Brooke schools has new website, app

WELLSBURG — Whether at home or on the go, parents of Brooke County youth and other community members can learn more about the county’s school district through its new website at brooke.k12.wv.us.

Superintendent Jeffrey Crook also has announced parents and guardians also will be able to receive notification of cancellations and delays and other school announcements through a new app, Remind.

To add the app to one’s computer or mobile device, text 81010 @bcsbruins or visit www.remind.com/join and enter the code at the bcsbruins link.

On Tuesday the Brooke County school board approved a $7,080 contract with SchoolBlocks of Carbondale, Colo., for the establishment and hosting of the new website.

Stephanie Zimmer, the school district’s technology director, said the new site is more user-friendly, particularly for those with mobile devices, and the school district will save about $4,000 from the previous vendor’s contract, which included services the district didn’t use.

Plans call for each school to have a page, with a calendar of events.

Currently it includes calendars of upcoming athletic events at the high school and middle school, bus routes, school breakfast and lunch menus, the handbook for student conduct, a link to the school district’s online gradebook system and other features.

In related business, the board renewed a $5,300 contact with the Educational Funding Group to assist the board in securing affordable Internet access and federal funds awarded to offset Internet costs for schools and libraries.

A request for a new vehicle for Steve Mitchell’s the county’s new maintenance director, was denied following a 3-2 vote.

Board President Ted Pauls and board member Antoinette Perkins supported the proposed $32,528 purchase of a 2020 four-wheel drive truck with an extended cab while board members Stacy Hooper, its vice president; Chris Byers and E. Robert Marks voted against it.

Ron Staffileno, the district’s transportation director, said the vehicle would have been used by Mitchell to transport tools to the district’s facilities and to aid him in checking local roads for possible delays or cancellations.

Staffileno said it could be equipped with a snow plow to supplement the work of another vehicle used by the district. He added the purchase is in his budget and would be in keeping with the district’s policy of replacing vehicles as they become 10 years old.

Following the vote, Crook said another county vehicle will be available to Mitchell.

Hooper said the board should be made aware of how each of the district’s vehicles are being used as it works to become financially sound.

Earlier this year the school district was placed on the state Department of Education’s financial watch list because its unencumbered balance for the upcoming fiscal year wasn’t at the recommended 5 percent of its budget.

Crook, who was hired by the board in February, said the drop in carryover could be attributed largely to a drop in enrollment by about 105 students from the previous year, resulting in less state funding; and a $1.5 million expense for the auxiliary gym at the county’s new middle school.

He said the gym, which was not covered by state and bond issue funds secured for the $30 million project, was needed to accommodate all of the school’s physical education classes and sports programs.

But Crook said since his hiring, he’s initiated ongoing measures to ensure the district is financially sound.

“We’ve had to tighten our belts. I’m hoping we can be off the list by next year,” he said.


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