The school board was out of the room for most of their two and a half hour meeting Tuesday night.
As soon as the invocation and Pledge of Allegiance had been completed, and retired teachers and support staff recognized and awarded plaques, the board left the room to consult in private with their attorney Sam Jackson.
The assembled teachers, administrators, parents and members of the public were told this was to discuss Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaints, possible pending lawsuits, and negotiations with the Marshall County Education Association, representing the teachers.
It was over an hour before the board returned and resumed work on their agenda. After adjourning the meeting, the board spent another hour in private, discussing how to proceed with negotiations with MCEA regarding insurance.
Other business considered by members of the school board included:
* A parent addressed the board about the way his two sons had been kicked off the Marshall County High School football team, allegedly for remarks made to coaches during one of the early-season practices. One is a senior, but the other is a sophomore who would like to get back on the team for his last two years of high school.
"It needs to be looked at," exclaimed board member Ann Tears. "We should do something about it."
Additional questioning revealed that the parent had talked to the head coach, but not to the high school principal or the athletic director, leading board member Barbara Kennedy to say, "I don't feel as a board we should get into it at this stage - we have a chain of command: he needs to see if the people who are supposed to resolve it can resolve it."
Schools director Roy Dukes agreed to set up a meeting of all parties concerned.
* Requests from Cornersville and Forrest schools for permission for students to attend the Junior Beta Convention in Nashville next month were granted; the compliance report was approved; and a list of textbooks and materials was approved as surplus.
* A resolution to transfer funds from the general purpose school fund to the federal projects fund was tabled until board members could hold a work session to discuss it more fully.
* The form to be used for the director's annual evaluation will be ready for the board meeting in November, and the evaluation should be complete by December, with the results known and recommendations made in January. Since this is a variation from the timetable in Dukes' contract, Jackson will modify the contract accordingly.
* The Policy and Curriculum & Technology committees established meeting dates for next month. The next full board meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 8.
In his director's report, Dukes told the board;
* Title VI funds to Marshall County have been cut by $31,850. This will result in the end of the STARS program at MCHS after Christmas. STARS was planned to start soon at Forrest and Cornersville, but this cannot happen now.
* Dates for the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP) tests for grades 3-8 next spring have been announced, and board members were given a copy.
* The convection steamer for the cafeteria at Chapel Hill Elementary School has been repaired for the time being, but Dukes told board members a new steamer might have to be purchased, at a cost of $16,000 to $20,000.
* There is a problem with the sewer at Lewisburg Middle School, but Dukes is working with the city, trying to get the sewer pipe enlarged to prevent future back-ups.