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Smithville Police Make Arrest in Auto Burglary Case

August 15, 2016
Dwayne Page
Billy Eugene Cook Jr.
Jacob James Damon

Smithville Police arrested a man last week accused of breaking into vehicles parked near the hospital.

47 year old Billy Eugene Cook Jr. was arrested on Wednesday, August 10 for criminal impersonation and auto burglary. Police were called to investigate a complaint of a man who left the emergency room of the hospital and had been seen going through cars in the parking lot. Upon arrival the officer was approached by a man who said that someone had gotten into his vehicle and threatened him. After making the threat, the man jumped out of the vehicle and ran toward the specialty clinic. The officer caught up with the man (Cook) and placed him under arrest. Cook gave the wrong name and birth date when asked to identify himself. Another officer on the scene, who knew Cook, recognized him. His identity was confirmed by a computer picture. Cook was found to have in his possession stolen items taken from a car parked earlier by the hospital emergency room. His bond is $15,000 and his court date is August 25.

22 year old Jacob James Damon was arrested Thursday, August 4 for simple possession, driving on a revoked license, and evading arrest. Police responded to a complaint of a reckless driver on Cookeville Highway coming into the city limits. Officers spotted the vehicle near Northside Elementary School and observed it go through the red light at Highways 70 & 56 at a high rate of speed. Police activated their blue lights but the driver (Damon) refused to stop and continued into Warren County through a residential area. The driver (Damon) then turned onto a driveway and drove through the back yard and field where the vehicle went out of control and spun around before going into the yard of another residence. Due to a safety threat, police determined that the driver (Damon) needed to be stopped. They implemented the controlled pit maneuver and got the vehicle stopped. The driver (Damon) exited and continued to evade on foot. Officers gave chase and apprehended Damon. Incident to arrest, police found 32 pills believed to be Diazepam in a cellophane wrapper on Damon’s person. His bond is $16,500 and his court date is August 18.

25 year old Ashley M. Singleton was cited for shoplifting on Tuesday, August 2. A Dollar General Store employee observed Singleton placing items in her purse. The stolen merchandise was recovered and returned. She will make a court appearance on August 25.

40 year old Michael Dwayne Bennett was arrested on Friday, August 5 on a second offense of driving while suspended. Police initiated a traffic stop of a vehicle failing to maintain its lane of travel. Bennett, the driver, was not able to produce a driver's license. Central Dispatch revealed that Bennett's license were suspended for failure to show proof of insurance. Bennett was further cited for registration violation and failure to maintain lane of travel. His bond is $2,500 and his court date is September 1.

22 year old Shane Tyler Hale was cited on Saturday, August 6 for theft of property under $500. A Wal-Mart employee observed Hale taking multiple items from the store shelves and concealing the items in his pockets.

State Website Available to Assist Patrons of County Clerk Office

August 14, 2016
Dwayne Page
State Website Available to Assist Patrons of County Clerk Office

Although patrons of the county clerk office still have to pay a visit for most services, the Tennessee County Clerk website can be a useful tool to help them prepare for completing their transactions.

Applications for such services as duplicate titles, new businesses, marriages, notary public, etc. can be accessed, filled out, and sent online through www.tncountyclerk.com. according to County Clerk James L. (Jimmy) Poss.

“Online renewal allows the customer to pay online leaving the mail process to us. Once you submit your request we process, mail and automatically submit a return email confirmation of completion,” said Poss.

The state website offers a variety of links and options for patrons to select. "Of the many applications and forms available, each allows the customer to complete prior to arriving at our office. Many forms are printable from the site and hand printed. Others such as marriage, notary, and business license applications may be completed and saved online leaving minimal information to be added once arriving at our office,” Poss continued.

A direct link is available providing information for individuals interested in becoming an auto dealer and the associated fees. A link is also provided for Boat registration fees and information related to that process.

After accessing the website, you are to select your county (DEKALB), which will then give you the county clerk’s office hours, phone number, and any other information regarding the office. On the left side of the screen you will see a list of links to select including motor vehicles, title applications, dealers, and handicap placards/plates. “With most of these placards/plates, you will have the option to renew online or by mail. Either way comes with a mail fee but whether by online or mail it is a convenience to be able to do this from home," said Poss.

The website further offers online filing conveniences for business and motel owners. “For business owners contact information for taxpayer service/Department of Revenue is available through this site and a new business application can be done online. That can be mailed in with the fifteen dollar fee and can be taken care of without the applicants actually coming into our office. Blank forms are also available for individuals who submit the Hotel/Motel tax. It's not a requirement that they bring those into our office. About half the people mail them in and the other half drop them by,” Poss said.

Another option to select on the website is licenses. Information is there regarding marriage licenses and requirements for marriage. “Actually by going online you can put in your information on a marriage license application at home and then come to our office to finish it. It speeds up the process by having the application almost completed before you get here. Once you arrive, we can search online by last name and finish the process which cuts down considerably on the amount of time," he continued.

Under the forms column, Poss said patrons interested in a title and registration form have access to a variety of options. "By clicking the link for title and registration it opens up to a full page of options with several different forms to choose from including blank bills of sales for watercrafts or motor vehicles, etc. There are separate forms for each including medium speed vehicles. We're having several people purchasing medium speed vehicles now and they're registering and putting plates on them.”

"You'll also see a license link for game and fish. However our office in DeKalb County does not provide hunting and fishing licenses. We are not set up to do those here and haven't been for several years"," he said.

" There's just a variety of different applications and affidavits available there that we use in our office daily. Whether you are requesting duplicate titles, noting of liens, specialty license plates, certificates of ownership, etc. you'll find applications for them online as well as information regarding such services as organ donor awareness," said Poss.

" We hope this website will help you find the resources or information you need to complete your desired task and cut down on your wait time while in our office. This service is not intended to keep people out of the office but a means of offering convenience especially to those who do like to use computers," he said.

“Remember too that when you visit our office you can take advantage of our drive thru service. Our lobby is very busy as we average more than 90 transactions daily and we ask for your patience but we strive to provide the service you need in a timely and efficient manner as staffing allows upon your arrival regardless of whether its at the drive thru or the lobby. We appreciate you and always look forward to serving you,” Poss concluded.

WJLE Sports Programs Returning This Fall

August 14, 2016
Dwayne Page
DCHS Tiger Football Returns Friday night
Tiger Talk with Coach Steve Trapp and John Pryor Airs Fridays at 6:30 p.m.
Listen for Murphy's Matchups with Murphy Fair Fridays at 6:00 p.m.
Catch Coach to Coach with Phillip Fulmer and Doug Matthews on WJLE Fridays at 5 p.m. and Saturdays at 9 a.m.
Fearless Forecasters Returning August 31 at 4:30 p.m.
Tennessee Football Returns this Fall on WJLE

WJLE begins its annual fall sports programming this week with the return of DeKalb County High School Football.

The Tigers open the 2016 campaign hosting the Warren County Pioneers Friday night, August 19 at 7:00 p.m. WJLE will have LIVE coverage with the Voice of the Tigers John Pryor. Before kick-off, WJLE will feature “Tiger Talk” at 6:30 p.m. hosted by John Pryor with Tiger Coach Steve Trapp and members of the Tiger football team.

WJLE’s Friday night programming lineup prior to Tiger Football and "Tiger Talk" starts with “Coach to Coach” at 5:00 p.m. followed by “Murphy’s Match-ups” at 6:00 p.m.

Former UT Coaches Phillip Fulmer and Doug Mathews go Coach To Coach every week with one hour of intense football discussion. It’s just like you’re in the coaches’ meeting, talking offense and defense with the men who called the plays to win the big games.

Share the lessons from last week's game. Breakdown the SEC slate. Talk about the issues inside college football. Coach To Coach comes your way every weekend, hosted by one of the state’s premiere sports broadcasters, Larry Stone.

Get inside the 2016 Tennessee football season. Go Coach To Coach with Phillip Fulmer and Doug Mathews each week. The program airs Fridays at 5:00 p.m. and repeats Saturday mornings at 9:00 a.m. on WJLE.

"Murphy’s Match-ups" is hosted by Murphy Fair with commentary on high school football matchups across the state and interviews with coaches.

Meanwhile Tennessee Football returns Thursday night, September 1 as the Vols host Appalachian State in Knoxville. Coverage begins on WJLE and the Vol Network with the Kick-Off Call-In Show at 5:00 p.m. with kick-off at 6:30 p.m. All other regular season Tennessee games this season will be on Saturdays.

WJLE will also bring back the “Fearless Forecasters” on Thursdays at 4:30 p.m. with local personalities talking about college and Tennessee Titans football and making their predictions on winners of each week’s games. The program debuts Wednesday, August 31 at 4:30 p.m. due to the Tennessee game on Thursday, September 1.

Join WJLE for all these fall programs each week on AM 1480 and FM 101.7. Many of these programs will also be streamed LIVE at www.wjle.com

Danny Fish Named DCHS Girls Basketball Coach After Kennard Resigns

August 12, 2016
Dwayne Page
Danny Fish
Nathaniel (Nate) Kennard

The new girls basketball coach at DCHS has resigned.

Nathaniel (Nate) Kennard who was recently named to succeed former Coach Joe Pat Cope, submitted his resignation this week. He will be returning home to accept a teaching position at Livingston Academy.

Principal Kathy Bryant told WJLE Friday that Danny Fish has been hired to replace Kennard as the new girls head basketball coach at DCHS. Fish will be coaching two sports at the school. He was recently selected to succeed longtime Tigerette softball coach Danny Bond.

Fish, who served as an assistant to coach Bond for the last four years, has moved from Northside Elementary School to DCHS where he serves as a physical education teacher.

Students and Teacher Involved in Head On Crash

August 12, 2016
Dwayne Page
Three Students in this 1997 Nissan Maxima Airlifted after Head-On Crash
DeKalb Middle School Teacher and Boys Basketball Coach Cody Randolph in this 2002 Chevy Silverado Injured in Crash
Firefighters and EMS Personnel Tend to Cody Randolph
THP Troopers Chris Delong and Brandon Jackson Investigating Crash

Students and a teacher on their way to school were involved in a head-on crash this morning (Friday) on Allen Ferry Road (State Highway 83).

Central Dispatch received the call 7:10 a.m.

Trooper Chris Delong of the Tennessee Highway Patrol told WJLE that 18 year old Dustin Utley of 4406 Nashville Highway, Dowelltown was traveling on Allen Ferry Road toward highway 56 in a 1997 Nissan Maxima when he crossed the center line into the path of a 2002 Chevy Silverado, driven by 28 year old Cody Randolph of Smithville, who was traveling toward Highway 70. Randolph is a teacher and boys basketball coach at DeKalb Middle School.

Utley’s brothers were passengers with him. 10 year old Daniel Hudson, a student at Northside Elementary School, was a front seat passenger and 14 year old Christian Utley, a DCHS student, was in the back seat. Dustin is a former DCHS student who is apparently being home schooled this year.

The boys were all airlifted from the scene by three different helicopter ambulances (Life Force and Air Evac) and flown to Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville. Randolph was taken by DeKalb EMS to Saint Thomas DeKalb Hospital and later to Cookeville Regional Medical Center reportedly with a broken ankle.

Members of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department’s extrication and rescue team were summoned to help remove Randolph who was entrapped in his truck. The Main Station and Liberty Stations also responded to help establish the helicopter landing zone in the front yard of a residence beside the highway.

The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department and Smithville Police Department were also on the scene along with Smithville Fire Chief/DeKalb Emergency Management Agency Coordinator Charlie Parker.

Trooper Delong was assisted at the scene by Trooper Brandon Jackson.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

Director of Schools Updates Board on Personnel

August 12, 2016
Dwayne Page
Director of Schools Patrick Cripps

Director of Schools Patrick Cripps updated the Board of Education Thursday night on personnel employment, transfers, leaves of absences, and resignations since last month.

Those employed include the following:
Adam Kefauver, teacher at DCHS, replaces Tracy Sloan
Thomas Cagle, teacher at DCHS replaces Joe Pat Cope
Sarah Noe, teacher at DCHS replaces Tonya Perry
Jacob Parsley, teacher at DCHS replaces Rolando Navarro
Lacey Foutch, teacher at DCHS replaces Natasha Judkins
Nikyra Calcagno, teacher, Countywide Gifted
William Jarvis, teacher at DCHS replaces Jill Bowman
Jim Porter, teacher at DCHS replaces Marti Maxwell
Shea Wiegele, teacher at DCHS replaces Kelley Burgess
Rachel Desimone, teacher at DeKalb West School, 3rd grade
Katie Merriman, teacher at Northside Elementary, replaces Ashley Reeves
Galen Brown, teacher at DeKalb Middle School
Gretta Smith, teacher at DeKalb Middle School, replaces Felicia Warden
Deborah Gentry, teacher at DCHS replaces Joel Goff
Tyler McKinney, teacher at Northside Elementary, replaces Danny Fish
Travis Little, teacher at Northside Elementary, replaces Ashley Dean
Mary Browning-Huntington, teacher at DeKalb Middle School, replaces Rebecca Whimpey
Melissa Sliger, teacher at Smithville Elementary School, replaces Mary Henny
Tonya Roberts, Educational Assistant at DeKalb West School
Sean Antoniak, Educational Assistant at DeKalb West School
LaTonya Kleparek, Educational Assistant at Northside Elementary School, replaces Tenille Rowland.
Stephanie Turner, teacher at DCHS, replaces Donna Emmons
Justin Coats, mechanic
Katie Haggard, teacher at Smithville Elementary School, replaces Angela Johnson
Laura Martinez, English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher at Smithville Elementary School
Audrey Welch, teacher at DCHS, replaces Tina Fletcher
Patsy Ray, cook at Smithville Elementary School
Beverly Starnes, cook at Smithville Elementary School
Glenda Gassaway, part-time cook at Northside Elementary School
Jennifer Maxwell, cook at DeKalb West School
Christie Dies, cook at DeKalb West School

Guylene Atnip, Carolyn Caldwell, Doris Cantrell, Shannon B. Cantrell, Brenda Colwell, Donna Davis, Linda Dean, Sue Driver, Suzanne Dunn, Betty Fisk, Amanda Ford, Debbie France, Vicki Haggard, Carol Hale, Charlene Hallum, Sherry Hattaway, Betty Hickey, Jean Hope, Shirley Ingram, Sabrina Kirksey, Margaret Nichols, Olivia Norton, Angela Osment, Pat Parkerson, Jessica Rackley, Judy Redmon, Joyce Robertson, Virginia Rose, Bob Smith, Michelle Snipes, Kim Taylor, Jan Thomas, Helga Thompson, Luanna Tollett, Jenny Trapp, Joy Troncoso, Wanda Vickers, Victoria Vincent, Melissa Wallace, Joshua Warren, Nicole Wright, and Crystal Young

Cafeteria Substitutes:
Tiffany Gallegos, Kiesha Farless, and Susan Matthews

Leave of Absence:
Betsy Walker, leave as requested

Danny Bond from Physical Education to Alternative School, replaces Marshall Ferrell
Danny Fish from Northside Elementary School to DCHS, replaces Danny Bond
Ashlee Thomason from Smithville Elementary School to DeKalb West School
Angela Johnson from Smithville Elementary to DeKalb Middle School, replaces Cassandra Binkley
Jennifer Martin from Educational Assistant to Special Education Teacher at DeKalb West School
Tiffany VanWinkle from Special Education Assistant to Alternative School, replaces Brian Reed
Talitha Looney from cafeteria to Educational Assistant at Smithville Elementary, replaces Chasity Redmon
Donna Emmons from 9th grade English to RTI Coordinator at DCHS
Ester Holder from substitute to Educational Assistant at DeKalb Middle School, replaces Teresa Spencer
Heather Soto from substitute to Educational Assistant at Smithville Elementary, replaces Debra Cunningham
Debra Cunningham from Smithville Elementary to DCHS, replaces Tiffany VanWinkle
Amy Fox from part-time to Smithville Elementary Special Education Teacher, K-2
Linda Moser from DeKalb West to DeKalb Middle School cafeteria
Connie Haggard from DeKalb Middle to Smithville Elementary School cafeteria

Cassandra Binkley, Tina Fletcher, Ashley Dean, and Tonya Perry

Congressman Diane Black Holds Town Hall Meeting in Smithville (VIEW VIDEO HERE)

August 11, 2016
Dwayne Page
Congressman Diane Black talking to constituents after her town hall meeting
Congressman Diane Black conducts town hall meeting
Attendees at town hall meeting
Town hall meeting attendees

Congressman Diane Black held a town hall meeting in Smithville Thursday evening where she addressed a range of issues from national security to the GOP’s vision for America in the House of Representatives called “A Better Way”.

Speaking to a room full of constituents in the first floor courtroom of the courthouse, Congressman Black said the “Better Way” plan addresses specific proposals to reform the tax code, combat poverty, rebuild our economy, replace Obamacare, protect our national security, and restore the Constitutional separation of powers.

“At the first of the year, our leadership asked all of our committees to take a look at the issues that we felt could move us forward. We came up with six different major issues and with each issue we were tasked with bringing a plan together about how we would implement those,” said Congressman Black, who serves on the House Ways and Means Committee and Budget Committee.

“Our tax code is far too large. Its far too complicated. It has not been reformed in 30 years. Its very expensive for families to figure out the tax code and how to file their taxes. We want to modernize our tax code. We want over 90% of the people to be able to fill out their tax returns on a single post card. Back and front. We want to reduce the size of what is in the code for everyone. Our plan is to eliminate the death or estate tax. We also want to take the standard deductions and increase those so you don’t have to gather up all those little slips of paper you have to save in order to show what you can deduct off of your taxes. We want to bring the corporate tax rate down to 20% so we’re competitive with countries all over the world. Right now we’re at about 36% on the federal government side. Some states also have an income tax which increases that tax burden. If we can bring that down to 20% it would make ourselves more competitive around the world,” said Congressman Black.

In addressing poverty, Congressman Black said able bodied people receiving entitlements should be working. “There are two indicators we’re hoping to get people out of poverty. One is education and the other is work. If you don’t have an education you probably don’t have a job. They go hand in hand and our program will address that issue. We now have more percentage of our population in a poverty situation than we did 50 years ago when the so called War on Poverty was launched by President Lyndon Johnson’s administration. Today we measure our fight and success on poverty by how many people get on a program rather than how many people get off a program. We lose human capital when people don’t reach their full potential. When somebody doesn’t know what God given talents they have because they are stuck in poverty, it doesn’t help our country. We’re not having those good minds think about things that are creative and inventive. We’re seeing that in other countries but we are not seeing it here in the United States," she continued.

Reducing federal regulations on businesses is another issue the “Better Way” plan seeks to address. “We want to rebuild our economy. I hear it from businesses all over my district whether its a banking or manufacturing industry. They say the government is in our way. With all of the regulations we can’t do our job because its so over regulated. Cutting those regulations down and letting those businesses do their work will allow the economy to burst wide open,” she said.

“We want to replace Obamacare with something that is more patient friendly. Something that gives you the opportunity to say what you need rather than what the federal government says you need. We want to allow more competition in the marketplace which will bring costs down. And we have a way to take care of those people who have pre-existing conditions who have difficulty getting insurance,” said Congressman Black.

“We further need to restore our Constitutional separation of powers. In Congress when we pass a bill and it gets signed into law, it goes to the administration and they write the regulations without any say from us (Congress). It never comes back to us for a discussion or vote. Here we have an administration (President Obama) that’s on steroids with writing all these rules and regulations and when they can’t get something passed in the House of Representatives and Senate, they decide to do it by rules and regulations. A good example of that is coal. They really tried very hard to pass bills in Congress to deal with the coal industry because they want to shut down the coal industry. They were unable to do it. So the President has done it by regulation. What we want to do is take back some of that control and put it back in the House of Representatives where our founding fathers really meant it to be,” added Congressman Black.

On other issues, Congressman Black addressed the need to get smart about our nation’s border security, to stop illegal amnesty, and to combat sanctuary cities. She co-authored the SMART Border Act which requires the Department of Homeland Security to achieve operational control of the border within one year. The Act also mandates that the Department of Defense make 10,000 National Guard available for deployment upon request by border state governors until control is achieved. It further authorizes the Department of Homeland Security to deploy “Smart border technology” (such as seismic detectors and UAV’s) to areas of the border in which operational control has not been achieved.

Congressman Black said she also authored and passed an amendment to this year’s Energy & Water Appropriations Bill defunding sanctuary cities; authored the Stop Dangerous Sanctuary Cities Act which withholds key federal funding streams from cities that fail to enforce immigration laws; and co-sponsored Kate’s Law instituting mandatory minimums for those who re-enter our nation after being deported.

After addressing the audience, Congressman Black talked with constituents about their concerns individually following the meeting.

State to Launch Online Auto Insurance Verification System in 2017

August 11, 2016
Dwayne Page

Do you have an automobile liability insurance policy?

State law requires you to be covered by such a policy if you own and operate a vehicle in Tennessee.

In 2017, an online insurance verification system thru the County Clerk’s office will verify liability auto insurance coverage for ALL Tennessee drivers.

Uninsured drivers in Tennessee will pay fines and risk losing their vehicle registration if they are not covered by an auto liability insurance policy. A web-based program will verify insurance for all Tennessee drivers. These changes come as part of the James Lee Atwood Jr. Law.

The required minimum limits of your liability car insurance are:

* $25,000 for each injury or death per accident.
* $50,000 for total injuries or deaths per accident.
* $15,000 for property damage per accident.

(If you have a car loan or lease, your lender may require you to have collision and comprehensive coverage.)

Also if your vehicle has a regular passenger or motorcycle license plate (anything other than a commercial tag), you must carry a policy as outlined above.

If your vehicle has a commercial license plate, that vehicle must be covered under a company general liability insurance plan.

- See more at: http://www.tn.gov/revenue/article/drive-insured-tn#sthash.2wTlvapi.dpuf

Morgan Green Crowned National Miss Teen

August 11, 2016
Dwayne Page
Morgan Green Crowned National Miss Teen
Morgan Green

17 year old Morgan Green of DeKalb County was crowned the National Miss Teen 2016 two weeks ago during the national pageant at The Music Road Resort Inn & Conference Center in Pigeon Forge.

The pageant brought together inspirational & accomplished ladies of all ages from around the nation to compete. Throughout the two day event, the contestants not only prepared for the themed show “A Night at the Opry” but were able to take a break getting to know their fellow state delegates and to have some fun with shows, games and checking out the sites as VIP Guests at Dollywood. When it was time for competition, the ladies in age divisions from Miss Teen to the new “Classic” divisions competed in five categories: private interview, fitness in aerobic wear, glamour wear, evening gown and photogenic which encompassed each delegates overall score. After all the scores were tallied,Green was announced as the new National Miss Teen 2016. Morgan also won the Overall Fitness Award after participating in the on stage portion of the competition.

As National Miss Teen 2016, Morgan will spend the next year traveling and promoting the mission of her pageant system as well as her platform, The Ronald McDonald House - Improving the Health and Well-Being of others while acting as a role model in her community.

Crowns of Inspiration, Inc., started in 2003, is the founder and independent producer of the National Miss Teen, Miss, Ms & Mrs Pageants®. Based out of Brookline, New Hampshire, their mission, just like this national pageant system, is “Inspiring others through the World of Positive Pageantry” and community events whenever and however possible.

School Enrollment Up By 35 Students

August 10, 2016
Dwayne Page
Joey Reeder

Enrollment in the DeKalb County School System was up by 35 students as of Tuesday, August 9 compared to August 8, 2015.

According to Attendance Supervisor Joey Reeder, a total of 3,050 students are enrolled compared to 3,015 last year. But Reeder said the numbers change often especially this early in the school year. “We’re up by a few but you have to realize that nothing is very firm at this point. The numbers change. We’ve got kids still coming in to register and we have students who have moved away and their schools (elsewhere) are starting so we’re beginning to get some records request from those schools. Once we get those (records requests) they (students) go off our rolls. It’s probably going to be after Labor Day before we get good firm numbers as to how many students we have but as of now we’re up by 35 students and that’s not a big increase but its 35 students we have to place somewhere,” Reeder told WJLE Tuesday.

As of Tuesday, enrollment at each school was as follows compared to last year:

DCHS: 864 (down by 3 students)
DeKalb Middle School: 539 (up by 3 students)
Northside Elementary: 654 (down by 4 students)
Smithville Elementary: 580 (up by 11 students)
DeKalb West School: 404 (up by 22 students)

Enrollment at DCHS breaks down as follows:
9th grade: 217 students
10th grade: 232 students
11th grade: 210 students
12th grade: 205 students

Enrollment District-Wide by grade level is as follows:
Kindergarten: 227 (SES & DWS combined)
1st grade: 235 (SES & DWS)
2nd grade: 223 (SES, Northside, & DWS)
3rd grade: 239 (Northside & DWS)
4th grade: 269 (Northside & DWS)
5th grade: 221 (Northside & DWS)
6th grade: 219 (DMS & DWS)
7th grade: 222 (DMS & DWS)
8th grade: 224 (DMS & DWS)

Reeder urges parents to make sure their children attend school on time every day classes are in session. “In the past we’ve concentrated on just getting students to school and not missing for unexcused days. But now there’s a new term “Chronic Absenteeism” which is defined as missing 10% of the school year for any reason. Of course, if your child is sick we don’t want them at school and as long as the absences are excused there is not a lot we can do about it but we ask parents to try and get your child to school every day possible because if a student misses 18 days of school then that is defined as “Chronic Absenteeism” and that is something we want to avoid,” he said.

Under state law, if a student misses as few as five days of school “unexcused” he or she is considered “truant”. “We won’t take you to juvenile court for five days missed but we will send a letter to the parents to arrange a meeting with them to see what can be done to improve their child’s attendance,” said Reeder.

Tardies are also a concern, especially early in the morning. “We don’t have a lot of tardies during the day. Its like during first block in the morning when they are getting there a few minutes late. We ask parents bringing their children to school to please arrive on time by 7:45 a.m. because three tardies can equal one unexcused absence,” said Reeder“

Meanwhile, Reeder urges parents who are home schooling their children to contact the school system to let them know.”I wish you would come by and register with us. It helps us to know where they (students) are and what they are doing. Some people withdraw their kids from the school system to home school and we never hear from them again in the following years. Legally, parents are suppose to register but there is really not a penalty if they don’t. It just helps us keep up with where the students are at. Registering is not a big deal. It doesn’t take but five minutes and it would help us out some,” said Reeder.


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