Randolph county Schools Newsletter
EHS Students Study Storytelling & Oral Traditions
Elkins High students in Jennifer Emery’s classes have been learning about oral traditions and how important cultural elements such as family heritage and morals are often taught through oral traditions. Students studied the Navajo’s oral traditions, which are some of the first literature to originate in the Americas. Then students welcomed Susanna Holstein, otherwise known as Granny Sue. Granny Sue is an Appalachian story teller who regaled students with tales of folklore, ghosts and ballads. She also brought with her several items from the history of coal mining to aid in her storytelling and fascinated students with an oral tradition surrounding the various uses of turpentine. Students then began writing their own 3 to 5 minute story to share with the class. The story could be about something that happened to them, a historical event or an oral tradition from their family.
Midland Elementary Celebrates the Holidays with Generosity
Midland Elementary sponsored the “12 Days of Giving” before Christmas. Each day students were encouraged to donate a different item. Everything from shampoo to canned veggies to pasta were collected. Because of the generosity of the students, the school was able to donate to Catholic Charities food pantry, the school’s own backpack program and stock up all the Blessing Boxes located all around Elkins. Midland’s student council organized and ran the event.
Jennings Randolph Students Collect Pennies for Patients
As part of a unique spirit week, students at Jennings Randolph brought in change during the Pennies for Patients event. Each day had a theme, such as “Pajama Penny Day” and “Neon Nickels Day.” Students were encouraged to dress up for that day’s theme and bring in the corresponding coinage. All donations will go to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to support patients fighting blood cancer. JRES Student Council sponsored this activity.
Tygarts Valley FFA Excited About New Projects
Tygarts Valley Future Farmers of America chapter and agricultural education classes have been very active already this school year. Students have repaired a manure spreader, began working on repairs to a livestock trailer and are building grow labs for George Ward. The grow labs will help George Ward teachers teach practical science in their elementary classrooms. Also in the works is a new greenhouse behind TVMHS. The footers were recently put in and the greenhouse will be completed sometime in January. In addition to all this, the agriculture education classes at TVMHS have partnered with Blue Ridge Community and Technical College. Students who successfully complete specific CASE agriculture classes and maintain a 2.5 GPA can earn up to 15 credit hours through Blue Ridge.
Pickens Students Learn from NOAA METEOROLOGIST
Pickens School recently welcomed Tony Edwards from the National Weather Service in Charleston. Mr. Edwards spoke to all students about weather and weather phenomena. Students learned about different clouds and what to look for and what to listen for when a storm is coming. They learned the important phrases “When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors,” and “Turn Around; Don’t Drown!” Mr. Edwards also brought a tornado simulator machine and students interacted with it. The Pickens high school students are now weather observers and will be reporting weather daily to the National Weather Service in Charleston.
Coalton Elementary Selected as a PBIS Tier I Model School for WV
Coalton Elementary School has been selected a PBIS Tier I Model School by the West Virginia Positive Behavior Interventions and Support Leadership Team. PBIS is a three tiered system used to identify, teach, and encourage desired behaviors in school. The first tier involves every student within the school and is considered the Primary Tier of Interventions. To be granted the title of model school, the school had to go through an application and evaluation process that included a visit from the leadership team to see the system in action. In the photo to the left are students at a PAW Point during PAW Day. These days are scheduled after breaks and long weekends and were created because students need periodic refreshers to continue growing as a community. On a PAW Day, the students are greeted by paw prints at strategic reminder points throughout the school. On PAW Days, regular instruction continues while adults provide students with opportunities to practice and review expectations and procedures all day.
Harman Students Attend WVSSAC Opioid Awareness Summit
On September 17th, 7th through 12th grade students from Harman School attended the WVSSAC Opioid Awareness Summit at the WVU Coliseum in Morgantown. Over 8,000 students from 75 different schools attended this first time event and learned how to become “game changers” and help stem the tide of the opioid epidemic impacting the entire state. Students heard motivational speakers, one of which was Chis Herren, former NBA player for the Boston Celtics. Principal Laura Hawkins says, “I am proud of my students who attended and hope they continue to be game changers in the war on drugs in this state!”
Jazz Group Visits Coalton Elementary Music Classes
In September, Coalton Elementary School music classes welcomed Mr. Mark Jackovic from the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild in Pittsburgh. Mr. Jackovic, who plays the saxophone, brought Seth Maynard from Elkins to play guitar and two sophomore music students, Maddy on trombone and Jeremiah on trumpet from West Virginia Wesleyan College in Buckhannon. Mr. Jackovic and the group showed each of their instruments to the students, explaining how to put them together, how to play them, and how to improvise on each one. Then they played the jazz song, “Little Sunflower” for each class. Along the way the students were encouraged to ask questions and be curious about music. The group will return in the spring for a lesson on stringed instruments.
Grandparents Day Activities throughout Randolph County Schools
Grandparent’s Day was celebrated in many Randolph County Schools in September. Jennings Randolph Elementary held activities over 2 days with about 100 grandparents attending each day. This year activities included crafts, grandparents interview, word searches, coloring sheets, reading, book fair shopping and a snack. There was also a game room setup so grandparents and their grandchildren could sit down and play a board game. At North Elementary students and their grandparents painted rocks that will be displayed at the school. They also sang songs, attended the school book fair and ate breakfast together.
Learning Doesn’t Take a Break Over the Summer in Randolph County
Even though students weren’t in school, opportunities for learning still existed for Randolph County students over the summer. This was the second year for Randolph County School's Mobile Feed and Read program. The goal of the program was to provide children and families in outlying communities access to food, books, and engaging reading and math activities during the summer months. The program boasted more than double the number of participants this year, serving over 500 students throughout the county. A new program called Summer S.L.A.M. (Snacks, Literacy, Arts & Crafts, Math & Movement) was also started this year. Throughout the summer, each elementary school offered sessions at their school where students received free books to increase their home libraries, joined in fun math and reading activities, and had a snack. Parents also participated in these activities. Finally, Randolph County Schools, in conjunction with Elkins Main Street, sponsored a math scavenger hunt throughout Elkins in the days leading up to the 4th of July holiday.
Pickens Students Work with Business to Create Advertising Art
Five high school students at Pickens School recently completed a project for A. F. Wendling's Foods of Buckhannon. Students were recruited to complete 3D food models for A. F. Wendling's display at a commercial foods event in Weston in April. Students worked with Pickens teacher Doug Davis to complete the models and had to utilize teamwork while planning for design and construction. As they had to construct several trial models, the students also learned about resource management and time management.
EHS Hosts Career Fair
The Elkins High School Graduation 2020 Team hosted a Career Fair for all 9th and 10th grade students in April. Each student had the opportunity to learn about 4 different careers of their choice. The students viewed presentations, asked questions and experienced hands-on activities related to their choice careers. Businesses participating included Elkins Physical Therapy, Elkins Auto, WV DNR, IBEX, Randolph County Prosecutors Office, Randolph County Probation Office, UPS, US Air Force, WV National Guard, Valley Health Care, Freedom Bank, US Forest Service and AHF Products.
Tygarts Valley Students Participate in Mock Career Interviews
Tygarts Valley students in the Personal Finance class finished up a section on Career Objectives by going through mock interviews within their field of interest. The interviews were conducted by local professionals from within the community who volunteered their time to help with the project. The students also learned about drafting cover letters/resumes, various applications, forms and taxes before wrapping up with their interviews. The project was intended to serve two purposes: allow the students a chance to walk through an actual interview and also allow them an opportunity to speak with someone who can answer questions about their career of interest. Representatives from the community that were involved with the project included WV DHHR-Randolph County, Mi-Tec, Elkins Physical Therapy & Sports Injury, Valley Health Care, Davis & Elkins College and Pierpont C&TC. Teacher Becky Weese stated “We have great kids, and I want to provide them with some real world experiences. I feel that we have plenty of resources within our community that can help provide us with some of those lessons.”
Third Ward Students Jump for Joy
Third Ward Elementary students participated in a unique Positive Behavior Interventions and Support (PBIS) reward celebration in March. Students earned a chance to “Jump for Joy” by being on their best behavior at school and by showing that they are responsible, eager, safe and respectful. Inflatables were brought to the school and students enjoyed an afternoon of fun and games.
JRES Students Have Fun With Science
Jennings Randolph Elementary School had many different hands-on science activities throughout the month of March. Fourth grade students in Ms. Patricia Lambert’s class learned about circuits. Students built electro-magnets and increased their strength using circuits. Kindergarten and second grade students conducted science experiments to create green “egg whites” from various materials. The school also hosted a Carnegie Family Science Night and a Geometry Parent Activity.
George Ward Kindergartners Learn All About Planting Seeds
Local farmer and Randolph County Schools bus driver Ed Daniels took time out of his busy schedule to present to Mrs. Julie Kalar’s kindergarten class at George Ward Elementary. Mr. Daniels talked to the students about forest farming and raising ginseng and goldenseal. After learning how to properly plant seeds, all the students had a chance to practice and work with Mr. Daniels one-on-one. Students were also given seeds to take home. Mr. Daniels also worked with the local 4-H and Cloverbud groups that meet regularly afterschool at George Ward. Mrs. Kalar remarked “It was such a fantastic opportunity for our students to work with Ed. They all love him as bus driver, and it was neat for them to see what else he does and learn something from him about farming and planting.”
Pickens School Students Create Cell Models & Teach Fellow Students
Middle schoolers at Pickens School recently studied cell biology in science class. To demonstrate what they learned, the students created models of cells from common household foods. They made a blueprint, model, and description of cells and their corresponding organelles to show they understood the basic structure of cells. To finalize the activity, the middle school students invited elementary students to their class and gave small group lessons on the structure and function of cells.
JRES Student Council Sponsors Successful Food Drive
Jennings Randolph Elementary Student Council held a school-wide “Twelve Days of Christmas” food drive. All students and staff were encouraged to participate, and each day had a different theme such as canned vegetables, breakfast items and shampoo & conditioner. Student Council members took the donated items and were able to fill five Blessing Boxes around Elkins and donate to Catholic Charities, the First United Methodist Church Backpack Program and the Randolph County Homeless Shelter. The group was also able to supplement school-based backpacks with extra items for the extended holiday break. Principal Rochelle Chenoweth said “This was a valuable community service project for our Student Council while helping all students learn the value of giving and helping others.”
Tygarts Valley Students Win National Game Design Coding Awards
Every year Globaloria students participate in The Globeys, a national competition celebrating excellence in game design and coding process. Four students in Melissa Walter’s game design class at Tygarts Valley have earned national awards for their games. Emily, Abigail, James and Haleigh have all won 2018 Globey Awards. Emily actually designed 3 different games that all won Globey Awards. Students worked on these projects all through last school year, and Mrs. Walters submitted their game nominations to the competition on the last day of school. The students competed locally, regionally, and finally, nationally. Globey finalists and winners are selected by an expert panel of industry game designers, computer, scientists and STEM innovators.
Third Ward Students Donate to Randolph County Humane Society
Throughout the month of December, the Student Council at Third Ward Elementary School sponsored a collection for the Randolph County Humane Society. Students donated items such as food and toys for the pets at the animal shelter. The day of the school’s Christmas celebration, volunteers from the humane society came to pick up the donations and former shelter residents visited classrooms.
George Ward Begins Principals VIP Table Reward
As part of their revised PBIS program, George Ward Elementary School has initiated a new reward for students with good behavior. Every Friday two students from each classroom are chosen to participate in the Principals VIP Table. These students have the special honor of eating lunch with Principal Suzanne Cain. One student is chosen for showing respect, responsibility, safety and for doing their best all week. The other student is chosen from classroom tickets given to every student with perfect attendance that week (no tardies, no early dismissals and no absences). This is a fun way for Mrs. Cain to get to know the students better and reward them at the same time. Every student has a chance to win and participate in this positive reward as the Principals VIP Table will continue weekly throughout the rest of the school year.
Third Ward 4th Graders Ride The Polar Express
Thanks to a generous donation by First Energy Corporation, fourth grade students from Third Ward Elementary School recently rode The Polar Express out of Elkins and to the North Pole. First Energy purchases two train cars on the Polar Express so that every Third Ward fourth grader and one parent can experience the ride. There is no charge for the students or their parents. Teacher Stacie Friddle says “It is just a fun filled evening on the train to the North Pole and back.”
Tygarts Valley Art Students Design and Print Personal Logos
Tygarts Valley students in the Graphic Arts class recently created their own personal logos using Adobe Photoshop. The student were encouraged to create logos that represented their identity in an image. So students could see how their designs can be applied to real everyday objects, the class worked with the art department at Davis & Elkins College. The logos were forwarded to Professor Kevin Woodcock for him to prep them for printing. Students then visited D&E, and Professor Woodcock showed the students the print process and explained the chemistry behind printing on fabrics. The students then printed their logos onto t-shirts, paper and canvases. While on campus, the students also toured the art department, spoke to admissions and explored the Stirrup Gallery collection.
JRES Students Walk To Raise Money for Their School
Jennings Randolph Elementary students participated in a unique fundraiser last month. The JRES Music and PE Departments held a Walkathon. Before the fundraiser, students took donations and lap pledges. On the day of the Walkathon, students walked from JRES to Wimer Stadium, where the Walkathon was held. While there, they had a healthy snack, walked the tracked and socialized with friends. Prizes were awarded to the primary and intermediate students who walked the most laps and who collected the most money for this fundraiser. JRES plans on making this an annual event. They raised almost $4,000 for educational materials for music and PE.
North Elementary Hosts Grandparents Breakfast
Over 250 grandparents joined their grandchildren at North Elementary School for a special breakfast in September. Grandparents were fed a delicious breakfast and were able to eat with their grandchildren in the cafeteria. Afterwards grandparents joined the students for fun learning activities in their classrooms. Before they left, grandparents were also given information on how they can volunteer at the school and how they can help their students succeed academically. This was the first year that North Elementary hosted such an event and teachers and staff were thrilled with the turnout.
Harman School “Very Proud” of 11th Grade Artist
On September 1, 2018, The Mountain Arts District revealed its “Art in the Park Project” to the public at Elkins City Park. Four artworks made by students from Randolph County were chosen to be enlarged and installed on one side of the restroom building in the park where they will remain on view for the next five to seven years. Harman School was ecstatic to have one of their student’s art work featured. Emily from Harman School created “Watercolor Web” and is seen here with her work. “I am very proud of Emily. We all are,” says principal Laura Hawkins.
Construction of New Classrooms Completes at George Ward
With School Building Authority funding, five additional classrooms were added to George Ward Elementary School. Construction began in June. On October 1st, 4th and 5th grade students will be welcomed into their new classrooms. In addition to the new classrooms, students have brand new lockers in the new wing to store their school belongings and teachers will have new storage cabinets and interactive displays in their classrooms.
Randolph Students Participate in Summer Math Field Day Practice
Over summer break, several 4th through 8th grade students from all over Randolph County began practicing for Math Field Day. These students met every Tuesday at the IOOF building in Beverly. This new initiative was organized by Randolph County Schools Math Specialist Tammy Tucker. The Alpha Delta Kappa organization helped work with the students and Beverly Heritage Center allowed them to use the space at no charge. The students did mental math, estimation, estimation stations, and challenging tasks. They also learned about Growth Mindset and how it effects learning.
VH1 “Save the Music” Program Benefits TVMHS Band Program
The band program at Tygarts Valley Middle/High School will be receiving some welcome updates thanks to VH1’s “Save the Music” program. Music stands, updated music books and instruments are all on their way to the school. TVMHS band members are very excited and can’t wait to use the new equipment. “This is an amazing opportunity for our program. We are very grateful to VH1,” states band director Barb Green.
Harman Students Tell All About Their Summer Break
TV Students Demonstrate Business & Engineering Skills
Tygarts Valley High School’s dual-credit Introduction to Business class ended the semester-long course with a unique and fun team project. Each team, using marshmallows and spaghetti noodles, had to build a tower. They were allotted a certain amount of imaginary funds to purchase building materials in order to construct their towers. The challenge was to build the tallest tower possible that could stand on it's own but stay within budget. Teams could only purchase a limited amount of materials depending upon the cost of the materials chosen. The teamwork skills that they utilized throughout the semester on various projects and tasks were clearly displayed during this activity as each team successfully constructed a free-standing tower within their acceptable material budget.
EMS Students Tap School’s Maple Trees
Sixth graders at Elkins Middle School are putting science into action! With the help of Kate Fotos and Arlee Hiskey of Experience Learning, students tapped the two large maple trees in front of the school. As you can see in the photos, students did everything from drilling the holes, driving in the taps and hanging the buckets. After collecting enough sap, students will learn how to make it into homemade maple syrup.
RCS 8th Graders Explore STEM Careers
Students from Elkins Middle School, Harman School and Tygarts Valley Middle/High School came together at Randolph Technical Center to learn more about manufacturing and STEM. “Explore The New Manufacturing” is a statewide education program of the West Virginia Manufacturing Association Education Fund. The purpose of the program is to bring manufacturing career awareness to middle school students through hands-on activities. At RTC, students spent the day in labs exploring modern production methods and learning about local career opportunities.
George Ward Families Snuggle up and Read
The Title I program at George Ward Elementary School sponsored a unique activity in October. To encourage family reading, the school held a Snuggle Up and Read night. Students and their families were encouraged to bring their blanket and snuggle up on the school’s front lawn and read a good book (or two!). Everyone received a snack and a snuggle buddy stuffed animal. Read Aloud West Virginia donated 400 books so each student had a book to read and they took home, along with their snuggle buddy. Around 100 people attended and some even came in their pajamas. Due to the outstanding success of the evening, George Ward Title I hopes to make it an annual event.
ETW Grandparents Club and Kindness Club Team Up
Third Ward Elementary School’s monthly Grandparents Club meeting took time to work with the school’s Kindness Club in October. Grandparents shared military service stories with the students. And then the grandparents and the students worked together to make cards for Veteran’s Day. Cards will be distributed to local Randolph County veterans and veterans at the VA hospital in Clarksburg.
Math Leadership Team Strives to Improve Instruction
With guidance from the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE), Randolph County has created a Math Leadership Team. This team consists of a math teacher representative from each school. WVDE provided training this summer from education experts to help teachers improve instruction and members of the RCS Math Leadership Team attended these sessions. Afterwards they decided as a team how to implement what they learned. The team lead a training for other Randolph County math teachers at the start of school and will continue working through Professional Learning Communities at their individual schools throughout the school year. They also are meeting monthly as a county team to continue and expand the work began this summer. This same process is now spreading to English/language arts, science, and social studies at the secondary level. Director of Curriculum and Federal Programs Amy Rowan Smith states “We are very excited about the formation of the RCS Math Leadership Team and are looking forward to the far-reaching impact it will have. Their enthusiasm in undertaking this endeavor has not only invigorated their own teaching and instruction but has also inspired teachers in other departments and subject areas. The formation of the Math Leadership Team has been so successful that we will be using the format to mirror the formation, direction, and progression of other subject area curriculum teams as well.”
Kindergartners Build Their STEM Skills
Third Ward Elementary School kindergarten students are having fun with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) this school year. In Mrs. Amy Marstiller’s class each week students spend about 30 minutes on individual STEM activities. They are encouraged to build, model and create using the picture clues or to develop their own ideas. “They are loving this time,” says Mrs. Marstiller.
Randolph County Schools Marks Another Year of CEP Participation
For the fifth year in a row, students in Randolph County Schools have the opportunity to eat breakfast and lunch at school for free. RCS proudly participates in the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) program that was enacted as a result of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act which provides universal meal service to children in high poverty areas. If at least 40% of a school’s students qualify for free meal benefits, the entire school can participate in CEP. CEP allows RCS to feed nearly 4,000 students breakfast and lunch daily. RCS Superintendent Debra Schmidlen emphasized the importance of providing healthy meals to RCS students, saying, “I am proud that Randolph County Schools will be participating in the CEP program to help meet a crucial need for student success. We know academic achievement increases when our students are well-fed and ready to learn.”
ELKINS HIGH STUDENTS SELECTED FOR MILITARY CAMP
This summer the West Virginia National Guard held the Youth Leaders Camp at Camp Dawson in Preston County. Any West Virginia youth between the ages of 14 and 17 could apply to attend and two students from Elkins High School were selected for this elite camp. The six-day camp tests the physical and mental strength of campers while helping them to build confidence, character, leadership and teamwork skills. During the week, campers participated in physical training, drill and ceremony, weapons qualification, water survival training, obstacle course, rappelling, and military customs and courtesies events.
Randolph County Schools Launches Math-4-Life Campaign
This spring Randolph County began their Math-4-Life initiative. Thanks to a $90,000 grant, activities encouraging students to love math are occurring throughout Randolph County Schools. Community members and teachers have worked together to prep geometry bags to go home with all elementary students.
Schools have held parent trainings on growth mindset and the importance of good school attendance, and parents went into their student’s classroom so the students and parents could learn together how to use the geometry materials. The community Math-4-Life team has been working on distributing geometry games and books into the community, and there will be summer math activities at all elementary schools. Keep an eye out for the summer feed and read schedule because there will be math books on the bus too. Also during the summer months, an ad will be featured at the Elkins Cinema 8 showing all the math events held both during school and during the summer.
Pickens School Archery Team Takes Aim and Makes Its Mark
This year’s Pickens School archery team has 18 members. There are 7 elementary archers, 5 middle school archers, 5 high school archers, and 1 assistant. The team attended various tournaments throughout the season with individuals from the team bringing home several awards. The largest tournament was the virtual tournament for the state tournament. This tournament included 1,369 participants from 79 schools. Upon the conclusion of the virtual tournament, the team had 5 members qualify to shoot at the state tournament on Saturday, March 30th. Pickens will have 3 elementary archers and 2 high school archers competing. If these archers place in the top 10 for their divisions at the state tournament, then they will go on to compete at the national competition in May.
Beverly Book Mobile is Getting an Upgrade
For the past two summers, Beverly Elementary’s Book Mobile has traveled around making stops delivering books, fresh vegetables, snacks and other resources to students and their families. This summer the book mobile will be traveling in style in a retrofitted school bus! Students at Randolph Technical Center are helping with the project as the bus is getting a makeover inside and out, and Beverly Elementary custodian Ralph Currence will be painting a mural on the bus. Beverly teacher Lucy Godwin says, “We are thrilled to be expanding our project and grateful for the generosity of Randolph County Schools, The Randolph Technical Center, The Snowshoe Foundation, The Miles Foundation, and JC Lumber for making this possible!”
Harman Students Win Awards for their “Valentines to West Virginia”
Two sixth grade students at Harman School received awards for their submissions to the West Virginia First Lady’s “Valentines to West Virginia” contest. The students had to showcase in their valentine everything they love about West Virginia. Each student was awarded a certificate and a monetary prize. Art teacher Natalie Josimovich helped the students in creating their Valentines. All the winning valentines were displayed at the state capitol on Valentine’s Day.
Third Ward Elementary Starts Monthly “Grandparents Club”
Third Ward Elementary School started a new initiative, Grandparents Club, this year. Principal Hollie Pritt states, “We are so happy to have this opportunity to support our grandparents.” In January, RCS Director of Technology Hilary Ramsey gave a presentation on internet safety. Grandparents were given the opportunity to ask questions about various aspects of technology such as video games and social media. Dr. Scott Green and the TWES 5th Grade Band kicked off the February club meeting with a performance and 4th grade student council members read aloud the book “Sometimes It’s Grandmas and Grandpas not Mommies and Daddies” by Gayle Byrne. The book focuses on children being raised by grandparents and each grandparent in attendance received a copy of the book. March’s Grandparents Club meeting will feature school nurses Vicki Howes and Katie Howard sharing helpful information on cold and flu season and basic first aid application. Each grandparent attending will receive a mini first aid kit and free blood pressure screening.
D&E Stirrup Gallery Exhibit Travels to Coalton Elementary
Coalton Elementary students had a unique learning experience when Mark Lanham from the Stirrup Gallery at Davis and Elkins College came to visit. He brought pieces from The Reckling Collection, which contains Miocene and Pleistocene epoch fossils that date back 2.6 millions years. The fossils Mr. Lanham showed students were those of megafauna that lived during the last ice age, including wooly mammoth, mastodon, wooly rhinoceros, extinct North American horse, and the giant ground sloth. Students were even able to touch many of the fossils!
Group of Harman Fourth Graders Create Fundraiser to Help Homeless
One afternoon in December five Harman fourth grade girls approached Principal Laura Hawkins with an idea. They wanted to raise money to help others in need since it was close to Christmas and asked if they could collect donations at the home basketball game that evening. Principal Hawkins instructed them to identify a specific cause and then create posters telling the public what they were raising money for. The girls decided their charity would be the Randolph County Homeless Shelter. That evening at the basketball game against Tygarts Valley the girls encouraged people to donate and displayed posters. Principal Hawkins said “I thought they might raise $40 or $50. I had no idea their efforts would raise $230 in one evening!” When the director of the Randolph County Homeless Shelter came to Harman School to accept the money, she thanked the girls for doing something so kind and selfless for others.
Harman Students Win Statewide Poster Contest
Students at Harman School participated in the Rethink Your Drink poster contest. The statewide contest was sponsored by the West Virginia Oral Health Coalition to raise student awareness of the problems associated with the excessive consumption of sugary drinks. Five middle school students from Harman were contest winners. Melissa and Haylee tied for 1st place, Alyssa and Brenden tied for 2nd place, and Carmen took 3rd place. Their prize includes a new retrofit water bottle filling station for the school to install on one of their water fountains.
George Ward Class Learns Math While Helping Others
Students in Mrs. Leigh Ann Hoffman’s class sponsored a weeklong food drive in November. The students collected non-perishable food items for Tyrand Cooperative Ministries food pantry. Classes at George Ward were challenged to bring in as many items as they could, and the class bringing in the most items for the whole week would receive a special treat bag during their Christmas party. Mrs. Hoffman’s students were each assigned a specific class to visit each morning to collect items brought in for the food drive. The students also had to record how many items were brought in each day on a spreadsheet and track running totals for the week. Each morning after the count was taken, a student volunteer would announce over the school’s PA system which class was in the lead. “It is a great community service project to get my students involved with and teaches them to help others. The idea came after a classroom discussion we had after a writing prompt. My students were excited about the project and welcomed the responsibility,” said Mrs. Hoffman.
NASA Star Lab Allows Pickens School to Explore the Universe
Students at Pickens School recently experienced the universe first-hand in a Star Lab portable planetarium. Students participated in classroom lessons involving the phases of the moon, relative distances in space, and Native American legends related to the stars. The lessons culminated in classroom sessions in the StarLab where students were able to visualize the concepts taught in class. Pickens School thanks Josh Revels and staff at the NASA IV&V facility in Fairmont for the ongoing training and materials they make available for Pickens teachers and students.
Elkins High Rewards Students for Perfect Attendance
The month of October was Dropout Prevention Month. The Graduation 2020 team at Elkins High School recognized the month by sponsoring a contest to reward students with perfect attendance. The challenge went out to all EHS students to attend school every day and by doing so, his/her name was entered into a drawing for a set of Bluetooth headphones, a wireless speaker, a yearbook, or a cap and gown. Two students per grade level were awarded a prize. School counselor Amanda Carter states, “We are very proud of our students and are always trying to encourage them to come to school.” The prizes and incentives did not end at the month of October. Every week, two EHS students are awarded a gift card or school t-shirt for their perfect attendance.
Coalton Elementary Hosts “Career Club Cookouts”
Coalton Elementary School received a “Families Leading Change” grant last school year to create a program to expose students to various jobs and careers. The school began the Career Club Cookouts afterschool program. During these events, professionals from various careers talk all about their jobs. Social workers, nurses, small business owners, first responders, an instructional designer, a pharmacist and a chef have all been featured at one of the Career Club Cookout events. At each event a meal is provided and a giveaway is held. This program was spearheaded by parent Sara Burdette who attended the Families Leading Change conference with her son and wrote the grant application for Coalton Elementary.
North 4th Graders Win Welcome Letter Writing Contest
Third and fourth grade students from schools across Randolph County each year participate in a letter writing contest. Students write letters welcoming guests and festival royalty to the Mountain State Forest Festival. The letters are placed in the hotel rooms of the guests, and the top three winning letters are given to Maid Sylvia and her Maids of Honor. This year two forth graders from North Elementary, Jace and Lincoln, placed first and second. They were each awarded a pass to the carnival rides at festival.
Third Ward Students Research and Create a “Biome in a Box”
Students in Dawn Kittle’s class learned about living systems, food webs, producers and consumers as well as plagiarism, citing sources and creating a bibliography while working on the “Biome in a Box” lesson. Students used new Windows 10 laptops to research 10 biomes and choose one biome for their project. Students then wrote a letter explaining their biome and created a shoebox diorama. Boxes were displayed at the school after they were completed so other students could learn more about biomes.
EHS Celebrates Freedom Week and Constitution Day
In September, Elkins High School commemorated 9/11 and Constitution Day by holding Freedom Week. Freedom Week was sponsored by the school’s social studies department. It featured special announcements every day on topics such as the Bill of Rights and the federal government and moments of silence during September 11th marking the time when each plane went down. On Constitution Day, classes also completed an activity about the United States Constitution. The highlight of the week was the door decorating contest. Classes were encouraged to decorate their classroom doors with a theme related to the week. Mrs. Kayla White’s newspaper class won with their door “FREADOM.” Mrs. White proudly spoke of her students: “They wanted to emphasize the first amendment and access to free press. They researched ideas online and came up with FREADOM. They really worked hard on the door. ”
TV Golfer Participates in 1st Annual WV High School Girls Invitational Golf Championship
Mackenzie Staten made history when she participated in the 1st annual West Virginia High School Girls Invitational Golf Championship held at Mingo Bottom Golf Club in Elizabeth, WV. With a full field of over 50 ladies participating, Mackenzie finished 19th in the state on a challenging wet course. After several years of talking about such an event, WVSSAC this year put together this tournament exclusively for female golfers. Coach Jonathan Kyle says, “I am extremely proud of Mackenzie for her efforts in this event. For her to be top 20 in the state is a great accomplishment for her and for the Bulldog golf team. I’m looking forward to seeing her progress next year in her senior season. She’s such a great student to coach and she loves the game.”
Mobile Feed & Read Program Fills Bellies and Minds
This summer Randolph County Schools began a Mobile Feed and Read program. A Mobile Feed and Read bus traveled throughout the county making scheduled stops in outlying communities to provide children access to free books, a small snack, and a short read-aloud activity. Books and snacks were available to children age birth to 18 years. The program was funded by the Campaign for Grade Level Reading/WV Leaders of Literacy Grant.
Jennings Randolph Students Get Caught Reading!
Jennings Randolph Elementary parents were given a challenge over the summer: catch their child reading and snap a picture! Submitted pictures was added to a bulletin board at school, and the students were entered into a drawing for a bag full of reading goodies. Principal Rochelle Chenoweth says “This project is a great way to encourage summer reading. The students love getting to see where their peers got caught reading!”
Elkins High School Civics Class Holds Mock Elections
As part of a unit on political parties and elections, students in civics classes at Elkins High School held mock elections. Students took political ideology assessments to determine their political spectrum and became members of one of the major political parties. Then students formed campaign teams that planned and ran election campaigns. Primary races and general elections were both held so students could learn more about how political parties and elections work in West Virginia.
New County Math Specialist Makes Math Fun
Randolph County’s new Math Specialist, Tammy Tucker, has been traveling to schools throughout the county showing students how math can be fun! Students from each elementary school in the county recently participated in two math estimation activities. For the first one, students had to estimate the length of a string in inches. Four students tied for first place in this competition: Kelsie Adams (North), Owen Stanley (North), Bryson Gainer (Jennings Randolph) and Olivia Sayres (Third Ward). For the second competition, students had to estimate how many cheese balls were in a container. Jacob Dennis (North) earned first and Noah Kimbleton (Jennings Randolph) and Issac Shearer (Coalton) tied for second.
Tygarts Valley High School Key Club Stands Out at Convention
Tygarts Valley High School Key Club attended the District 4 Key Club Convention in March. 16 members and their 2 advisors represented the club. At the convention, the club received first place for non-traditional scrapbook and first place for club video. They were also recognized for having the most members in attendance at the convention. Devin Cutright, senior, was retired as the District 4 Kiwanis Family Chairperson and Tatum Wamsley, sophomore, was elected the new Lieutenant Governor for District 4.
Jennings Randolph Welcomes The West Virginia Dance Company
The West Virginia Dance Company visited Jennings Randolph Elementary recently. They performed dances from various countries and shared information about all seven continents of Earth. Students in physical education classes also completed a dance unit to go along with the assembly. Second grader Conley Payne said that he loved the performance and how the dancers all wore different outfits.
EHS Student Wins Oratorical Contest & Earns College Scholarship
After placing second last year, Elkins High School senior Hayden Long won the 2018 West Virginia American Legion Oratorical Contest. In his prepared oration, he spoke on the rights to individual privacy contained in the United States Constitution. As a result of winning this state competition, Hayden has been awarded a four year scholarship to any West Virginia state college or university.
Third Ward Elementary Celebrates “Music in Our Schools” Month
Third Ward Elementary was alive with the sound of music as they celebrated “Music in Our Schools” during the month of March. The band and choir performed during a PTO meeting and two students, Isaac Anger and Alexis Shauman, attended All-State Children’s choir. Principal Hollie Pritt noted, “Music education impacts all students by teaching them to explore their creative side, their emotions, and their abilities to collaborate together to create something beautiful.”
Coalton Students Participate in Easter Egg Costume Contest
Students in Mandy Mininger’s class at Coalton Elementary School took part in an Easter Egg Costume Contest during their Easter festivities. Each student creatively decorated a plastic egg and many created “scenes” for their eggs. One student used cotton balls to cover her plastic egg and make it look like a sheep. Another student decorated his egg to look like an Emoji. The eggs were displayed and the whole school, including the cooks and the principal, voted for their favorite and several awards were given out.
North Elementary Students Buddy UP
Upper grade classes at North Elementary School are partnered with primary grade classes as part of their “Buddy Class” program. Fourth grade students in Susan Isner’s class are buddied with students in Heather Hill’s kindergarten class. Recently, the fourth grade students taught their kindergarten buddies how to login to the school computers.
Midland Students Learning & Walking
Fourth grade teacher Sarah Wamsley has received a grant from The Walking Classroom. The Walking Classroom is an award-wining nonprofit program that strengthens students’ physically and academically. Mrs. Wamsley’s classroom received audio players preloaded with podcasts appropriate for fourth graders that cover a variety of topics from literature to science to history. Students all listen to the same podcast while taking a brisk 20-minute walk as a class. After getting fresh air and exercise while learning, students can take an online quiz and participate in classroom discussion all based on the podcast.
Elkins High School Choir Busy Singing
Elkins High School choir has had an active school year thus far, singing their hearts out loud and proud. They opened up their concert season by performing for a televised Christmas recording that was part of the West Virginia First Lady’s Festival of Song in Charleston. They have since performed for several local organizations and have also recently received a grant from Dominion Energy. This spring they will participate in the WVU Choral Festival and have several other performances scheduled.
World Vision Donates Technology to Randolph County Schools
World Vision is a non-profit organization based out of Barbour County. They provide donations of resources to help children, schools and teachers. Many Randolph County teachers visit World Vision every quarter to obtain school supplies for their classrooms. Recently, World Vision donated 20 Recordex Simplicity Touch interactive panels. These 70 to 85 inch displays are large touchscreens that allow students to learn as they interact with technology resources. “They are an incredible learning tool that will benefit students tremendously,” states Randolph County Schools Director of Technology Hilary Ramsey.
Make It Shine Club Makes a Difference at Elkins Middle School
Last year Elkins Middle School teacher Penni Harris started the EMS Make It Shine club in hopes that it would encourage students to do their part in keeping the school looking its best. The club currently has 35 members and 4 advisors. During a normal club day, the club splits into small groups to do different clean up or school spirit activities. This year they have cleaned up the flower beds and picked up litter around the school, filled in holes in the practice football field, created posters to encourage and celebrate other organizations, cleaned the bleachers in the gym, and scrubbed scuff marks off walls in the hallway. “The kids we have in our club are hard workers who make their school the best it can be for themselves and their peers,” says Ms. Harris.
Jennings Randolph Elementary Holds After School Celebrations
Each month the Parent-Teacher Organization at Jennings Randolph Elementary sponsors an after school celebration. PTO works with teachers to organize 2 hours of activity centered around a theme. Each theme is different and the activities vary from month to month. Students pay $5 to participate and are fed as well. On average 150 students attend the events. Parent volunteers and donations help to make the events successful and the money raised goes towards end of year field trips for students.
George Ward Students Participate in 4-H Club
Students at George Ward Elementary have the opportunity to join two 4-H clubs the school sponsors. The Bullpup Cloverbuds is for students in grades Kindergarten to 2nd grade and the Tygart Valley 4-H club is for students in grades 3rd to 5th. Anyone can join the clubs. Throughout the year, the clubs complete various service projects. They have published books, presented projects and just this past month, created Christmas cards to be mailed to service men and women away from their families during the holiday season.
Elkins Middle SchooL Girls Rock Robotics
Submitted article written by EMS Robotics Team “The Cutie PIs”
We are the Elkins Middle School Robotics Team known as the Cutie PIs. We are a group of six girls with six drastically different personalities. It all started with our coach, Mr. Davis, receiving a grant three years ago to purchase robots and to form an all-girls robotics team. In 6th grade, we started with some brief training from NASA. They taught us basic programming and soon afterwards, we got the hang of it ourselves. Our first competition season was last year in 7th grade. We did a project about ill-fitting horse saddles and how they horribly affect the horse. We won a first place award in the Core Values category at the qualifier meet in Morgantown. We went to states but didn’t get to move on to nationals. This year, however, we did a project on rain gardens, and plan to bring one into Elkins by the Phil Gainer Community Center in the spring. The qualifiers competition was November 18th, where we got champion’s award (first place) overall. We then succeeded to states on December 2nd. Prior to states, we only had a week after Thanksgiving Break to work. We basically redid our entire poster to make it easier to read and clearer. This resulted in being a really good idea. We got a larger score from it, as well as the other work we accomplished in that week. We hope to do First Lego League again next year when we will have more experience and hopefully a lot more fun.
Snow Day Packet Days Explained
New this school year, up to five snow days can be made-up using snow day packets that will be sent home with students early in January. The automated phone call going out on a snow day announcing that there is no school will also designate whether the day is a snow day packet day and which packet students should complete. Teachers will be available via phone, email and LiveGrades message on these days from 10am to 2pm to assist students and students will be graded on the work in these packets.
harman fbla boasts middle-level national event winners
For the first time in chapter history, middle school members of Harman School’s Future Business Leaders of America have been recognized at the national level. The Middle-Level FBLA students competed in multiple events. National event winners included Wes Harman, Megan Raines, Mason Eye and Tyler Ray.
TVMHS Hosts Career Day
Students at Tygarts Valley Middle/High School recently had the opportunity to explore various future careers during the school’s Career Day. Over 30 local businesses and agencies were welcomed to TVMHS and presented information to the students.
North Students Witness Hawk Release
Earlier in the fall, North Elementary students had the rare opportunity to witness a hawk being released into the wild. North Elementary school counselor Chris Storrick and her husband rescued the injured Cooper’s hawk and gave him to Laurel Fork Falconry to be rehabilitated. Over the course of several months, Oscar the Cooper’s hawk healed from his injury enough to re-introduced to the wild. Before the release, Laurel Fork Falconry did a presentation on raptors and students met Ace, a red tail hawk who lives permanently at Laurel Fork.
Randolph Technical Center Classes Collaborate and Incorporate Latest Technology
Classes at Randolph Technical Center are working collaboratively on projects utilizing a new laser engraving machine. The Mill and Cabinet students prepare lumber for the laser machine; then, the CWST students create digital images. These images are then “printed” on the wood using an Epilog Fusion Engraver that can laser text and images onto wood, plastic, leather and glass. Students have also engraved glasses and wooden signs as part of their simulated workplace companies. “The project sounds simple, but there is hours of work that goes into one engraving,” stated Mill and Cabinet instructor Ronnie Cutright.
Senator Capito Encourages Beverly Elementary Girls to Rise Up
Senator Shelley Moore Capito took time out of her busy schedule to visit Beverly Elementary School in October. She brought her “West Virginia Girls Rise Up” program to the school’s 5th grade girls. It focuses on notable women and their accomplishments, while encouraging the girls to be self-confident. The girls signed pledges of self-improvement and had the opportunity to ask the senator questions.
RTC Plays Role In Forest Festival Festivities
Various classes at Randolph Technical Center lent their talents in honor of the Mountain State Forest Festival. The Digital Imaging class designed the annual Forest Festival bookmark that is distributed to elementary students across the county. Industrial Maintenance classes cut leaves out of metal that were painted by the Collision Repair students, and the CWST classes used vinyl cutting equipment to create custom name places to put on the leaves. These leaves were gifts to the jesters and were presented on the day of Maid Silvia’s visit. Maid Silvia herself was presented with a cutting board made by the Mill and Cabinetry classes. These classes also created wooden maple leave display placards that were used by local downtown businesses displaying previous courts costumes.
TVHS FCA Sponsors Successful Blood Drive
Several times a year, the Tygarts Valley High School Fellowship of Christian Athletes sponsors a Red Cross Blood Drive. Students and staff are encouraged to participate, and in the past few years, successful donations have continued to rise at the school. For last month’s blood drive a quota of 25 successful donations was set, and there were 37. This was the group’s best numbers since 2008. Club sponsor Tom Wamsley remarked, “There was a great sense of community spirit and pride among the students who had a sincere desire to contribute to a good cause! I am proud of our Bulldogs.”
North Elementary Welcomes "Heroes" for Lunch
The PTO at North Elementary sponsored a special lunch recently where students had the opportunity to sit down and eat with local heroes—firefighters, EMTs, law enforcement, and even Elkins Mayor Van Broughton. More lunches with other local heroes are scheduled for the school year. Principal Cindy Bodkin said she hopes that students learn that “heroes are not Spiderman, Batman or Wonder Woman, but instead are everyday folks that keep us and our community safe.”
TVMHS 8th Graders Attend