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Parents speak out about pre-K placements

KINGWOOD — Members of the Preston County Board of education heard more questions about placing pre-K students within identified schools of choice.

Crystal Nestor told board members she signed her 4-year-old son up for South Preston but was told there was already too many students.

“I have two daughters in South Preston. We’ve established roots. Now your asking me to send my 4-year-old son to Fellowsville. South is the best for me and my son. That works better for my family,” she said.

Nestor said she wasn’t going to send her 4-year-old son on a bus alone knowing he would have to transfer to a second bus to get to school.

Allen Nestor said he didn’t want his child spending 30 minutes on a bus to get to school.

“How much would it cost to hire another teacher?” he asked “$130,000 that’s on the high side. What is my child and seven other children worth? $130,000? That’s only 1% of your budget.”

During the previous meeting, Corey Miller expressed the same concerns. She said she was a single working mother who has two young children. Her son currently attends South Preston, but when she signed her 4-year-old daughter up for pre-K she was enrolled to attend Fellowsville.

“There are other parents here who choose not to speak out,” Miller said. “We are working parents and there is no transportation available to take our children to Fellowsville. We work and can’t take them to Fellowsville and pick them up.”

She said it is unfair her daughter could miss a year of education due to a lack of transportation.
“I want both of my children to attend the same school,” she said.

Pre-K students are placed in schools according to pre-K criteria points.

According to the West Virginia Board of Education, pre-K criteria points are requirements a pre-kindergarten experience must meet to ensure a high-quality program is provided for eligible 4-year-old children. Included in the information to determine school placement are birth date, family characteristics, residency income identification for Head Start Services, race and child care needs.

Superintendent of Schools Bradley Martin said board members will get an opinion from their attorney and provide further information about school placement at the next meeting.

No other action was taken.

In other business, board members recognized retiring professional and service personnel. Those retiring are:

Natalie Jennings, special education teacher; Coleen Temple, West Preston elementary teacher; Darla Moyers, Lead TIS; Greg Cummings, Fellowsville and Rowlesburg principal; Connie Bohon, Terra Alta/East Preston elementary teacher; Rodger Marshall, Preston High CTE teacher; Shauna Bloom, Preston High music/choir/band teacher; Jon Lilly, Preston High art teacher; Deborah Westbrook, Preston High music/band teacher; Jill Zeigler, Kingwood Elementary principal; Cheryl Murray, South Preston speech therapist; Susan Likens, South Preston cook; Susan Hooton, executive secretary; Linda Wiles, Kingwood Elementary cook; Terry Barlow, maintenance; Danny Fike, bus operator; Mishell Howard, Kingwood Elementary cook; Suzanne Marshall Preston High paraprofessional; and Gail Bowmar, maintenance.

The next meeting of the Preston County Board of Education will be 6 p.m. June 26.