GILBERT — The Mingo County Board of Education held a special meeting yesterday evening at Gilbert Elementary School, hearing from two Local School Improvement Councils.
Two LSIC’s, one from the hosting GES and the other from Gilbert Middle School, gave presentations to a healthy crowd of parent-volunteers, faculty, principals and, of course, members from the board of education.
LSIC’s are mandated by the state legislature. Board President Bill Duty told the Daily News that every single county has at least one, which invites input from the community, students and teachers.
“They show us ‘This is what we’re doing, we need you to support it,’” he said. “It lets every school have a chance to speak on what they need.”
A pair of young girls, Allie Cline and Katlyn Plumber, students at GMS, gave a powerpoint presentation to those in attendance, showing off their school. Notable slides mentioned how the school was prepared for a chance in the 21st century with its technological assets and how eighth-grade students were tutoring seventh-graders.
After the show, GMS Principal Daniel Dean spoke to the board regarding the school’s use of Wikis which were mentioned during the students’ presentation. Dean said that they were utilized as a means of helping students study and learn better from home. According to Dean, roughly 80 percent of the student body, numbering at approximately 230, had access to computers at home.
“What about the other 20 percent?” Duty asked.
Dean said that those students were not left out in the cold, noting the access the area had to free internet, such as the Larry Joe Harless Community Center and the school’s library.
Afterwards, board member Stephen “Cheetah” Marcum asked Dean what could the school possibly use, to which he really had no reply. The principal suggested that the two presenters, Allie and Katlyn, stand before the board to answer that question instead.
The pair drew a blank at first before ultimately deciding that the library needed new books. However, it was revealed that the County had already granted $4,600 for the library to fulfill the students’ request. Dean specified to the girls that the school would have new Accelerated Reading material in particular.
“It’s a pretty good sign to not have gripes from students,” board member Orville Messer said. “I don’t think I’ve ever heard a gripe from Gilbert; not from either school.”
But LuAnn Browning, Technical Support Specialist for both GES and GMS, approached the board, and was able to find something that the school needed. She requested “at least five new computers,” as some in the upstairs computer lab just weren’t cutting it anymore.
Afterwards, board member Dave Farley closed the GMS presentation, saying: “I think what you’re doing with the eighth-graders tutoring seventh-graders is great. You (Dean) and I can talk to them, but its just not the same,” he said.
Next, Kim Hensley, a parent-volunteer, gave the GES presentation for the board, which took the form of a roughly 15-minute long video of a nightly news broadcast.
With a narrator announcing that it was the time for the “live, 6 o’clock WGES news,” two students, Mallory Roberts and Tyler Woodruff, appeared on the screen as news anchors behind a desk, welcoming the audience to their latest broadcast.
The video involved a number of cutaway “interviews” with different students speaking with a plethora of different people, from interviewing parent-volunteers on how they helped the school to interviewing businesses like Gilbert Pharmacy, McDonalds’ and Bank Of Mingo on-site with how they had supported GES. Teachers, custodians and even other students on the playground were interviewed as well, all showing off how great the school was.
The interviews drew laughs from the crowd for its creativity and ended with a thunderous round of applause at the show’s conclusion.
GES Principal Phyllis White, once the video had ended, told the board that the school didn’t need much, but that a few rooms did need to have their heating and cooling systems checked, along with the intercom’s callback feature in certain places.
Regarding the video, Mingo County Superintendent Randy Keathley said that it was “great to see students out interviewing the community.”
Towards the end of the meeting, Farley and board member Mike Carter both congratulated the school for its high test scores, which were mentioned within the video. Farley challenged White for GES to become a distinguished school.
“I think you can do it,” he said.