Hancock school board recognizes academic success

NEW CUMBERLAND – Hancock County Schools marked milestones both educational and physical on Monday.

Hundreds of parents and students gathered at the John D. Rockefeller IV Career Center on Monday for pizza and the recognition of students who have excelled academically. Among those honored were the winners of the 2012-2013 Acuity Bowl for the third nine weeks.

“This prepares students for the WESTEST, and these students have done a grand job,” Superintendent Suzan Smith said at the beginning of Monday’s regular school board meeting.

Acuity Bowl winners received certificates and congratulations from Smith and board President Jerry Durante.

The Acuity Bowl for elementary and middle school students covers reading/language arts and math. For Oak Glen and Weir High School students, it covers reading/language arts, math, science and social studies.

Hancock County Schools hold the Acuity Bowl four times a year to help students prepare for the WESTEST, the standardized test used to measure the knowledge and skills of West Virginia public school students.

In addition, the board recognized the Career Center medalists in the 2013 SkillsUSA competition and the Golden Horseshoe winners from Weir Middle School.

Also Monday, the board approved a bid from Grae-Con Construction, of Steubenville, for the construction and installation of casework – lab stations, wall cabinets, shelving – for new science labs at Oak Glen and Weir high schools. Grae-Con’s bid was $318,000.

The casework bid was part of the fifth and last bid package to be advertised from the $37 million bond levy approved by Hancock County voters in 2010. The construction part of the bid package will be advertised soon, and bids will be opened May 9.

Along with the new science labs, the bond call package will result in the renovation of all restrooms at Oak Glen and Weir high schools and the renovation of the Milton Weinberg Theater at Weir High. Restrooms will be made handicapped accessible, and the theater’s seats, floor and stage will be refurbished.

Construction is expected to last all summer, Smith said.

Board member Patsy Brancazio noted that although the bid package is the last to involve construction, one bid package remains for the demolition of Weirton Heights, Liberty and Broadview elementary schools in Weirton. They will be replaced by an elementary school under one roof, scheduled to be completed in the spring of 2014.

“We need to be very clear when we discuss this,” Brancazio said.

Also Monday, the board:

Approved the purchase of new social studies textbooks for 2013-2019;

Authorized the use of the state’s Option Pathway program to help students who are at risk of dropping out of high school get their diploma or GED;

Re-adopted 13 board policies and recommended five-duties of superintendent, parking of buses, staff development (service personnel), autism mentor, and pre-kindergarten/kindergarten entrance and attendance-for revisions; and

Learned that students entering the seventh and 12th grade must show proof of having received the Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis) vaccine and the meningococcal vaccine.

(Huba can be contacted at shuba@reviewonline.com)