Gilmer County Board of Education Meeting Report - 06.18.12
Gilmer County Board of Education Meeting Report
Monday, June 18, 2012 - 4:30 PM - GCHS Commons Area
I. CALL TO ORDER - The meeting was called to order by President, Misty Pritt - All members (Tom Ratliff, Larry Butcher, Carl Amour, Phyllis Starkey) as well as Superintendent Ron Blankenship were present.
II. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE – Superintendent’s Designee
III. RECOGNITIONS - Superintendent Blankenship recognized the representatives from Lewis County including Lewis County Superintendent Dr. Mace and Mr. Casto, as well as the Troy Elementary School LSIC President Mrs. Jenny Wellings and Principal Mrs. Judy Stalnaker.
IV. BOARD REPORTS – Board Members (Information)
A. RESA VII: (5-17-12 & 6-14-12) President Misty Pritt and Dave Bishop attended the meeting with Superintendent Blankenship absent.
• At the meeting, Gabriel J. Devono, RESA 7 Executive Director stated RESA 7 will offer workshops over the summer.
A list of CPI training dates was provided to Regional Council.
Devono announced the Regional Bullying conference will be held in Morgantown on October 25 & 26, 2012, the location TBA.
Devono noted that employees need to be taken out of the WVEIS system when they leave employment.
• Idress Gooden / Lisa Diehl - WV Affordable Health Care Act
Diehl noted the “Be Better networks” will no longer be providing services to PEIA.
Diehl discussed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
B. CGCC: (05.22.12) Board member Starkey and Superintendent Blankenship as well as Bryan Sterns, the Center Director, Roger Propst, and Jason Hughes from State Department attended the meeting. Member Steve Whited was absent.
• Kris Snyder gave an update on the GED Option Program and expressed her appreciation to the Council for their support.
• Summer Camp Applicants: Gary Simmons, a Gilmer County student, has made application for the Oil & Gas Extraction and Distribution Summer Camp.
• Financial Matters: The list of bills, an additional list of bills, the financial report, budget supplements and transfers, the CGCC Individual School Report for April, and the FY13 proposed budget were presented for approval. Blankenship moved to approve the financial matters as presented; second by Starkey. Motion carried. Vote: Unanimous.
• LEA Plan: Starkey moved to table this item until the next meeting; seconded by Hughes. Motion carried. Vote: Unanimous.
• Natural Resources Extraction & Business Curriculum: Hughes indicated that the title for the program is now Oil and Gas Extraction & Distribution and discussed possible certification requirements for the instructor. Sterns presented survey information for the program. There was also discussion regarding the Business curriculum and moving toward using the ADOBE project based curriculum and omitting accounting from the course.
• Course Codes: Sterns presented updated course codes for review.
• Personnel: Sterns presented a letter of resignation from Wade Christensen, Automotive Instructor effective June 30, 2012. Blankenship moved to accept the resignation; second by Hughes. Motion carried. Vote: Unanimous.
• Sterns presented a posting for the Automotive Instructor position for approval. Blankenship moved to approve the posting; second by Hughes. Motion carried. Vote: Unanimous.
• SBA Change Order: Sterns presented a change order for $142,255 for completion of the current project that was deleted due to lack of funds for approval. Hughes moved to approve the change order; second by Starkey. Motion carried. Vote: Unanimous.
• General Discussion: There was discussion regarding utilization of Step Seven Funds for Curricula for CTE Programs. Sterns will have information on funds needed for updating various curriculums.
• Grimes from the WV Department of Education has requested information as to how the purchase of the land for the Center was funded and who actually holds the deed to the building. Some research will be conducted to get this information.
• Sterns invited council members to take a look at the smoker that Collins class made. Sterns also reported that Parson’s class has constructed a storage building for the Grantsville Volunteer Fire Department and will be constructing a ramp at the Underwood Field in Grantsville.
• The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Calhoun-Gilmer Administrative Council will be held on Tuesday, June 19, 2012, at 11:00 AM at the Calhoun-Gilmer Career Center.
Presentation of the proposed Lewis-Gilmer Elementary School by Williamson-Shriver Architects :
Question was asked by board member Armour as whether Williamson-Shriver Architects were chosen based on a competitive bidding. Blankenship said it was a competitive bid that was done before he became Superintendent. Board members indicated they never had the option to choose. Mr. Shriver said he thought in 2007, they were the only ones to bid on the project. A question was raised by Board President Pritt about the scope of the project; and whether it was it open ended. Pritt asked to see what was included in the contract. Shriver said it is up to the county to decide what they want. It was mentioned that Lewis County board members indicated they could not understand how Gilmer County was getting contractors for Lewis County without their knowledge, especially since Gilmer board members never voted on it.
Ted Shriver attempting to answer questions raised about the site selection and their role
A question was asked of Mr. Shriver as to when Lewis County voted for his contract. He said he did not know, and as far as he knew, he was working for both counties. Blankenship said, in this case, Lewis County did not have to vote. It should be noted that Williamson & Shriver have never worked with Lewis County on any project.
A question was asked from Mr. Shriver as to who they spoke to about working on this project. He could not answer the question. Again, Gilmer board members, except Tom Ratliff, noted that none of them were ever contacted.
Questions were many, and unfortunately the answers were very few
The next question was regarding a cap for architectural fees from Williamson & Shriver. Mr. Shriver said there was not a cap and added that SBA said they would pay 50% of fees up to $20,000, however, the above deal does not cover the inner county school as the SBA would pay all of it. Board members wanted to know if there was a contract showing the SBA would indeed pay for all of it. Shriver did not answer.
Proposed Lewis-Gilmer Elementary School on Gilmer-Lewis County line
on U.S. Highway 33/119 in Linn, WV Area
After the discussion, Mr. Shriver explained the project. The inner-county school will be built on 28 acres, designed for 240 students, two classrooms per grade level, commons area, media center, physical education room, and parking space. The project is projected to start in early Spring of 2013 or possibly the Fall of 2012. He said there is a deadline of February 01, 2013 to have the site prepped.
A question was asked about whether the SABA would pay for site prep. Shriver said the fees are within the SBA formula.
Proposed School plan
Board President Pritt asked for more information for parents as well as a public forum so people could ask questions. She said the taxpayers deserve to know how their money is spent. Blankenship said that may be possible later on in the project.
V. CONSENT AGENDA
A. Minutes – May 21, 2012 was approved.
• Ella Jane Smith, retirement, effective 06.08.2012
• Assistant Varsity Football Coach
• Strength and Conditioning Coach
• Itinerant PE Teacher NES/TES
• TIS, Elementary Schools
• ESL Teacher
• Title I Reading Teacher, Normantown
• Elementary Teacher, 2nd Grade, Normantown
• Elementary Teacher, 4th Grade, Troy
• Math Teacher, GCHS
• TIS, GCHS
• Cook, Energy Express, Glenville Elementary
• Custodian, Energy Express, Glenville Elementary
• Substitute Bus Operator
• Substitute Custodian
• Substitute Cook
• Nicholas Cox - Agriculture Education Teacher, GCHS
• Crystal Smith - Special Education Teacher, GCHS
• Vada Woodford - Title I Reading Teacher
• Judith Stalnaker - Principal, Troy Elementary
• Amy Riddle - Itinerant Physical Education Teacher, NES/TES
• Brittany Conrad - Mathematics Teacher, GCHS
• Colin Sprouse - Elementary Teacher, 2nd Grade, Normantown
• Bobbi Bell - Elementary Teacher, 4th Grade, Troy
• Tony Minney - Technology Integration Specialist, GCHS
• LuAnn Drake - Cook II-GCHS 2012-2013
• Ricky Roberts - Custodian, Energy Express, Glenville Elementary
• Bobbi Ginanni - Cook, Energy Express, Glenville Elementary
• Brittany Conrad & Hannah Gearhart - Varsity Cheerleading Coach, GCHS
• Jodi Reinhardt - Head Mini Titan Girls Volleyball Coach, GCHS
• Wendell Tomblin - Assistant Varsity Girls Basketball Coach, GCHS
• Jodi Reinhardt - Mini Titan Boys Track Coach, GCHS
• Jodi Reinhardt - Mini Titan Girls Track Coach, GCHS
• Wendell Tomblin - Head Varsity Softball Coach, GCHS
• Rick Sprouse - Assistant Varsity Volleyball Coach, GCHS
• Tim Farmer - Head Mini Titan Boys Basketball Coach, GCHS
• Tim Farmer - Assistant Varsity Girls Softball Coach, GCHS
• Willard Wright - Head Mini Titan Girls Basketball, GCHS
• Jason Cunningham - Strength and Conditioning Coach
• Chad Drennen - Golf Coach
• Question was asked by board member Starkey as why Superintendent Blankenship hired a Strength and Conditioning Coach at GCHS before hiring a 5th grade teacher for Troy or Normantown schools. After some thought superintendent responded by saying he did that because the Athletic Director asked for one. Then Starkey responded by saying haven’t the principals, teachers and parents of these schools asked for a 5th grade teacher at each school for a long time? No response from the superintendent.
C. Budget Supplements & Transfers:
• Budget Supplements May 2012 = $ 40,562.68
• Budget Transfers May 2012 = $175,923.02
• Worker’s Compensation Insurance Coverage July 01, 2012 - June 30, 2013
The Hartford = $ 49,977.00
D. Accounts Payable:
• 05.14.12 State Approved $ 76,632.53
• 05.25.12 State Approved $ 76,207.00
Question was asked about some of bills that have been paid which the local board DOES HAVE control over. According to the State Deputy Superintendent Mr. Heinline, the local board has control over attendance and travels. When asked why the local board was not notified of the expenses and bills that the board needs to approve, Superintendent Blankenship had no answer.
E. Mowing Contract:
The following bid presented by Blankenship as approved by him and the state. Question was asked as whether there was any other bid and Blankenship said “NO”. Then question was asked why the mowing expense was so high at Sand Fork Elementary and the Superintendent did not have an answer.
F. Policies for Approval:
The Gilmer County Schools Internet Safety Policy was approved according to Superintendent Blankenship.
GFP Note: On the second page of the policy indicates: “This Internet Safety Policy was adopted by the Board at a public meeting, following normal public notice on June 18, 2012.” However, there was not any voting by the board for approval.
VI. SUPERINTENDENT REPORTS – Mr. Blankenship
A. Update on Lewis/Gilmer Inter County Elementary School
• Superintendent explained there have been two meeting between Troy and Alum Bridge schools to discuss the facilities and needs and more is scheduled. He also indicated a group of members met in Lewis County and took a bus trip to Lumberport Elementary in Harrison County, Skyview Elementary in Morgantown, and West Taylor Elementary in Flemington to observe their facilities and to get better ideas of needs.
• Norma Hurley from Normantown spoke at the Meeting:
The CEFP committee originally appointed September/October 2008 and as such reported to the SBA 2011 a late facilities plan for the period 2010-2020. As documented, September 06, 2011 Mr. Mace of Lewis County notified Joreah Marple by letter of the Lewis County decision to pursue a Gilmer Lewis School. On September 28, citizens of Gilmer County were given a public hearing for a plan which included an inter-county possibility but did not indicate it would be located in Lewis County and under Lewis County supervision. Gilmer County is expected to provide more than half the students, pay for half of the land, use our SBA/CEFP funding for engineering and architectural planning and find funding to run the waterline and supply the water.
The median income of Gilmer County is reported at poverty level. If Legislated and self approved upper management salaries were taken from reported numbers the true financial condition of the majority of our population would be shocking. Our population has dropped consistently. Yet, with your approval of current facilities planning recommendations for our educational system it seems you hurt those most in need.
Sir, the CEFP Committee was appointed before you came but the decision to let two members remain and vote on site selection of properties which entitled them to financial gain if approved by the SBA was yours alone. You attended and supervised those meetings and the secret ballot vote which violated Sunshine laws going well beyond legal and ethical procedural requirements as this decision was used to request State grant monies funded with federal dollars.
Based on your own selection of the second choice Arbuckle trust land, in an effort to meet transportation requirements for students residing in our most rural and outlying areas, 5 year olds would be required to ride a stop and start bus scheduled for a distance of 33 miles. Parents would have to bear additional cost as they are required to transport their children to main highway bus stops from not only back road holler locations but also from paved secondary roads. They will have to find a way to not only get their kids to a bus stop during regular hours but also stay with them if schools open late or pick them up if schools close early due to inclement weather. Many have a work schedule. You just can’t drop elementary school children off at the side of a road and leave. As you bring in contractual busing companies the cost of insurance and maintenance will sky rocket the price for this service which is to be paid with taxpayer dollars. Yet we have no say through our elected board as to this discretionary spending. What we have is taxation without representation.
Based on your decision to locate a consolidated school on the Arbuckle Trust property, it has been reported that 80 acres of land would be removed from the tax rolls and placed in a tax exempt status. Only 5 acres is required per State Board of Ed requirements for an elementary school site. 20 acres were enough for the inter-county school you gave to Lewis County. Funding is not even in place but the public check book is expected to absorb the cost of your vision, not ours, because the officials elected to make such a decision have no power and we are told you are pursuing the purchase of that property.
You say this location was chosen based on land need for future projections creating a middle and high school. Sir, population is trending negatively. We are only going to be funded for one school if that at this time. If those need materialize more funding will have to be found and a decision made as to location at that time. We have plenty of land with utilities already in place and such improvements would be many years down the road. We will have to close four schools to achieve this one. The top of a hill after a curve is not a good place to stop school buses full of children. You must realize that the Auction barn site will have to be purchased to provide enough road frontage for entry. When double trailer log trucks come up those hills from either side they have the gas pedal to the floor and surge as they crest, what will we do when a bus full of children is rear ended or cut in half? It will be too late to move the school.
In conclusion, I ask that you revisit and modify the CEFP for the good of Gilmer County children and their families. Modify it to place the one choice you have given us (one school) in the best interest those who need not those who want. Please choose the Lettergap site which was the original state preferred site selected and better serve the citizens of center district if you cannot bring it closer to Normantown/Rosedale. It would be the right thing to do.
• Board Member Starkey Spoke as a Delegation:
Board member Starkey spoke as a delegation. She made several comments. She told Dr. Mace, Lewis County Superintendent, that they have not done anything wrong. She noted that the inner-county school is a state plan and both boards were asked after the fact. Neither the Gilmer County CEFP committee nor board of education ever discussed a regional school before the takeover of Gilmer County Schools.
Starkey indicated since Gilmer is supplying most of the students, the school should be placed under Gilmer control. Also, she referred to Dr. Armour’s exit plan and suggested that it should be used. The state does not have any criteria for takeovers, nor does it have a plan for exiting. Currently, the Gilmer board has no clue what to do or the power to exit the takeover. She noted that the Gilmer board of Education was not presented with a CEFP plan for six years. She indicated a flaw in the method of the state takeover of Gilmer County schools. She said the problems were not explained and the school system never had the chance to correct them. Starkey said the board was presented with an OEPA on Friday before the Monday’s board meeting. The state took over on Tuesday. The board never was given a chance nor time to address the issues including the lab problem on the second floor of the Glenville Elementary School. (Glenville Elementary does not have a second floor!)
At that point Gilmer County schools had a one-million dollar surplus, while other schools were in the negative. She asked the governor for the fair treatment of all counties for his model, and what he would do since the State Board of Education is dysfunctional.
At that point, board member Ratliff said that they had met with the Lewis County Board of Education in Burnsville at the 79er restaurant before the takeover. He could not understand why everyone is complaining now.
A very concerned president Pritt said we should keep in mind that the scope today is different than the scope we had when we were talking to Lewis county. Although no decisions were made for any inner-county school, at that time the plan was to have an Alum Bridge/Troy school, a school between Sand Fork and Glenville, and another school between Glenville and Normantown to meet the needs of the entire county. Having an inner-county school and only one elementary school in Glenville forcing students to travel great distances, was never discussed. Again she praised Dr. Armour for his exit plan, and recommended that the state should use it.
VIII. FUTURE MEETINGS:
The next meeting is scheduled for Monday, July 02, 2012 at 4:30 PM in the Media Center of the Gilmer County High School.
Finally, the Board thanked Mr. Larry Butcher for his many service to Gilmer County students and schools. (Mr. Butcher finished Mr. Alton Skinner’s term)
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