Board of Ed. discusses summer school plans

By Kayla (Hawthorne) Dunham -

ASHTON — The Mason County Board of Education held its regular business meeting at Ashton Elementary on Tuesday evening where members discussed summer school and school improvements.

During the meeting, the board heard from Dr. Kenny Bond, curriculum director, about the summer school program. Bond said the typical summer school program will be “greatly” expanded this year. The program will run from June 7-July 15. Classes will be offered to all great levels. There will be two sessions per day and students can participate in one session or both. Summer school will be at the three high schools in the county.

Bond said for elementary students, including kindergarten through eight grade, the programs will focus on closing a learning gap by offering classes in mainly English/reading and math. For high school students, the programs will be for credit recovering in core classes, including sciences, history, math and English. High school students will have the option to recover a full year of a class if attending both sessions.

Bond told the board the projection for the summer school program estimated hiring 78 teachers, six cooks, three custodians, 20 bus drivers and three secretaries. In addition, the board will also be hiring social workers and counselors for social-emotional help. Bond said the final staff count will be decided after students register for the summer school program. Bond said all teachers will be Mason County teachers.

Parents can register their children online, or by calling the board office if unable to register virtually, from March 29 through April 23. Information is being sent home with all students in the county.

The total cost estimate for the summer school program is $1 million, according to Bond. The funding sources include the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSERF2), West Virginia Department of Education Summer SOLE Grant and Title IV funds.

Also during the meeting, the board received the Local School Improvement Council (LSIC) presentation from Charlotte Oshel, Ashton Elementary principal. Oshel presented a list of improvements for various projects. These projects include: painting, library set-up, school zone lights, safety tinting of windows to happen in the summer, donation to help with upgrading the security system, and a new sign at the entrance to the school. Family engagement projects included a Christmas Story Walk, Facebook page, Virtual Paint Night and Virtual Math Night scheduled in the coming months.

The issues and comments for the current school year included decreased enrollment, attendance is “good,” chronic absences are at four percent, and there have been no “real” discipline issues. Items that still needed addressed included writing skills before third grade, vertical alignment of the curriculum, increased use of technology and train entire staff in CPI.

In his report to the board, Supt. Jack Cullen said all three high schools will have prom, but they do not know the restrictions yet. Graduation dates are being set, but the restrictions for those are also unknown at this time.

The board entered into an executive session to discuss the superintendent position.

During the meeting, all board members, including Dale Shobe, Rhonda Tennant, Jared Billings, Meagan Bonecutter and Ashley Cossin, were in attendance.

The next regular meeting for the Mason County Board of Education is set for March 23 at 6 p.m.

© 2021 Ohio Valley Publishing, all rights reserved.

By Kayla (Hawthorne) Dunham

Kayla (Hawthorne) Dunham is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, ext. 1992.

Kayla (Hawthorne) Dunham is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, ext. 1992.