2013-14 school calendar OK’d

WEIRTON – The Brooke County Board of Education approved the calendar for the 2013-14 school year and heard about efforts to resurface its office building at a meeting held Monday at Lauretta B. Millsop Primary School.

The calendar sets Aug. 19 as the first day for most students. Children in preschool and kindergarten will start at a later date to be announced. May 29 will be the last day of school unless the calendar must be extended to make up for cancelations.

Marty Bartz, assistant superintendent, said there are several days during the school year, including a tentative six-day break around Easter, that may be converted to school days to make up for cancelations.

Such days were used this year, and as a result, the current school year was extended by one day – June 1 – and will include the 180 instructional days required by the state.

The calendar also includes a five-day break during Thanksgiving week. Bartz said that break is the key difference between it and another calendar put to a vote by a committee comprised of teachers, service personnel, principals and board officials.

He said closing school throughout Thanksgiving week has saved the school district about $14,000 in costs for substitutes because many staff members, in addition to a number of high school students, take the week off to go hunting.

Bartz acknowledged recent state legislation will allow local school boards more flexibility in setting their calendars but said that won’t go into effect until next year.

Rob Robinson, facilities supervisor, said crews with Unique Walls and Ceilings have almost finished the front of the school board office at Pleasant Avenue and state Route 2.

The Wellsburg business was hired in October to repair and resurface the building’s stucco-like facade, addressing corners where it had come apart from the original brick exterior and an area where rain was seeping between the two, at a cost of $125,650.

Robinson said the facade last underwent repairs in 1998 and a newer, more durable material will be applied this time.

While the work has been done with a bucket truck, the crews will need ladders and scaffolding to work in the narrow area between the building and the fence separating the lot from state Route 2, he noted.

Plans call for the project to be completed in two weeks, pending suitable weather.

The board also authorized $56,935 in repairs by Otis Elevator to the elevator at Follansbee Middle School. Robinson said the control panel and much of the elevator will be upgraded because older replacement parts for it could no longer be found.

“The only thing that won’t be new is the car itself,” he said.

Robinson said in addition to handicapped students and staff, the elevator is used at times to transport furniture and materials.

The board also authorized Robinson to seek bids for new front doors for Brooke High School. Plans call for the doors to be replaced with ones with shatter-proof panes and the awnings above to be replaced with canvas overhangs.

The board also:

Recognized Angie Smith as winner of the Future Educators of America’s Leadership Award at the organization’s international conference in Orlando, Fla. Diane Lucero, her childhood education teacher, noted Smith received the honor for the many hours she put in helping students with special needs.

Smith is the third student of Lucero to win an award at the international conference.

Recognized high school students who won the West Virginia Social Studies Fair and History Day competition.

Placing first in the economics group division were Cassidy Bland, Jackson Carey, Justin Taflan, Ryan Mezan and Seth Miller. Shelby Wade and Jackson Boyce placed first as individual competitors in economics and political science, respectively, while Brice Hickey placed second in world history and Kylie Greathouse received an honorable mention for local studies.

The students were advised by Brooke High School social studies teacher Greg Rothwell, who guided students who won last year’s competition also.

Was entertained by children from Millsop Primary School, who sang a song listing all 50 states and performed sign language to “God Bless America.”

The board also heard reports from Millsop’s school improvement council and the councils of Follansbee and Wellsburg middle schools.

Approved the hirings of Charles McCoy as a science teacher at the high school; Keri Milbrecht as a sixth-grade math teacher at Follansbee Middle; Tom Faessel as a special education teacher at the high school; Matt Hensler as a fifth-grade teacher at Follansbee Middle; Gerald Royal, Charles C. Taylor and Jeff Blundon as assistant football coaches at the high school; Meredith Hood as assistant girls soccer coach at the high school.

The board also accepted the retirements of Teri Barkley, a math teacher at the high school; and James Sampson, a bus driver.