School board approves raises and bonuses for employees

The Haywood County School Board met in a short session before the July 10 meeting to discuss employee salaries and to review the Superintendent Evaluation. Board members reviewed the evaluation and each made positive comments about the superintendent. Superintendent Joey Hassell’s salary will be $113,600.00 based on the state average of superintendents’ salaries.

When the Haywood County School Board met in regular session in accordance with their discussion about employee salaries, board members agreed to give raises and bonuses to Haywood County School employees. Some of the money for these raises will come from federal TIF funds set aside for certified staff members and the board will make up the difference, $144,121.25, for other employee raises and bonuses. Chief Financial Officer Larry Livingston reported that at the end of the school fiscal year, June 30, there is a surplus of $394,000. The Fund Balance before the increase in salaries is $4,615,901.91.

In other business, Board members approved the second reading of Policy #4.206 concerning Special Programs, specifically the accommodations made for students who are out of school because of pregnancy.

During his celebration of schools, Superintendent Joey Hassell recognized the success of the summer Read to be Ready and Save the Children programs. He also commended Dr. Tressy Halbrook, principal of East Side Elementary, for her first bus tour of a portion of the community to visit the community’s families and students, share books, freezer pops and information about upcoming events going on at East Side to begin the school year and into August. She will hold another bus tour on July 19.

Board members approved out-of-state travel for the HHS Volleyball team to Cape Girardeau, Missouri, to the Rib City Volleyball Camp July 19 through July 21.

They also approved the proposed 2018-2019 yearly agenda for the monthly school board meetings. At the request of Haywood High, athletic practice was approved during regular school hours as required by the policy regarding athletic practice.

Tennessee School Boards Association recommended that Policy #6.200 regarding attendance, be changed. This involves the requirements that the schools must follow before sending students to truancy court. Board members approved this policy on first reading. They also approved the budget amendments that were submitted for their consideration.

Family and Students Service Executive Director Art Garrett gave a report on bullying in the schools for the 2017-2018 school year. The total incidences have gone from 43 in 2013-2014 to eight in 2017-2018. He credits training and explaining to the staff and the students the definition of bullying as being the reasons for improvement.

Board members looked at submitted bids for school lawn care. The contract was awarded to Wright’s Lawncare and Landscaping for $61,320.

Operations and Special Projects executive Director Jeremiah Cavitt requested the board’s approval of a list of surplus vehicles/equipment to be sold. Board members approved this request. Director Cavitt also said that every school will have a buzzer entrance beginning August 1 to improve safety at the schools.

New teacher orientation will be held on July 27. Inservice for teachers for the 2018-2019 school year will be held from July 30 through August 3. The first day for students will be August 3 with a half-day dismissal at 11:30 a.m.

The next school board meeting will be held August 9 at 6 p.m.