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Putnam schools plan to offer new double-credit classes

WINFIELD — The Putnam County school district is planning to offer new double-credit classes.

The county school board unanimously approved on Monday submitting for public review proposals to add dual credit classes to the county’s four high schools and embedded credit courses at the Putnam Career and Technical Center.

If the board approves the proposals at a later meeting and the West Virginia Board of Education signs off, schools could begin offering the classes in the upcoming school year, said Cindy Daniel, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction. Hurricane High School would start in the first semester and the other high schools plus the Career and Technical Center would follow in the second.

Daniel said dual credit courses allow students to simultaneously earn high school and college credit. The district currently offers college-credit-only classes through Marshall University, but the new dual credit classes would give credit for something like 12th grade English and freshmen college English simultaneously. Daniel said a single school could offer anywhere from one to five such classes.

She said the new embedded credit classes would allow students to simultaneously earn both a high school and career technical credit.

Superintendent Chuck Hatfield explained that technical credits go toward completing special Career and Technical Center programs, which can help graduates get jobs out of high school. They can also sometimes count toward degrees at community colleges.

“You may be in welding at the Tech Center, and you may be able to earn a math credit as well as your technical credit,” Daniel added.

She said the county is already offering embedded credits at Buffalo High School through its participation in the New Tech Network, a group of 135 schools in 23 states and Australia, according to the nonprofit organization’s website. As part of New Tech, Buffalo High students all receive laptops and work on projects in small groups.

But Daniel said the embedded credits at Buffalo High — such as Trysics, trigonometry and physics — are for two academic credits, unlike the academic/technical hybrid courses that the Career and Technical Center will offer. The state will fund the school district to hire a math and an English teacher for the Career and Technical Center to help start the embedded credit classes there.

The Putnam school district usually posts proposed new policies on its website,, and the central office can be reached at 304-586-0500 for more information.

Also Monday, the school board unanimously approved transferring Mike Erwin, the Career and Technical Center’s principal, to a new principal/director position overseeing both the school and overall adult education curricula. Hatfield said Erwin, who was the only applicant and will begin the new position July 1, will receive a raise for the added duties, but the superintendent didn’t know offhand Monday night what Erwin’s current or new salary would be.

Board members also approved transferring Debbie Shrewsbury, an assistant principal at Hurricane Middle School, to the principal position at Poca Middle School starting July 1. Poca Middle Principal Carl Caldwell is being transferred to the principal position at Hurricane Middle School, where current principal Douglas Cross has been transferred to the new position of director of secondary education in the school district’s central office.

Hatfield said the principal positions at all schools are now filled. School board members also approved Monday spending $865,000 on eight to 10 new buses, the superintendent estimated, to replace current vehicles.

Reach Ryan Quinn at

or 304-348-1254.

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