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School board office to receive facelift

October 23, 2012
Weirton Daily Times

WELLSBURG - The Brooke County Board of Education office at 1201 Pleasant Ave. will undergo a facelift as crews work to repair and resurface its stucco-like facade.

The board on Monday accepted a bid of $125,560 from Unique Walls and Ceilings of Wellsburg.

Rob Robinson, facilities supervisor, said it was the lowest of two bids submitted for the job, which he said will address corners and other areas where the material is coming apart from the building's original brick exterior and an area where rain is seeping between the two.

Robinson said the facade last underwent repairs in 1998, and a newer, more durable material will be applied to the surface this time. He said he will meet with the contractor to determine a timeline for the work.

James Hervey, treasurer, said the project will be paid for with funds acquired from $230,570 saved when the board recently refinanced a $15 million bond issue approved by voters in 2000. The bond issue supported the construction of the Brooke High School Wellness Center and improvements to other county schools.

The board met at Colliers Primary School Monday to hear reports from the school improvement councils of that school and Beech Bottom, Jefferson and Wellsburg primary schools.

Marty Bartz, assistant superintendent, took advantage of the occasion to applaud Jo-Ellen Goodall, Colliers Primary principal, and her staff for their prompt response to an incident there on Oct. 10.

Bartz said a man appeared to be attempting to gain access through the locked front entrance. Finding the man confused and irritable, Goodall ordered the building to be locked down and called the police.

Teachers and pupils remained locked in their classrooms for about 35 minutes while a Brooke County sheriff's deputy was dispatched and the unarmed man was apprehended.

Goodall said the school district's automated telephone message system was used to alert parents of the situation and the children didn't appear to be bothered much by the interruption. She praised her staff for not panicking when the lockdown was ordered.

In presenting the school improvement council report, Goodall said the school achieved adequate yearly progress, a designation given through the federal No Child Left Behind Act to schools that meet higher standards for attendance, graduation and scores on the West Virginia Educational Standards Test.

Goodall said the school's fourth-graders, who took the test during their third-grade year, were presented certificates of achievement at a school assembly earlier this year.

Mark Rihel, Wellsburg Primary principal, said 13 computer tablets were purchased last year and pupils have been using them to play games aimed at honing their understanding of vowel and consonant sounds, mathematical principles and other educational concepts.

He said about 200 parents and community members turned out for an open house last week.

Richard Whitehead, Colliers Primary principal, said his staff also is working to maintain the adequate yearly progress designation and meets weekly to determine how to best help pupils.

He was asked about response to a federal program that has enabled the school to offer free breakfasts and lunches to all of its pupils because of the percentage of children eligible for free or reduced price meals there.

Whitehead said the number of children consuming hot lunches has risen, with about 80 of the school's 97 pupils eating them - up from about 63 last year. He added the 20 children in the Northern Panhandle Head Start program at the school also consume the meals.

Nadine Sweda, Jefferson Primary principal, said the school's staffers have been working to improve pupils' reading and writing skills through reading logs kept by pupils at home and daily or monthly journal entries recorded at school.

She said about 100 mothers accepted a recent invitation to have breakfast with their children, and fathers and grandparents will be invited for breakfast as part of an effort to encourage family involvement.

The board also:

Approved the $19,918 purchase of a new van from Whiteside Chevrolet to replace one used by the school district's maintenance crews that must be retired because of its condition.

Approved the hiring of Tim Ennis as a school bus driver; Michelle Casto as an aide at Brooke High School; Marianne Capp as a temporary extracurricular aide at the high school; Helen Furioli as sponsor for the Wellsburg Middle School Special Olympics Support Club; T.J. Taylor as an aide at Beech Bottom Primary; Ron A. Recchio as eighth-grade boys basketball coach at Wellsburg Middle; and Diane Rasz as seventh-grade boys basketball coach at Wellsburg Middle School.

The next regular meeting will be at 6 p.m. Nov. 13 because Nov. 12 is the federal observance of Veterans Day.

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