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Interested in Being An Election Poll Worker?

The Free Press WV

The Gilmer County Democratic Executive Committee is selecting poll workers for the May 10 primary election.

You must be a registered democrat and available to work on Election Day.

You must also be available to attend training on a scheduled day a few weeks prior.

Poll workers are paid $120 for their services.

If you are interested, please contact one of the following persons:

  • 304.462.7006   Bob Radabaugh

  • 304.462.8907   Sandy Pettit

  • 304.462.7443   Heather Minney Jamison

  • 304.266.9487   Conner Ferguson

  • 304.841.4585   Stephen Dye

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The Free Press WV

Area Closings and Delays on Thursday, February 11, 2016

The Gilmer Free Press
Status of Area Closings and Delays on Thursday, February 11, 2016
Glenville State College    
Gilmer County Board of Education    
Gilmer County Courthouse  
Gilmer County Health Department  
Gilmer County Senior Center  
Minnie Hamilton Health System, Glenville Office Clinic
Gilmer County Schools 2 Hour Delay  
Braxton County Schools 2 Hour Delay  
Calhoun County Schools 3 Hour Delay  
Doddridge County Schools 2 Hour Delay  
Lewis County Schools 2 Hour Delay  
Ritchie County Schools All Closed  
 
Barbour County Schools 2 Hour Delay  
Clay County Schools 2 Hour Delay  
Harrison County Schools 3 Hour Delay  
Nicholas County Schools 2 Hour Delay  
Pleasants County Schools All Closed  
Roane County Schools 2 Hour Delay  
Tyler County Schools 3 Hour Delay  
Upshur County Schools All Closed  
Webster County Schools 3 Hour Delay  
Wetzel County Schools 2 Hour Delay  
Wirt County Schools 3 Hour Delay  
Wood County Schools All Closed  

 

Please Send us your closings and delays:  ‘tellus@gilmerfreepress.net’  or   304.462.8700

G-FYI™: Gilmer County Schools Press Release 2015-2016

The Free Press WV

During the 2015-2106 school year, Gilmer County Schools have been busy with promoting our mission statement: learning, leading, and life skills. Under the leadership of Gabriel Devono, our school system has embraced many successful endeavors in education for students, staff, and the community of Gilmer County. Looking back, here are some things that we have to be proud of in our school district for this year.

The Gilmer County FFA competed in the Central Region Scholastics contests on December 17, 2015 and had the following results:

    •  Parliamentary Procedure- 3rd Place GCHS Team

    •  Prepared Public Speaking- Ashlee White 3rd Place

    •  Extemporaneous public speaking- Lucas Tanner 3rd Place

    •  Freshman Creed Speaking- Marshall Cottrill 1st Place

    •  Cottrill gets to represent the Central Region at the state contest

The GCHS Band had an outstanding performance at the Cabell-Midland Band Festival held   on September 19, 2015.  The band received the following awards:  3rd Place Drum Major, 2nd Place Color Guard,1st Place Percussion, and 2nd Place Band.

The Gilmer County High School marching band placed 1st in parade, 1st in color guard,

1st in drum major and 1st in overall band during the Grand Parade at the Black Walnut Festival in Spencer, WV on October 10, 2015.  Congratulations to Ms. Blankenship and the band for their fine work in proudly representing GCHS at many competitions this fall.

In terms of awards that Gilmer County Schools have received, we have many honors granted for the 2015-2016 school year.

Gilmer County and Barbour County were the only two districts in West Virginia to be awarded the LIREC Grant (Literacy Innovations in Rural Educational Communities) which builds local, community, and individual educator capacity to provide, improve, or expand services that develop high levels of preschool through grade 3 literacy achievement in rural areas. Rural education provides unique challenges that require a targeted approach rooted in deep understanding of rural communities. This project addresses the needs of all stakeholders of the local education agency (LEA), that is, the students, educators, families, community members within the school target area. The combined grant totals over $300,000 for both districts over the course of 2015-2017. We are proudly implementing the grant and have had several positive family events and efforts surrounding literacy such as our Art and Ice Cream Social, Titan Tailgate, Community Dialogue Circles, Local Read Aloud Efforts with Glenville State College Athletes, and a well-established practice of “Eat and Read” baskets at six of our local restaurants to promote literacy and access to books for children and families.

Our Gilmer County Literacy Coach, Miss Cherri West, was able to attend the National Council of Teachers of English Convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota from November 19th through 21st. Miss West was also able to present our community progress to the Rural Trust Foundation on December 6, 2015 in Raleigh, North Carolina. With both travels, Miss West has been able to provide great professional development, resources, and support for our classroom teachers.

In addition to our LIREC grant, Gilmer County has been selected for a Blended Learning Study for early literacy in the classroom. Within this initiative, the National Council of Teachers of English have donated 100 Amazon Kindle Fire Kid’s Edition devices to be utilized in this study in our Preschool through 2nd grade classrooms. We are also actively working toward audio books for school bus rides to be implemented in late Spring 2016 in conjunction with out LIREC Grant.
The 3rd Annual Gingerbread House Contest sponsored by First Neighborhood Bank was held at the Blennerhassett Hotel in Parkersburg on December 12, 2015.  Sixty houses were entered and displayed in the contest.  There were seven divisions and $7,000 in awards. Analysse “Annie” Petty placed first in the school division.  A $200 check was awarded to Calhoun-Gilmer Career Center and her class will receive a pizza party to celebrate her accomplishment. Annie attends the ProStart/Culinary Arts and Health Occupations programs at the Calhoun-Gilmer Career Center. She is a TASC completer through the Option Pathway and will be a 2016 graduate of Gilmer County High School in May.

Glenville Elementary received a $500 grant from ExxonMobil for Math or Science programs in the school.  Mountaineer Mart of Glenville nominated Glenville Elementary.  Examples of projects that can be funded are special guest speakers, field trips to science centers, student volunteer programs, science fairs, parent/student events, educational tools, and so on.

While GCHS students were enjoying Thanksgiving break, the Stuart McMunn Company was continuing their work on the GCHS HVAC replacement project.  The $750,000 project, funded as a Major Improvement Project (MIP) by the School Building Authority, provided for new HVAC on the East and West Wings of the building.  On Saturday, Nov. 21, all subcontractors were on-site to place the roof-top units on the East and West Wings. The project was substantially completed on December 23, 2015 on both wings.

Also, we are very proud to announce that our intercounty elementary with Lewis, Leading Creek, opened in 2015-2016 school year. Gilmer County Elementary, the SBA funded consolidated elementary in our county, will open in 2016-2017 school year. Both facilities will provide students in Gilmer with an excellent educational experience in grades PreK through 6th. Our local CEFP committee is seeking an Amendment to our Comprehensive Facilities Plan to establish a 6-8 Middle School Model. The CEFP committee requested the transition of Phase II from an addition to be built on to the PreK-6 facility to instead utilize the existing Glenville Elementary School for a 6-8 Middle School educational facility.

Gilmer County Schools are proud to announce that Ms. Toni Bishop will be the Principal of Gilmer County Elementary. Ms. Bishop has been an employee with Gilmer County Schools since 1984 with a total of 31 years of experience in education. She has a Bachelor’s Degree from GSC in K-8, a Master’s Degree from Marshall University in Elementary Ed. with an emphasis in Curriculum and Instruction, and an Administrative Degree from WVU. Ms. Bishop began in 1984 as a Library Aide at Sand Fork Elementary, then Kindergarten Aide at Glenville, Preschool Handicap Aide, Payroll Clerk, and then Accounts Payable Clerk. She worked these jobs as she was pursuing her elementary teaching degree from GSC. Ms. Bishop taught second grade for 2 years at Troy Elementary. She then taught sixth grade for 10 years at Sand Fork Elementary. Ms. Bishop has been the principal at Glenville Elementary School since August 2003, and this is her 13th year acting as principal.

Gilmer County Schools places a monthly newsletter in our local Glenville Democrat to provide parents and community a frequent update on events and accolades for our county. We are very proud of the accomplishments thus far this school year and are looking forward to 2016-2017.

02.10.2016
CommunityGilmer CountyGlenvilleNormantownSand ForkEducationFeaturesG-FYI™NewsRegionWest Virginia(3) Comments

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~~~ Readers' Comments ~~~

Everyone is exceedingly proud of our teachers, staff, and students in Gilmer County.

What was chronicled demonstrates the high degree of dedication and competency among those high caliber individuals under crippling conditions of State intervention.

For the WVDOE to hog all the credit is outrageous. What was on the list which would not have happened anyway through involvement of our outstanding school system’s employees?

What has the WVDOEe done to improve academic achievement during its five years of intervention? The answer is nothing we know of from existing evidence.

Has the % of those who go to college who must take remedial courses diminished? What is the rate of success for those who go directly from high school to get high paying career jobs? Has that improved?

What about the %s of GCHS students who are college and career ready? Has that improved? If it has were is the proof?

What about the WVDOE’s secrecy with the County’s finances, personnel, curriculum, facilities,and other areas? Do you know of any improvements in open disclosure.

Are we any better off now for any of those mentioned categories than we were before intervention?

What about The WVDOE working with our elected school board to demonstrate its high quality leadership skills so there will be close teamwork to achieve common education goals for the County?

The answer to this as we know from watching the tapes is zero. The board is treated with outright contempt by the WVDOE

We know that the WVDOE signed the checks for the Cedar Creek project and it negotiated the Hays City deal along the river to get the State out of its mismanagement and squandering public money scrape at Cedar Creek.

More could be added, but it is clear that both sides of the intervention story must be told to ensure that there is full disclosure of the facts.

It sounds if the WVDOE is campaigning to continue to keep its appointed superintendent in Gilmer County after local control is restored.

That blunder would cause a continuation of the chaos to which Gilmer County has been subjected for five years.

By Mark Ash  on  02.10.2016

I checked to try to locate documentation of clearly defined remedial action the Gilmer County School Board must take to get it off the WVDOE’s dysfunctional list. Not there and never was.

No progress reports given either and that is something hard to understand form Charleston’s education elites.

The failure to provide guidance on remediation to follow demonstrates that the WVDOE relies on arbitrary and capacious decision-making instead of objective facts.

Citizens believe that the dysfunction term as used by the WVDOE means never ask any questions, clap vigorously when the WVDOE does anything similar to what happens in North Korea with its dictatorial leader, and, never, never, never exercise any independent thinking.

Considering all that has happened in Charleston including its inability to understand math to prevent millions of dollars of mistakes with school funding and its innumerable other blunders to keep WV stuck at 47th place for education, the WVDOE is not a stellar example of expertise to seek out for help.

What we face from the WVDOE relates to its greed, arrogance, and the retention of power over local school systems.

By WVDOE Locked On Incompetence  on  02.10.2016

You who do the watching of the WVBE school mess.
I’ll bet you could compile a list of two failures to every one of the Devano brag points.

Appears he is just is simply in application mode to continue his current job.
Word is RESA is operating very well without him.

By make the list  on  02.10.2016

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Area Closings and Delays on Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Gilmer Free Press
Status of Area Closings and Delays on Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Glenville State College    
Gilmer County Board of Education    
Gilmer County Courthouse  
Gilmer County Health Department  
Gilmer County Senior Center  
Minnie Hamilton Health System, Glenville Office Clinic
Gilmer County Schools 2 Hour Delay  -to-   ALL CLOSED  
Braxton County Schools 2 Hour Delay  -to-   ALL CLOSED  
Calhoun County Schools 3 Hour Delay  -to-   ALL CLOSED  
Doddridge County Schools 2 Hour Delay  -to-   ALL CLOSED  
Lewis County Schools 2 Hour Delay  -to-   ALL CLOSED  
Ritchie County Schools All Closed  
 
Barbour County Schools ALL CLOSED  
Clay County Schools 2 Hour Delay  -to-   ALL CLOSED  
Harrison County Schools ALL CLOSED  
Nicholas County Schools 2 Hour Delay  -to-   ALL CLOSED  
Pleasants County Schools 2 Hour Delay  -to-   ALL CLOSED  
Roane County Schools 2 Hour Delay  -to-   ALL CLOSED  
Tyler County Schools All Closed  
Upshur County Schools 2 Hour Delay  -to-   ALL CLOSED  
Webster County Schools 3 Hour Delay  -to-   ALL CLOSED  
Wetzel County Schools All Closed  
Wirt County Schools All Closed  
Wood County Schools All Closed  

 

Please Send us your closings and delays:  ‘tellus@gilmerfreepress.net’  or   304.462.8700

Area Closings and Delays on Tuesday, February 09, 2016

The Gilmer Free Press
Status of Area Closings and Delays on Tuesday, February 09, 2016
Glenville State College    
Gilmer County Board of Education    
Gilmer County Courthouse  
Gilmer County Health Department  
Gilmer County Senior Center  
Minnie Hamilton Health System, Glenville Office Clinic
Gilmer County Schools All Closed  
Braxton County Schools All Closed  
Calhoun County Schools All Closed  
Doddridge County Schools All Closed  
Lewis County Schools All Closed  
Ritchie County Schools All Closed  
 
Barbour County Schools All Closed  
Clay County Schools Closing 2 Hours Early  
Harrison County Schools All Closed  
Nicholas County Schools All Closed  
Pleasants County Schools All Closed  
Roane County Schools All Closed  
Tyler County Schools All Closed  
Upshur County Schools All Closed  
Webster County Schools All Closed  
Wetzel County Schools All Closed  
Wirt County Schools All Closed  
Wood County Schools All Closed  

 

Please Send us your closings and delays:  ‘tellus@gilmerfreepress.net’  or   304.462.8700

Children Have Been Paying the Price for the Political Games in Education

The Free Press WV

The Normantown Elementary student have been using portable trailer as classroom for many year.

This Gilmer County Schools has been under State control since 2011.

One reason for takeover was facilities.

The local Board was addressing the issue for many years and had a plan, but the politics in play prevented them from doing their job.

Did the State address the issue timely? Why is your take?

The Free Press WV
NORMANTOWN SCHOOL PROBLEM STILL FLARING
“Superintendent Going In Different Direction”

August 04, 2007

A battle between the Normantown community and Gilmer County school superintendent Ed Toman over the future of their local school is causing tempers to flare.

The problem has been focused on a mold issue in the school, but board member Phyllis Starkey said “It is all about the state closing Normantown and other county schools, using their economies of scale model.“

A showdown between Toman and the school board is looming, with some of the issues likely coming to a head Monday evening during a special Gilmer school board meeting at 6 p.m.

Board members Larry Butcher, Alton Skinner II and Phyllis Starkey attended a Normantown community meeting, Thursday. Skinner expressed concerns about “illegal” items being placed on the board’s agenda by Toman at a recent special meeting, saying he declined to vote on the measures.

The Free Press WV


Normantown parent and Challenge WV Fellow Misty Pritt said “We thought the problem was resolved after the board twice voted 5-0 to move forward with a plan to take care of the mold and get our kids back in the classroom when school opens.“

Mark Manchin, the director of the state’s School Building Authority was at Normantown yesterday, evaluating the situation.

“After a year’s worth of foot-dragging, it seems like Mr. Toman is still going in a different direction than the elected school board,“ Pritt said.

This week, volunteers from Gov. Joe Manchin’s office, the football team from Glenville State College and a large number of community members moved furniture from a part of the school that contains most of the mold, preparing to use other areas of the building and modular units they think are being erected on the property.

Pritt said there is a problem over temporarily using the school’s gym and cafeteria for classrooms, according to the State Fire Marshal.

During the Thursday community meeting of parents and supporters at the Normantown school, citizens were upset that Toman, after “a productive meeting” last week, then asked the board to sign-off on a letter seeking approval to transport Normantown students in grades 4th through 6th to Glenville for the next two years, “until acceptable portable classrooms become available.“

The board declined to approve the letter.

During Thursday’s meeting Gilmer County Sheriff Mickey Metz said he believes in keeping community schools, “From a law enforcement view, they’re safer and have less problems.“

Challenge WV Fellow Thomas Ramey said “It appears that Toman is insubordinate to the school board’s decisions,“ following a year of foot-dragging.“

Toman told the community group last week that he had been making several efforts to take care of the mold problem, but Pritt says “Here we are in a crisis as school is about to begin.“

Toman said he has always had the best interests of children first on his mind.

“It feels like the state has attacked my son,“ said parent Lisa Tanner, “This is not about our children.“

Challenge’s Ramey said “The state has used a bloody hammer on counties they have taken-over, but then say local board’s make the decisions about consolidation. In fact, school board’s are held hostage to School Building Authority money.“

Board member Starkey said, Gilmer County schools have good test scores and has remained fiscally responsible. “It’s all about closing community schools and consolidation,“ she said.

“Toman keeps saying Sand Fork is structurally unsound, which is not true, according to the engineering reports,“ Starkey said.

Four of Gilmer’s school board members were not aware of an item on the WV School Board’s agenda for next Thursday.

Superintendent Toman has not responded to a public information request to clarify the item, which says: “Normantown Elementary School (including the possible consideration of Comprehensive Educational facilities Plan Amendment) and Valley Head Elementary School, Randolph County, information or action.“

Valley Head is among about 120 elementary schools the state wants to close using their economies of scale model. Normantown, Sand Fork and Troy are among the community schools that the state wants to consolidate.

Challenge WV Fellow, Paul Hamrick of Clarksburg, urged parents to fight for their community school. They have an important place in the education of our children, and all the research says small schools do better.“

“You need to come together with a community voice,“ Hamrick urged.

Superintendent Toman was asked to clarify questions regarding these issues by the Hur Herald. He declined to comment.

~~  Bob Weaver - The Hur Herald ~~

Gilmer County Schools January 2016 Newsletter

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Area Closings and Delays on Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Gilmer Free Press
Status of Area Closings and Delays on Wednesday, January 27, 2016
Glenville State College    
Gilmer County Board of Education    
Gilmer County Courthouse  
Gilmer County Health Department  
Gilmer County Senior Center  
Minnie Hamilton Health System, Glenville Office Clinic
Gilmer County Schools 2 Hour Delay  
Braxton County Schools 2 Hour Delay  
Calhoun County Schools 3 Hour Delay  
Doddridge County Schools    
Lewis County Schools All Closed  
Ritchie County Schools    
 
Barbour County Schools All Closed  
Clay County Schools All Closed  
Harrison County Schools 3 Hour Delay  
Nicholas County Schools    
Pleasants County Schools    
Roane County Schools    
Tyler County Schools    
Upshur County Schools 2 Hour Delay  
Webster County Schools    
Wetzel County Schools    
Wirt County Schools    
Wood County Schools    

 

Please Send us your closings and delays:  ‘tellus@gilmerfreepress.net’  or   304.462.8700

Area Closings and Delays on Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Gilmer Free Press
Status of Area Closings and Delays on Tuesday, January 26, 2016
Glenville State College    
Gilmer County Board of Education    
Gilmer County Courthouse  
Gilmer County Health Department  
Gilmer County Senior Center  
Minnie Hamilton Health System, Glenville Office Clinic
Gilmer County Schools All Closed  
Braxton County Schools All Closed  
Calhoun County Schools All Closed  
Doddridge County Schools 2 Hour Delay  
Lewis County Schools All Closed  
Ritchie County Schools 2 Hour Delay  
 
Barbour County Schools All Closed  
Clay County Schools All Closed  
Harrison County Schools All Closed  
Nicholas County Schools 2 Hour Delay  
Pleasants County Schools 2 Hour Delay  
Roane County Schools All Closed  
Tyler County Schools    
Upshur County Schools All Closed  
Webster County Schools 2 Hour Delay  
Wetzel County Schools All Closed  
Wirt County Schools 2 Hour Delay  
Wood County Schools 2 Hour Delay  

 

Please Send us your closings and delays:  ‘tellus@gilmerfreepress.net’  or   304.462.8700

Gilmer County Board of Education Approves “Handle With Care” Program

At the last Gilmer County Board of Education Meeting (02.19.16)  Andrea L. Darr, the director of WV Center for Children’s Justice presented a program.

This program which is developed and initiated in West Virginia is to help the children who are exposed to violence and trauma.

After her excellent presentation and discussion among the board members (DR. Bill Simmons, Dr. Carl Armour, Norma Hurley, Tom Ratliff, and Mist Pritt) and the superintendent (Gabe DeVano), the board unanimously approved to implement the program in Gilmer County.

Gilmer County Magistrate Carol Wolfe, Gilmer county Sheriff Larry Gerwig, Chief Sheriff Deputy Clerk Kimberly Jenkins and Cpl. F.L. Rayner from WV State Police were also present for the presentation.

Following is the explanation of the program.

The Free Press WV

OVERVIEW:

A recent national survey of the incidence and prevalence of children’s exposure to violence and trauma revealed that 60% of American children have been exposed to violence, crime or abuse. Forty percent were direct victims of two or more violent acts. Prolonged exposure to violence and trauma can seriously undermine children’s ability to focus, behave appropriately, and learn in school. It often leads to school failure, truancy, suspension or expulsion, dropping out, or involvement in the juvenile justice system.

The West Virginia Defending Childhood Initiative, commonly referred to as “Handle With Care,” is tailored to reflect the needs and issues affecting children in West Virginia. The Initiative, a result of a collaborative effort of key stakeholders and partners, builds upon the success of proven programs throughout the country. The goal of the Initiative is to prevent children’s exposure to trauma and violence, mitigate negative affects experienced by children’s exposure to trauma, and to increase knowledge and awareness of this issue.

Model Handle With Care (“HWC”) programs promote safe and supportive homes, schools and communities that protect children, and help traumatized children heal and thrive. HWC promotes school-community partnerships aimed at ensuring that children who are exposed to trauma in their home, school or community receive appropriate interventions to help them achieve academically at their highest levels despite whatever traumatic circumstances they may have endured. The ultimate goal of HWC is to help students to succeed in school. Regardless of the source of trauma, the common thread for effective intervention is the school. Research now shows that trauma can undermine children’s ability to learn, form relationships, and function appropriately in the classroom. HWC programs support children exposed to trauma and violence through improved communication and collaboration between law enforcement, schools and mental health providers, and connects families, schools and communities to mental health services.


PILOT:

“Handle with Care” is an initiative currently being piloted at Mary C. Snow West Side Elementary School in Charleston, WV. The school, located in an urban area of the city plagued by drug and violent crime, houses approximately 500 students. Ninety-Three percent of the students come from low-income families. The school has ranked 398 out of 404 elementary schools in West Virginia for poor performance. In conjunction with “Handle With Care,” the United States Attorney’s Office has launched a Drug Market Intervention in the area to address high level drug and street crime.


LAW ENFORCEMENT:

“Handle with Care” provides the school with a “heads up” when a child has been identified at the scene of a traumatic event. It could be a meth lab explosion, a domestic violence situation, a shooting in the neighborhood, witnessing a malicious wounding, a drug raid at the home, etc. Police are trained to identify children at the scene, find out where they go to school and send the school a confidential email or fax that simply says . . . “Handle Johnny with care”. That’s it. No other details.

In addition to providing notice, officers also build positive relationships with students by interacting on a regular basis. They visit classrooms, stop by for lunch, and simply chat with students to help promote positive relationships and perceptions of officers.


SCHOOLS:

Teachers have been trained on the impact of trauma on learning, and are incorporating many interventions to mitigate the negative impact of trauma for identified students, including: sending students to the clinic to rest (when a HWC has been received and the child is having trouble staying awake or focusing); re-teaching lessons; postponing testing; small group counseling by school counselors; and referrals to counseling, social service or advocacy programs. The school has also implemented many school-wide interventions to help create a trauma sensitive school (Greeters; pairing students with an adult mentor in the school; utilization of a therapy dog; and “thumbs up/thumbs down” to indicate if a student is having a good day or a bad day).


COUNSELING:

When identified students exhibit continued behavioral or emotional problems in the classroom, the counselor or principal refers the parent to a counseling agency which provides trauma-focused therapy. Currently, there are two partnering agencies providing trauma focused therapy on site at the school in a room provided by the Family Care Health Center housed within the school. Once the counseling agency has received a referral and parental consent, students can receive on-site counseling.

The counseling is provided to children and families at times which are least disruptive for the student. The counselors also participate in MDT, SAT and other meetings deemed necessary by school personnel, and as authorized by the child’s parent or guardian. Counselors provide assessments of the child’s need, psychological testing, treatment recommendations, accommodation recommendations, and status updates to key school personnel as authorized by the child’s parent or guardian.

Gazette editorial: Gilmer’s Expensive Bait and Switch

The Free Press WV

Learning is crucial for the future of West Virginia children in the modern high-tech world. So it’s distressing when educational bureaucracy flounders into a snafu that hinders it.

A West Virginia “first” — an updated elementary school shared by two counties — was approved by the state School Building Authority. It gave $10.3 million to Gilmer and Lewis counties for a first-class facility, Leading Creek Elementary School, near the county line. The state-of-the-art school was designed and built to hold 240 to 280 pupils from both counties, taken from old schools.

But education reporter Ryan Quinn revealed that Gilmer County didn’t keep its end of the bargain. The Gilmer school board failed to send its full share of children. Instead, it bused many of them to a more-distant school in Gilmer. Thus the brand-new two-county school is just 60 percent full, with some of its rooms used for storage.

“We feel like someone has tried to pull the wool over our eyes,” SBA official Scott Raines said. “We upheld our obligations. We feel like everyone else should uphold theirs, too.”

SBA Executive Director David Sneed added: “We’ve encouraged Gilmer County to honor their commitment here, but I’m just saying I don’t think there’s a will to do that.” He said the SBA could have saved $1 million by not building a larger two-county school.

Gilmer school superintendent Gabe Devono said he could find no record that his county agreed to a 240-pupil school — but a Gilmer funding application to the SBA contained that figure. Also, Gilmer officials said some parents requested that their children be kept inside their county. No clear explanation for the botch has emerged.

Statewide education administrators seem powerless to repair the Gilmer-Lewis mess. A deputy superintendent told reporter Quinn the state Board of Education cannot control county-level pupil transfers.

Education committees in the Legislature should examine this expensive snafu. West Virginia pupils deserve the best schooling possible.

01.24.2016
Arts & EntertainmentBooks | Magazines | NewspaperCommunityGilmer CountyGlenvilleNormantownSand ForkTroyEducationNewsRegionWest VirginiaOpinions | Commentary | G-LtE™ | G-Comm™ | G-OpEd™Politics | Government | ElectionState-WV(9) Comments

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~~~ Readers' Comments ~~~

No matter how Charleston spins it the world class botch job in Gilmer County was caused by the WVBOE, WVDOE, WVSBA and locals with influence in Charleston to help ramrod intervention and consolidation.

The SNAFU’s are what happens in a dictatorship setting where decisions are made too quickly by a powerful few behind closed doors.

Take regular citizens out of the decision-making process to fail to gain their input and prior support, don’t use high quality professionally done planning to include the identification of potential problems and the inclusion of measures to prevent them, and don’t get signed and legally binding agreements.

Nothing was said about the State’s costly and disastrous Cedar Creek blunder and what led to building a new consolidated school in a commercial zone on a river bank to boot.

Mr. Quinn should do investigative reporting on those issues if he wants to be a good journalist.

The SNAFUS took another twist when we read that the new multi million dollar consolidated grade school in Glenville may not be large enough to handle all the students and something else needs to be done.

The only local winners in the new school deal are the rich with influence who will get more traffic in Glenville’s shopping center zone.

If we get a middle school at Gilmer Elementary because of poor planning there will be even more traffic out there.

That will pull in additional customers to make the cash registers ring.

Don’t think for a minute that making money off the school system by businesses was not a driver for what happened in the name of our children.

Dr. Daniel has to point her finger to Gilmer County because her job is to protect Charleston.

She says that she has oversight authority for intervention in the County.

How many of the 40 items among concerns assembled by the GFP has she taken care of to make the situation any better?

By The WVDOE, WVBOE, and the WVSBA Were The Architect  on  01.24.2016

Dear Mr Quinn, you need to go over to Lewis County courthouse and find the deed for that land the school sits on.  You also need to see whose CEFP was approved for the school and what county the SBA approved to build it.  You will find in both cases the name of the Lewis County Board of Education.

If you have documentation showing otherwise we’d like to see it.

While you are at it, you might read the MOU for the Governance Board.  Who has final approval over all decisions for personnel and finance when it comes to the Leading Creek school?

Lewis County Board of Education

By Mr Quinn, You've Been Duped  on  01.24.2016

Quinn, you will find the following approval of Lewis CEFP in the October 5, 2011 WVBOE minutes. What part of Lewis County don’t you understand? Why do you now seem to feel that Gilmer would get the money to build a school in another county? You are not checking the facts.  It seems you are now attempting to defend poor Charleston decisions. The WVBOE has ran Gilmer since June 11, 2011. That’s in the minutes too.  There were never enough students in Troy and Alum Bridge to make 240. And under what theory do you think forcing people to send their kids out of their home county that is providing a better education is right?

You can write can you read?

XVIII.  Amendments – 2010-2020 Lewis County
  Comprehensive Educational Facilities Plan (CEFP)

  Mr. Pickens presented two amendments to the 2010-2020 Lewis County Comprehensive Educational Facilities Plan (CEFP) for the Board’s consideration.  Amendment one was for the building of a new, combined multi-county (Pk-6) elementary school with Gilmer County.  This new school will house the present Troy Elementary School in Gilmer County and the Alum Bridge Elementary School in Lewis County.  This amendment identifies this new school project as the number one priority in Lewis County.  Amendment 2 was to update/correct school floor plans found in the CEFP (floor plans were found to have inaccuracies).  Dr. Joseph Mace, Superintendent of Lewis County Schools, addressed the Board regarding the proposed multi county (Lewis and Gilmer) elementary school. 

  Upon motion by Dr. Johnson, seconded by Ms. Haden, the Board unanimously approved the two requested amendments to the 2010-2020 Lewis County CEFP.  (Copy appended to Official Minutes, Attachment L-1 and L-2.)

You say you have documentation signed by Gilmer County?  You show us yours and we’ll show you ours.

By Report Facts Not Fairytales  on  01.24.2016

An outstanding reporter would get access to all the documents and put them in chronological order for a careful and objective analysis.

Then, it would be a proper to report the findings based on verifiable fact and not to rely on simply talking with different parties.

We know that the WVDOE is on record stating that some records are missing and we hear of shredding in Gilmer County’s central office. Get the facts Gazette-Mail and then report to stop the he said she said!

This multifaceted scandal is not going away and it would be best for Charleston to quit the spin.

They are are encouraging citizens who know how to get information to keep on digging.

By Keep On Digging  on  01.24.2016

Have the WV Gazette Editors even been reading their own Reporter Quinn’s articles?
Have the WV Gazette Editors been *leaned-on* by the WVBOE, the WVDOE, and the WVSBA?

To lay the blame on the muzzled, handcuffed, silenced, can’t even get one item on the agenda Gilmer County Board of Ed,.....to blame them for the Gilmer-Lewis school mess…..THAT is shameless of you Gazette Editors.

Blaming the Gilmer County Board of Education is the REAL BAIT AND SWITCH STORY people.

West Virginia State Board of Education hired and contracted both Superintendent Blankenship and Devano as *their* men to carry out *their* orders.

THE WV STATE BOE OWNS THE GILMER-LEWIS MESS 100%!

The WV State BOE has had 100% control of Gilmer County since June 11, 2011 when Mrs. Senator Joe Manchin, WVBOE President threw Gilmer County under the bus. 

And you, Charleston Gazette, have the audacity to suggest Gilmer County is at fault?

By Gazette Editorial Fatally Flawed?  on  01.24.2016

Never get it wrong.  The West Virginia State Board of Education runs every aspect of education in Glimer County. 
They approve what’s paid, who is hired, who is let go,what is rented, what programs stay or go. the students who go or come and what is built, torn down or sold.
Nothing happens in the Gilmer County education system that isn’t laid right at the feet of the West Virginia State Board of Education.

By Gilmer Had and Has No Choice  on  01.24.2016

They blamed it on the last Gilmer board of ed, they didn’t do it. They are trying to blame it on the current Gilmer Board, they didn’t do it. Anything but the State Board taking the blame for using forced consolidation to make a “new” regional school when Gilmer County had one for years at Troy and Normantown.  Other counties children were always allowed in if there was room.  There was nothing new about a regional elementary school. It was just an excuse to force Gilmer to consolidate.

By Facts Don't Change  on  01.24.2016

Most students who lived in Troy, close to Leading Creek went there. We are a small community.  The ones that had redistricted previously to Troy to keep the count up.  The ones from Tanner, Sand Fork and Glenville, were never closer and of course want to come in to Gilmer. If something had been done to put a school over toward Normantown and Rosedale areas no children involved would be forced into excessive bus rides. No regional school was needed.

By Never Any Doubt About That  on  01.24.2016

Business people in retail sales know that their gross revenues correlate to the degree of vehicle traffic going by.

Grabbing more money for businesses had to be a factor in locating the new consolidated school at Hays City.

The result will be less money being spent in outlying areas of the County to make a bad economic situation at those location worse.

Doesn’t hog it all for Glenville sounds about right?

It seems that Foodland needs more customers judging from its poorly stocked shelves and other problems including less choices for items stocked and significantly higher prices than those out of town.

Do not forget that Senator Facemire is the store’s owner. He knew about the County’s many intervention problems for five years and he did nothing to help.

With the election coming up the Senator is suddenly showing interest in how the County was treated by the WVDOE and the WVBOE after all the damage was done.

The smirking elite in the local cabal think that common citizens are too ignorant to see through what happened here.

We will see if they are still laughing after the votes are counted at election time.

By Al Benson  on  01.26.2016

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CommunityConcerns™:Dr. Martirano, Dr. Daniel Are You Turning Our Schools to Police State?

Dr. Martirano and Dr. Daniel Are You Going to Hire
a Sheriff’s Deputy for Gilmer County’s Schools?

The Free Press WV

At January’s Gilmer County school board meeting WV’s Handle With Care program was presented. The innovative program is designed to aid school children who have suffered abuse at home. The first step is early identification of children who need help to cope with abuse. This abuse can include sexual, physical, and emotional trauma.

The major goal for the program is to help children overcome problems to increase their chances for succeeding in school to become successful and productive citizens. Main components of the program are getting children help with professional counseling, and assistance from social services or advocacy programs.

By special design police have a minimal, low key role in the program and their function is simply to notify school officials that a specific child needs to be Handled With Care when they obtain information. That’s it for police involvement and the rest is left up to school officials. School officials always have the primary task of identifying children who need special help based on observations at school.

The presentation was accepted with total enthusiasm. What happened next was that the meeting morphed into a request for school system money to be used to fund hiring of a new officer for the Gilmer County Sheriff’s Department for assignment to our schools.

One purpose for the action would be to provide an officer to direct traffic at our new consolidated school. There is no doubt that a police officer should be there when buses arrive and depart. However, should it not be the responsibility of the Sheriff’s Department to handle traffic with its existing funding? Isn’t that what our tax money is for?

The public’s major concern is that use of school money is being advocated to be used to help pay for a full-time police officer to rotate among our schools. The assignment would somehow mesh with the Handle With Care program and the details were not disclosed.

Here are some questions being asked by the public:

  1. The Free Press WV Is there reliable evidence that stationing a police officer at our schools would help to diminish and solve child abuse?

  2. The Free Press WV How much would hiring a police officer cost with the base pay and all the benefits, and more importantly how do we know that the expense from school system funds would have better results than other options for benefiting abused children?

  3. The Free Press WV For officials who believe that hiring a police officer would be a good idea to combat potential terrorism does anyone think that having an officer around at times would be a meaningful deterrent to a criminal astute enough to study when to strike in an officer’s absence?

  4. The Free Press WV Is the real purpose of hiring a new full-time police officer a bail out of the County Commission with use of public school money with a pretense that it is being done for our children similar to the costly Minnie Hamilton move? Alternatively, would hiring and talk of it at election time be a political move designed to help those are running for office to win an election while the move is being marketed as a benefit for our children?

  5. The Free Press WV Where are results of studies to prove that Gilmer County has a child abuse problem not being taken care of in our schools? If there is a problem is this is a failure of neglectful principals and higher level administrators? Why not get rid of them to hire individuals that would take care of the problem?

  6. The Free Press WV Where are results to prove that having a police officer at a school has overall benefits to children to make them better and happier citizens? There are many individuals who believe that an officer could have negative effects by causing some children to believe that they are under surveillance in a police state atmosphere. That does not mean that there should not be a presently funded program in the County to inform children that officers are there to help them instead of being someone to fear.

  7. The Free Press WV When is the WVDOE going to make a comprehensive and objective presentation of pros and cons of having a police officer at schools?

  8. The Free Press WV For something as unusual for Gilmer County to have a police officer at schools why is this not another failure of the WVDOE to involve local citizens and parents to get their ideas on what should be done?

  9. The Free Press WV What do our teachers think about the idea of a police officer at the schools? Do they support the idea and do they believe that there would be tangible benefits from it compared to hiring more counselors and getting help from professionals who know how to deal with child abuse?

  10. The Free Press WV Why does the WVDOE fail to provide citizens with its comprehensive and objective analysis of why spending money on an on-site police officer would be a higher priority than feeding and clothing needy children or other measures known to be effective in assisting children?

At January’s school board meeting at which child abuse and hiring a police officer were discussed there was reference to poverty as the cause of abuse. Use of drugs and alcohol were said to contribute to the problem.

 

The Free Press WV

Extreme care must be taken not to stereotype all families with low incomes to be the principal explanation for child abuse in its many forms. Citizens who are financially challenged are among our finest who love and protect their children and they instill high moral values in them. Not having money should never suggest that a parent uses illegal drugs and alcohol to make them prey against their innocent children.

~~  G. Dave Ramezan - GFP ~~

01.22.2016
CommunityGilmer CountyGlenvilleNormantownSand ForkTroyEducationFeaturesCommunityConcerns™NewsRegionWest VirginiaPolitics | Government | ElectionState-WV(13) Comments

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~~~ Readers' Comments ~~~

The WVDOE has too many agendas with nothing to do with educating our children. Everyone is against child abuse of any nature and it must be stopped.

Getting police in our schools is another issue. There is a serious discipline problem and what the WVDOE wants is to have a policeman on station to do their jobs for them.

Talk with teachers including the substitutes and they will tell you the truth about what it is like to try to do their jobs with a discipline breakdown.

Get the WVDOE out of Gilmer County and let us handle our problems like we used to do when the school board was allowed to function normally with full authority!

By Mad Parent Against Police State  on  01.22.2016

Police in our schools? What do you expect with the WVDOE’s totalitarian rule?

What is proposed resembles tactics in communist countries and Nazi Germany. Too bad that with the WVDOE in total control when you hear about something it is more than likely a done deal.

No way this intrusion against human rights and personal freedom should be tolerated in Gilmer County.

Stop waste the WVDOE is causing and use that money to do what is needed to help abused children while working with students, parents,  the local community,and appropriate agencies.

If the Sheriff’s department wants to do something to help the County’s children spend more time out of the office hunting down drug dealers and drug manufacturers.

By J. D. Simons  on  01.22.2016

I see that Devono and Gerwig are making the proposal today to the County Commission to hire the officer.

It was thought by those at the January school board meeting that Devono was supposed to gather more information to take to the school board before any decisions were made.

Done deal as another WVDOE way of exercising its dictatorial power over the County.
a Martirano and Daniel why do you continue to permit the County to be run over?

By Randy Albright  on  01.22.2016

The 9 West Virginia Board of Education board members.
All appointed by Manchin and Tomblin governors.

See where that has got our educational system?
The picture is clear now, unless you have you head stuck…....

By who have you voted for?  on  01.22.2016

Domestic violence occurs in families from every socio-economic status, rich to poor and many times starts with alcohol abuse by the adults in charge.  Children who witness that always suffer emotional abuse, sometimes physical abuse and surely need protection and understanding. Don’t know that police presence in the school will do that. Seems it would remind a child of who might have come to their house to break up the fighting, possibly take one of their parents to jail, or, possibly take them out of their home. The sheriff office definitely needs to direct traffic through the shopping center parking lot for the elementary school. That’s because of the poor site choice. But maybe they need to drive by more and take a walk through as they have time at both schools.  Hiring another full time policeman might cause more money problems than be a help.

By Questioning??  on  01.22.2016

Take a look at reintroduced HB 2465. If passed it would require an elected WVBOE to end the dictatorial school system take over madness and mismanagement from Charleston.

It would help if citizens would call their legislators to encourage its passage.

Employees at the WVDOE don’t like what has happened any better than Gilmer County.

All we want is to do our jobs for WV’s children and to keep the WVBOE’s meddling from interfering with what we are capable of doing.

By WVDOE Underground Committee  on  01.23.2016

Having been present at the school board meeting Tuesday evening I feel the need to clarify that the two items of discussion above have no relationship to each other what so ever. The Handle With Care program that was presented at the Board of Education meeting is something that stands alone. It is an initiative for the youth in Gilmer County based on a program to assist children within the school system that are impacted by violence or trauma within the home. Regardless of how anyone feels it is a fact that violence and trauma within the home will impact a child’s performance at school. No personal information is released or shared about the child from law enforcement with the school system only the simple words “Handle with Care” immediately following a sensitive situation involving a child within the school system. This initiative has proven success in many counties all over the state of WV and is being launched in states throughout the country. The youth of this county are important and in addition to working diligently to remove drugs and violence from the streets of our county we must implement programs to protect and nurture our youth. This program is ABSOLUTELY free to the county. There are NO tax dollars involved. I am not sure why the two stories are being reported on in the same article here?

By Curious in the County  on  01.23.2016

Re:  Curious in the County
Your remarks sounded credible ..........until your claim of “ABSOLUTELY free” and “NO tax dollars”.

By don't believe you  on  01.24.2016

To Curious. The issue is not the Handle With Care Program.

Citizens who keep up on school system news understand that the Handle With Care presenter did an outstanding job in informing meeting attendees about the program.

The program was said to have received enthusiastic acceptance and that was great to help abused children.
The problem was that the meeting went from Handle to Care to getting police in the schools.

That item was not on the agenda, it was obvious that there had been organized lobbying for it, and by not being on the agenda it seemed that the meeting violated WV’s Open Meeting Law.

Someone should contact the WV Ethics Commission to get an official opinion.

Doesn’t Ms. Danial in the WVDOE approve Gilmer’s agenda items in advance of monthly board meetings? Will she check on this problem?

By Handle With Care--Great Idea  on  01.24.2016

If curious enough to attend a board of ed meeting you should know. The Gilmer County board has no control over personnel, finance or facilities.  They can’t hire, fire or pay anybody.  If it was brought up it had to be by the state appointed superintendents design. Watch the videos, Gilmer board can’t even get anything on the agenda.  It’s all done by the state’s man Devono.  All the Gilmer board can talk about what he allows to be brought up and ask for more information they never seem to get.

By Destruction of Gilmer County Schools by State Desi  on  01.24.2016

It is not necessary for you to believe or not to believe me regarding the expense of the Handle with Care Program to the citizens of the county. The statement is one of fact. I am familiar with the program and what it entails. I encourage everyone to become familiar with it as well. Please feel free to get any details at http://www.handlewithcarewv.org again no cost to tax payers only a benefit to the youth of our community.

By Curious in the County  on  01.24.2016

It is clear from the tapes that the WVDOE will not permit complete meeting minutes to be written for the public record.

Potential problems with intervention including the Cedar Creek SNAFU were brought up in advance at meetings and the WVDOE did not want the information in the official public record.

Nothing less than protecting the WVDOE.

Ms. Daniel likes to say that she was not on the job when some of the problems occurred. She certainly in on the job now so what is she doing to correct existing problems?

By Miller, J.  on  01.25.2016

Citizens know that the WVDOE embargoed the County’s school system information to kept it secret from board members and Gilmer’s public.

Why not request it through the Freedom of Information ACT and send it to Drs. Martirano and Daniel and the WV Legislature with copies to the press?

Drs. Martirano and Daniel why do you permit information withholding to continue to happen to Gilmer County?

Don’t you have the authority to put a stop to it?

By M. Carter  on  01.26.2016

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G-LtE™: Call to Our Commissioners - Let’s Make It Fair

The Free Press WV

The Gilmer County Commission is meeting on Friday, January 22, 2016 at 9:00 AM.

By looking at the AGENDA I noticed the following item:

Levy request from: Gilmer County Volunteer Fire Department and Gilmer County Ambulance Authority

Currently, the levy money is split 70/30 between the EMS and fire department with the EMS getting 70%.

Concerned citizens in Gilmer County feel it should be a 50/50 split.

Why?

The fire department has no other financial resource besides fund drives to buy equipment or anything else needed by the department.

The EMS charges the county residence every time they are called.  And if you decide you don’t need them, you still get charged.

The fire department is a body of volunteers who CHARGE NOTHING to come to your home or a car wreck no matter what time of day or night.

It is the community talk as well as listening to scanner that many times the EMS has to get Lewis or another county to respond to our county to help our people. But as soon as FCI –Gilmer prison calls for an ambulance they are right away in route.

I just wanted to let this out and maybe get more people talking to the county commissioners and voice their concerns about a 50/50 split.

All we are asking is fairness.

Thank you

Concerned Citizens

~~  Author on File ~~

01.21.2016
CommunityGilmer CountyCedarvilleGlenvilleNormantownRosedaleSand ForkTroyFeaturesCommunityConcerns™NewsRegionOpinions | Commentary | G-LtE™ | G-Comm™ | G-OpEd™Politics | Government | ElectionLocal(3) Comments

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~~~ Readers' Comments ~~~

I have been a member of both organizations, I had 20 years of service with the Fire Department and currently work for the EMS, yes EMS does get the higher percentage of the levy, and yes we do charge for the runs, but what you don’t understand is when we bill an insurance we do not get reimbursed for the full amount most of the time, and quite a few outstanding debts get wrote off, we currently have four ambulances in service and two of them have over 200,000 miles on them, these ambulances are prepared to run 24/7 because we run 24/7, there are six full time employees out of which one lives in Gilmer county, and a hand full of part time employees that have other full time jobs, at times we do use other counties for assistance because we have no one else that can come in and take a second call, we have a mutual aid agreement with the surrounding counties for this purpose, and like wise if another surrounding county needs help we go help them, there have been several attempts to have a EMT class but they have failed due to low turn out, and the ones that did come for them were mostly from other counties, both organizations are Emergency services, we are here for the community, not to back stab and put down each other!

By Michael Moore  on  01.22.2016

The Fire Department and Ambulance Authority each take their own annual amount of funding needed as a request for excess levy to the County Commission who approves it to be put out in a levy call. They can also deny it. Once it is approved and put on the ballot, the voters will decide yes or no.  The two entities run together as one vote historically because the agencies want that since they are very related and necessary community services. 

The Fire Department does need and deserves more money in my personal opinion and should ask the Commission to raise the amount their annual excess levy will bring in. Ask them to change their levy call.  The Commission should approve and put that amount in the levy call, publish it and on the ballot for the voters to decide. It will raise the rate unless our tax base has increased but likely minimally. They can not simply take money away from the Ambulance Authority and give it away.

It is a simple straight forward process and queston.  Which one would we all want to do without?

Sorry to put my two cents in but it is too important for people who do not know about the excess levies to get confused. The County Clerk, Commission or Fire Chief can verify and answer any questions.

By Norma Hurley  on  01.22.2016

The levy should be left as is. The fire department gets money from the state along with the county levy money. The fire department does not have a payroll like the ambulance authority. Nor does the fire dept. make as many runs.

With Gilmer County’s aging population, access to medical services must be one of the highest priorities. This is not the time to cripple the ambulance authority and make it more difficult for them to do their job.

Instead the fire dept. should manage their money better.

By It's not that simple.  on  01.23.2016

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Area Closings and Delays on Friday, January 22, 2016

The Gilmer Free Press
Status of Area Closings and Delays on Friday, January 22, 2016
Glenville State College Closed - Shuttle and food service will be limited  
Gilmer County Board of Education    
Gilmer County Courthouse Closing at 10:00 AM  
Gilmer County Health Department Closing at 10:00 AM  
Gilmer County Senior Center  
Minnie Hamilton Health System, Glenville Office ClinicClosing at 12:00 Noon
 
Gilmer County Schools All Closed  
Braxton County Schools All Closed  
Calhoun County Schools All Closed  
Doddridge County Schools Closing 3:00 Hours Early  
Lewis County Schools All Closed  
Ritchie County Schools All Closed  
 
Barbour County Schools All Closed  
Clay County Schools All Closed  
Harrison County Schools All Closed  
Nicholas County Schools All Closed  
Pleasants County Schools All Closed  
Roane County Schools All Closed  
Tyler County Schools All Closed  
Upshur County Schools All Closed  
Webster County Schools All Closed  
Wetzel County Schools All Closed  
Wirt County Schools All Closed  
Wood County Schools All Closed  

Please Send us your closings and delays:  ‘tellus@gilmerfreepress.net’  or   304.462.8700

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