Thompson was described by Superintendent William Capehart as someone with “respect, values and ethics.” He also was presented with an award.
“This is one of the best boards I have ever worked with in my life,” Capehart stated. “And Matt leaves a great legacy behind.”
Thompson said that even though it was difficult to always come together to make the right decision, the board members always worked for students and their education.
“Education is tough for everyone,” Thompson said. “We might not have always agreed, but we make our decisions based on what is best for the students of Mason County. I am going to miss it.”
Thompson served on the BOE since 2002.
• Cheryl Fisher from the Architectural Vision Group, Ltd., presented the board members present (Thompson, Mick Cottrill, Dale Shobe and Capehart) with the 2010-2020 Comprehensive Education Facility Plan (CEFP).
Fisher explained to board members that the plan is required by the School Building Authority (SBA) of West Virginia and is to be conducted on a 10-year basis. The plan proposed showed information gathered from the nine months of studies conduction by members of the CEFP in Mason County.
The plan examined the 11 schools in the area which included the three high schools and technical center. Fisher also pointed out which elementary schools are considered ‘feeder schools’ to the high schools.
As far as renovations and additions that were examined, nearly all elementary schools will need improvements in the future. Fisher stated that with their plan, $60 million dollars in capitol improvements can be accomplished.
The study, which focused on the facilities, assessments, teacher questionnaire, enrollment studies, financial capabilities and the impact of upcoming Pre-K students, gave a summary of findings for each school, as well as a cost that will help with the growth of each.
The total cost announced was $23 million dollars, and as Fisher explained, potential funding sources are available for the Mason County BOE to decide upon.
“This is a road map for improving the condition of schools in Mason County,” Fisher said.
• Ruth Caplinger presented the board with a report about a newly developed GED Option Program. According to Caplinger, the Mason County Career Center has been chosen as a pilot site for the new program.
The GED Option Program involves several different routes that can be taken for a student to earn their high school or GED diploma. All different options consist of a counselor/instructor recommending students to the GED Option Program, meeting with a GED Option Team as well as the student and parent/guardian where academic attendance and behavioral expectations are discussed, and choosing of the GED Option goal.
Option #1 - The student must: attend GED Preparation classes and passes the GED Tests; complete a 21st Century job preparation ‘soft skills’ program or any program of study resulting in a certification; complete the four required core courses in a CTE skilled pathway concentration or any program of study resulting in certification; meet standards on the WorkKeys job skills assessment; and reach or exceed the cut score set by the West Virginia Department of Education on the End-of-Concentration Performance Assessment if applicable.
Option #2 - The student must: be a senior; be deficient in a class that is assessed by the GED Tests; receive GED preparation classes in the deficient content class; pass the content area GED Test with a score of 450; and continue attending and maintaining passing grades in all other classes.
Option #3 - The student must: be 17 years or older; wish to leave school; pass the OPT; and pass the GED Test prior to leaving the public school system.
Options #1 and #2 ensure that the student is counted as a high school graduate and they will receive their high school diploma. Option #3 leads to the student earning their GED Diploma and are counted as a completer.