WELLSBURG – The Brooke County School Board was asked about safety measures at Brooke High School on Monday and presented plans to sell the old Colliers Primary School building.
The council heard from Martin Wood, a parent who said he recently went to high school wearing a mask and hat, which he said helped conceal his identity, but was not questioned by a security agent.
Wood said he was there to visit the school health center operated by CHANGE Inc. for a COVID-19 test and asked if visitors to the building should be allowed inside when they could pose a risk to student health.
Deputy Superintendent Corey Murphy told Wood he would meet with John White, a former sheriff’s deputy serving as the school’s prevention resource officer, to discuss the safety protocols followed there.
After the meeting, Murphy said he was confident adequate action was being taken, but that he would ensure that was the case.
He confirmed that all visitors to the school must first present a driver’s license to the security guard in a locked vestibule at the main entrance.
White noted that each license is managed by a computer system that can alert the caretaker of a guest who may pose a threat, such as a convicted sex offender or a parent involved in a custody battle.
Murphy said there was a side entrance, with an intercom, for visitors to the health center, but that it should only be used when students are not in the building so that all guests are screened of security.
White said health center staff escorted out-of-school patients to their facilities.
Wood admitted that he was opposed to the school district‘s mask mandate while understanding the motive behind it.
When speaking out against this at a previous board meeting, Superintendent Jeffrey Crook said the state health department was not requiring quarantine of people in the school district. that were masked at the time of exposure to someone with COVID-19.
Crook said with that in mind that masking keeps more students in school, which he says is educationally better for them.
On Monday, Stephanie Blundon, director of student services and chair of the school board‘s COVID task force, said currently 18 students or staff have tested positive for COVID-19 and 56 others have been ordered to quarantine.
Blundon applauded the efforts of school nurses to trace potential contacts of those who tested positive.
Under state guidelines, students and staff who have been in contact with a positive case must stay home for 10 to 14 days, during which their teachers send student work home.
The board also presented plans to put the sale of the former Colliers elementary school up to tender so that a real estate agent could be hired to appraise the property.
Built in the 1980s, the building is the second school to operate near the intersection of Harmon Creek and Mechling Hill Roads.
If a public auction is approved for the old school, it will be the fifth Brooke County school property to be auctioned off in recent years.
The sale of Follansbee Middle School, LB Millsop and Beech Bottom elementary schools, and a double-width trailer formerly used by the Alternative Learning Center and their adjacent properties, brought in $ 647,000 to the school district.
In other matters, counsel:
– Approved the purchase of $ 184,458 of courses and other materials necessary to allow students to access the Internet on board school buses.
Murphy said the measure will allow students without the internet at home to have more time to use it for their homework.
He said it would be funded by state money made available after the pandemic spurred the need for virtual education.
– Accepted an offer of $ 13,245 from BSN Sports for bleachers for the high school tennis courts.
– Acceptance of an offer from ATM Solutions for the installation and maintenance of automatic teller machines in the school and its football stadium.
Crook had suggested the machines, saying they would make it easier to sell food and souvenirs at sporting events.
Murphy confirmed that the machines will be available to students, who have said the use of ATMs will be covered in their business classes.
He said a small portion of the fees charged to ATM users will go to the school district.
– Approved an agreement with Woodland Hills Assisted Living in Weirton allowing students of the Certified Practical Nurse program to gain experience there.
– Approved a contract with Absolute Assurance Drug Testing to provide drug testing to Brooke High School students in its career technical courses, a requirement established several years ago as part of its place-of-place simulation approach. job.
– Authorized the Wellsburg Lions Club to organize free eye screenings for students at Brooke Primary North and Brooke Primary South.
(Scott can be contacted at [email protected])