Multiple proposals were discussed during the Wood County Schools Board of Education meeting

New staggered open house schedule announced by Superintendent Christie Willis
WTAP News @ 11
Published: Jul. 19, 2022 at 9:49 PM EDT
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - Tuesday night’s Wood County Board of Education meeting covered multiple topics of discussion, including multiple proposals, an update to the open house schedule, and the appointment of a new Director of Elementary Education.

First, Tammy McKnight, the Director of Federal Programs, presented the definitions of targeted assistance and school-wide designations of Title One schools.

According to McKnight, Title One provides supplemental funds to school districts to assist schools with the highest student concentrations of poverty to meet school educational goals.

Nine schools in Wood County are school-wide Title One schools: Emerson, Fairplains, Franklin, Jefferson, Kanawha, Martin, Madison, Neale, and VanDevender. These schools provide services through title one funding for all students.

McKnight proposed three schools become targeted assistance schools: Blennerhassett Elementary, Gihon Elementary, and Mineral Wells Elementary. She explained the difference between school-wide and targeted assistance.

“The huge difference is targeted assistance programs provide supplemental instruction only to specific students,” McKnight said. “Those students who are at high risk of not meeting state standards...high risk of failing, and what happens is we catch that learning gap early, and we’re able to keep that learning gap closed as much as possible.”

McKnight said her department is looking into finding a way to identify students who need extra assistance. Students will not be evaluated based on income.

In the second proposal of the night, John Merritt, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources, and Stephanie Cunningham, Administrative Assistant/Teacher Certification, proposed a new policy to recruit special education teachers graduating from college to receive a sign-on bonus upon hiring. The proposal came about after seeing a recent shortage in special education teachers. Wood County Schools has 14 openings currently.

During her Superintendent update, Christie Willis announced a new staggering time for Wood County Schools’ open house this year. On August 16th, from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., an open house will be held for the elementary schools. On that same night, from 4:45 p.m. to 6:45 p.m., there will be an open house for both the middle and high schools.

Finally, the Wood County Board of Education approved Blennerhassett Elementary School Principal Justin Hartshorn as the new Wood County Schools Director of Elementary Education. Hartshorn has been the principal of Blennerhassett Elementary for eight years. The new appointment begins Wednesday, July 20th.

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