City schools put on 2-hour start delay Wednesday
by DELANEY WALKER Banner Staff Writer
Jan 07, 2014 | 747 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Director of City Schools Dr. Martin Ringstaff announced a two-hour delay for students returning to school Wednesday morning due to the anticipated freezing temperatures.

It is the first two-hour delay since Ringstaff joined the city school system.

“[The decision] has been temperature-driven. It is going to be very cold,” Ringstaff said. “It is supposed to get up to 40, but it will only be 8 degrees when the day starts,” he said of weather forecasts calling for possible single-digit temperatures.

He said the two-hour delay will hopefully provide a needed temperature change for the students who ride buses.

Announcements like school delays may soon be announced on a city school channel provided by Charter Communications.

The local branch expressed an interest in providing Cleveland High’s broadcasting program with a high definition channel.

Career and Technological Education Supervisor Renny Whittenbarger has been in conversation with the company. Ringstaff explained further interactions with Charter are limited until Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland requests the channel from the business.

The Cleveland Board of Education approved the city school system to gather more information on the matter. A request will be made of Rowland to write the necessary letter.

Updates will be given to the board in the future as they develop.

A resolution which allows school systems to keep buses past 17 years was passed at Monday night’s meetings.

According to the resolution, “... State law requires school districts to retire conventional school buses from their fleets upon 17 years or 200,000 miles of recorded travel regardless of how mechanically sound they may be or the results of mandatory inspections performed by the Department of Safety.”

Ringstaff said most of the buses sold have five to 10 years of safe driving left.

Continued the resolution, “Tennessee is in the minority of states with these limits as most states do not have hard caps for years of service or miles of recorded travel.”

The cap reportedly causes the school districts to retire hundreds of safe and capable buses every year.

In addition, “[the] retiring of buses forces districts to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on new buses which would be much better spent on student services.”

The school board requested the General Assembly to either eliminate the cap or, at the very least, allow the school buses to be used as long as they are safe and passing Department of Safety inspections.

Cleveland High Principal Autumn O’Bryan presented bookkeeper Pamela Geren and Assistant Principal Cliff Eason to the board as January’s employees of the month.

She described Geren as easy to work with and approachable. According to O’Bryan, she is a team member.

She said Eason is detail oriented. O’Bryan said Eason with his sense of humor and thorough work manner is her “anchor” and “rock” at Cleveland High.

School board officers were elected Monday night. The positions are as follows: Tom Cloud, chairman; Dawn Robinson, vice chairman; and Steve Morgan, chairman pro-tem.