KEYSER - The president of the Elk Garden Primary School PTO and a teacher at the school told the Mineral County Board of Education Tuesday that valuable time is being lost in the classrooms because their secretary position was recently cut back to only a half-day.

By Liz Beavers
lbeavers@newstribune.info
Tribune Managing Editor
KEYSER - The president of the Elk Garden Primary School PTO and a teacher at the school told the Mineral County Board of Education Tuesday that valuable time is being lost in the classrooms because their secretary position was recently cut back to only a half-day.
In addition, because the school  janitor recently resigned, teachers - and even principal Michael Saturday - are spending part of their time cleaning toilets, mopping floors, and taking out the trash.
PTO president Margie Reel said the absence of a school secretary in the afternoons is a safety concern.
“If no one is at the bus stop to pick up a child and he is left on the bus, no one an get hold of the school,” she said.
“A teacher with a sick child in the class … has to sit with that child” until someone can come pick him up, she added.
Teacher Tammy Ashby said she, because her room is close to the school door, finds herself “leaving a classroom of children to go get the doorbell” when the secretary is not in the office in the afternoons.
“If a kid gets sick, then I’m not teaching my class because I’m trying to contact someone,” she added.
Reel presented the board with a petition asking them to return the secretarial position to full time.
She told the News Tribune after the meeting that Elk Garden was reduced to a half-day secretary approximately two years ago, with the explanation that as the smaller schools’ secretaries retired, the positions would be reduced.
She says that has not happened, however.
“They made three schools go to a half-day secretary, but as the other two schools’ secretaries retired, their positions were posted as full day,” she said.
“It’s just not working,” Ashby told the board. “I’m afraid somebody is going to get hurt and there will be no one to help them.”
Although the board members did not discuss the secretarial position because it was not on the agenda for Tuesday’s meeting, they did approve advertising for the janitorial position when they accepted the janitor’s resignation.