Decisions, decisions: school board passes calendar and receives updates

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

At Monday’s meeting of the Marshall County School Board, members moved to approve the 2019-2020 school board calendar.

Normally a formality, the proposed change to the graduation date for Forrest High School generated some tension.

For many years, students from Forrest graduated on Saturday night, but the new calendar for next year moves Forrest to Friday, along with Marshall County High School.

“I think it’s in the best interest for the kids,” John Daniel Allen said. “Graduation night is all about the kids.”

Putting a strain on the director’s attendance for two graduations in one night concerned board members. Allen proposed it would be possible as long as they staggered the times of each graduation.

That wasn’t the end of the discussion though. Harvey Jones strongly disagreed with the proposal.

“You got to understand that it’s always been like this,” Jones said. “You got to think about the parents. The reason we have it on Saturday is to accommodate their work schedule.”

The motion to move Forrest graduation passed with Jones voting against it.

Last year, the board rewarded Forrest Middle School students that scored a composite of 21 on their practice ACT a trip to Georgia Tech. This year, students visited Notre Dame University in South Bend, Indiana. Assistant Principal Wes Hobbs thanked the board members and introduced one of the students, Justina Mosley.

“We were extremely blessed to go on the trip,” Hobbs said. “ACT is a big important movement and we want to show kids that.”

Mosley gave a brief report of her experience before thanking the board members.

“The opportunity was life-changing,” Mosley said. “The most helpful thing on the trip was hearing what college recruiters are looking for in students. Even though it’s a practice test and may not count for a grade, it really does matter.”

Julie Thomas covered another item on the agenda: Special Populations update. Thomas delivered a formal presentation explaining dyslexia to board members. Her presentation included what it is and what it isn’t. Thomas also explained that the school conduct screening to find the early signs.

‘’Even if we give the kids the best instruction, it won’t matter. We have learned that we can give them the skills to manage,” Thomas said. “This is a developmental problem, not intellectual.”

Thomas explained dyslexia is not something that anyone can outgrow, and it is not rare. She has learned that coping skills are the best ways to help students manage.