Randolph BOE approves calendar

ELKINS — Randolph County Board of Education members approved the 2017-18 school calendar during their regular meeting this week, selecting the draft that received the most votes by school employees.

The calendar based on Draft 2 will have students begin class Aug. 16, and the last day for students will be June 1, 2018. Five days will be built in to account for possible snow days before spring break, and the first semester will end before the Christmas break.

Draft 2 received 373 votes from employees, while Draft 1, which had later beginning and ending dates, received 132 votes.

Four calendar options were drafted initially, and they were narrowed down to two options.

BOE President Donna Auvil thanked everyone who worked on presenting the calendars and tallying the votes, noting she understood it was a time-consuming process.

Pam Hewitt, superintendent of Randolph County Schools, said the next step will be receiving the graduation dates for 2018, and then the calendar process will be finalized.

During Wednesday’s regular meeting, Hewitt also discussed the next step in the personnel process, as the county board accepted a number of recommendations for staff transfers/reductions in force Tuesday because of budget constraints.

She said every position change and contract change will be reviewed in coming weeks as Brad Smith, director of finance for Randolph County Schools, finalizes exactly what the personnel changes will mean for the county’s overall budget, which is due to be approved before the end of May.

Board members on Wednesday decided to table an item that would have abolished two positions at Tygarts Valley High School. They were not included in the personnel transfer/reductions process because the staff members who currently hold the positions are retiring. The teaching positions are for basic skills/reading and math, as well as consumer science, formerly known as home economics.

“There’s no doubt these positions would be valuable to Tygarts Valley. … It just comes down to what we can afford to keep,” Hewitt said.

Board member Amanda Smith said she was in favor of trying to keep at least one of the positions, if possible, especially because the board decided to keep a similar position at Elkins Middle School.

“If I keep a position at EMS for EMS students’ skills, and I cut that same position at TVHS, I wouldn’t feel like I could sleep at night,” Smith said, noting she has heard from parents who have seen a large, positive impact because of the classes.

Hewitt said the budget can be worked up with and without those positions, so the board will be able to see if there is enough funding to keep one or both of the slots.

The next regular Randolph County Board of Education meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. May 2 at the school board office in Elkins.