School board members and interim director Roy Dukes were all pleased with the way the October meeting went on the 19th.
"It's just amazing how they came together, all for the sake of the kids," Dukes said. "The board was just super.
"Young people see adults as their leaders and what we do sets the tone for them," he added.
The first item of business Monday night was to honor retirees. Names and years of service were called out, and most of the honorees were there to receive their plaques and shake Dukes' hand. The retirees were teachers Nancy Cheatham (24), Gail Collins (39), Sherry Foster (24), Joe George (38), Maurice Hambrick (29), Ray Stacey (35), and Ann Walls (34); and support staff Wanda Burch, Martha Carter, and Gwen Kincaid.
The Chapel Hill Park and Recreation Board asked permission to use the facilities at Forrest School for their Christmas festivities, which include a baby pageant and a craft fair. The board voted unanimously to grant this request, presented by Lori Curtis, a teacher at Chapel Hill Elementary School.
The Marshall County Education Association's president Colin Beatty was at the meeting, along with many teachers who came to hear how their grievances would fare. Beatty gave up MCEA's slot on the agenda to give more time to the grievance discussions.
Dukes asked the board to approve the disposal of surplus textbooks, and they unanimously agreed to this. According to the "board book," every possible effort has been made to sell these textbooks that are no longer in use. Now they will be offered, free, to the community. Dukes said that some parents who home-school have taken advantage of this in the past. Board member Curt Denton said he was sure there were local churches that would take books to send to their overseas teaching missions. Any books remaining at the end of the give-away period will be recycled, and a company has been found to do this free of charge.
The board approved use of the A-Plus software for a Forrest High School senior who needs a course in physics to qualify for entrance to the Naval Academy. In the future, Dukes announced, such a course can be done by distance learning. Technology supervisor Suzanne Ingram reported that the wiring had been done, the rooms allocated, and the equipment ordered for the distance learning classrooms at Forrest and Cornersville. Ingram anticipates the installation will be completed in November, and courses can start in January.
"Will this enable all three high schools to have the same courses?" asked board member Randy Perryman.
"Yes," replied Ingram. "The teacher overseeing the students does not have to be certified in what's being taught."
Two teachers at Chapel Hill Elementary are going to receive a supplement for doing technology support at the school, according to a request by principal Dean Delk that was approved by the board.
In his director's report, Dukes announced some additions and changes to the schools' calendar. The TCAP (Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program) tests will be administered from April 12 to 19, 2010. This is different from the dates on the calendar now. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission will be here on Nov. 10 to conduct two sessions of sensitivity training, "A Culture of Respect," for principals, assistant principals, supervisors, and central office personnel.
"You're welcome to come," Dukes told board members.
In employment, Dukes is going to proceed with the hiring of seven teacher assistants that are already in the budget. An administrative assistant to be paid with Title 1 funds is also going to be hired. He announced that two new maintenance positions will be posted soon. These jobs - one electrical and one HVAC -need to be filled now the schools' maintenance department is going to be responsible for the County buildings as well.
The board also unanimously approved special courses, the compliance report, and amendments to the Federal budget in their two-hour meeting Monday night.