The Jackson County Board of Education has had to discuss matters related to the COVID-19 pandemic for the past several board meetings. That was still the case at the June 11 meeting attended by members Jim Frazier, Ben Mize, Dan Barnette, and Steve Chancey. President Bobbi Farrell attended by phone.

Graduation for both Ripley and Ravenswood High Schools will be held on each respective school’s football field. The ceremony for Ravenswood will begin at 6 p.m., while Ripley’s will be at 8 p.m. Board members will split the responsibility of attending the events. Students will be given a limited amount of tickets but both sides of the stadiums seating will be utilized.

“We will have to limit the number due to social distancing guidelines,” Superintendent Blaine Hess said. “We plan on streaming the ceremonies live for those who can’t attend. We hope it doesn’t rain because we don’t have a Plan B.”

There is more concern this year with the reopening of schools. The West Virginia State Board of Education has formed groups comprised of teachers and administrators from across the state to work on the nine focus areas that must be considered. Hess said that several Jackson County employees are members of those groups.

“We need to get the reopening plan nailed down soon,” Hess said. “I want to be able to relieve the anxiety our students, parents and staff are feeling. And we need backup plans because we don’t know what to totally expect.”

As for normal summer activities such as sports and band, Hess said that state guidelines will be followed closely.

Hess said that Jim Mahan has been working closely with athletic directors, coaches, and the SSAC to make sure the county sports programs are prepared.

As for band, Hess explained that the issues are complicated. Traditionally, the band takes part in the Ripley Fourth of July parade and attends band camp at Cedar Lakes.

“This year the band will not be in the parade,” he said. “With band camp, there are social distancing issues and right now, maneuver practice isn’t allowed. So we’re in close contact with Cedar Lakes and we’ll just have to see.”

With the hiring of James Frashier as principal of Ripley High School. Hess said he was hopeful that the Ravenswood principal position, which Frashier formerly filled, will be ready to fill at the next board meeting.

In other business:

• Approved the requests of out of county parents to enroll their children in Jackson County schools: Sarah Roush (Roane County), Jason and Jennifer Shivley (Mason County), Sarah Sigmond (Kanawha County)

• Approved the following contracts: RSP Fire Protection and Equipment not to exceed $7,355 and $5,400 for fire extinguisher and chemistry lab hood inspections, Partners Too Inc. dba Stanley Steemer for $5,250 for kitchen hood cleaning

• Approved an agreement with the City of Ripley for Prevention Resource Officer at Ripley High and Ripley Middle schools

• Approved a charter school resolution adopting the WV Board of Education Policy

• Approved a COVID-19 resolution which can be viewed on the board of education website

• Approved $750 per high school to assist with project graduation celebrations

• Approved 8th grade out of state trips to Washington D.C. for Ripley Middle (May 5-7, 2021) and Ravenswood Middle (May 19-20, 2020)

• Approved revising virtual school policy (2370.01) to includes 1st through 6th grades

• Approved the board meeting schedule for 2020-21 school term

In personnel items:

• Retirements: Radonna Hess, music teacher Ripley Middle effective July 1, 2020; Glenda White, custodian IV Ripley High effective June 3, 2020

• Resignations: Kaitlyn Skeen, Art teacher Ravenswood High effective June 10, 2020; Ryne Hill, softball coach Ripley Middle effective May 26, 2020; Delaine Carter, assistant girls’ soccer coach Ravenswood High effective June 2, 2020

• Transfers: James G. Frashier II from principal Ravenswood High to principal Ripley High effective July 1, 2020; Draina Eagle from Cook II half-time Ripley Middle to Cook III Ravenswood Grade; Pamela Brown, Cook III Ripley Elementary to Cottageville Elementary; Sheree Ganee from Cook III halftime Ripley Elementary to Cafeteria Manager/Cook III Evans Elementary; Judith Brundy from Custodian III Ripley Elementary to Ripley Middle; Charmin McCarty from 5th grade teacher Ravenswood Grade to Multi-Categorical Autism Evans Elementary; Ryan Simon from multi-categorical special education Ripley High to Multi-Categorical/Physical education Ripley High; Amy Hinzman, 1st grade teacher Fairplain to Kenna Elementary; Timothy Young from 1st grade teacher Henry J. Kiser to 5th grade teacher Ripley Elementary; Randall Stevenson, custodian IV, Ravenswood High to general maintenance

• Employments: Angela Curfman, speech/language teacher for extended school year program 2020; Rodney J. McDonald, bus operator Route 14; Stephen M. Gandee, girls’ soccer coach Ripley High; Hannah Hamon, 2nd grade teacher Ripley Elementary; Kayla Bargerstock (reemployment) 4th grade teacher Cottageville Elementary

• Rescindment/Employment: Colleen Worley, 3rd grade teacher Gilmore Elementary to 5th grade Gilmore Elementary; Michelle Nelson, Title I teacher to 1st grade Henry J. Kaiser; Courtney Casto, 1st grade teacher Ripley Elementary to 1st grade teacher Henry J. Kaiser

• Other: Elimination of paraprofessional/aide special education position Ripley Elementary; Establishment of paraprofessional/aide special education Henry J. Kaiser

• Summer Employment (Maintenance/Service Employees/Bus Operators – Extensive list available at www.jack

The next meeting of the board will be at 7 p.m. on June 25 at the administration building. Newly re-elected board members Bobbi Farrell and Steve Chancey will be sworn in at this meeting.