BY KRISTEN KELLER
Personnel matters dominated Monday evening's Tyler County Board of Education meeting. Duane Dober, director of Student Services, Personnel, and Pre-school, presented recommendations to members of the board concerning reduction in school staffing.
"The needs for reduction in personnel compels us to make recommendations that are not easy to identify or pleasing to any of us," began Dober.
Figures from the Office of School Finance (WV Dept. of Education) show Tyler County Schools are currently funding positions within the school system in excess of the school aide formula.
"Administrators and board members must act responsibly to provide the best educational program possible despite dramatic budget reductions," said Dober.
Reductions in available funds have been made from state's grants, federal rural/low incomes schools funds, federal special education funds, federal funding Title I, and the State Aide formula.
Nine professional positions and two-and-a-half service personnel positions will be eliminated as a result of funding cuts and/or lack of need for the position.
Four professional positions will be vacated by retirees Pam Delauder, Judy Grace, Paula Keplinger, and Warren Stewart. Two federally funded positions will be eliminated; seven state aide funded positions will be eliminated. This will render a savings of $428,409 from the budget.
Six professionals on RIF/recall notice: Rebecca Childers, Chad Guber, Vanessa Matthews, Rob Schupbach, Stefanie Suter, and Angela Watts.
Four professionals transferred into other positions within the school system: Michelle Beagle, Cindy DiLuca, Stacy Kidder, and Jerry Zwick.
Four service personnel employees placed on RIF/recall notice: Joe Kester II, Cassie Long, Kathy Michael, and Barbara Stokes.
Four formal transfers of service personnel into other areas of the school system: the least senior Cook II at Tyler Consolidated High School, Deborah Kelley, Bethany Rucker, and Cathy Weekley.
There were two-and-a-half positions eliminated. Cost reductions total $86,929.
The total savings for the Tyler County School system is $515,338. Positions eliminated include one LD/BD/MI instructor, SES; one supplemental Math instructor, TCMS; one kindergarten instructor, AIB; one third grade teaching instructor, AIB; one fifth grade instructor, AIB; two full-time Interventionist/ Diagnostician, SES and AIB; one kindergarten instructor, SES; Reading/ Language Arts instructor, TCMS; first grade instructor, AIB; Special Education instructor; TCHS; and service personnel positions including one autism mentor, AIB; one secretary position or one custodial position, county-wide; one Cook II, TCHS; one itinerant half-time Cook II, TC preschool and Multi-categorical secretary/custodian at TC preschool. With a five to one vote, the board approved the recommendations. P.J. Wells cast the only dissenting vote.
Judy Hamrick spoke on behalf of the Teacher's Organization in Tyler County prior to the recommendations concerning reduction in staffing. Hamrick asked the board to consider the negative effects that reducing the staff will have on instruction of the students.
Superintendent Robin Daquilante informed the board about a visit from David Bailey from the School Board Authority Office. Bailey inspects the schools to make sure they are up to code. Daquilante announced that there were no findings and this is the second year in a row that Tyler County Schools have received an exemplary report.
In other matters, the board entered into executive session to discuss a disciplinary action against a student. After returning to open session, the board made a motion to expel the student for 365 days. After a second disciplinary executive session, the board made a motion that another student receive homebound services from Tyler County Schools for the remainder of the year and for it to be revisited prior to the 2013/2014 school year.
Under financial, Treasurer Jeff Davis presented the financial budget timeline for the 2013/2014 year. Additional reports included the monthly attendance report and the professional service and substitute report. Tyler County's overall attendance rate for the last month was 94 percent overall, with AIB at 95 percent, SES at 93 percent, TCMS 94.9 percent and TCHS at 95 percent.
Dober presented the professional service and substitute report. Out of 48 employed substitutes, there was only one day that TC preschool and SES were unable to hire a substitute. TCHS was estimated at five days or less while AIB and TCMS were never unable to hire a substitute. In regard to service personnel, there were two days that they were unable to hire a cook and three days that they were unable to hire a secretary. There weren't any days that they were unable to hire aides, bus operators and custodians.
The board approved the following: the minutes for the Feb. 5 meeting, changes to policies, athletic schedules, payment of the bills, trip requests and all but one other requests. The board entered into an executive session to discuss accepting a student from Ritchie County to transfer into Tyler County Schools. The board did not make a decision on the matter.
The board will now meet regularly at 7:30 p.m instead of 7 p.m. on the first and third Mondays of the month.
The next meeting of the board will be on March 4. at 7 p.m.