By Heather Clower
The Parsons Advocate
With all Tucker County Board of Education members present, President Tim Turner called the meeting to order followed by The Pledge of Allegiance. With no delegations or public comments, the meeting moved immediately to recognitions and presentations beginning with Amber Kyle, Attendance Director. “This evening, I would like to recognize four students from Tucker County Schools who had perfect attendance for the entire school year,” Kyle said. These four also never had a late arrival or early dismissal from school in addition.
“No one knew that there would be any kind of recognition,” she further explained, “this is because obviously these parents find education important and these students are motivated to get their education.” Three of the four individuals were present to be awarded their merits sponsored by St. George Medical Clinic. Kyle began calling the students one by one, starting with Sadie Ends, Jason McGee, Samantha Chambers, and unfortunately Mason Tibbs was on vacation.
In addition to a certificate for their achievement, they were also awarded an apple iPad. Kyle explained they wanted to provide something that could be educational and utilized by the students and felt this was the best way to do this. She also hopes this is something that can be continued for years to come in partnership with St. George Medical Center. Kyle also announced there are remaining funds from this contribution and at the beginning of the year a teacher and service employee from each school with the best attendance will also be receiving a token of gratitude for their dedication and hard work.
Kim Lipscomb and Jonathan Hicks, Title IX coordinators for Tucker County Schools, provided a presentation updating the board on their recent training and updates relating to Title IX before using the information to train school employees. The basis for this item is to ensure no person is discriminated on based on sex, student rights, and sexual harassment protocols. Lipscomb went through the information briefly, highlighting updates and changes made from the new Trump Administration that has changed since the Obama Administration. She also explained grievance and investigative procedures if the situation would arise.
Tucker County Schools Superintendent Alicia Lambert presented the board preliminary results of the standardized testing data from 2014 to present. She commented on trends visible in the data and how unfortunately, the tests administered have been changed each year making it hard to compare accurately. “From these, what I did like was the eighth grade scores were better,” Lambert commented. She explained how this worked with our schools being elementary and middle school combined and where the emphasis lies on the grades.
Lambert provided goals she had set for the school year and how they will be continued for the 2019-20. Some of those highlights she addressed included attendance rates, graduation rates which she noted are over state recommended rate, and administration spending time in each school. Other areas addressed and continuing to be are the TCBOE Policy Manual, third and fifth grade reading and math readiness, stakeholder relations, and facility safety and security amongst others. Board member Cathy Hebb requested the asset inventory reports be more detailed when giving their reports to ensure each school has the proper technology needed for a successful school year as well while she was going through her goals and focal areas.
Under new business where the May 29 special meeting minutes were approved along with payment of bills, the budget adjustments, student transfer requests, acknowledgement of the receipt of intents to home school, and use of transportation by the Tucker County Extension Office 4-H group.
The 2019-2020 board meeting dates were unanimously agreed upon as well as the adoption of three textbooks at TCHS. This brought the vote on the approval of the TCHS student handbook. “I just have a concern about the student athletes coming in by the end of first period, so how often are they going to be allowed to do that?” Turner questioned. This resulted in a brief discussion about how these students attendance would be measured. It was requested verbiage would be added on how this would be addressed by the board, therefore when asked who was in favor of the handbook as presented, all were opposed. Change requests will be emailed to TCHS Principal Stephen Cosner for his attention in order to get them to the printer in time. In addition, the board reviewed and provided the first reading of the county cell phone policy.
Moving into personnel, the superintendent recommended the following to be hired: Tara Dilly as TVEMS fourth grade teacher, Kasie Gafner, early childhood teacher for pre-K and Kindergarten split classroom at TVEMS, Sheryl Kines TVEMS art teacher, Donna Akins as itinerant at TVEMS as a special education teacher, and Alyssa Hannah as TCHS biology teacher, all effective as of August 14 pending background checks and certifications as necessary. There was also a rescission of reduction of force, to reinstate half of Stephen Strothers position as a computer science teacher/virtual coordinator at TCHS which will take effect immediately.
Within service personnel, Lambert recommended the employment of Craig Hyre as aide/ECCAT/bus aide for the pre-k and kindergarten split classroom at TVEMS as well as Steven Frymyer as custodian II at TVEMS, also effective August 14, 2019. Billy Nestor and Scott Lycliter of the maintenance department also had their contracts adjusted from a 240 day contract to 261 days effective July 1. Extra-Curricular assignments were also addressed with the resignation of Sheryl Kines as the TCHS golf coach, effective June 30. Michelle Mullenax was recommended to be hired as the girls track coach at TCHS, Jack Mullenax as the TCHS boys track coach, and Judy Pitzer as a volunteer volleyball coach at TCHS, all effective with the 2019-2020 school year. All were in favor of all the recommendations by the Superintendent.
The May 2019 financial statements were reviewed with Financial Director Tracy Teets informing the budget has been accepted with only minor changes for the fiscal year 2020. “June is making me nervous,” Teets admitted, though she noted the tax revenues have come in slightly higher than expected. Consulting services agreements between Tucker County Schools and Intentional Coaching and Consulting LLC and between Williamson Shriver Architects, Inc., CEFP Planning Consultant with the Tucker County Board of Education were also approved.
Calendar of events were noted with the July board meetings set for July 8 and July 22, both at 4:30 p.m. at TCBOE. The first day of school for staff is slated for August 14, first day for grades 1-12 on August 20, Kindergarten Open House on August 23 with their first day on the 26, and the first day for preschool on September 3.
A short special meeting was scheduled on Friday, June 21 at 8 a.m. The requested revisions to the TCHS student handbook were made and approved by the board. Continuing with new business, the Superintendent recommended the approval of leave without pay for Robbie Bennett for a half day, retroactive to May 23, which also approved.
Under finance and budget, the board approved Brickstreet as the workers compensation carrier for the 2019-2020 school year. It was also voted on and approved to accept the low bid proposal from W.R. Drake LLC for the TVEMS HVAC project for $3,178,767, which is around $1,000,000 under budget to date. This concluded the special session for the TCBOE.