By Jean A. Flanagan
With three months remaining in Fiscal Year 2016, the Hardy County School system is watching expenditures like a hawk.
“If everything stays as encumbered, we will have $5,000 left at the end of the year,” Financial Director Veeta Burgess told the Hardy County Board of Education at the March 21 meeting.
“When it comes to legal fees, utilities and now we’re purchasing a car, I don’t know what they will do. We’ve spent $61,000 more for electricity to date than last year. The state has been slow in getting money to us. We have to watch the bank account.”
[private] Burgess said the taxes are coming in steadily and there is no issue with revenue coming into the system. “People are even paying their past due lunch bills,” she said.
“If we don’t end the year in the black, we will have to transfer money from OPEB,” Superintendent Barbara Whitecotton said.
Other Post Employment Benefits are funds kept on the books for retiree benefits. A certain amount per employee is required by the state to be carried as an expense. Burgess reminded Whitecotton that Step 7 funds from the state can be used for utilities. Step 7 are those moneys allocated for textbooks and technology. Whitecotton said she was hesitant to short those areas.
Board member Dixie Bean asked Burgess to provide an accounting of the utility costs.
Burgess also presented the proposed levy rate to the board. It remains the same as last year with $0.388 per $100 of assessed value for Class II property, $0.776 per $100 of assessed value for Class III and Class IV property. The net revenue for Fiscal Year 2017 will be $5,067,576.
The board voted to approve the proposed levy rates and the fiscal condition report.
The East Hardy High School building project is complete with the exception of a range hood in the kitchen that has yet to be installed.
(Contractor) Harbel has been an outstanding contractor,” Whitecotton said.
Moorefield High School, on the other hand, has some issues that have still not been addressed by the contractor W. Hartley Miller.
There are issues with the floor tile in the hallway, classrooms and concourse.
“They will come back on the 25th and 28th to work on the hallway and classrooms,” Whitecotton said. “The architect thinks they are not capable of doing the concourse the way it was designed.”
It was suggested that the design in the center be changed to a blue “M,” which did not sit well with the board. “It doesn’t look like it belongs,” said Board member Margaret Shriver.
“When you walk in the door you will see a blue “M” and nothing else is blue,” Board President Loy Kesner said.
Kesner suggested the design be done in sheet vinyl instead of vinyl composite tile. “It’s easier to work with,” he said.
There were also discussions about the gym floor and the school name that is to go on the brown panels outside the front of the school.
According to Whitecotton, the architect is afraid that mounting the letters directly on the panels will cause the panels to bend.
“The only way to do it properly is to take the panels down, attach the letters and put the panels back up,” Kesner said. “They knew they had to put the letters on, but got in a hurry to get the panels up.”
Whitecotton said someone suggested strips be attached to the panels and the lettering be attached to the strips instead of directly onto the panels. “I will ask the architect if the strips will work,” she said.
Replacement of Automobile
A school employee hit a deer with the 2011 Malibu and totaled the car. Transportation Director Melvin Shook said he’s been shopping around for a replacement and presented several options.
The board said the vehicle should be four-wheel or all-wheel drive and authorized Shook to replace the vehicle with a cost not to exceed $24,000.
EHEMS and EHHS LSIC
Both East Hardy Early Middle School and East Hardy High School presented their Local School Improvement Committee reports.
Principal Don Rhodes said the STAR Reading and STAR Math assessments show a 45 – 50 percent improvement since the beginning of the year. Sixth, seventh and eighth grade Reading/Language Arts and Math have shown varying degrees of improvement, but all classes have improved between the first and second performance-based assessments.
“This is the best set of test data we’ve seen for a long time,” Whitecotton said.
Angela Wilkins presented an overview of EHHS with topics such as school safety, school performance, attendance, behavior/discipline and school needs.
Several faculty positions topped the list of needs including an additional part-time agriculture teacher, art and theater faculty and a tech person. She also asked for an Interventionist, and offered to share the position with EHEMS.
“Our committee also sees a need for additional funds for routine repairs and maintenance, an additional half-time custodian and a school resource officer,” Wilkins said. “We would also request that you check with the school to see what the needs are before making decisions.”
The board approved the West Virginia University Extension Memorandum of Agreement and allocated $8,500 for extension personnel.
The board approved Use of School Facilities Policy KBE.
The board approved Dual/College Credit Policy ICI for first reading.
The board approved Freedom of Information Policy KAC for first reading.
The board approved Honors/Weighted Grading Policy IDG for first reading.
[/private] The next meeting of the Hardy County Board of Education will be held on Monday, April 4 beginning at 6 p.m. at the central office, 510 Ashby St. in Moorefield.
The board will host the 2016 Teacher of the Year and Service Person of the Year reception on Monday, April 19 at Moorefield High School beginning at 5 p.m.
The board meeting scheduled for Monday, April 19 will be held at MHS beginning at 6 p.m.
The public is invited to attend all Board of Education meetings.