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County Clerk Putting Minutes of County Commission Meetings Online

November 13, 2020
By: Dwayne Page

Whether you want to research minutes of the last county commission meeting or one from as far back as 1882, you will soon be able to do it at your convenience online by visiting www.tncountyclerk.com and selecting DeKalb County to access scanned images of those documents.

(Click the link below)

https://secure.tncountyclerk.com/minutesSearch/index.php

County Clerk James L. (Jimmy) Poss recently began the process of converting the original paper documents to digital with the help of Business Information System, a company that offers software solutions to local governments.

More than 138 years of county commission meeting minutes are currently stored in the archives of the clerk’s office and up until now they have only been available in their original paper forms, bound in books. Realizing that the county needed a better means of preserving those records, Poss reached out to BIS for help. The work is almost complete as these minutes have all been scanned, saved and are currently being uploaded to a web-based server where they will soon become available for public viewing and printing, possibly by the end of next week.

“This is something I have wanted to do for a long time and its finally getting accomplished and I am proud its being done,” said Poss.

Aaron Greer, BIS consultant, said Poss should be commended for providing this service. “Being able to search from all the books that are currently in the office up unto the present time online is something that very few of the counties in Tennessee have. It has been great to work with Jimmy. This has been something he has been pushing for a long time. It’s a great achievement for his office and the county,” said Greer.

Anyone wanting do a web-based research of the minutes for a particular issue can do a keyword search on their computer and every meeting in which that issue was discussed will appear on the screen. “You will have the ability to perform key word searches of the minutes and they will be searchable by dates, displayed in grids, images, and will be available pretty much by any kind of computer, ipad or iphone technology,” Poss said.

“If someone wants to know about a road say “Sunset Drive” for example, they can enter that road name into the search window on the computer and the software will search all of the documents that have been scanned, listing each of the documents the keyword search appears in. All of the results will then be displayed, allowing you to access every document that matches your search criteria,”.

“The searchable program was added to tncountyclerk.com on October 29, 2018. We have a number of these records currently searchable. Once you’re on the website and select “DeKalb”, near the bottom of the page you will see Minutes Search. You are able to key in a single word, road name, specific month, etc. to view these records which are available,” said Poss.

“Scanning and storing these minutes by computer makes the searchability quicker, more accessible and certainly much more secure. We are protecting these records from fire, water and or smoke damage, physical and or aging. Simultaneously, we are backing each document up in our computers as well as an off-site center. We will also continue producing and storing minute books as we scan all future minutes,” said Poss.

Anyone wanting to do their research of county commission meetings the old fashioned way will still have access to the binder style minute books which will remain in the county clerk’s office. “People are always welcome in our office to continue looking through our hard copy minute books and if you want a copy of a document we can assist you by pulling that up on the computer and printing it for you,” said Poss.




All DeKalb Schools to reopen Monday, November 16 except SES which will remain on Virtual Learning

November 13, 2020
By: Dwayne Page

Students will return to the classrooms at four of the five schools in DeKalb County on Monday, November 16. The exception will be Smithville Elementary School which will remain on virtual learning through Friday, November 20.

Director of Schools Patrick Cripps announced today (Friday) that DeKalb County High School, DeKalb Middle School, DeKalb West School, and Northside Elementary School will reopen Monday, November 16.

Updated bus information will be released on Sunday, November 15.

All five schools will be closed for the Thanksgiving break November 23-27 as had been scheduled according to the 2020-21 school calendar.

In an announcement this past Monday, Director Cripps extended the virtual learning through today (Friday, November 13) due to the increased number of COVID-19 cases and quarantines among faculty and staff.

All five schools in the district have been on virtual learning since Wednesday, October 28.

“This is an ever changing situation due to the faculty and staff that have been affected. Its not students the reason we canceled school (in person) its due to the lack of faculty and staff and how that has affected the different schools. I know it is frustrating for everyone and I want our kids in school. That is our goal is to get everyone back in school but we are facing challenging times and we have some things we are trying to work through to meet the needs. There will be some limitations when we do go back. There may be bus routes that can’t be run and there may be schools that open while others remain closed. The state made clear to us in the beginning that we don’t necessarily have to shut down the whole district but there are times when we will. Each situation is different but we will get our parents the information as quickly as we can,” said Director Cripps during Thursday night’s monthly Board of Education meeting held via video conference.




Will Virtual Learning be Extended Again? Expect an Announcement Today (Friday) from Director of Schools

November 13, 2020
By: Dwayne Page

Expect an announcement today (Friday) from Director of Schools Patrick Cripps on whether DeKalb County Schools will remain on virtual learning next week.

In an announcement this past Monday, Director Cripps extended the virtual learning through today (Friday, November 13) due to the increased number of COVID-19 cases and quarantines among faculty and staff.

All five schools in the district have been on virtual learning since Wednesday, October 28.

“We need to address what we plan on doing next week . We are continuing to evaluate the situation. We plan to get a phone call out to parents today (Friday) telling them what our plans are,” said Director Cripps during Thursday night’s monthly Board of Education meeting held via video conference.

“This is an ever changing situation due to the faculty and staff that have been affected. Its not students the reason we canceled school (in person) its due to the lack of faculty and staff and how that has affected the different schools. I know it is frustrating for everyone and I want our kids in school. That is our goal is to get everyone back in school but we are facing challenging times and we have some things we are trying to work through to meet the needs. There will be some limitations when we do go back. There may be bus routes that can’t be run and there may be schools that open while others remain closed. The state made clear to us in the beginning that we don’t necessarily have to shut down the whole district but there are times when we will. Each situation is different but we will get our parents the information as quickly as we can,” said Director Cripps.

In other business, the Board of Education Thursday night set Friday, May 14 at 7 p.m. as the graduation date and time for the DCHS Class of 2021 to be held on the football field. The DCHS prom date was also set for April 9 to be held at the Capital Theatre in Lebanon.

In his monthly report on personnel, Director Cripps announced that Dean Broadhead has been hired as a educational assistant at Smithville Elementary School and that Amber Prater has resigned as educational assistant at Smithville Elementary School.




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