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July Board meeting recognizes retirees

The Haywood County School Board held its July meeting on Tuesday, July 14, and among other business, recognized the retirement of 17 employees. The board also heard about the back to school registration kick-off, approved a bid for the roof at East Side, discussed policy changes and received a copy of Superintendent of Schools Teresa Russell’s 2015-16 Organizational Chart for the school system.
The Haywood County School System held a reception preceding the board meeting at College Hill to honor its 17 retirees. Leaving the system are Jim Arnold (18 years), Harold Carter (17 years), Brenda Aggreh (37 years), Deborah Harris (27 years), Betty Doyle (30 years), Cynthia Grimsley (18 years), Greg Bontrager (7 years), John Thomas (35 years), Gay Thomas (39 years), Paul Edwards (35 years), Flodine Hudson (40 years), Elizabeth Lott (43 years), Linda Maddox (30 years), Mary Walker (17 years), Ida Shaw (16 years), Thomas Jarrett (21 years) and Bertha Bond (7 years). Superintendent Teresa Russell, among others, spoke to the retirees and thanked them for their service.
In other business, the school board approved the 2015-2016 yearly agenda for the monthly school board meetings and discussed on first reading changes to five school board policies. These policies were 5.117 – Procedures for Granting Tenure, 5.201 – Separation Practices for Non-Tenured Teachers, 6.205 – Student Assignment, 6.405 – Medicines, and 6.317 Student Disciplinary Hearing Authority. The first four policies, which were approved, were subject to changes recommended by the Tennessee School Board Association (TSBA). Policy 6.317 reflects a change made Mrs. Russell, based on discussions the board has had about the policy and on legal recommendation by the TSBA.
At the June meeting, Mrs. Russell made a recommendation to reappoint the Disciplinary Hearing Authority committee. Board Member Olivia Farrington questioned the appointment because of the wording of the policy. The current policy reads, “The Board shall appoint members to the DHA which shall consist of five (5) members, (maximum number must not exceed total membership of Board) at least one (1) of whom shall be a licensed employee of the board, and such appointments are for one (1) year terms and subject to reappointment. Board members shall not serve on the DHA.” Mrs. Farrington understood that to mean that board members can appoint individual members to the DHA and had a recommendation for the DHA committee. After a lengthy discussion, the board tabled the agenda item in June, and Mrs. Russell sought legal counsel and advice from the TSBA before introducing the change made to the policy Tuesday night. The change to the policy is, “The Board shall appoint the DHA …,” clarifying that board members do not make individual appointments to the DHA, but votes on the committee as a whole as recommended. Mrs. Russell did say that board members can make recommendations to the DHA to her before the committee is presented to the board for a vote.
The Board must approve annually any athletic practice that occurs during regular school hours. Approval was given for this at Haywood High School. The Board also approved a request made by Cedric Lee to use the L. Z. Hurley Memorial Stadium for an alumni flag football game on Saturday, October 3, the day after homecoming. The organizers hope this will be an added event to the HHS Homecoming weekend.
Chief Operations Officer Art Garrett presented to board members a Bullying Case Report. He reported that during the 2013-14 school year, there were 43 incidents of bullying reported involving 34 students. During the 2014-15 school year, there were 19 incidents of bullying involving 18 students. He gave credit for the number of bullying cases going down to a number of initiatives started by the schools and students to discourage bullying and improve student relations.
Haywood School Board Members approved the lowest bid for replacing the East Side roof. Jessie Bryant Roofing won the bid with a price of $685,000. Chief Financial Officer Vincent Harvell said the schools had set aside $700,000 for this project.
Superintendent Russell reported that parents of high school, middle school and intermediate school students will have access to their children’s grades this year through a “Parent Portal” link to the schools’ grading program, Power School. Art Garrett said that they have a plan of action to make this available, and more information will be available on this in the next 30 days.
Back to School
Haywood Middle School Principal Yvette Blue, Haywood Elementary Principal Anna Roberts and East Side Intermediate School Principal Sandra Humphreys presented to the board the schedule for the Back To School Kick-offs at each school. Working together, they have scheduled their registration times so the parents with children in different schools will be able to go to all schools.
• At Haywood Elementary, first-grade students can register on July 21 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Second and third graders can register on July 22 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and on July 23, students in first, second and third grades can register from 2 to 6 p.m.
• At East Side, fourth graders can register on July 21 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., fifth graders can register on July 22 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and students in both grades can register on July 23 from 2 to 6 p.m.
• At Haywood Middle School, registration for sixth graders is on July 21 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and for seventh and eighth graders it is July 22 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Also on July 23, sixth, seventh and eighth graders can register from 2 to 6 p.m. And on Friday, July 31, from 5 to 7 p.m., all three schools will be holding a Welcome Back Night.
Parents and students can also tour the schools and meet the teachers at these Back to School events. In order to receive class schedules and teachers’ names, all students must be registered before July 31.
At Anderson Early Childhood, the Pre-Kindergarten PARENT meeting will be held July 30 at 6:00 p.m. in the gym at Anderson, and the Kindergarten Parent meeting will be on July 31 at 6:00 p.m. in the gym at Anderson.
Haywood High School will hold Freshman Orientation on Friday, July 31, at 9 a.m. in the HHS Cafeteria.
The next school board meeting will be held on Tuesday, August 11, at 6 p.m.