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School Board meets in November session

The Haywood County Board of Education met in regular session on Tuesday, November 13. Board Chairman Harold Garrett conducted the meeting that included several budgetary matters, a school trip approval request, the announcement of mini-grants, several policy changes, and a good audit report. Superintendent Teresa Russell also made a brief report on the Gear Up Grant that the schools will receive in January. The grant will be used to follow students who are in the seventh grade through their graduation and a year post high school, as well as seniors each year.

During the business meeting, board members approved for the school system to pay a percentage of the employees’ insurance premium increase. Vincent Harvell said that the health insurance premium was increased 9.2 percent, the first increase since the 2009-2010 school year. Our school system pays about 65 percent of the employees’ premium and the employees pay the rest.

Board members also approved on second reading five policy changes. They also approved for the HHS Men’s Varsity Basketball team to travel to Heber Springs, Arkansas, to participate in a basketball tournament from December 27 through December 30.

Mr. Harvell reported that the Catherine Truss Colhoun Scholarship has a balance of $222,555.05, showing a gain over last year even with $12,000 in scholarships given to HHS seniors at graduation in May. He further reported that an audit for the school activity accounts and cafeteria funds from July 1, 2011, and June 30, 2012, had no significant “findings,” therefore indicating a good audit report.

During the budget amendments, Mr. Harvell reported to board members that the system is moving unused funds into other areas, including about $32,000 to be used for technology at East Side Elementary and Haywood High School. Also a $9,000 federal grant will be used for Interactive Smartboards at Anderson Early Childhood Center.

Superintendent Russell also announced the Fall Mini-Grant Awards to teachers in the district. Jessie Warren at Anderson will receive funds to purchase Lakeshore Word Family and Sight Word Readers. Leslie Essary at Haywood Elementary will use her funds to buy two Visual Land Prestige 7L Android 4.0 Internet 7” tablets to help maintain student growth with reading and technology. Also, two other Haywood Elementary teachers received grants. Robin Philpot will use her grant to buy “Hot Dots,” which are standards-based science review cards for students to reinforce skills they need to master. Elizabeth Lovelace will use her funds to help create an iPod station in her classroom.

At East Side Intermediate School, Katrina Hill received mini grant funds she will use to purchase a privacy board for each student and a Skill-Building Pyramid Puzzles: Math Book. At Haywood Middle School, Kevin Doan will order IXL.Com. It is widely recognized as the web’s most comprehensive math site. “It offers a dynamic and fun environment for math practice and is packed with engaging features for students. Practice, Practice, Practice is what IXL is all about,” Mr. Doan said. Julie Davis at Haywood High is buying “On Your Own Coast-to-Coast” for her junior and senior Personal Finance students so they can learn how to prepare for the real world in a number of different ways. Each section teaches skills that will help students become independent.

The December school board meeting will be held on Tuesday, December 11, 2012, at 6 p.m.