WINFIELD, W.Va. -- Work ethic, communication and collaboration skills will be top priorities for Putnam schools this year and next, according to goals set by the superintendent.Putnam County school board members approved Superintendent Chuck Hatfield's annual goals Monday evening.The 32 goals address administration, curriculum and instruction, pupil services and finance objectives."The most important are curriculum and instruction," Hatfield said after the meeting. "Those are about how kids achieve."Over the next three years, all 14 of the county's elementary schools will adopt the "Leader in Me" program based on Stephen Covey's best-selling book, "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People," according to Hatfield's goals.Hurricane Town Elementary has already implemented the program, and this year five other elementary schools started the program.
At the middle and high school levels, "soft skills" emphasizing work ethic and communication skills will continue to be a top priority.This year, teachers started emphasizing the skills, which are counting toward students' grades.Hatfield also plans to develop a comprehensive career education program for middle and high school students, according to his outlined goals.Last month, the board agreed to apply for an innovation zone grant with the state Department of Education to help at-risk students.The grant, which could provide up to $100,000 for three years, would be used to hire someone to work at the county high schools and help students explore career possibilities outside of college.Reach Kate White at firstname.lastname@example.org