The Parsons Advocate
The Tucker County Board of Education met on Monday, October 15 at the Tucker Valley school library to address agenda topics and recognize several in our school system. Beforehand, everyone took part in reciting The Pledge of Allegiance and taking roll.
Attention was brought to the TCHS golf team and coach for their outstanding season. The TVEMS Read Aloud program volunteers were extended thanks and appreciation for their time and dedication to come into the classrooms and read to the students. There were several who could not commit to the Read Aloud program due to work schedules; however, they volunteered as they could and they were mentioned and thanked as well.
One of the biggest honors an educator could receive was awarded to one of Tucker County’s own, Donna Stout. The second grade teacher was welcomed with a standing ovation from everyone in the room with sincere applause for the work she has dedicated her life to. “I want to thank all the board members and the superintendent for allowing me professional days to go to the Teacher of the Year award celebration”, Stout said. “I really do thank all the parents of Tucker County for giving me the privilege to teach their kids for thirty eight years, I feel so honored and blessed”, she said with tears in her eyes.
Kim Lipscomb, preschool director, gave a presentation regarding the status of the pre-k students. A new early literacy program has been implemented in which Lipscomb stated, “the teachers really like it and we hope to see that in next year’s data”. Lipscomb continued to express the desire to relocate the pre-k classrooms to TVEMS. She explained they are grateful for the large classrooms they have at the Board of Education building, but it is not handicap accessible and the building does not qualify for grants. Jonathan Hicks added the requirements needed such as utilization rates mandated to get such grants, which is 85% in which he informed no school in the county actually meets that. Apparently, enrollment has decreased since the building has been constructed in the nineties. Lipscomb continued to explain the requirements necessary for pre-k classrooms to be housed at TVEMS, such as a resource room for gross motor skills and in room bathroom facilities. “In the long run it’s what is best for the children in terms of transition”, Lipscomb concluded.
TVEMS principal Teresa Brusak introduced the Vice Principal, Kelly Thompson. Brusak informed the board of the new committees that have been developed, including one for leadership, curriculum, parent involvement, behavior and rewards, safety, and PTO/LSIC (Parent Teacher Organization/Local School Improvement Council), and technology. It was noted that the curriculum committee is working to adopt the same phonics program for Kindergarten through third grade that has been utilized in pre-k to aid in consistency. The parent involvement group scheduled a family STEM night on November 13 from 5-7 p.m., “The kids are loving the STEM program”, exclaimed Brusak. There was much talk about reading and early literacy programs, to which board member Cathy Hebb asked “What are you doing with math?” Brusak explained they are working on revamping the math department as well with the new teachers this year.
Vice Principal Thompson commented on the safety committee which has practiced fire drills and code yellow alerts. Brusak continued stating the technology committee has been actively looking at all the software and technology in the building to ensure the students are able to get the most out of their time. The PTO/LSIC group president Ms. Wolfe has been working with the Halloween candy walk, an elementary spirit night, and other ideas to encourage parents to be more involved. Wolfe commended Tiffany Fowler who has been working on growing PTO. One more committee Brusak concluded with was a gratitude committee. “The members are kept secret and they go around and do nice things for those in the building to keep morale up”, she said.
Moving onto the discussion portion of the agenda, first listed being title 1 director duties. Superintendent Alicia Lambert expressed sincere concern for the lack of a director in our county, which the last person to fill this position was about two years ago. As of now, four individuals are splitting this position and according to Lambert, “there is a lot of money in title 1, and with no one filling this position and four people sharing responsibilities, we are afraid we will inadvertently miss something and that’s something we can’t afford as a county”. Jessica Wamsley agreed that, “this is a recipe for disaster and in my opinion it’s something that needs focus”. Cathy Hebb was in agreement, and suggested “I think it should be a new person”, and one who could focus solely on title 1 duties.
Policies and procedures followed up on the development of a county lice procedure to be implemented. Several sample protocols from other counties have been distributed amongst the board for review to aid in development of a policy pertinent to our county needs. Wamsley noted “there are good usable parts from each one”. Kimberly Wamsley, school nurse, was asked about prior incidences in the school system. She explained there have been about five students at TVEMS with live lice visible; one student has been battling this issue since the first day of school. It was explained that currently they have sent letters home and made calls but it does not seem to help. Board President Tim Turner instructed the members to read through the sample policies and send the parts they felt pertinent to the situation at hand be sent to Lambert, and she will put a draft together to go over.
Meeting minutes from September 28 and October 1, payment of bills, budget adjustments, and requested job shadow sites from seniors were approved. Mary Ellen Brown was approved as a substitute cook, Val Eye’s resignation as DTEMS cheer coach was accepted, and Alisha McCune was approved as the new TVEMS girl’s basketball coach pending certification and background check.
The next regular board meeting will be held at the Tucker County Board of Education office on Monday, November 5 at 4:30 p.m.