BOE Tackles Homebound Issue

Citing a lack of structure with the school district’s homebound policy, the Marshall County Board of Education is seeking to introduce a plan for longterm homebound students in the county to re-enter school and meet graduation requirements.

At a Tuesday meeting, the board unanimously approved a first reading of the updated policy, which seeks to recommend professional counseling to homebound students, monitor a student’s progress in preparing to go back to school and requires all homebound students to participate in state testing at the end of each school year.

According to Attendance Director Tracy Mercer, students who are receiving instruction at home only earn four credits a year and fall short of the credits needed to graduate after four years. Mercer reported 44 students in the county were homebound last year and about 28 students were homebound over an extended period. She added the majority of homebound students are in the high school level.

“We needed to add an education plan to the policy and something that could be checked periodically,” Superintendent Michael Hince said. “The reality is we can’t teach a full curriculum at home. There has to be a plan to determine how long they will be homebound and when are they coming back.”

Hince said students can be homebound for a variety of different reasons and for varying amounts of time, but said longterm homebound students with possible emotional or behavioral problems should have a plan to reintegrate them back into a school setting. He said the county needs to address these students needs, such as having them see a counselor periodically, to make sure they are working to reenter the classroom.

“We need to look at what we are doing to get them back into school,” Hince said. “We have to assess it and determine what progress they’ve made.”

In other business, the board voted to hire Petticord & Son Inc. and Karras Painting LLC, both of Wheeling, to paint the John Marshall High School Monarch Stadium for $49,700. According to Hince, the job was split between the two companies in order to have the work completed before the first football game of the season and will include cleaning, power washing, priming and painting the stands and walls around the concession stands.

Karras will paint the west side of the stadium for $26,500 and Petticord will perform work on the east side for $23,200.