High schools may see new graduation rules next year
County high schools may implement new graduation requirements ahead of the rest of the state if school officials get their way. According to Director of Secondary and Career Education Laura Hovermale, the county has applied for a state waiver that would allow Berkeley Springs and Paw Paw High Schools to jump ahead with state graduation rules slated to start in the 2008-2009 school year.
Hovermale told school board members about the waiver at their July 2 meeting. The new graduation requirements could easily be implemented for incoming ninth graders this year, Hovermale said. That would give school officials extra time to meet state requirements the following year.
Hovermale stressed that any changes would not affect rising seniors—only students entering the ninth grade.
The handful of changes have to do with "21st century content standards" – the state education department's push to make students competitive in the global marketplace after graduation.
Hovermale pointed out several of the new rules: more specific science course requirements, credits required in a student's chosen career concentration, the requirement for seniors to be enrolled in a full day of credit courses, and the addition of transitional English and Mathematics courses for students who do not meet college readiness standards in that area.
Hovermale said the transitional courses would be the biggest change for the high schools. She added that those classes should save student from having to take any remedial English or Math course once they enter college.
Hovermale said she hopes to get an answer from the state about instituting the new rules before the start of the school year.
The school board accepted the resignations of Cynthia Broxterman, pre-school teacher; Catherine Savage, occupational therapist; and LeeAnne Emrick, language arts teacher at Warm Springs Middle School.
Officials approved several personnel transfers. Joan Willard, Principal of Widmyer Elementary will become the county's new Assistant Superintendent. Mike Rozalski will move from his position as special education teacher at Berkeley Springs High School to the same job at Warm Springs Middle School. Jessica Evans will transfer from Greenwood Elementary teacher to a teacher and Remedial Specialist at Widmyer Elementary.
New staff was hired at the July 2 meeting. Amy Vandevander will be an English language arts teacher at Warm Springs Middle School, and Jane Daube will take a post as special education teacher at Berkeley Springs High School. Randall Lucas was also hired as a counselor for Berkeley Springs High School.
Mike Burks will take extracurricular duty as assistant football coach at Berkeley Springs High School for the 2007-2008 school year.
School nursing contract
War Memorial Hospital will continue to provide nursing services to Morgan County Schools under a contract approved by school officials during the July 2 meeting. The local hospital supplies nursing coverage 35 hours a week throughout county schools. Cost for the services is $38,631 for the year. Additional nursing services are available under the contract at the rate of $30.66 per hour. Schools are required to provide adequate space and accommodation for the nurses.
In other business, the school board approved purchase of a 2004 Ford Escape from Douglas Auto Sales for $14,500. The four-wheel-drive vehicle was purchased directly after a call for bids yielded no response.