T. R. Robinette

T. R. Robinette (Photo from mdfarmbureau.com)

CUMBERLAND — An agricultural science elective is planned to be added to the Allegany County Public Schools curriculum for the 2020 to 2021 school year.

The school system in 2015 removed the agriculture program, which forced the elimination of its Future Farmers of America.

Allegany County Farm Bureau President T.R. Robinette in January asked the school board to reinstate the programs.

“Agriculture is a whole lot more than just a bunch of farmers,” he said at that time. “It’s science … We really need the ag program back in the school.”

At Tuesday’s school board meeting, Kim Kalbaugh, chief academic officer, discussed the proposed elective.

The class could umbrella a broad view of agriculture and include areas of study such as wildlife management, she said.

Kalbaugh said field trips and hands-on activities for students could also be included. 

“We have a lot of free rein,” she said.

Robinette was at Tuesday’s meeting and thanked the board for adding the agricultural science elective to the school system.

In other school news:

• Board member Tammy Fraley read a letter from member Deb Frank, who was out of town at a work-related conference. The letter said board president Robert Farrell recently told WCBC Radio that school security would be discussed at the school board meeting, but the item was not on the agenda. Cumberland resident Jackie Sams during the public comment portion of the meeting said school security should be “thoroughly discussed in public.” 

• The board approved a bid from Bedford Valley Petroleum of Everett, Pennsylvania, for fuel oil for the schools for the 2019-2020 school year at a cost of $2.1599 per gallon.

• The board approved a bid from Pine Mountain Coal Co. of Lonaconing to supply coal at Braddock and Washington middle schools, and Fort Hill High School for the 2019-2020 school year at a cost of $100.00 per ton.

Teresa McMinn is the digital editor at Cumberland Times-News. Email her at tmcminn@times-news.com, call/text her at 304-639-2371 and follow her on Twitter.

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