Board hears LSIC reports

ELKINS- Randolph County Board of Education members had the opportunity to hear from Local School Improvement Council representatives from five schools Wednesday evening.

Rebecca Whiteman, principal at Jennings Randolph Elementary Schools, said the school’s newest endeavor is the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Grant.

“We love it,” Whiteman said. “We are getting a great positive feedback from the parents on this initiative.”

Whiteman said every week students receive a new fresh fruit and vegetable.

“We have had prickly pear cactus, sugar snap peas, pomegranates and grapples,” Whiteman said. “But our most memorable event was this week. We were delivered 60 pounds of real coconuts from the Dominican Republic. I had never cracked a coconut before, so that was fun for everybody.”

Whiteman said the program is helping the students by encouraging them to try new things.

“We partnered with Wal-Mart to make a pumpkin patch at our school,” Whiteman said. “We had 300 pumpkins that we brought to the school and created a pumpkin patch. It was fun because every student received a pumpkin of their own.”

Whiteman said each month the Jennings Randolph PTO sponsors an after-school activity.

“Parents help run the activities, where there are eight stations,” Whiteman said. “The kids love it and it has helped increase our parent involvement.”

Whiteman said JRES has been designated a transition school by the state and the students need to work on writing skills.

Cindy Bodkin, principal at North Elementary School, invited board members to take a field trip through her school by means of her slideshow presentation.

“Our school is designated as a support school, but there is more there,” Bodkin said. “Our students are involved and engaged in learning activities.”

Bodkin said every year on the second day of school, the fifth-grade students attend a workshop about being organized.

“We supply the students with everything they need,” Bodkin said. “The teachers give them what they need and help them get organized.”

Bodkin said one of the most requested parent workshops at North Elementary School is the math night.

“We help the parents learn how to help their student with math,” Bodkin said. “The students do a math walk, similar to a cake walk, and win fun math games they can take home to help them with their math skills. Every kid at the math walk receives something to take home that will help them with math.”

Bodkin said 80 percent of the students eat breakfast. Students at North Elementary School all are eligible for the Community Eligibility Option and breakfast and lunch is available to all students at no charge. Following breakfast, students walk or read.

Bodkin told the BOE the school would like to have new bathrooms and security lighting.

Tammie Daniels, principal at Harman School, showed photos of her school, featuring items purchased through levy funding.

“We have new furniture in many of our classrooms and have added white boards in most rooms,” Daniels said.

Daniels showed a slideshow presentation of students participating in many activities from pre-school through 12th grade.

“This year, our senior projects have been more service-based,” Daniels said. “We have had the Cancer Center, the Humane Society, local food banks and Mountain Hospice as recipients of fundraisers organized by our seniors.”

Daniels said renovations are needed for the school’s gymnasium.

“We are planning to buy padding for the front of the gym,” Daniels said. “We are planning to redo the floors and remove the bars from the windows. We have set aside money to improve the bathrooms. Our LSIC is planning work days.”

Debra Schmidlen, principal at Third Ward Elementary School, said the renovations at the school have made a positive difference.

A video of Third Ward Elementary showcased the students and activities held during the year. Part of the video showcased Katie Bolgar and Bella Chamberlain, former students at the school who passed away as a result of injuries sustained in a house fire Oct. 28.

“We are a transition school, which is good, but not good enough,” Schmidlen said. “Areas of concern are math and we want to focus on writing this year.”

Amy Rowan Smith, principal at Coalton Elementary School, also offered a video presentation featuring students at the school.

Rowan Smith said items on a wish list for this year at Coalton Elementary include upgrades to the bathrooms, upgrades to the heating, ventilation and air conditioning, adding exterior lighting and rekeying the classroom doors.

Randolph County Superintendent of Schools Terry George was asked to get a quote on the door locks on classroom doors at Coalton Elementary by BOE member Harvey Taylor.

Rowan Smith reminded that board that a craft sale will be offered at the school from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday.

The Randolph County Board of Education will meet at 6 p.m. Monday for their regular meeting. Another LSIC meeting is slated for 6 p.m. Nov. 21 at Tygarts Valley High School.