I am so proud of our 2020 graduates. Seventy-Seven Bulldogs crossed the graduation stage and courageously advanced into an uncertain world. This class has seen great success in the classroom and in athletics. They have displayed great leadership in clubs, student government and in outside organizations. We wish them Godspeed in their future endeavors.
As we do every year, we use summer to plan for the opening of school. But in the middle of a pandemic our plans are fluid, uncertain, and must be able to be changed quickly. We are currently hoping for a five day per week schedule with protections in place for our students and staff. Details about what our school day will look like will be released as we get closer to the opening of school. We will use the best information from our local health department, the Department of Health and Human Resources, Governor Justice’s office and the CDC. Our primary mission is the education of our students in a safe and healthy environment.
We also hope to have our students involved in athletics. Our hope is also to allow spectators to watch our games. Therefore, the Board of Education renewed our Extra-Curricular passes again this year. We will release the details of our sports schedules, safety measures and how to receive your Extra-Curricular pass in the coming weeks. All Doddridge County taxpayers will be able to attend games that are open to the public for free. Many of our contests are also available on the internet through the NFHS.org website.
Even as we plan for the immediate future we are also looking further ahead at improving our facilities. We are finalizing our plans for our new Early Learning Academy on BOE property in West Union. This new building will be located at the baseball field next to the old Cline Stansberry Stadium. Our early learners will benefit greatly from a new building. Our Pre-K students are currently in the old Smithburg Grade School building and will especially benefit with a modern state-of-the-art facility. The new multiuse campus will also offer a practice football field for the Middle School and public walking trail.
Our new CTE and Maintenance building is moving ahead of schedule. The iron framing is installed and the stone work will be beginning soon. This building will provide training in diesel mechanics, plumbing, HVAC and oil and gas development.
The Board of Education has also purchased the old Salem Equestrian Center. This facility will greatly help our AG program. The barn will provide for new livestock programs and the additional property will provide for new agricultural and horticultural programs of study. We are very excited about this new opportunity. One of the fastest growing sectors of our economy is in locally produced food. This facility will train our students to enter into this “growing field”.
I would, once again, like to thank all of our students and parents for their work during the shutdown for the pandemic. We saw what we were able to accomplish through remote learning, but we also saw the limitations. We will learn from these experiences and will use these lessons to plan for the future. Our school system is fortunate to have a community solidly behind their schools and their students. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. You are a blessing.