GRAFTON—Every year, the Taylor County Board of Education visits the schools in the county to hear updates, see what’s new and hear from the faculty. On Tuesday, the board members made their first stop for the year.
The Taylor County Board of Education regularly scheduled meeting was held at Anna Jarvis Elementary School.
The meeting started with a welcome from Anna Jarvis Elementary School Principal Heather Sinclair.
“Welcome, we are very happy to have everyone here tonight,” she voiced. “We have a great staff and so many wonderful things happening at the school.”
After Sinclair welcomed the board members the school, she introduced Faculty Senate Chair Shelby Nieman and Vice-Chair Leslie Cochran.
“It is our pleasure to tell you about our accomplishments and our continued growth,” Nieman voiced. “We are continuing to make strides on improving our test scores and are truly striving for Mrs. Miller’s vision of excellence for all.”
The duo shared some of the accomplishments that were seen on the recent Balance Scorecard.
“We are meeting the standards in math and are so close in English,” Nieman shared.
In addition, the school is promoting positivity by greeting each student every morning with a smile or a high five.
They shared that currently they are without an after school program, but they are currently working with the central office to get a program soon.
“We are so excited with how far we have come as a staff and can’t wait to keep going,” voiced Nieman.
Another topic that was discussed was the retired teacher program.
Board member Douglas Flohr asked how many retired teachers are currently working at the school and if they feel the program is beneficial.
Sinclair answered that currently there are no retired teachers working and they are requesting funding at the meeting.
Nieman told Flohr that the retirees are very valuable to the classrooms.
Later in the meeting the board members approved the request for retired teachers to be utilized at the school as interventionist for the 2019-2020 school year.
After the update from the faculty senate the board members had heard an update from Starla McCauley with LSIC.
McCauley told the board that they are implanting calming stations in the classrooms to help students who may feel overwhelmed.
She reported that the Grafton-Taylor County Health Department being at the school on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s has been beneficial to the students and staff.
McCauley also shared some improvements that have been discussed including a wider ramp and automatic doors to accommodate handicap individuals.
In addition, three students were present at the meeting to show the board members one the activities that they have the opportunity to do at the new STEAM Lab, an idea McCauley had for the school.
During the activity, the students assembled a glow worm using the Lego WeDo program.
The board members even got in on the fun by picking colors to have the students’ program in to make the project glow.
After the activity, the board members heard a report from Sinclair about the school.
The first topic discussed was chronic absenteeism an issue Sinclair noted that the school has been working diligently to fix.
“We have been encouraging the students by offering activities and rewards for coming to school,” she shared. “Every morning we are greeting the students and making sure they know we are happy they are here.”
The board members thanked Sinclair and the staff at Anna Jarvis Elementary School for all of their hard work and dedication to the students.
In addition, there were several parents of students from Taylor County Middle School present at the meeting.
At the conclusion of the meeting, a lengthy discussion was held, and parents had the opportunity to voice concerns over recent schedule changes that occurred at the school.
Miller reported that the parents expressed their concerns over the number of times a schedule changed and wanted assurance that they were finished, and their children can move forward.
“They received assurances that it is set and only a handful of students would need any further changes,” stated Miller.