POINT PLEASANT — The Mason County Board of Education met on Tuesday evening to discuss the calendar for the 2020-21 school year and instructional data.
The Pledge of Allegiance was led by the Roosevelt Robocats, the robotics club that recently won second and third place at a competition.
Students from the Mason County Career Center presented a proclamation to the board to declare Feb. 2-8 as SkillsUSA week. The week is recognized by the national organization, which supports students in trade programs, including automotive, graphic design, culinary, welding, nursing, etc. The career center’s chapter president, Clarissa Mattox and parliamentarian Nala Williams presented the proclamation to the board.
During the meeting, the board held an open discussion on creating the 2020-21 school calendar. This public discussion period is to get the public’s opinion on what the calendar should look like. According to the school system secretary, Tammy Matheny, an example of this may be that a parent does not want the students to have an entire week off school at Thanksgiving. In this example, the students may start summer vacation earlier. The public discussion will also be on the agenda at the next board meeting.
After the public discussions, the board will choose three “sample” calendars, which the staff members will vote on. The board will have a final vote on the calendar after reviewing the public comments and staff votes. The West Virginia Department of Education will need to give their approval on the calendar.
Kenny Bond, the curriculum director presented instructional data to the board. Bond said there are four segments of “Depth of knowledge” that are tested for when principals sit in on teachers’ classes. Those segments are recall, basic skills, strategic and extended thinking.
Bond also said toward the beginning of the year, 12 percent of students tested benchmark. In a later testing, 37 percent tested benchmark.
Bond talked about chronically absent students and how that has an effect on the curriculum data. To calculate chronic absences, the total number of days a student is out of school, including excuses and unexcused, are divided by the number of days in school. If a student is absent 10 percent of the days, they are chronically absent. Each school as a whole is also monitored for chronically absent students. Bond said currently all schools are above the 10 percent threshold, except Roosevelt Elementary, which is currently at nine percent. Bond said he assumes the flu and other illnesses are contributing to that factor.
All board members — Jared Billings, Rhonda Tennant, Meagan Bonecutter, Dale Shobe and Ashley Cossin — were present at the meeting.
Read more about the board of education meeting in upcoming editions of the Point Pleasant Register.
Kayla Hawthorne is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, extension 1992.