Local News Articles

DCHS Senior to Receive College Degree Through Dual Enrollment

April 21, 2015
by: 
Dwayne Page
Leah Burchfield and DCHS Principal Patrick Cripps

Leah Burchfield, a senior at DCHS, is on track to earn a college degree less than two weeks before she gets her high school diploma.

On Saturday, May 9th, Burchfield will receive an Associates Degree at Motlow State Community College. Her graduation from DCHS will be thirteen days later on Friday, May 22. Burchfield's goal is to further her college education as she works toward becoming a General Physician.

Burchfield is not the first student at DCHS to receive a college degree while still in high school, but she is the first to have completed college courses in just two years.

Through a program called dual enrollment, high school students may take one or more college courses for which they may receive both high school and college credits. The college courses are available online. "It's an opportunity for students to get high school and college credit. We run through Motlow and Vol State Community Colleges. We have agreements with them. It's a good way for students to get a jump on their college career. There are a number of courses they can take. We started off many years ago with just two English courses (for college) and now it has ballooned to where students are able to take a variety of courses for college," DCHS Principal Patrick Cripps told WJLE Monday.

"My junior year I got really interested in taking dual enrollment because I wanted to get ahead. The end of the first semester of my senior year, Ms. Jamie (Wright) informed me that I already had 48 credit hours and I was really close to having 60. So I scheduled everything out to where I could go ahead and have my associates degree. It was kind of a shock to think I had done it in two years and last year it was done in four years," said Burchfield in an interview with WJLE Monday.

"The first semester of my junior year I took three classes and each one was for three hours. The next semester I took four classes and over the summer I took three classes. The first semester of my senior year I took five and this semester I have six classes," said Burchfield.

"I wanted to get my basics out of the way because with wanting to be in pre-med I knew I had to look forward to eight years of college so I took my English, History, and some Biology and Chemistry and I did all my humanities like art and music," she said.

"I want to continue on and go to MTSU to finish up my pre-med. I haven't picked a medical school yet but I'm hoping for Vanderbilt or Meharry Medical. I want to be a general physician," Burchfield told WJLE.

Burchfield, a resident of Alexandria, is the daughter of William Burchfield and Glenda Eaton.

Jury Convicts Lawson of Burglary and Theft; Not Guilty of Intoxication

April 21, 2015
by: 
Dwayne Page
Robin Lee Lawson, II

A McMinnville man allegedly caught breaking into an outbuilding on Bethel Road in September 2013 stood trial and was convicted Thursday in DeKalb County Criminal Court.

A jury found 37 year old Robin Lee Lawson, II guilty of burglary and theft of property over $500. He was found not guilty on a charge of public intoxication. He will appear before Judge David Patterson for sentencing on Friday, May 22.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Thursday, September 5, 2013 a deputy was dispatched to a residence on Bethel Road to a complaint of a theft in progress. Upon arrival, the officer spoke with Lawson and another man (the victim). Lawson had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on his person. His eyes were bloodshot and he was unsteady on his feet. The victim said that Lawson had come to his residence and knocked on the door. When the victim did not answer the door, Lawson went to the victim's outbuilding and took a chainsaw and weedeater. Lawson was detained under officers arrived and he was placed under arrest.

During the trial Lawson allegedly testified that he knew the victim and that he was not stealing the items, but borrowing them.

Meanwhile, in DeKalb County Criminal Court Monday April 13, 40 year old Sara Patterson pled guilty to two counts of sale of a schedule III drug and received a three year sentence in each case suspended to TDOC probation. The two sentences are to run concurrently and Patterson is seeking judicial diversion. She was fined $2,000 and must make restitution of $70 to the Alexandria Police Department.

32 year old Tamer Jason Jones pled guilty to two counts of theft under $500 and received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days to serve in each case but to run concurrently with each other and concurrently with a Putnam County violation of probation he is now serving. He was given jail credit of 136 days and he is under a restraining order to keep away from Walmart.

35 year old Chris Mooneyham pled guilty to delivery of a schedule II drug and a first offense of driving under the influence. He received a total sentence of four years suspended to probation but he must serve 30 days for the DUI. He was given jail credit for one day. Mooneyham must also pay a $2,000 drug fine and a $350 fine for the DUI offense. He will lose his driver's license for one year and must perform 24 hours of service in litter removal. He will report to jail on May 8 at 6:00 p.m.

53 year old Richard Chapman pled guilty to attempted sale of a schedule III drug and received a two year sentence, all suspended to supervised probation. He was fined $2,000.

TCAP and EOC Testing to Begin Soon

April 21, 2015
by: 
Dwayne Page
Lisa Cripps

DeKalb County students will be taking the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program, or TCAP, Achievement Tests starting April 28.

TCAP Achievement testing for grades 3-8 will begin on April 28 with Reading/Language Arts; April 29 for math, and April 30 for Science with makeup testing on May 1.

SAT-10 (Stanford Achievement Tests) testing for K-2 Achievement will be April 28 .

Meanwhile a Social Studies online pilot test for grades 3-8 will begin May 4-8 for grades 3 and 6; for grades 4 and 7 on May 7 -13; and grades 5 and 8 on May 11-15.

End of Course testing at DeKalb County High School also begins in May. "As we approach the end of a school year final end of the year assessments start. DeKalb County High school just finished their online US History test Pilot last week," said Lisa Cripps, Supervisor of Instruction for 7th through 12th grades. " We will be starting our End of Course testing in May with the following tests each day as follows":

May 4 -English 3 and Algebra I
May 5 -English 1 and Algebra 2
May 6- English 2
May 7- Biology and Chemistry
May 8- Makeup test day.

Directly after EOC testing the high school we will be reviewing for their final exams, and then Graduation is May 22," Cripps continued.

"All testing will be under a secure testing environment. If you enter the schools at that time you may see signs letting you know that tests are in progress. That means the doors are shut and we are in a secure environment for testing," said Cripps.

For more information on testing check your school's webpage or call the school or central office.

Meanwhile, Kindergarten registration will be on May 6th at 9am- 1pm at DeKalb West and Smithville Elementary Schools

Children who plan to attend kindergarten must turn five years old on or before August 15, 2015 in order to enroll for the 2015-16 school year.

Parents, when you come for that registration, you will need to bring with you the following information:

*Child's Birth Certificate

*Child's Social Security Card

*Recent Kindergarten Physical.

*Current Immunization Certificate (shot record)

*Proof of residency for DeKalb County (i.e. gas/electric bill)

"Parents, please share with your child that he or she will be tested on registration day. This is an opportunity for your child to show the kindergarten teachers what he or she knows.

Registration forms may also be found online at www.ses.dekalbschools.net under news/information.

NES Third Graders Win March Madness Reading Challenge

April 21, 2015
Lisa Mabe's third grade class has won the March Madness Reading Challenge at Northside Elementary School.

Lisa Mabe's third grade class has won the March Madness Reading Challenge at Northside Elementary School.

Mabe's class earned 582.8 total Accelerated Reader (AR) points for the month. Students averaged 30.3 AR points each. That is equal to every student reading 60 half-point books in one month.

Students also submitted summaries to earn points for any articles or books they read not included on the AR list. Each student was presented with a special medal by Librarian Ms. Libby McCormick

Smithville Police Department Warns Citizens of Scams

April 21, 2015
Captain Steven Leffew

The Smithville Police Department is urging citizens to be vigilant to avoid becoming the victim of scams

"As reports of scams continue to increase at an alarming rate, I would like the community to be aware of the top scams that we are encountering. Sadly our senior citizens and the unaware are being victimized. Unfortunately prosecution proves difficult most of the time due to jurisdiction issues. I know people work hard for their money so hopefully this information will be helpful in protecting against these predators," said Captain Steven Leffew.

Here are a few scams of which you should be aware:

Fake check scams:

Fake check scams are clever ploys designed to steal your money. You can avoid becoming a victim by recognizing how the scam works.

•There are many variations of the fake check scam. It could start with someone offering to buy something you advertised, pay you to do work at home, give you an “advance” on a sweepstakes you’ve supposedly won, or pay the first installment on the money that you’ll receive for agreeing to have money in a foreign country transferred to your bank account for safe keeping.

•Fake check scammers hunt for victims. They scan newspapers and online advertisements for people listing items for sale, and check postings on online job sites from people seeking employment. They place their own ads with phone numbers or email addresses for people to contact them. They also buy lists on the black market of people who have been previously scammed.

•They often claim to be in another country. The scammers say it’s too difficult and complicated to send you the money directly from their country, so they’ll arrange for someone in the US to send you a check.

•They tell you to wire money to them after you’ve deposited the check. If you’re selling something, they say they’ll pay you by having someone in the US who owes them money send you a check. It will be for more than the sale price; you deposit the check, keep what you’re owed, and wire the rest to them. If it’s part of a work-at-home scheme, they may claim that you’ll be processing checks for their “clients.” You deposit the check and then wire them the money minus your “pay.” Or they may send you a check for more than your pay “by mistake” and ask you to wire them the excess.

•The checks are fake but they look very real. In fact, there have been cases where the bank tellers have been fooled. The companies whose names appear may be real but they have been dummied up on the checks without their knowledge.

•You don’t have to wait long to use the money but that doesn’t mean the check is good. Banks usually make the funds you deposit available quickly. But just because you can withdraw the money doesn’t mean the check is good. It may take several days for the forgery to be discovered.

•You are responsible for the checks you deposit. When the check bounces, the bank deducts the amount that was originally credited to your account. If there isn’t enough to cover it, the bank may be able to take money from other accounts or even sue you to recover the funds.

There is no legitimate reason for someone who is giving you money to ask you to wire money back. It’s a scam.

Prizes and Sweepstakes scam:

•Never pay to play. It’s illegal for a company to require you to buy something or pay a fee in order to win or claim a prize.

•Don’t believe that you have to give the company money for taxes on your prize. Taxes will be deducted from your winnings or you will pay them directly to the government.

•Guard your credit card and bank account numbers. No legitimate sweepstakes company will ask for this information. Your social security number may be required for tax reporting purposes if you have won. Do not provide that information unless you’re absolutely sure that you entered the contest and that you know the company operating it.

•Watch for imposters. Some con artist use company names that are identical or very similar to well known, legitimate sweepstakes operators.

•Be wary of offers to send you an “advance” on your “winnings.” Some con artist uses this ploy to build trust and get money from your bank. They send you a check for part of your “winnings” instructing you to deposit it and then wire payment to them for taxes, bonding or for some other purposes. Again, the check may clear because it may take several days for the forgery to be discovered. After you wire the money back, the check finally bounces and you are left responsible for the debt to the bank.

•Get it in writing. Legitimate sweepstakes companies will give you written information about how a contest works, including the odds of winning, the value of the prizes, the fact that no purchase is necessary and that buying something does not improve your chances of winning.

•Don’t be fooled by official looking advertisements. One clue that you haven’t really won is if a letter or envelope is sent at bulk mail rates. Meaning that thousands of other people are receiving the exact same thing.

Charity scams:

•If you’re approached by an unfamiliar charity, check them out. Most states require charities to register with them and file annual reports showing how they use donations. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) Giving Alliance also offers information about national charities or go to Give.org

•Ask for written information. Legitimate charities will be happy to provide details about what they do and will never insist that you act immediately.

•Beware of sound-alikes. Some scammers try to fool people by using very similar to those of legitimate, well known charities.

•Ask about the caller’s relation to the charity. The caller maybe a professional fundraiser but not even an employee or a volunteer.

•Be wary of request to support local police or firefighters. Some fraudulent fundraisers claim that donations will benefit local police or firefighters. If you’re not sure whether the charity is legitimate, contact your local police or fire department to verify the claims are true.

•Be especially cautious after natural or other disasters. Scammers love to take advantage of those situations to trick people who want to aid victims.

If you’re not sure whether a charity is legitimate, check it out with your state charities regulator or the BBB before you donate.

There are many other scams being conducted but these are the top three that the Smithville police department is encountering at this time, according to Captain Leffew.

Liberty Woman Indicted for TennCare Fraud

April 20, 2015
by: 
Dwayne Page
Ashley Hope Morgan
Horace Laster, Jr.
Sabra Maurine Bussell
Keith Dewey Higgins
April Lynn Anderson
Richard Neal Meyers
William (Billy) Stephen Zaderiko
Julie Elaine Moore
Patricia Ann Butcher

A Liberty woman has been indicted by the Grand Jury for TennCare Fraud.

27 year old Ashley Hope Morgan of Gassaway Road, Liberty was arrested on Tuesday, April 14. Her bond is $10,000 and she will be arraigned in DeKalb County Criminal Court on May 22.

Morgan was among eleven persons named in sealed indictments on various charges returned by the Grand Jury on Monday, April 6.

According to the indictment, Morgan unlawfully obtained or attempted to obtain on or about June 14, 2014 a prescription from a healthcare provider and failed to disclose to that healthcare provider that she had received a prescription for a controlled substance of similar therapeutic use from another healthcare provider within the previous 30 days, and she did use TennCare to obtain the benefit, constituting the offense TennCare Fraud.

Meanwhile, four other persons named in sealed indictments April 6 were picked up by the sheriff's department last week. All will be arraigned on Friday, May 22

Those indicted and their charges are as follows:

66 year old Horace Laster, Jr. of Old Snows Hill Road, Dowelltown: Unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon. His bond is $10,000.

53 year old Sabra Maurine Bussell of Halls Hollow Road, Smithville: Fraudulent insurance claim. Her bond is $20,000.

53 year old Keith Dewey Higgins of Haletown Lane, McMinnville: Aggravated burglary, forgery, and theft of property under $500. His bond is $55,000.

31 year old April Lynn Anderson of Quail Point Drive, Smithville: Worthless check over $10,000. Her bond is $40,000.

Meanwhile in other cases, Sheriff Patrick Ray said that 42 year old Richard Neal Meyers of Hickory Place, Smithville is charged with domestic assault. His bond is $2,500 and he will be in court May 7. According to Sheriff Ray on Monday, April 13 a deputy responded to Hickory Place in reference to a domestic assault. Meyers told the officer that he and his daughter became involved in an argument after which she had run to a friend's house on Mountain View Drive. The deputy located the woman and she reported that her father had slapped her twice in the face causing a cut on her lip. Meyers later admitted to the officer that he had slapped his daughter twice in the face. Meyers was placed under arrest.

46 year old William (Billy) Stephen Zaderiko of South Tittsworth Road, Smithville is charged with theft of property over $1,000. His bond is $5,000 and he will be in court April 23. Sheriff Ray said that on Wednesday, April 8 Zaderiko was questioned about a 2013 Hustler zero turn lawn mower which he had in his possession. Zaderiko said he had purchased the mower from an auction company in Cookeville. After an investigation, it was discovered that Zaderiko had lied to law enforcement officers. During subsequent questioning, Zaderiko admitted to having lied about where he obtained the lawn mower saying he received it from his cousin who resides in Benton, Kentucky. Zaderiko further admitted to having sold the lawn mower to another person for $7,500. Officers learned that the lawn mower had been stolen in Benton, Kentucky on July 18, 2014 and that the serial number had been removed. Zaderiko said he lied about the lawn mower because he did not want to get his cousin in trouble.

34 year old Julie Elaine Moore of Cookeville Highway, Smithville is charged with bringing contraband into a penal institution. Sheriff Ray said that on Thursday, April 16 Moore was taken into custody on a violation of probation warrant. Before she entered the jail, correctional officers asked Moore if she had anything on her person that might be illegal. She replied "no". During a search of her person, a female correctional officer observed a plastic bag in Moore's body cavity. Moore was asked to remove the bag and hand it over to the female officer. Moore complied. Inside the bag was one yellow round pill believed to be a four milligram Dilaudid, which is a schedule II drug; a hypodermic needle; and a cut straw containing a powdery residue substance. Moore's bond is $5,500 on the contraband charge and she is being held without bond for the violation of probation warrant. Moore will make a court appearance on April 23.

39 year old Patricia Ann Butcher of Agee Road, Smithville is charged with driving under the influence. She was further issued a citation for violation of the child restraint device law and reckless endangerment for having a child with her while intoxicated. Her bond is $1,500 and she will be in court May 14. Sheriff Ray said that on Sunday, April 19 a deputy received a call in reference to an intoxicated woman having left a residence on Agee Road in a blue Blazer. She was reported to have had a small child in the vehicle with her. The officer spotted the automobile parked at DeKalb Market. Butcher was found to be the operator of the vehicle. The deputy spoke with Butcher and noticed a strong odor of alcohol coming from her person. Butcher performed poorly on field sobriety tasks. She was placed under arrest and taken to the hospital for a blood test. She was then transported to the jail for booking.

DWS Student Honored for Taking Part in Tar Wars Contest

April 20, 2015
by: 
Bill Conger
DWS Student Honored for Taking Part in Tar Wars Contest

DeKalb West School 4th grader Alex Moreno was honored last week at a meeting of the DeKalb County Health Council for her participation in the Tennessee Tar Wars contest.

“Tar Wars is a tobacco-free education program for fourth- and fifth-grade students. The program is designed to teach kids about the short-term, image-based consequences of tobacco use, the cost associated with using tobacco products, and the advertising techniques used by the tobacco industry to market their products to youth.” DWS Art Teacher Mike Littrell coordinated the project at DeKalb West.

Pictured from left to right are Michael Railling Public Health Department Director, DWS student Alex Moreno, Michal Deaver Public Health Educator, and DWS Art Teacher Mike Littrell

DeKalb Middle School Recommended for Reaccreditation

April 19, 2015
by: 
Dwayne Page
DeKalb Middle School Recommended for Reaccreditation

DeKalb Middle School is being recommended for AdvancED reaccreditation.

Members of an external review team visited the school last Thursday and Friday, April 16 & 17 to conduct the evaluation.

"We all have been really impressed with how you have grown through the years. You are doing good work. The External Review Team will recommend to the AdvancED Accreditation Commission that DeKalb Middle School earn the distinction of accreditation by AdvancED for a five year term that expires June 30, 2020," said, Mary Gist, AdvancED Lead Evaluator who addressed members of the administration, faculty, Interim Director Dr. Danielle Collins, school board member Doug Stephens and WJLE at DeKalb Middle School in an exit report meeting Friday afternoon. Along with the recommendation for reaccreditation, the team cited improvement priorities that must be addressed with a plan of action within two years.

The AdvancED external review team, made up of four Middle Tennessee educators, met with sixty four stakeholders in conducting its evaluation of DeKalb Middle School including two administrators, sixteen teachers, nine support staff, twenty nine students, and eight parents.

The school was evaluated in three domains "Teaching and Learning Impact on Student Performance", "Capacity of Leadership to guide and ensure effectiveness in carrying out the strategic direction of the institution", and "Utilization of Resources".

In the domain of "Teaching and Learning Impact", the external review team examined student performance results; instructional quality; learner and family engagement; support services for student learning; curriculum quality and effiacy; and college and career readiness data. In this domain, Gist said the school should focus on using its data more and perhaps changing its grading practices. These were cited as "Improvement Priorities".

"Monitor or adjust curriculum, instruction, assessment. If I had to put that in two words its "Use data". You have a ton of data. Keep looking for ways to use that data to change instruction. If a child makes 72% on a test and that is not good enough, what is your next step with that student after you grade that paper? How are you going to re-teach?. How are you going to assess?. What are you going to do with that data?. Continue to become more involved with that (data) and figure out ways you can use it. Use data to monitor your programs. Are your periods that you use for intervention effective? How do you know? Is your writing lab effective? What is the data? What data do you look at to show the programs are effective? Is your instruction effective? Look at TCAP scores and teacher evaluation data to figure out what you need to improve," said Gist.

"In your student assessment system, look at your grading practices. You need to look at your beliefs and philosophy about how you grade," Gist continued. "How much should testing and homework count?"

"As an opportunity for improvement, look at professional learning. Look at what you're offering for PD (professional development). Know why it is being offered. Is it data driven. If it's worth presenting, it's worth doing. Our suggestion is for your administration to follow through with that," said Gist.

In the domain of "Leadership Capacity" the external review team examined institutional purpose and direction, governance and leadership effectiveness, stakeholder engagement, improvement capacity and results. Using the evaluation process to increase student achievement was cited as an improvement priority. "The team evaluation data is one of the best things the state has done. It gives us specific language to have a conversation between an administrator and teacher to pinpoint exactly what we need to do for improvement. We all have room for growth. That process needs to be used for promoting specific growth tied to student achievement," Gist said.

In the area of "Resource Utilization", the team examined the allocation and use of resources; equity of resource distribution to the need; level and sustainability of resources; long range capital and resource planning effectiveness. "Using resources to support the purpose" was cited as an improvement priority in this domain. " This goes back to money. We all need more money but look at how you're using your resources," said Gist. " Can you use people a little more creatively? Are there things we can do with what we have to support kids and to support learning?"

According to Gist, the Index of Education Quality results for DeKalb Middle School indicate that the institution is performing within acceptable ranges as compared to expected criteria as well as other institutions in the AdvancED Network nationally.

*DeKalb Middle School's overall IEQ score was 212.18 compared to the AdvancED Network Average of 282.79 (All schools in the network nationally evaluated over the last 12 months)

*Teaching and Learning Impact on student performance: DeKalb Middle School IEQ Score:198.81. AE Network Average 274.14

*Capacity of Leadership to guide and ensure effectiveness in carrying out the strategic direction of the institution. DeKalb Middle School IEQ Score: 243.18. AE Network 296.08.

*Resource Utilization: DeKalb Middle School Score: 203.57. AE Network Average 286.32.

A written external report will be prepared and sent to the AdvancED Tennessee Commission for approval and then to the regional office in Atlanta for final action on reaccreditation in June.

Members of the AdvancED External Review Team who visited DeKalb Middle School, in addition to Lead Evaluator Mary Gist were Shannon Bryant, Assistant Principal at Montgomery Central Middle in Clarksville; Dr. Stacy Calton of Freedom Intermediate School with the Franklin Special Schools District; Breckon Pennell, Assistant Principal at Heritage Middle School at Thompson Station. Mary Gist is Director of Middle Schools at Clarksville in the Montgomery County Schools District.

The AdvancED Network was created as a result of a merger of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools with the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Several years ago SACS merged with North Central and created AdvancED which is the K-12 component for accreditation purposes. AdvancED is now a global leader in providing continuous improvement and accreditation services to over 32,000 institutions serving 20 million students worldwide. The regional office is in Atlanta, Georgia. The state office is in Nashville.

DCHS was reaccredited last year. All the other schools in the county were evaluated earlier this year and have also been recommended for reaccreditation.

(PICTURED ABOVE: Randy Jennings, Principal at DeKalb Middle School; Shannon Bryant, Assistant Principal at Montgomery Central Middle in Clarksville; Dr. Stacy Calton of Freedom Intermediate School with Franklin Special Schools; Breckon Pennell, Assistant Principal at Heritage Middle School at Thompson Station; Mary Gist, Director of Middle Schools at Clarksville-Montgomery County Schools; and Amanda Dakas, Assistant Principal at DeKalb Middle School).

Three Involved in Saturday Crash at Liberty

April 19, 2015
by: 
Dwayne Page
County rescue, fire, and ems personnel working to help Cynthia Sanderson from her Dodge Nitro
Ford pickup driven by Mary Crook
Three Involved in Saturday Crash at Liberty

Three people were involved in a two vehicle crash Saturday at the intersection of Highway's 70 & 96 at Liberty.

Central dispatch received the call at 11:15 a.m.

Trooper Troy Withers of the Tennessee Highway Patrol told WJLE that 69 year old Cynthia Sanderson of Auburntown was west on Highway 70 attempting to turn south on Highway 96 in a Dodge Nitro when she crossed the path of a 1995 Ford pickup, driven by 81 year old Mary Crook of Liberty who was east on Highway 70. Upon impact, Sanderson's vehicle overturned on its side.

Extrication services were deployed to help Sanderson from her vehicle. She was taken by DeKalb EMS to DeKalb Community Hospital. Crook and her granddaughter, a passenger were not hurt.

Members of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department's Extrication Team and Liberty Station responded along with the Smithville-DeKalb County Rescue Squad, DeKalb EMS, DeKalb County Sheriff's Department, and Alexandria Police Department.

Trooper Withers was assisted by Lieutenant Joe Agee of the Tennessee Highway Patrol

DeKalb Schools to Close for Summer May 27

April 19, 2015
by: 
Dwayne Page

The last day of school before the summer break is now Wednesday, May 27. That will be an abbreviated day and report cards will be sent home.

One day will have to be made up because the school system lost too many days due to weather during the winter. Four days would have been required to be made up but the state granted a waiver for three of them.

Friday, May 22 will be an administrative day for teachers. Schools will be closed on Monday, May 25 for Memorial Day but will be open on a regular schedule Tuesday, May 26. That date had originally been set as the last day of school. The last day of school now is Wednesday, May 27.

In a letter to the Tennessee Commissioner of Education Candice McQueen on March 16, former Director of Schools Mark Willoughby wrote, "Pursuant to TCA (state law), the DeKalb County School System is requesting a waiver of three instructional days. In response to Governor Bill Haslam's declaration of a Level II/III State of Emergency, we request this waiver due to our schools being closed for ice, snow, and a water main that froze and burst at DeKalb County High School."

"Our system has 13 snow days built into our calendar, three of which were used as Stockpile/Professional development days where RTI meetings occurred around individual student learning. As of today, we have been closed 14 days due to ice and snow. We plan to have a make-up on May 27 adding to our original school calendar," Willoughby wrote.

The commissioner granted the request.

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