School News

School board gets clean audit, okays child nutrition bids, pre-K agreements

by Kate Evans

Michael S. Misiti, certified public accountant (CPA) and partner of The Fyffe Jones Group, AC, reported on the Morgan County School Board’s 2023 Financial Statement and Single Audit Summary at the board’s June 18 meeting.

Misiti said their firm gave the school board a clean audit (an unmodified opinion) on their financial statement and a clean audit on their single audit, which was compliance for federal programs.

The county’s Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSERF) was chosen as the federal program to test.  There were no findings noted for this program during 2023.

There were also no deficiencies or weaknesses noted in the board’s internal control report in accordance with government auditing standards and no management letter comments, he said.

New accounting standards were adopted, Misiti noted.  Subscription-based IT arrangements (SBITAs) are now treated as leases.  This includes E-textbooks and other learning tools that have subscriptions.

The timeline for The Fyffe Jones Group’s audit began in November with reports occurring in March, Misiti said.

Child nutrition bids

The school board approved bids for milk and dairy products for the 2024-2025 child nutrition program to Potomac Farms Dairy.  They also approved the bid for produce for the 2024-2025 child nutrition program to Kilmer’s Farm Market.

Pre-K agreements, contract

The Morgan County School Board approved the collaborative agreement at Widmyer Elementary with Little Learners Village for fiscal year 2024-2025.

The board also approved the agreement with Little Learners Village to provide meals for pre-K students for fiscal year 2024-2025.

The school board approved the collaborative agreement with Little Learners Oakland for fiscal year 2024-2025.

The board also approved the pre-kindergarten collaborative contract with Head Start/EPIC Approve collaborative agreement with Little Learners Village Oakland for fiscal year 2024-2025.

The school board adopted the 2024-2025 pre-kindergarten collaborative calendar and the pre-kindergarten goals for the 2024-2025 school year.


Assistant Superintendent Jeromy Duelley gave an update on 2023-2024 student attendance at the meeting. Morgan County’s end of the year chronic absenteeism rate was 22.37, down from 28% from last year.  Duelley said they didn’t make their goal of 20%, but  nearly reached it.

Duelley was pleased that schools had done much better with their fourth quarter attendance numbers compared to last year.

Berkeley Springs High School went from 34.3% to 25.9%, Warm Springs Middle School 37.2% to 18%, Warm Springs Intermediate School 25.8% to 19.9%, Paw Paw High School 32.9% to 16.3%, Pleasant View Elementary 26% to 13.3%, Widmyer Elementary 37.4% to 27.9% and Morgan County Schools 33.1% to 22.4%.

Some 71 county students had  perfect attendance  for the full year,  848 had outstanding attendance (0.5 to 9.0 absences) and 652 students had faithful attendance (9.5 to 18 absences), Duelley said.

Schools continue to contact parents with three-day absence phone calls, five-day letters, do parent meetings and hold Student Assistance Team (SAT) meetings that include attendance.

Next year’s goal is getting the chronic absenteeism rate down to 15%, Duelley said. Schools will have attendance teams next year and more attendance recognitions.

School board business

The Morgan County School Board approved registration for board president Aaron Close to attend the July 19 and July 20 West Virginia School Board Association President’s Retreat at Glade Springs Resort and Conference Center in Daniels, West Virginia.

Close said that if he was reelected as school board president at their Monday, July 1 meeting, he would attend the President’s Retreat.  If he wasn’t, whoever was elected board president would attend.

The regular July 1 meeting is the school board’s organizational meeting where the president and vice-president are elected.  School board members also decide the school committees and community organizations on which they are willing to serve.  The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. at the school board office.

Oaths of office will be administered at 5:30 p.m. to reelected school board member John Rowland, newly elected board member Chuck Bergen and new Morgan County Schools Superintendent David Banks.

Budget revisions, payments

The school board authorized the superintendent to approve Fiscal Year 2024 budget revisions posted in WVEIS after the June 18 meeting.  Copies of the budget revisions will be provided to the board in Fiscal Year 2025.

The board also authorized the superintendent to approve the payment of bills through July 31.  The schedule of checks written will be provided to the board at a future meeting.


The school board conducted a first reading of the following policies: Policy 0147 Compensation-West Virginia State Code change, Policy 2230.06 Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Instruction and Policy 8451 Pediculosis (Head lice).  These policies will be posted on the county schools website for public comment for 30 days.


The school board approved the bus routes for the 2024-2025 school year. The routes will be published in The Morgan Messenger in early August.

The board approved the 2024-2025 Professional Personnel Staff Development Handbook.

The school board met again in executive session to discuss School Superintendent Kristen Tuttle’s superintendent evaluation.

School Treasurer Ann Bell and staff won a coveted state award for her budget, said Tuttle.

Close and Tuttle wished departing school board member Pete Gordon all the best and were grateful for his service.  Tuttle said she deeply appreciated all of Gordon’s support for the board and students.

It was Elementary Education Director Kandy Pentoney’s last board meeting before her retirement and Tuttle’s, too.

“We wish you ladies all the best,” Close said.