CINDERELLA – At a special meeting of the Mingo County Board of Education (BOE) held Thursday morning, board members approved the Pre-K calendar for the next school term, as well as contracts for two early childhood development programs in the county.
Sabrina Runyon, Director of Early Learning Programs, addressed the board to discuss contract approval for the two programs as well as approval of the Pre-K calendar.
The first item discussed was the approval of the Pre-K Calendar for the upcoming school term. “The calendar meets all state regulations and policies. We did continue with the four day week,” Runyon stated.
Runyon explained that the county had the option of adopting a five day week for Pre-K. However, due to the counties’ financial situation, a five day school week is not possible for Pre-K. “If we went to a five day week, teachers are required to be with students at all times. Therefore, we would have to provide them with planning periods. We would have to hire additional staff to come in to allow them to have their planning periods. They cannot leave the students at all in Pre-K. That would have been a lot of extra cost for the county to do that.” Pre- K teachers use Friday as an opportunity to do lesson plans, attend trainings, and complete evaluations and other responsibilities.
The next agenda item discussed was the contract with Coalfield CAP regarding the Pre-K collaborative partnership. “It is a standard contract that we have had for years. We have a 50/50 split… We get funding for every four year old that attends their centers. That generates a lot of funding…”
The last item discussed was the approval of the contract with the Marshall University June Harless Center for the Early Childhood STEAM Center located at Gilbert. The STEAM center is one of three in the state of W.Va.
“The last one is the approval of our STEAM center agreement that we came up with last year and it is for three years. Again, that is the basically the same thing it was last year we just changed their rates. I think it rose a little bit for how much we get back for child but everything else stayed the same,” Runyon explained.
Board member Dave Farley spoke supportive of the STEAM center stating, “That is the center we visited last year at the Harless Center. They are doing a good job up there.”
Runyon agreed saying, “They are. We are actually having a lot of parents requesting that center. That is good news. They are doing a great job. The teachers that spoke last year have been training all over the state. Logan County has hired them to come in and do training with their Kindergarten students because their classrooms are going to that model for Kindergarten. I hope to go over and see some of that training myself.”
Following the discussion, the BOE members voted to approve the Pre- K calendar, the contract with Coalfield CAP and the contract with the Early Childhood STEAM Center.
The next regular meeting of the Mingo County BOE will be held on August 16.
(Courtney Harrison is a news reporter for the Williamson Daily News. She can be contacted at [email protected] or at 304-235-4242 ext. 2279.)