School News

School board honors students, approves Step 7 monies and other actions

by Kate Evans

The school board recognized many student award winners at their May 21 meeting including West Virginia Young Writers, Regional Math Field Day, Regional and State Social Studies Fair, Regional and State Science Fair,  Poetry Out Loud, Academic Showdown, WV DAR Award, All-State Band and Athletic Awards.

School board members and  Superintendent Kristen Tuttle were very proud of students’ accomplishments and grateful for the support of parents and family members.

Tuttle said that she was very proud that Warm Springs Middle School, Warm Springs Intermediate School, Paw Paw Schools and Pleasant View Elementary were chosen as Capturing Kids’ Hearts National Showcase Schools.  All four principals were recognized. Morgan County Schools was also recognized as a Capturing Kids’ Hearts National Showcase School District.

School board president Aaron Close praised Superintendent Tuttle for the impact that she’s had in her time as superintendent and for fostering and nurturing love of learning.  Close said they were sad to see her go, but happy for the new opportunities that await her.

“We wish you the very best of luck,” Close said.

Board member Laura Smith noted that board member Pete Gordon’s term is winding down.  Gordon said it’s been his honor to serve.

“My heart will always be here,” Gordon said.


Close reported U.S. News and World listed Berkeley Springs High School as being #18  in West Virginia high schools and #4 in the region.

Board member Justin Litten said he’d enjoyed attending the Berkeley Springs High School prom, a band concert and the FFA banquet.  He planned to go to the Paw Paw High School prom.

Superintendent Tuttle said that the test scores were looking promising. School graduation ceremonies were taking place and the school year was wrapping up.

Step 7 monies

At their May 7 meeting, the Morgan County School Board approved the remainder of the $632,733 of Step 7 plan monies for the 2024-2025 school year. Step 7 funding is used for the improvement of instructional programs.

Some $55,914 will go for technology-safety and security, $35,000 for curricular team leaders, $100,000 for James Rumsey Technical Institute, $62,000 for Morgan County Achieves, $190,000 for textbooks and educational software and $30,375 for school allocations for instructional materials and supplies.  Morgan County Achieves funding supports academic competitions, field trips and staff development.

The school board approved the continued use of Step 7 funding for the employment of personnel at their April 16 meeting. The total amount approved then for the employment of personnel was $159,444.

Some $97,764 of the Step 7 monies will fund a full-time county technology systems specialist position. $61,680 will be spent on a .75 county technology coach. The salary amounts include benefits.

      Policies adopted      

The school board did a second reading and adoption of a number of policies at their May 22  meeting.    Policies were Evaluation of School Leaders, Weapons (1617 and 5772), Required Instruction (rescinded), Required Courses of Instruction, Drug Prevention and Violence Reduction Education Program, Employment of Personnel for Extra-Curricular Activities (3120.08 and 4120.08) and Drug-Free Workplace (3122.01 and 4122.01).

Additional policies were Grievance Procedure (3340 and 4430), Administration of Opioid Antagonists, Facilities Planning, Video Surveillance and Monitoring, Property Inventory, Expected Behavior in Safe and Supportive Schools and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Instruction. (rescinded)

Animal Science courses

The board approved the following courses for the Animal Science Jump Start Program as dual credit courses with Blue Ridge Community and Technical College:

LEC 120 Biology for Technicians, ANS 110 Introduction to Animal Science, ANS 217 Animal Science, ANS 200 Animal Care Principles and ANS 205 Practices of Animal Care.

Math textbooks

The school board adopted the following math textbooks at their May 21 meeting:

Math K-5 I-Ready Classroom Mathematics; Math 6-McGraw Hill West Virginia Reveal Math Course 1; Math 7-McGraw Hill West Virginia Revel Math Course 2;  Math 8-McGraw Hill West Virginia Reveal Course 3; Algebra I-McGraw Hill West Virginia Reveal Math Algebra I;  Geometry-McGraw Hill West Virginia Reveal Math Geometry;   Algebra II-McGraw Hill West Virginia Reveal Math Algebra II; and Trigonometry/Pre/Calculus- Savvas Precalculus: Graphical, Numerical and Algebraic.

Other math textbooks adopted were Applied Statistics-Savvas Stats in Your World; Advanced Mathematical Modeling- Savvas:Thinking Mathematically; Calculus/AP Calculus-Savvas Calculus: Graphical, Numerical Algebraic AP edition; Quantitative Reasoning-Savvas: Thinking Mathematically; Introduction to Mathematical Applications-Savvas: Thinking Mathematically; and Statistics- Bedford, Freeman and Worth Statistics and Probability with Applications.

Textbooks for Transitions Math and Seniors and Financial Algebra were deferred for one year.  The textbook for AP Statistics was not being adopted at this time due to potential curriculum changes.

Food service

The school board also approved the food service bid for the 2024-2025 school year to HPS/Gordon’s Food Service. There were three bids, but HPS/Gordon’s received the highest total points for all of the categories, according to  Child Nutrition Director Angela Beddow.

Public comment

Parent Jamie Smith raised concerns about student safety when her daughter went to state competitions for three days in a place they were told had a lot of crime.  She was concerned that students would be staying in a hotel room by themselves far away from home.

Smith said she could have gone with them as a volunteer for free to help these students.

“Why isn’t student safety more important?” Smith asked.

Board president Aaron Close said after her comments that Smith could’ve traveled down to the state events on her own.  They have policies that dictate student transportation, but no policies concerning adult transportation.