The Calhoun Board of Education declined to approve a policy regarding early entry into kindergarten, which would have allowed certain children in the four year old range to commence their education. Several school systems are apparently moving ahead with early entry programs. The policy was presented by curriculum administrator Greg Cartwright.

Board member Carlene Frederick said "I think we can put kids in school too early. I am not in favor of early entrance for four-year-olds."

"It seems Board members find it difficult accepting four year olds into kindergarten," said Board President Rick Fitzwater, as the policy died for the lack of a motion.

The Board voted to approve Superintendent Ron Blankenship's recommendations for a reduction in force (RIF), which has become an annual decision to either eliminate positions or make transfers, linked to declining school enrollment. Blankenship said this year's RIF is minimal, compared to last year.

The Board approved the following positions to be eliminated:

Half-time science teacher CMHS - Joanna McKown
Half-time english teacher CMHS - Janette Ramezan
Bus operator - Calvin Nicholas
Half-time special education teacher/Arnoldsburg - Norma Wagoner
Fourth grade teacher Pleasant Hill (CSRP) - Jan Whited
Kindergarten Pleasant Hill (CSRP)
Second grade teacher Pleasant Hill

Blankenship said the RIF's mean four and one-half professionals and one service person will be eliminated, although with transfers and other considerations it might mean only 2 1/2 professionals and one service person would actually loose their jobs.

Blankenship said it is always difficult cutting the workforce, "but we work at being fair, eliminating the least senior employees and the positions that affect the least number of students."

A decision was made to move on selling the current school board office on High Street. The old Grantsville Grade School will be sold at auction to the highest bidder, based on the assessed value of the property. Blankenship said there will be further discussion regarding the disposition of the old CHS athletic field.

The board postponed a decision on the Personal Leave Bank Policy.

Diane Ludwig, the new executive director of the Little Kanawha Area Development Authority was introduced to the board. Ludwig expressed her desire to work closely with area entities in obtaining jobs.

Carlene Frederick expressed a concern about the system meeting the requirements for foreign languages. Greg Cartwright said he is looking at several options.

The board approved the retirement of Charles William Jarvis.

The following people where approved for employment, mostly Lights On! programs, with some contingent on a CIB background check:

James Sullivan - sound tech
Casey Harris - dance
Pat Haught - - tutor/teacher Pleasant Hill
Melissa Lynch - tutor
Mike Richards - tutor
John Sampson - tutor
Loretta Smith - tutor
Gary Knight - facilitator "Bridging the Gap"
Tambree Yoak - mentor for Carla Taylor

All school bus drivers were placed on a transfer list, described as a technical routine. Additionally, Renita Benson was transferred from Pleasant Hill to Calhoun Middle and Gina Yancey from Pleasant Hill to the transfer pool.

A volunteer agreement was approved for Richton Russell (CM/HS); student transfers approved for Travis and Trenton Chastain from Roane to Calhoun; home school request for Lettie Ferrell/Zachary Ferrell; transfers for Jamie Husk and Christina Husk from Roane to Calhoun; approval of Lights On! amendment for Pleasant Hill Aerobics.

The board approved payment of $395,790.68 of invoices.

The next meeting is scheduled for April 16.

Hur Herald from Sunny Cal
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