School Board Takes Up Light Agenda at DeKalb West School

February 14, 2008
Dwayne Page

Director of Schools Mark Willoughby presented his monthly report on personnel to the Board of Education Thursday night.

Those employed for the 2007-08 school year since last month include:

Alisha Cheatman, Special Education Teacher at Smithville Elementary School; Rebecca Baugh, teacher of English as a Second Language (ESL); Peggy Sutton, Educational Assistant at Smithville Elementary School; Rachel Seal, Educational Assistant at DCHS; Mary Edmonds, Educational Assistant at Northside Elementary School; Elizabeth Nolt and Bryan Jones, substitute teachers; Henry Bumbalough, custodian at Northside Elementary School; W.C. Braswell, part-time adult high school teacher; Brandy Fitts, substitute bus assistant; and Jane Groom, teacher at Northside Elementary School.

Transfers include:

Rebecca Baugh, from English as a Second Language (ESL) to a Special Education teacher position at Northside Elementary School; Dwayne Cornelius to a full time bus driver position; Linda Pack to a full time bus driver position; Pam Sanders was transferred to a Special Education teacher position at DeKalb West School (new position); and Dr. Danielle Collins was transferred to Federal Programs Director.

Juanita Salazar has resigned as bus driver and part- time custodian; Julie Fitts has resigned as bus driver; and Penny Miller has resigned as a Special Education teacher at Northside Elementary School.

The school board met Thursday night at DeKalb West School and member Charlie Robinson says the reason for it was in recognition of the school's recent academic accomplishments. "Our wanting to have this meeting at DeKalb West School is to acknowledge the progress the school has had in meeting the goals and objectives of this board, the state of Tennessee and the Federal No Child Left Behind directives. DeKalb West School received all A's on the state report card and this board wants to thank the students, staff, faculty, and Mr. Parkerson for your focused work and what you have done here at this school."

In other business, Assistant Principal Patrick Cripps, on behalf of Principal Kathy Hendrix, requested a few course changes at DeKalb County High School. "We're requesting that several classes be moved to half credit classes including Keyboarding, Document Design, Economics and Government. Those would be nine week classes in a semester. The hope is to provide more opportunities for our students and to expand their class options. We have also requested to get a History Bible course. We've had several students show an interest in taking this class and we've got teachers that are interested in teaching it. I think it would be a good thing for our History Department."

Director Willoughby added that this class will be solely for the study of Bible History. " We have a curriculum that's already approved by the state for that class. It will be strictly a Bible History Class. We will follow all the guidelines. I think it will be a good offering for our students."

In her letter to the board, Principal Hendrix wrote that "eight other systems in Tennessee offer this Bible course to their students. This class is designed to provide students with an understanding of the Bible and it's influence on History, law, culture, and literature. The course would count as a social studies elective. The State has a textbook that goes with the course. It is an elective course which requires parental permission to enroll."

In addition, Hendrix requested, by letter, for board approval to change Government and Economics and Keyboarding and Document Design to half credit courses which is all that is required by the state for graduation. She says by changing these classes to nine week courses, DCHS can add several new course selections from which students of the county can enroll.

Hendrix further requested, by letter, that the board approve the addition of AP US History to the course selection at DCHS. In the request, Hendrix says if the students at the completion of the course obtain the recommended scores on their AP test, college credit would be given for this course.

Hendrix also asked that Virtual Enterprise International 3757 be added to the list of one credit courses in the Business Technology area at DCHS. She says this is a simulated business environment study in which students will be involved in actual on the job work experiences, including accounting, personal administration, management, and marketing. This course will integrate with various academic courses and link learning to application and real life experiences.

The board adopted all the requested course changes.

In other business, the board approved a request for DeKalb County High School to host the 2008 Junior/Senior Prom at the Stones River Country Club in Murfreesboro on April 18th. The prom is only for DeKalb County High School students and the School Resource Officer (SRO) will also be in attendance.

Director Willoughby also mentioned some new technology that the school system will soon be making use of called "Connect-Ed". "One of the things that's going to be coming and I wanted parents and employees to know about it is "Connect-Ed". We're able to purchase Connect-Ed because of some federal money that we have to use in parent notification and parent communications. Because of this, we will be able to notify parents, such as if there's a school closing or if we were to have to close early, we would be able to notify everyone within about five to seven minutes. In addition to emergency situations, we hope to also use it in a positive way in notifying parents letting them know about things like scholarship nights at the high school and PTO meetings. If we had it in place right now, we could let them know that the spelling bee is still on (scheduled) for Friday night although we will not be having school Friday due to sickness."

In other business, the board approved an overnight trip request for the DCHS Soccer team to attend an invitational tournament at Dobyns-Bennett High School in Kingsport April 11-13 and an an overnight trip request was approved for the Health Occupations Students of America Club to attend a State Conference in Chattanooga March 17-19.

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