The Cleveland Board of Education can’t get the job done with the transportation equipment it has on hand. This is what Director of Schools Martin Ringstaff told the board regarding its proposal to change class starting times this fall.
The school board had earlier approved a change in starting times to 8:40 a.m. for elementary schools, 7:50 a.m. at the middle school, and 8 a.m. at the high school.
Administration has now determined that these times need some minor juggling, due to school bus limitations.
“We already needed two new buses, and with this we would need four,” Ringstaff told the board Monday evening. He said finance officer Brenda Carson “frowned” when she heard this news, with buses costing approximately $90,000 each.
The director asked the board to scale back starting times by 10 minutes at elementary schools and the high school. Start times for the 2012-13 school year will be 8:30 for elementary schools, remain 7:50 a.m. at the middle school and be 7:50 at the high school.
The board had approved a transportation study for city schools earlier, but no changes were recommended. The study said the city system is doing such a good job with a very tight schedule, it wouldn’t change anything. That study in continuing on other specifics.
Several other issues were discussed Monday as the board prepares for a new school year in a few short months.
— Continued drainage problems at the Max R. Carroll Science Wing continue to “drain” the board’s patience.
Brian Templeton of Upland Design Group in Crossville brought disappointing news to Monday’s session. He said he thought they had resolved the drainage problem, until he received a call from the contractor on his drive to Cleveland.
Templeton said the contractor now has concerns with an alternative fix the board approved at its May meeting. This fix would have placed repair pipe at another location, so the sidewalk would not have to be dug up.
The contractor now is afraid it can’t make the connection from the new spot. “If not, a lot of sidewalk will have to come up,” said the architect. He added that an Upland engineer will be talking to the contractor this morning.
Templeton will be back in Cleveland Thursday to attend a meeting with subcontractors on renovation plans for Cleveland High School’s Betsy Vines Theater. “This work needs to start in the next two week (to get the project finished by the start of school this fall),” he said.
- The board had a lengthy discussion on a request to name the high school’s baseball complex in honor of Duane Schriver and Danny Carson, who played big roles in its creation.
The board agreed on the worthiness of both individuals, but said all of the Cleveland’s coaches are worthy. They added that many of the school system’s teachers are worthy of recognition.
After some talk, the board decided to place a plaque at the facility recognizing the two individuals, and directed Ringstaff and athletic director Mike Collier to look into the possibility of establishing a Cleveland High School Hall of Fame.
Ringstaff said it should be determined what “significant contributions” means prior to recognition.
- Board member Dr. Murl Dirksen questioned the school system’s competitive food policy and closing the snack vending machines at certain times during lunch.
Cleveland High Principal Autumn O’Bryan said some of the kids are not pleased with what is being offered. She said they even attempt to get in the teachers’ lounge for regular sodas. “The vending machine companies are getting better with their options,” she said.
“I believe it’s a competitive thing,” said Dirksen on his concerns.
The board also discussed the success of getting local produce for the cafeterias, and was told that most of next year’s produce will be through the Department of Defense. Food service personnel were asked to remain aggressive.
- Mayfield Principal Dee Dee Finison recognized two of her faculty members who did an outstanding job this year. Both were out of town on vacation and could not attend the meeting.
The two honorees are instructional facilitator Sarah Towe and parent coordinator Hillis Cavender. Finison said Towe is very supportive of Mayfield School and its family, while Cavender accepted her new position after stepping down from more than 50 years in education.
- Ringstaff reported on the progress of this year’s Senior Project at the high school. A 6-foot tall statue of a “Raider” on a stallion is being placed at the front entrance of the school. “It looks very good and we’re very excited,” the director said.
- Gov. Bill Haslam was in Cleveland Monday and met with Ringstaff and Bradley County Director of Schools Johnny McDaniel.
Ringstaff told the board the governor is receptive to changes on teacher evaluations. This year’s evaluations are to go to the governor and the Tennessee Department of Education around the middle of the month.
- Some minor revisions were approved for board policy on the use of multi-media and grievance procedures. Grievances, according to state law, must proceed to the principal, director of schools and the board.
- The board has decided to hold its summer retreat at 10 a.m. July 10. A location for the meeting has yet to be determined.
Following the retreat, the board and Ringstaff plan to meet with the system’s principals for a capital needs assessment discussion.