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Wood BOE discusses Williamstown bleachers

Schools receive $2K in books from drive

The book drive between Books-A-Million and Wood County Schools, operated by Rosie Scott, earned the schools over $2,000 in books this year. (Photo by James Dobbs)

PARKERSBURG — On Tuesday, Wood County Board of Education discussed the number of Coronavirus cases in the school, the Williamstown bleachers and donations from Books-A-Million.

The board once again recognized Criss Elementary School for being one of 325 schools to receive the 2021 National Blue Ribbon award.

“I had the privilege and pleasure of visiting all schools in Wood County, and I could not be more proud of the staff, and it’s not only teachers, the custodians, secretaries, teachers, librarians, counselors, administration, everyone’s involved in making and helping a school earn this prestigious award,” said Superintendent William Hosaflook.

Several faculty and staff members from the school came to support Criss Elementary, including Principal Heather Grant.

“I really wish that every single staff member could be here, because that’s the truth, it takes everyone,” said Grant. “I didn’t win this award, not one single person won this award, it took us all.”

Superintendent William Hosaflook discussed the number of Coronavirus cases in the district at the Wood County School Board of Education meeting. (Photo by James Dobbs)

Seven years ago, Rosie Scott started a book drive with Books-A-Million for Wood County Schools. This year, Scott earned over $2,000 worth of donations dedicated toward Wood County students.

“So we love doing this but, like you said, I do always want to emphasize, we’re just the conduit,” said Scott. “The community that comes in and shops our stores are the ones that donate these books, we’re just the little beggars that ask them to do it.”

Hosaflook updated the board with the number of Coronavirus cases and quarantines within the district. He said that last meeting the district had 437 quarantines and roughly 94 positive cases.

“As of today at 3:30 p.m., we had 216 quarantines, so we have cut that in half, and we only have 73 positives, so things are headed in the right direction,” he said.

Mario Puccio, a 21-year retired veteran, discussed section 4.5 in the Homebound policy of Wood County Schools. He believes that this section has discriminated against his daughter, a Parkersburg High School student. Puccio said she was not able to get a homecoming ticket without “jumping through hoops.”

Puccio addressed the board to offer information in hopes that the board would reevaluate the policy.

The Homebound policy in question sets the requirements for students enrolled in any Wood County school who, due to injury or for any other reason as certified in writing by a licensed health care provider, are temporarily confined to home or hospital for a period that has lasted or will last more than three consecutive weeks shall receive home/hospital services. Section 4.5 states that students who receive homebound instruction will not be allowed to participate in extracurricular activities or be employed.

Williamstown Middle/High School Principal Jason Ward approached the board to speak on behalf of the school about the bleachers.

“My goal was to simply say thank you for recognizing that our bleachers are desperately in need of being replaced, and that we aren’t asking for luxury items, but that we be able to have safe bleachers that the community and the county can be proud of,” said Ward.

Mallory Beck, wife of the Williamstown High School football coach Chris Beck, also spoke at Tuesday’s meeting.

“To say this field is a community meeting spot would be an understatement,” said Beck.

The board made a motion for the adoption of the proposed cost of $1.4 million for the Williamstown High School bleachers base estimate.The board is trying to move this estimate forward, because there is a 26-week waiting period before the aluminum to build this project will be delivered. The board passed the adoption of the $1.4 million bleacher estimate, unanimously. The project will now be put out for bid.

“This is an absolute need for our Williamstown community,” said board President Justin Raber.

The board went into executive session to discuss pending litigation related to the former Waverly Elementary School, no action was taken. The board will proceed with litigation, and a hearing will be held before Wood County Circuit Court Judge J.D. Beane on Nov. 1 at 1:30 p.m.

The board also passed the adoption of an estimated proposal from Pickering Associates regarding Blennerhassett Elementary/Middle School renovations and additions.

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