The DeKalb County Board of Education Thursday night approved a request from Principal Randy Jennings and Head Coach Karen Pelham for the construction of a softball field for the Lady Saints fast pitch softball team.
In a letter to the board, Jennings and Pelham wrote, "The DeKalb County Middle School Softball Program and Booster Club would like permission to utilize the land behind the school to construct a softball field for the fast pitch softball team. This project would be done through donations and possibly fundraising and would be at no cost to the local school system."
"This field would benefit the softball program tremendously. Currently, games are played at the Bill Page Park and a few games are played at the DCHS field. Practices are conducted at the Bill Page Park which means parents are responsible for getting their child to the field for practice after school. This would eliminate the transportation issue and would make the facility more accessible to the students and coaches."
Jennings also addressed the board in person during Thursday night's meeting . "We're not trying to say that by this time next year we want something that looks like DeKalb County High School's softball field. We understand it's probably going to take a few years to get it completely up and running but we'd like to at least get started so that maybe we can practice there so that we alleviate the transportation issues on a daily basis for practices and then maybe in the year after get it (field) in a condition to where maybe we can have some bleachers so we can start playing some games there. Eventually we want to have some type of press box, restrooms, and things to be able to hold all our games there."
Director of Schools Mark Willoughby, in a brief update on personnel moves, announced that Walteen Parker, Basketball Cheerleader Coach has resigned that position. Larry Steffee, a teacher at DCHS is retiring.
The board adopted a resolution of appreciation honoring administrative and instructional support staff.
Board Chairman Charles Robinson read the resolution, " Whereas, administrative and instructional support staff members provide services and handle functions which are essential to the effectiveness and efficiency of our schools; and
Whereas, administrative and instructional support staff members tend to bring encouragement, cheer, goodwill, and support to our schools each day. They brighten the lives of our students and other staff members and help to make schools inviting places; and
Whereas, our teachers and administrators depend upon administrative and instructional support staff members to prepare learning materials, operate the office and carry out business functions, tutor, counsel, advise and guide individual students and perform a variety of other activities that result in an improved learning environment for students and their teachers throughout the school year; and
Whereas, some administrative and instructional support staff members serve as the faces of our schools welcoming and assisting students and visitors while others work behind the scenes. They all build public support for our schools by carrying success stories about schools to their communities; and
Whereas, the Board values the efforts, achievements, commitment and immeasurable support of administrative and instructional support staff members who strive to improve the educational process for each student;
Now, therefore be it resolved that the Board of Education hereby establishes April 15th, 2010 as Administrative and Instructional Support Staff Appreciation Day in all DeKalb County Schools; and
Be it further resolved that the board encourages all faculty, students, and members of the community to join us in recognizing these individuals on this day for the vital role they play in the success of our school system and in the lives of students."
School Health Coordinator Dee Anna Persinger updated the board on the recent H1N1 clinics and the spring break backpack program. "I just wanted everybody to know that we just wrapped up our H1N1 clinic. Our second dose was given on Tuesday to approximately 108 students. Those were the children under the age of ten that required the second dose."
"Also our backpack program for spring break was very successful. We were able to do that through donations only this time. No money was received through coordinated school health. It was all done through churches, individuals, and a great partnership with the Keltonburg United Methodist Church and Second Harvest. We fed about 150 students and we included all five schools this time instead of just one. We are planning on doing this again for summer break so we're collecting food and we're looking for more food donations."
Michelle Burklow, Supervisor of Instruction for Pre-K to 6th grade informed the board that TCAP testing will begin next week. "It's an opportunity for our three through eighth grade students to show what all they have learned. Our testing window will open up on Friday (April 16th) and we will be doing Reading/Language Arts. On Monday, we will start with Math. On Tuesday, we will be testing Science and on Wednesday we will be testing Social Studies. Each day these tests come in part one and part two with approximately one hour for each part so the children will be taking the tests most of the mornings. Parents, please have your children present in school and on time on those days because it will be very important that they take the tests with us. In the afternoon there will be make up times so please have your children there all day long. If they do miss a day, they will have an opportunity to make up that test in the afternoon and later in the week because do we have a six day window to test."
Jonathan Fontanez, Supervisor of Instruction for grades 7-12 says it's also testing time for high school students. "The last week of April, starting April 27th through May 3rd we will begin our on-line gateway assessment for Algebra I, English II, and Biology I students who are scheduled to take the gateway assessment on-line. Following that, the first and second weeks of May, we will be administering the End of Course Assessments starting with the Algebra I, English II and Biology End of Course. The second week of May, we will begin with our other non-AYP End of Course Assessments, U.S. History and English IX. The third week of May we begin our finals and of course graduation is on May 21st. So as my counterpart said be sure your students come to school well nourished, well rested so that they will do well on these assessments. They have had some tremendous successes this year already and we look forward to them, this second semester, having even greater successes."
Amanda Dakas of the DeKalb County Education Association reported to the board that the DCEA has won a state award for membership growth. The award will be presented on May 7th at the Nashville Convention Center. Dakas added " I'm proud of our teachers for their professional involvement and we thank you for always working with our organization."
Dakas also acknowledged Greg Owens who won the Friend of Education Award for the State of Tennessee, the Tennessee Education Association's highest award. He was nominated last fall by the DeKalb County Education Association. Owens expressed his thanks for the opportunity to represent DeKalb County."
The board adopted on second and final reading a policy providing for a student representative on the Board of Education.
The policy states that "The DeKalb County Board of Education may select one high school student representative to serve in an advisory position to the Board. This student shall be designated by the DeKalb County High School Principal to serve for one school year. The student representative shall serve without compensation.
Some responsibilities of the DeKalb County Student Representative are as follows:
1.Attend the monthly meeting of the DeKalb County Board of Education
2. Communicate needs including questions, concerns, problems, updates, and suggestions to the Board of Education.
3.Help design a banner for the DeKalb County School System for the TSBA Fall Conference, as per TSBA guidelines, to be presented at the October School Board Meeting.
4.Attend the annual Student Congress on Policies in Education (SCOPE) Conference if funding is available.
DCHS student Megan Sullivan is the current Student Representative on the board.
The board received two sealed bids on the sale of surplus property (two 1997 Blue Bird school buses). The board awarded the bid to Paul's Equipment Company of Hamblin, Kentucky who bid $2,257 for each of the two buses.
The board approved a request for the use of DeKalb County School buses to transport 4-H'ers to the Regional 4-H Clover Bowl in Cookeville May 14th; to Junior 4-H Camp at Crossville June 21st-25th; and to the Sub-Regional 4-H Project Day at Cookeville May 11th.