Hearings on school closings set

The Barbour County Board of Education held its last regular session Monday before it will begin its series of public hearings at the two schools it has proposed closing.

The board issued a reminder of the dates and times of the hearings: at 6 p.m. Sept. 16, a special session will be held at Volga-Century Elementary School; and at 6 p.m. Sept. 18, a special session will be held at Mount Vernon Elementary School. In the event of inclement weather or other factors beyond the control of the school board, each hearing will be held on the following day.

The public hearing regarding the consolidation of students with Philippi Elementary School is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Sept. 24 and, if needed, Sept. 25 at the school.

After all testimony and questions to school officials, the board will vote on the proposed action Sept. 30. If needed, the meeting may also be continued to Oct. 1.

At Monday’s meeting, the board voted unanimously to pass all 27 of Superintendent D.r Joseph Super’s recommendations. The vote count was 4-0 due to the absence of board president Robert Wilkins.

– Included in the approved recommendations was a request by Alderson-Broaddus University Athletic Director J.D. Long, who asked for permission to use the parking at the Philippi elementary and middle schools for AB football games.

– Also, the BOE voted to form a relationship with the West Virginia Family Nutrition Program to provide nutrition and physical activity programs for low-income families.

– The board voted, in compliance with Attendance Policy 8200, to approve requests for in-county out-of-zone attendance and out-of-county attendance for the 2013-2014 school year.

– Issues of finance included the payment of utility bills, federal withholdings from payroll, and the approval of fundraising media operations at the Belington Elementary School and the Kasson Elementary and Middle School. Fundraising by the Belington Middle School band and the Philip Barbour High School baseball team was also approved.

– School trips were also approved. Bands and Future Farmers of America from multiple county schools were approved for trips to the Barbour County Fairgrounds. The board also voted in favor of two chaperones for Philip Barbour High School’s FFA program.

– Building and ground modifications were approved by the board. Belington Elementary will get a new whiteboard, a concrete pad on the playground, and an old basketball pole will be removed. Two walls will be painted at Philip Barbour High School, while Philippi Middle School will convert classroom space into office space. Four to five maple trees will be planted in the playground area.