By DALE GRAHAM
The Cheatham County Board of Education met in regular session Monday night. All members were present.
Chief Academic Officer Tara Watson gave her monthly goal update, which included going over the state’s 2012 – 2013 report card. She started by sharing that the school district has climbed since 2011 from three Bs and one A, to two Bs and 2 As in 2012, to the current three As and one B for 2013, (the only B was for grade 3 – 8 Reading). She said that a closer look shows that “we still have far away to go as far as being at state averages”, particularly in Algebra 1 where we lag below state averages by 12.2% points, and in Algebra 2 where we fall behind 14%.
Watson told the Board that professional development is being provided to faculty, tutoring is being provided to students, and a math coordinator would be hired for 2014 – 2015 school year, (to be paid for with federal funds), to help with Algebra 1 and 2.
Watson also stated, “Cheatham County does well with what we have, and the money that we spend”. She pointed out that 65% of the district’s “per pupil expenditure” funding comes from state funding, 27% is local funding, 8% is federal funding. When compared to similar sized surrounding counties, “we are substantially below surrounding counties, and we’re $1300 below the state average”, she added.
In old business, the board approved the Accounting for Athletics policy 2.704 on second reading.
In new business:
Zero Tolerance Offenses Policy 6.309 was revised on first reading, adding verbiage concerning “Electronic Threats”. The wording states that “any communication containing a credible threat to cause bodily injury or death to another student or school employee and the transmission of such threat creates actual disruptive activity at the school that requires administrative intervention shall be expelled for a period of not less than one calendar year”. The director will have authority to modify that expulsion requirement on a case-by-case basis.
A part time payroll clerk position was added in order to train a replacement for retiring clerk Linda Perry. Perry has held the position for 46 years and will retire next summer. The pay for the 6 month, part-time position will not exceed $20,000.
Also approved was a $10,000 bonus payment to Director Stan Curtis, for meeting certain goals entailed in his contract. Board Member Dianne Proffitt explained that Curtis has said that he wants to donate his bonus “to the schools for the teachers”.
Pegram Elementary School student Preston Paquette was honored for winning the Cheatham County Soil Conservation Poster Contest for 4th – 5th grade. Principal Detra Emery said that for the win, Preston was awarded a gift card to attend the Adventure Science Museum, a tent and a flashlight. Preston’s teacher, Ms. Kathy Kimbro (who was unable to attend) also received a $100 check to spend on classroom instructional supplies. Ms. Emery called Preston a “unique young man and a great student”.
Outstanding Employees of the month were also announced, and include receptionist Merida Zauner of Kingston Springs Elementary School, receptionist Teresa Hunt from Pegram Elementary School, teacher Sharon Banks of Harpeth Middle School and teacher Ryan Phillipp of Harpeth High School.
The Cheatham County Board of Education meets the first Monday of each month at 7p.m. in the Board’s Annex building on Elizabeth Street in Ashland City.