August Board meeting

“Haywood Reads” new school reading initiative

The Haywood County Schools met in regular session on Tuesday, August 9. Board members took care of several items of business and heard reports from each of the schools’ principals about the first days of the 2016 school year. Everyone also heard from Yvette Blue, Chief Academic Officer over the Curriculum and Accountability Department, about the Haywood County Schools “Haywood Reads” reading initiative.

Board members approved on second reading the recommended policy change from TSBA, 6.411 – Student Wellness. They removed the sentence, “Physical activity shall not be employed as a form of discipline or punishment.”

Board members also approved the reappointment of Discipline Hearing Authority members as recommended by Superintendent Teresa Russell. Art Garrett will remain Chairman and Kenneth Emerson and Opal Hay will continue to serve. Cedric Bunch and Marjorie Vaulx are the new members, and Yvette Blue will serve as a substitute when needed. The board also approved the mid-month luncheon schedule for the school year.

All the school principals spoke at the board meeting about the beginning of school. The principals are Anderson – Charles Byrum, Haywood Elementary – Anna Roberts, East Side Intermediate – Sandra Humphreys, Haywood Middle School – Morris Long, Haywood High School – Dr. Jerry Pyron, and Drayton Hawkins is the Sunny Hill Innovative Learning Center Director. All reported a great response to the school open houses and Freshman Orientation at HHS. Each principal talked about the success of the school openings and praised their teachers and staff for helping to make this happen. They are also excited about the upcoming school year and the new reading initiative. This year East Side has been designated as a Leader in Me School. According to Chief Operations Officer Art Garrett, 3,142 students are enrolled in Haywood County Schools.

Mrs. Russell received approval for the Homecoming Parade to be held on Friday, September 23. There will be a half-day of school that day with dismissal at 11:30. Tailgating will be from 11:30 to 1:30 at the football stadium parking lot. The parade begins at 1:30 and kickoff for the game between HHS Tomcats and Crockett County is 7 p.m.

In other business, Chief Financial Officer Larry Livingston reported that the balance of the Catherine Truss Colhoun Scholarship fund is $194,505.46. From this fund, the school system will pay $12,000 in scholarships awarded to HHS seniors in May.

Mrs. Russell said that there were three major areas of focus this year: attendance, the Leader in Me program at East Side and the “Haywood Reads” initiative. She asked Mrs. Blue to speak to everyone about “Haywood Reads.” Mrs. Blue expressed her enthusiasm for the program that will be a year-long promotion of reading to Haywood County families and reported on some of the details of the program. She said this program “will help sell the love, joy and importance of reading.”

Board members moved the September board meeting to Thursday, September 15, so Mrs. Russell can attend the Superintendent Study Council Conference.