart they have everything… He was so funny.  I love you.. xoxo.

By Robin Nunez on 10.28.2018

From the entry: 'Stephen Blair Marks'.

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Sorry for your loss. He sure did look like his father.

By Buck Edwards on 10.28.2018

From the entry: 'Stephen Blair Marks'.

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Reader 7, please give details for your suggested solutions to the County’s concerns you addressed.

The information would be helpful for consideration by school system administrators and the general public.

By Details Please on 10.26.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

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There is speculation that the plan is for GSC to convert to an education center for low risk federal inmates. Is this something the County and central WV needs?

By GSC's New Mission? on 10.26.2018

From the entry: 'InMyOpinion™: Balanced Scorecard -- Where do we go from here?'.

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Dr. Pellett’s commentary in the 10/26/2018 issue of the Gazette includes a statement that GSC is responsible for injecting $28,000,000 into the local economy.

If GSC were to close loss of the money would cause the County to have more severe poverty than it has now.

The pressing challenge is for GSC’s administrators including its Board of Governors to exercise effective leadership to prevent closure.

Why can’t GSC take action on the long standing suggestion for it to be an innovator by establishing a five year teacher education program to enable students to earn a masters degree by graduation time?

Something must be done in WV to deal with the 700 positions for which certified teachers including those for math, science and special education are not in the classrooms.

Dr. Pellett and GSC’s Board of Governors why is a new teacher education program at the College not a viable option? Nothing else seems to be working.

The need exists, a similar program of excellence does not exist anywhere in the State, and GSC’s status would be elevated by having a masters degree program.

By GSC Alumni on 10.26.2018

From the entry: 'Paine: Plan to improve math scores to focus on algebra where a third of teachers aren’t certified'.

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GSC could make a valuable contribution to WV by doing a study to report on how grade and elementary schools with excellent results in math and reading did it.

Then, other schools could use the information as guidance instead of going it alone to reinvent the wheel.

With the Ed.D. expertise at GSC it would be a natural to take on the assignment. Dr. Pellett, would you back the initiative?

By Opportunity for GSC on 10.23.2018

From the entry: 'InMyOpinion™: Balanced Scorecard -- Where do we go from here?'.

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There is reference to signing an agreement with the State for math4life for all WV school districts. What has Gilmer County agreed to do to fix our problems?

By Agreements Matter on 10.22.2018

From the entry: 'InMyOpinion™: Balanced Scorecard -- Where do we go from here?'.

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This important news has potential for making significant progress in improving math and reading outcomes in WV.

It hinges on how quickly advantage can be taken from lessons learned in schools that excelled.

The WVBE could do an analysis of reasons for excelling and to quickly provide guidance information to other schools.

That is the way the private sector approaches problem-solving because chronic failures have consequences and the unfit are weeded out.

Dr. O’Cull could help if the WVBE is not responsive. There could be panels of individuals from excelling schools to make presentations at WV School Board Association meetings to explain what their schools did to make the achievements.

By Why Reinvent The Wheel? on 10.22.2018

From the entry: 'InMyOpinion™: Balanced Scorecard -- Where do we go from here?'.

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A characteristic of a good strategic plan is to simplify language to enable a clear understanding of all its details.

Regarding the comment about abbreviations, a simple fix for them and terms (e.g. lexile) would be to insert an asterisk or a footnote symbol the first time one of them is used to refer readers to a section at the end of the documents where the entries are defined.

This comment is not intended to be a criticism. All specialty fields have a language of their own including the teaching profession.

Suggested clarity improvements in the plans would not be time consuming for principals at the County’s two schools.

By Clarity Is Always Good on 10.18.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

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Looked at the strategic plan for the GCES. It is a major achievement for the new GCBE to provide the information to the public.

Suggestion. Could the GCBOE post a meaning of all abbreviations in the plan? Doing that would make it far easier for readers to understand details in the plan.

By Help Understanding on 10.17.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

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Thanks Mrs. Lowther and the BOE for providing meeting minutes for the public to read.

Those of us who voted for the levy would appreciate receiving specific information for what is being done at the grade school and the high school to make needed improvements for college and career readiness.

Could a current overview and updates throughout the school year be provided to the public?

Why not put the details on websites of the two schools to give the principals a chance to shine?

By Levy Supporter on 10.16.2018

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

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“engage in pedantic colloquy?“

No Bill.

By WEKNOWYOU on 10.14.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

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Correct.  I do not wish to engage in back and forth useless ‘banter’ with big words and no results.  What I AM interested in is Gilmer County, in all it’s ways.  Education, Food, Law and Transparency.  Fancy words are often used to hide, divide, and distract..  Plain words speaking truth for the safety and well being of the people is what I’m looking for..  Gilmer is suffering… I want it to stop. I want to see the citizens healthy, educated and strong. I want to see more jobs instead of food banks.  I want Committee meetings for all to see. I want the law to do what it should, when it should.  Plain english would work fine.  Thanks for asking.

By Reader7 on 10.14.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

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Lol 7, you do not wish to engage in a pedantic colloquy?

By Smart Feller on 10.13.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

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All nice but a small request? Can we simplify some of the language?  Don’t mean to be rude, but fancy works aren’t needed for the Truth.

By Reader7 on 10.12.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

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Stop living the delusion the state will fix education.
They have caused the problem.
Remember, for them, job one IS job protection.

Rare in history, that the cause of a problem, has come forth with a solution to what they have caused. They keep resetting testing standards so as not have any ‘yardstick’ they can be measured against.  Apparently people just don’t get it?  And the WVBOE is so happy about that.

By it-ain't-a-gonna-happen. period. on 10.12.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

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There is a continuum for sophistication regarding what is done with data.

Collecting and compiling it is at the low end of sophistication.

Synthesis is at the high end.

This means using results and other information to make specific recommendations for making improvements.

The State took its typical easy way out by failing to go beyond the data compilation stage.

By Easy Way Out on 10.10.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

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The comment about need to find out what was done at high performance schools to determine what we could do in Gilmer County to get the same results merits a comment.

The comment flags what is wrong with the State BOE in failing to provide effective leadership.

Does anyone recall a single instance, after tens of millions of dollars were spent on amassing data, when the State BOE did anything to effectively address lessons learned at high performance schools for application at other schools?

Of course not! It is the easy way out for those in high income brackets in Charleston to collect data instead of using it to the maximum to take full advantage of lessons learned.

Could the WV School Board Association help fill the gap?

By Lost Opportunity on 10.07.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

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Harry, So sorry to hear of the passing of your wife.  I’m also sorry that I never got to know her because if she was anything like you, I’m sure she was pretty special.  Please know that you and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.  May God’s love be with you my friend.

By Greg Garvin on 10.04.2018

From the entry: 'Judith “Judy” Carolyn Buckley Rich'.

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What is the BOE’s proficiency goal for English and mathematics and what is the time frame for achieving the goal? That is news citizens want.

Then too, how can citizens at large get involved to honor and to encourage students who improve, and what of a similar nature could be done to give special recognition to outstanding teachers who contribute to improved learning for English and math?

By Positive Changes Made By New BOE on 10.04.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

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The BOE and Mrs Lowther deserve high praise for disclosing proficiency information to the public.

It is the first time since 2011 anything like this has happened.

We still do not know about results for science, and it is understood that Charleston is still “working” on it.

Now we know our serious shortcomings in math and English and there is new hope for burrowing out of the mess with everyone in Gilmer working together.

By Thanks Gilmer BOE on 10.03.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released Outlining School Performance In Gilmer County'.

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Well, dear citizen… sometimes the local ‘law’ gets it wrong.  #truth #JusticeForGilmer

By Transparency matters on 09.30.2018

From the entry: '33 charged in methamphetamine distribution operations in Harrison, Marion, and Monongalia Counties'.

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Soooo…...why do we never see a big drug bust in Gilmer?
With the college and others, there are plenty sources.
Seems strange?

By citizen 3 on 09.23.2018

From the entry: '33 charged in methamphetamine distribution operations in Harrison, Marion, and Monongalia Counties'.

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If you access http://www.mywvschool.com it is evident that some schools outpace others for math and English.

For examples look at data for Lizemore Elementary in Clay County, Alum Creek Elementary in Kanawha County, Rock Branch Elementary in Putnam county, and Greenmont Elementary in Wood County.

Gilmer BOE why not assign someone to evaluate what is being done at those school and others to make them State standouts and to apply lessons learned to our elementary schools?

The same applies to learning from others regarding how to get high marks at GCHS.

By Learn What Works From Others on 09.23.2018

From the entry: 'WV and Area Counties Balanced Scorecard for School Year 2017-2018'.

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I have not read anyone blaming our teachers.  Quite the contrary.
There have been some well thought out comments submitted too.
I am old enough to remember when we had few issues about quality education.

Forget Charleston? Better not.
Believe we are still in their “probation” period.
You better check out just what that means.

By GC--still on state probation? on 09.22.2018

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: Wood County Schools exceeds state test averages'.

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Why not go for it on our own and use the tried and widely accepted Iowa Test of Basic Skills to evaluate learning proficiency of our children?

It is the longest running test in America and it goes back to 1936.

One outcome of using the test is that each grade would be evaluated and compared to performances to schools in other parts of America.

We would probably have to go through hoop jumps of the State’s everchanging testing too.

By Iowa Test For Gilmer on 09.21.2018

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: Wood County Schools exceeds state test averages'.

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To compound complexity of the issue, Gilmer is different from McDowell and both are different than Monongahela.

The implication is that getting out of the crisis must be county-specific and there is no one size that will fit all of WV’s 55 school systems.

Each county is on its own and ones with the best planning, local boards of education, and administrators will shine. Forget about Charleston!

By County-Specific on 09.21.2018

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: Wood County Schools exceeds state test averages'.

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Similar to most complex problems there are several categories contributing to WV’s dismal failure in improving education results in our grade and high schools.

Information in referred journal is beginning to show up. Some of the categories include curriculum issues in high schools, block scheduling failures in high schools, inordinate emphasis on sports at the expense of academics, inadequate prep of grade schoolers to ensure that they get firm foundations in math and English Language Arts, failure to instill need for life long learning at early ages, failure for school systems to fund continuing education of teachers to prepare them for newly emerged practices for enhanced student learning, cultural impediments including failure of some families to encourage children and to give them extra learning help at home, dysfunctional families for children to grow up in caused by drug and alcohol abuse and chronic unemployment, grade inflation characterized by too many As and Bs and attitudes that nobody fails so pass them along, failure of school boards to hire the best qualified superintendents and teachers because of local emphasis on favoring “home grow” individuals, failure of school boards to define performance expectations for superintendents to make effective accountability impossible, constantly changing types of State mandated testing to cause chaos and morale problems, poor compensation of teachers necessary to attract and keep the best and the brightest, etc.

To blame all problems on teachers is a cruel travesty.

One of the weakest links contributing to a lack of progress in improving WV schools is that instead of analyzing the full spectrum of contributing problems and focusing on ones with the biggest payoff potential, the trend in Charleston is to constantly apply band aid approaches with hopes that “cures” will be stumbled on accidentally.

By Do Not Blame It All On Our Teachers on 09.21.2018

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: Wood County Schools exceeds state test averages'.

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The problem with preK-12 education in WV is that a holistic and and technically defensible evaluation of contributing factors to cause WV’s problems and how to deal with them has not occurred.

Instead, under direction of clueless politicians ineffective muddling prevails while selling what is done at a particular time as the definitive solution.

How many times have we witnessed muddling over the past 20-30 Years? It still goes on in Charleston.

Why not obtain a grant to have qualified experts analyze success stories around the Nation and use findings to craft a demonstration project in Gilmer County to improve our school system?

Regardless of what we do there must be open minds in seeking out what to do in homes, schools,  teacher education programs in our institutions of higher learning, continuing education for classroom teachers, and to involve various factions in our community to achieve acceptable results. Everyone must band together as a unified team to make it work.

One trap is over emphasis of sports. If the same magnitude of attention and importance were to be focused on solving preK-12 education problems in WV, great strides could be made to benefit deserving children.

By Muddling on 09.19.2018

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: Wood County Schools exceeds state test averages'.

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Our heartfelt condolences on the passing of Mr. Ron. I too know this pain of losing a beloved father. Both of these men were taken way too soon. Praying maybe Mr.Ron, my Dad, and all the former Westinghouse employees in heaven are getting together. Love and prayers from, Adrienne and family.

By Adrienne (Trimper) Johnson on 09.19.2018

From the entry: 'Ronald J. Vanskiver'.

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West Virginia’s educational failures is NOT because of classroom teachers.

It IS because of the WV Board of Education’s failures of the past 20-30 years.

That 9 member, lopsided governor board is a crime against children and education in WV as a whole.

It needs 3 teachers, 3 general public parent members, and 3 governor appointees.

Until that governors click gang is broken up, you simply see repeats of the past.  NO progress in education.

It will take the legislature to fix it, but they are too busy with the legislature created court system failure, while trying to line pockets with gas and oil money.

By Tell It Like It Is ! on 09.19.2018

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: Wood County Schools exceeds state test averages'.

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What is the plausible rationale for Gilmer not disclosing detailed facts similar to what Superintendent Hosaflook did?

Wood County reported 11,176 students in its 27 schools for the full FY 2018 school year.

In comparison Gilmer had 734 reported students in our two schools for the full FY 2018 school year.

Wood County had 15 times more students than Gilmer and it is reasonable to assume that it was 15 times more demanding to administer with its 27 schools.

If Wood County could get detailed facts out to the public with its significantly higher work load what keeps tiny Gilmer from doing the same?

By Why Gilmer BOE? on 09.18.2018

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: Wood County Schools exceeds state test averages'.

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We have not had a responsible, functioning, WVBE for 20 years.
Not one that would accept any responsibility.

They just keep changing ‘score keeping’ so there can be no accurate tracking of student progress.

State ranks 48th or 49th on educational outcomes. Still.
Colleges still have to give remedial classes.

The ONLY thing that changes are the names of the governor appointed players.
And just look at the ‘cost-per-pupil’ spending!
We are about the highest in the nation.

West Virginia State Board of Education = complete failure.  Nothing less.

By just more smoke and mirrors on 09.16.2018

From the entry: 'Balanced Scorecard Released for Public Schools in West Virginia'.

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Never could figure out why working people, retirees, volunteers are picking up trash left by adults?

Not when we have the numbers of bored prisoners we have locked up doing nothing??

By No solution here- on 09.16.2018

From the entry: 'Adopt-A-Highway Fall Statewide Cleanup Set for September 29'.

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Go to http://www.mywvschool.org to access more official State information about Gilmer’s schools. There are serious red flags in need of immediate corrective attention.

If you access Lewis County schools on the same web site you can review info for LES. Look at the red flags there. Worse than GES.

Instead of using the info to criticize it can be useful in seeking out opportunities for making immediate improvements.

For those who take apologetic stands that Gilmer is doing as well as some other WV counties and everything is fine, it does not mean that inferior educations for our children are acceptable.

By Look At Red Flags on 09.16.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Superintendent Set Her Goals for School Year'.

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Who is responsible for Gilmer’s oversight of the LES?

If you access the State’s website you will learn that math and reading is red flagged for the LCES to be as bad as it can get.

Why is it that nothing is reported in Gilmer County about how that school is doing when we know that our sixth grade finishers from over there will go to the GCHS to finish their educations? 

It is like our students who attend LCES are forgotten about. Someone needs to be watching out for them.

By Who Minds The Store on 09.15.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Superintendent Set Her Goals for School Year'.

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The really sad stories are left out.
The students who accrue debt and for whatever reasons, drop out of school after a year or two.

They have little hope of improving incomes, but still have debt.
More of them than you think.

By More sad ones to be told. on 09.14.2018

From the entry: 'Student-Loan Debts a "Loss of Freedom" for Some in WV'.

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Information made ‘public’ forces accountability.
Do not hold your breath lest you turn blue.

‘They’ want elected. Get their place at the trough.
Then discover ‘exposure’ makes their work more difficult.

Informed citizens make informed decisions.
Why do we see the same names being elected over and over and over?

By WHEN we're allowed to see it......? on 09.14.2018

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: Harrison BOE sets yearly superintendent goals'.

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Lots of work to be done with schools in Gilmer County. 2017-2018 Summative Assessments out today for student achievement.

Gilmer County High School.

For Math
*Exceed or Meet Standards=40% of Students.
*Fail to Meet Standards=60% of Students

For Reading
*Exceed or Meet Standards=36% of Students
*Fail to Meet Standards=64%

The scores speak volumes. What was done to accurately determine causes of failures and what will be done about it? BOE, the public has a right to know answers.

By Public Demands Answers on 09.13.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Superintendent Set Her Goals for School Year'.

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The Founding Fathers screwed up, we should not have to work and pay our bills. Let that man behind the tree work and pay for it all.
Free education should be a right.
Free food should be a right.
Free healthcare should be a right. 
Free transportation should be a right.
Free entertainment should be a right.

By Smart Feller on 09.13.2018

From the entry: 'Student-Loan Debts a "Loss of Freedom" for Some in WV'.

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Thank you BOE members and Mrs. Lowther. Let’s work together at all community levels to make Gilmer County an educational power house in West Virginia. We can do it as an effective team and provision of information will be the key to success.

By Better Times On The Way on 09.12.2018

From the entry: 'Gilmer County Superintendent Set Her Goals for School Year'.

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Accountability - good point - and across Gilmer County.  We’ve seen glimpses and pieces of news WHEN we’re allowed to see it, mere mortals that we are. But never any follow up.  And the information come in bits and pieces (remember when we actually got to SEE what the Gilmer County Commission was up to?)  My question is, why do we never see the accountability or repercussion for actions of current Gilmer ‘elite’??

By Transparency matters on 09.12.2018

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: Harrison BOE sets yearly superintendent goals'.

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Encouraging news that the superintendent will present her goals for Gilmer Schools on 9/10.

We assume that there will be a commitment for specific goals to achieve, measurable outcomes, completion dates for different steps and final goal achievement, and a meaningful monitoring program to determine if we are on track or there is need for mid-course fine tuning.

If any of this is missing there will not be meaningful accountability. Excellent business plans have all the components addressed above.

By Waiting To See on 09.09.2018

From the entry: 'G-ICYMI™: Harrison BOE sets yearly superintendent goals'.

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