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Preston BOE not requiring masks

Until a mask mandate is announced by state and/or federal officials, Superintendent of Schools Steve Wotring said students and teachers will not have to wear masks — unless they want to.

He said he met with V.J. Davis, director of the Preston County Health Department, and Dr. Fred Conley, county health officer, to discuss plans for opening the schools. The consensus was masks did not have to be worn in school.

Preston County Schools open Aug. 25.

“If the state goes orange or red, we’ll mask up then.” Wotring said, referring to the state’s map colors used last year to indicate the number of cases in each county.

In other business, members of the Preston County Board of Education recognized  the Archery Point Archery Team at  Monday evening’s meeting.

Ten members of the team recently competed in the International Bowhunting Organization World Championship. The competition was   Aug. 5-7 at Seven Springs Resort in Pennsylvania.

Those competing were: Easton Heaney, pre-k, Bruceton, no score due to age; Sawyer Schnopp, kindergarten, Bruceton, no score due to age; Fisher Schnopp, 2nd grade, Bruceton, no score due to age; Gavin Garlits, 10th grade, Albright, 16th place; Gavin Heaney, 9th grade, Bruceton, 16th place; Easton Schnopp, 7th grade, Bruceton, 4th place; Jesse DeSantis, 10th grade, Masontown, 7th place; Maddie Brown, 11th grade, Fellowsville, 23rd place; Mckenzie Bankhead, 11th grade, Bruceton, 10th place; Landon Heaney, 4th grade, Bruceton, 13th place.

 Shooters on the team who did not compete are Archer Titchenor, 4th grade, Bruceton; Ashton Titchenor, 7th grade, Bruceton; and Cooper Cunningham, 7th grade, Bruceton.

Jason Schnopp, who coached the team, said the students did phenomenal.

“Some of them have only been shooting three or four months, some eight months. They had to qualify,” he said. “January through March, they shot indoor at a half-dollar size dot. Outdoors, they can judge distance within a half yard. They can shoot 10 to 50 yards.”

Finally, Deborah Funk, asked board members to consider “switching” some CARES funding around. One of the areas she ask about was special education.

“I’m proposing some switching around. A lot of the funding is not going to students and families,” she said “We see special ed is not provided for in science and social studies. I’m asking if we can hire teachers there.”

Wotring said when positions are put out for bid, there is no one available to fill them.

Funk also ask if seven more positions could be added to student/family social and emotional support services. She said a position was needed in each school, but there are just  four individuals to cover all of the schools.

She also recommended some changes in instructional supplies.

“We’re (teachers) strapped in these areas,” Funk said. “I’d ask if some funds be placed in the school room. We do fundraising just to raise these funds.”

She said schools need printers teachers can use to scan items they need. She said ink for printers was expensive.

 Wotring said he would share Funk’s recommendations.

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