Taylor County Board of Education approves once-in-a-lifetime field trip

PRUNTYTOWN—The Taylor County Board of Education met on Tuesday, for their regularly scheduled meeting, at the Taylor County Board of Education Office.

At the meeting, President Austin Upton and Board Member Douglas Flohr were not presented. Vice President Clark Sinclair led the meeting and started with prayer and the pledge of allegiance.

Superintendent Christy Miller gave her update to the members and told them that she would like to set a date to have a debrief about the recent Code Red active shooting drill, that took place last Saturday at Grafton High School.

The board members agreed and suggested contacting Upton and Flohr to set the date for the meeting.

In other business, Miller told the board that she would like the drug policy that is set in place for students at Grafton High School who participate in extra circular activities revaluated.

“There is some concern with parents about the wording and what activities are included,” she explained. “I have looked at similar policies throughout the state and think it would beneficial to strengthen the policy.”

The board members agreed with her suggestion and will look over the policy and make any necessary changes.

Additionally, in the 3000 series, the board members discussed a purchase order in the amount of $45,200 for a pole building at the Taylor County Board of Education office.

Sinclair asked what the building was and what it would be used for.

Miller answered that the building will be used to store personnel files, student records, financial records and special education records.

“We are currently running out of room in the basement to store the files,” she disclosed.

According to Maintenance Supervisor John Potts, the building will be 28 feet by 48 feet, climate control and sealed.

Board Member Melissa Garvin asked if they are required to keep hard copies of the records or if they can look into digitalizing the records.

Director of Special Services/Assessment Suzanne Viski answered that she has to keep many records for special education for various reasons, but she is currently looking into digitalizing records in the future.

In addition, Treasurer Dara Britton shared that most of the finical records have to be kept for the Internal Revenue Service.

“We would like to be digitized, but some of the copies they are unable to due to the condition of the files,” explained Britton.

Also, in the 3000 series was a list of chaperones for Grafton High School (GHS) and a field trip for the GHS Entertainers and band.

Director of the Entertainers Christopher Dickey attended the meeting and provided information to the board members about the field trip on the agenda.

The field trip will be for approximately 50 students and is planned for April 14-18, 2019, for a cruise performance in the Bahamas.

“The trip would be over spring break,” said Dickey. “The students will not miss any school. We will leave at approximately 5:00 p.m. on April 13.”

The group will be traveling via charter bus from GHS to Daytona, Florida. where they will board the Carnival Liberty Cruise Ship to the Bahamas.

According to Dickey, all of the fees will be $909 per student, and he presented the board with a list of fundraisers they plan on holding to give every student the opportunity to go.

“We will be holding three different bingo games, selling fruit and hosting concerts to help the students raise money for the cruise,” he explained.

“I plan to host an alumni Christmas concert and bring all the alumni entertainer and choral programs and charge admission for the show, with the proceeds going towards the cruise,” he disclosed.

In addition, students will have the opportunity to earn money at the annual Tygart Dam Choral Concert.

“Students and parents are able to work at the event and they each receive a profit that can be used towards the trip,” Dickey explained.

He shared that passports we are not legally required, but he will be requiring students have one in the case of an emergency.

“The students will be performing on the ship as a part of the entertainment,” shared Dickey. “It is a way for the entertainers to get out here and be seen by people all over the United States.”

Board Member Patrick Tucker asked if the students and the parents know about the trip.

“I haven’t told them the details they know it was for a cruise, but I wanted to wait until it was approved,” Dickey answered. “I didn’t want to get their hopes up without approval of the board first.”

The board members approved all items in the 3000 series.

In the 8000 series, Potts shared with the board plans for the additional parking lot at Taylor County Middle School that will also serve as an evacuation route for students in the event of an emergency.

He reported that the lot will be graveled, and the gravel used will be within the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards.

“The parking lot will add an additional 20 parking spaces and there will be enough room to add on additional parking places in the future,” said Potts.

The board members thanked Potts for the update and agreed that additional parking is needed, as well as an evacuation route for students.

At the end of the meeting Tucker shared that he attended the Code Red active shooter training on Saturday.

“It was a very good training and I appreciative everyone that came out that day,” he expressed. “I think everyone of else is working towards the same goal, the safety of our schools, staff and students.”

Garvin shared that she also appreciated everyone as well and she learned a lot at the training.

“I cannot thank the city police enough and our staff here,” expressed Sinclair. “We will never be satisfied with school safety we always have to move forward and these trainings help with that.”