School board meets in lengthy session on October 14

Superintendent Teresa Russell presented a plaque and pin to HHS Senior Kyle Sills to honor his new membership in the HHS 30+ Club. He scored 31 on the ACT to earn this membership. Kyle is the son of Greg and Michelle Sills.

The Haywood County School Board met in regular session Tuesday night, October 14, with a lengthy agenda. The meeting opened with the passing of Policy #6.411 Student Wellness on the second reading, then the board adjourned to meet with attorneys representing Haywood County for an executive session to discuss pending legal matters with board members.

When the board returned to the meeting, Superintendent Teresa Russell gave her monthly “Celebration of Haywood County Schools” report. She introduced Kyle Sills, a Haywood High senior and the son of Greg and Michelle Sills, who has earned membership into the prestigious HHS 30+ Club. He scored a 31 on the ACT to earn this recognition. Mrs. Russell presented him with a certificate and a pin, and a plaque with his picture will be placed in the front hall of HHS, with his fellow club members.

Mrs. Russell announced that HHS had received an award at a recent meeting of the Southwest Tennessee Development District. She and Principal Jerry Pyron accepted the 2014 REDI Regional Collaboration Award for holding a College Simulation Day or a Mock College Day for seniors last spring. She also reported that the she had been remiss in not talking about the HHS Baseball team’s success last season.  The team finished its season, 20-18, placed second in District and won a regional game 21-0. The Baseball Tomcats ended their season with a loss in a sub-state contest against Lexington, 3-1. She congratulated Coach Tyler Newman on the good job he has done with the team. Mrs. Russell reported that Dannon Eubanks was selected to receive the Student Recognition Award for the Southwest District.

She also asked Don Sims, 21st CCLS Extended Learning Director, to give a report on the HCS before- and after-school program. He reported that all the schools have really increased attendance since it began several years ago. Currently Anderson has attendance of 91; Haywood Elementary, 82; East Side, 98; Haywood Middle School, 88; HHS, 21; and Sunny Hill, 28. The total number of students taking advantage of this program in the Haywood County School System is 408, compared to an enrollment of 287 in the 2012-13 school year.

Board members then approved four out-of-state trips for Haywood County students. Between 40 and 50 cadets of the HHS AFJROTC unit will be traveling to St. Louis, Missouri, to conduct a Curriculum in Action Trip on November 1-2. Lt. Col. Stark Davis was at the meeting to make this request that was approved. The HHS Tomcat Marching Band received approval to go to Jackson, Mississippi, to participate in the Jackson State Senior Day, also on November 1-2. Haywood Middle School Band Director Jason Spraggins requested to take his band and guard to Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky, on October 18 to visit the college campus and attend the annual Festival of Champions. His request was also approved. The HHS Show Choir is planning a trip to St. Louis, Missouri, to attend the World Strides Heritage Music Program. The dates of this trip are April 16-19, 2015. This trip received approval from board members, too.

In other business, board members deleted Policy #5.111 – Utilization of Career Level Educators – due to the fact that the General Assembly recently repealed all state laws pertaining to the Career Ladder Program. They also voted to approve a change to Policy #1.704 about Charter Schools. The change says the Charter School Sponsor now has 30 days instead of 15 to submit an amended application to the local board of education for consideration. The board also agreed to change the wording on Extended Contracts Policy #5.112. In this policy they removed any and all references to the Career Ladder Program.

The board approved the recommended Textbook Adoption Committee for 2014-15. Different this year is that parents have been added to the committee lists at each school.

Superintendent Teresa Russell then made a short presentation concerning the district’s Assessment of the Facility Needs and the Athletic Facility Needs. She had collected a preliminary report on the needs at each school, at the district office, and at all the athletic facilities.

After this report, the next item on the agenda was the discussion of the need for a public forum. Board member Harrison Jones brought up the topic at the September board meeting, but it was agreed to table it for discussion at this meeting. Chairman Harold Garrett said he wasn’t sure a public forum was a good idea. He said they were all elected to serve their constituents, and if anyone has concerns, questions or comments, they should talk to their elected board members. Mr. Jones asked if he could have a forum for his Districts, and Mr. Garrett replied that he could. After a little discussion among all the board members, it was decided that the group would further discuss this topic at the fall retreat.

Next, Board members passed a resolution about insurance. This document outlines the process and guidelines that the system uses to decide what employees qualify for insurance.

Deputy Superintendent and CFO Vincent Harvell reported on a new proposed structure for trip pay to bus drivers, and board members approved this measure. Mr. Harvell then presented a number of budget amendments.

Mrs. Russell ended the meeting with several announcements. First, the tornado safe space at Haywood Middle School is almost complete and in use. She said school administrators will be planning an open house soon. She also reported that the Brownsville Police Department received a grant that will pay for two School Resource Officers. One will begin work at the Sunny Hill Learning Center in November, and another will be assigned to East Side at a later date.

The next meeting will be held Tuesday, November 11.