by Kate Evans
The Morgan County School Board recognized Berkeley Springs High School math teacher Kim Hamrick for receiving her National Board Certification in math, adolescence and young adulthood.
School Superintendent Kristen Tuttle said that achieving the National Board Certification required a lot of effort outside of the classroom and
meeting rigorous standards. Hamrick worked with a Berkeley County cohort and also Pleasant View Elementary teacher Summer McClintock who achieved her National Board Certification in 2018.
Hamrick said that the certification had four components, which included lesson planning, data gathering and analysis and videotaping classroom lessons. The last component was a three-and-a- half hour test that was multiple choice and had four big problems. The certification can be done in 1-3 years, but she did it in a year.
“Everyone was completely supportive,” Hamrick said.
The certification is good for five years and renewal is much easier, Hamrick said.
Board members commended Hamrick for pursuing her National Board Certification and hoped to encourage more teachers to earn it.
Tuttle said that Morgan County is considered number one in school attendance in the state. Human Resources Director Russell Penner, former Attendance Director, noted that Morgan County had been first in school attendance for four out of the past five years.
The school board did a first reading of a number of policies at their December 19 meeting. The policies were Asbestos in Schools (8431), Termination of Administrative Contracts (1540), Reduction of Force-Classroom Teachers and Other Professional Personnel (3131), Reduction in Classroom Teaching Positions in Elementary Schools (3131.01), Preferred Call List (3131.02) and Vacancies-Professional Positions. (3132).
Policy 3220.01-Evaluation of Coaches/Assistant Coaches-and Policy 3126-Beginning Educator Internship-were scheduled to be deleted. Tuttle said that the early release policies were related to House Bill 206 and were state-driven.
These policies will be out for public comment for 30 days from the meeting and will be posted online at the Morgan County Schools website.
The board did a second reading and adoption of the following policies: Change Fund (6621), Recognition (6680), School Support Organizations (9211), Bullying (5517.01) and Exclusion from Classroom or School Bus Suspension and Expulsion of Students. (5610)
Tuttle said that most of the policies had very small changes. The Reduction in Force for Elementary Teachers policy was being taken to the strategic planning committee for discussion. They now have to consider evaluations and nine hiring factors in those decisions. The policy has to be in place by May 1 and will be brought before the board at a meeting soon.
Michael Misiti, a certified public accountant from Fyffe Jones Group, A.C., reported to the school board on their financial review progress for the Fiscal Year 2018-2019. The report will go to the federal government and the state auditor and would be available by the end of January. Their firm was looking at Title 1 this year. Everyone in the school system had been very helpful with the review and things looked in really good shape, Misiti said.
School board vice-president Pete Gordon said that he attended the Pleasant View Elementary science fair and judged fourth grade physics. He looks for what students have learned and how they do on their oral presentation. Three student projects Gordon judged dealt with the use of alternative energy to replace fossil fuels. He said the fair was a great experience.
Tuttle said that several schools had held academic fairs. The looks on kids’ faces on what they’ve learned show the fairs have stepped up a notch. School board president Aaron Close said that students have received help with their fair projects at after-school tutoring and also at the Boys and Girls Club.
Board member John Rowland spoke of the recovery of south Morgan County teen Nolan Heironimus as it neared the anniversary of him being struck by a car. Rowland said that the schools and community rallied around Heironimus and expressed pride in how the system had helped Nolan with his healing.
The Morgan County School Board will meet in regular meetings at the different community schools for their local school improvement council (LSIC) meetings from January through mid-March. All meetings will begin at 6:00 p.m.
LSIC meeting dates are Warm Springs Intermediate School-January 7; Warm Springs Middle School-January 21; Paw Paw Schools-February 4; Berkeley Springs High School-February 18; Widmyer Elementary-March 3; and Pleasant View Elementary-March 17.