Eighth grade state writing assessment scores were up this year, with students scoring higher than both RESA (Regional Educational Service Agency) and state averages for this year.
Seventy-five percent of students taking the writing assessment met the standards, with 38 percent exceeding standards.
“We’re real proud of that accomplishment,” assistant superintendent Sherrie Gibney-Sherman told the board of education at their business meeting Tuesday night. “That’s outstanding.”
In other business, the board officially approved the 2012 – 2013 school calendar. School will start on Aug. 10 this year and end on May 24, 2013. This calendar includes 185 student days. Days prioritized for “snow days” are Feb. 15, 18 and March 15.
The board heard that long-time middle school principal Matt Boggs will retire at the end of this school year.
In other action, the board approved the following personnel recommendations:
•Ila Elementary School teacher Ashley Witters, has announced her intention to leave at the end of the 2012 school year.
•Colbert Elementary – Parapro Brenda Chandler was increased from half-time to full time.
•Hull – Sanford Elementary – Parapro Tina Cleveland was approved a two-day leave without pay.
•MCMS – Teacher Buffy Wennersten was approved for maternity leave and the board hired Carey Metts as a PE teacher to replace Mark Turner for the 2013 school year. They accepted the resignation of nurse Joan Busbin and approved Tanya Lynch as her long-term substitute.
•MCHS – Mark LaZear was approved as a volunteer community track coach; custodian Mary Sue Haley was approved for a medial leave pending medical certification; maternity leave was approved for teacher Christy Drew and Sallie Holloway was approved as her long-term substitute. Travis Moak was hired as a behavior technician to replace T.C. Ledford.
•Transportation – Bonny Bullock was transferred from substitute bus driver to SPED bus monitor to replace Ray Smallwood, and Jennifer Hardin was hired as a substitute bus driver. The board also accepted the resignation of Larry Evans as transportation director and Dorothy Grimes as a bus driver.
•School nutrition – Brenda Fowler was terminated for cause from her position as food service manager and April Clark was hired as a manager-in-training to replace Fowler.
In other business Tuesday night, the board heard that the additions and renovations to Comer Elementary are moving along on schedule.
“They’ve made lots of progress,” assistant superintendent Bonnie Knight told the board.
She reported that construction on high school additions should begin in late July or early August.
The system has added over 200 iPad tablets from a Pre-K grant, Title VI grant and school funds.
The board also heard that the sheriff’s office has provided the use of a tow truck to the school system free of charge. The truck, which the school system has insured for a minimal amount, will be stored at the bus garage to help mechanics maintain buses.
The board also heard that the school system received $12,500 from additional federal jobs bill funds.
Knight reported that state health officials set up a wellness screening area in the high school cafeteria on Monday of this week, where more than 300 employees and their spouses were seen by health care providers to have their required wellness screenings completed.
The board reviewed a letter from the Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS) stating that the school system “cannot promise any person a 49 percent position if they retire, nor can they contract with them for such a position until after their last day of full-time employment.”
The board heard that two field houses (one for softball and one for baseball players) will be built at the sports complex using funds donated to the two programs by supporters.
The board approved a $6,780 budget amendment and expenditure to upgrade the current financial and human resources software.
The board agreed to meet for the second half of their required board training on Saturday, April 21, or Saturday, April 28 in the professional learning center at the board office.