Board of Ed Holds Public Hearing On New School Calendar

The Tucker County Board of Education met in regular session on Monday, February 3, 2014 despite it being a snow-day for Tucker County schools. All members were present, following the Pledge of Allegiance and having no delegations pertaining to agenda items the board moved into agenda adjustments. With one minor adjustment in the form of adding names to the personnel section the agenda was approved.

The Board went on to approve the minutes of the prior meeting and then the budget supplements and transfers. Upon reviewing the vendor accounts and paid bills, Board member M. Parsons and Board Vice-President J. Preston both raised questions on several large expenditures which were readily explained to the board’s satisfaction.

The Board went on to approve out-of-state student travel and professional leave requests as recommended by the Superintendent.

The Board approved the dates of future board meetings with the Monday, March 3 meeting being changed to Tuesday, March 4.

The Board approved in-state travel requests.

Kim Lipscomb gave a comprehensive report including diagnostic, progress and future plans for the Tucker Valley Elementary Middle School Focus School FAST(Focus Assistance Support Team) Status Report. TVEMS will be identified as a FOCUS school for three years, after that if sufficient progress is made they may be upgraded to a transition school. This year’s focus is what is being done wrong and what can be done to fix it.

Board member M. Parsons reported that he attended the County Commission meeting and that the commission agreed to hire a 4H Director for one year but that they want part of the cost for future years salary written in to any school levy.

The Board then agreed to suspend the meeting temporarily to hold the public hearing meeting.

Despite abysmal turn-out by parents, Dr. Campbell gave a power point presentation on the State Mandated school calendar year changes. A parent in attendance voiced her concern with the students ability to participate in summer “enhancement” program with the enactment of the new school calendar.

Under the new Legislative Revisions, Senate Bill 359, some of the following changes were made:

Schools must hold at least two public hearings every year before adopting a school calendar.

Counties are allowed more flexibility to set their calendar to suit each county’s needs.

Schools cannot go past the June 30 date.

Students now have to received 180 separate instructional days.

Lost instructional time must be recovered, ie.. all two hour delays or early dismissals must be made up with instructional time.

The Board has the discretion to make up instructional days by using a non-instructional day or an out-of-calendar day (such as adding on days to the end of a school year). Minutes could also be added to a school day to make up instructional time.

Accrued instructional time could be used to offset early dismissals. For example: currently the High School goes approximately ten minutes more than required a day so if unused they would make up for 15 days worth of two hour delays by the end of the school year. However, you can’t use these accrued days until they are earned and the whole county must use the accrued time of whichever school has the least minutes built up (which would currently be the high school’s ten minutes a day).

Accrued instructional time however cannot be used to make up entire missed days.

Several changes were made in regard to faculty non-instructional days and faculty senate meetings too.

A county board may request and the State Board may grant a waiver on any year a district can’t meet these requirements ( this will be for something like natural disasters or catastrophic events).

The idea of a five day earlier start date was mentioned . The Board will be presented with a proposed school year calendar in late March or early April. Those wishing to make their opinions known are invited to go to a survey set up on the Tucker County Schools website. (Click on the red survey bar).

Next public hearing is set for Monday, January 17, 2014 at 5.30 p.m. at the Board office.

Following the public hearing, the Board re-convened and having no delegations pertaining to non-agenda items moved to personnel matters.

The Board approved the employment of the following individuals:

Stephanie Murphy- Assistant Softball Coach, TCHS, effective Feb. 4, 2014

Joshua Evans- Assistant Baseball Coach, TCHS, effective Feb. 4, 2014

The Board then moved into Executive Session to discuss the Superintendent’s contract.

Upon returning from Executive Session the Board announced that no action was taken in the matter.

The Board then adjourned. Next regular meeting will be held Monday, February 17, 2014 at 4:30 p.m. in the Board office with a public hearing meeting at 5:30 p.m.


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