BY KRISTEN BUCKLES
The Greene County Board of Education on Monday approved extensive bids for capital projects and maintenance items, as well as a variety of minor policy changes.
The board held their regular monthly meeting for April at 4:30 p.m., Monday at the Greene Technology Center.
Bids approved included items such as, HVAC units and their installation, roofing, plumbing, carpet cleaning, parking lot striping, and much more.
Among the most noteworthy of the bids approved were:
* 24 HVAC units for West Greene High School from REA, totaling $103,690;
* Installation of those units for $58,320 by C&C;
* Gas piping at West Greene for $23,485 by SB White Company;
* Masonry at West Greene for $15,000 by Wampler Masonry;
* Plumbing for South Greene High School for $35,195 from Midway Construction;
* Roofing at Chuckey Elementary School for $176,747 from Morristown Roofing;
* Roofing at Glenwood Elementary School for $22,662 from Morristown Roofing;
* Exterior gym doors at West Pines Elementary School for $15,660 from Morristown Building;
* Doors at Chuckey-Doak High School for $50,595 from Holston Glass; and,
* A safety entrance at South Greene High School for $10,343 and at West Greene High School for $21,727 from Holston Glass.
The majority of the policy changes were editorial in nature (grammar changes, etc.). However, the board gave final approval to more significant revisions for the Board Committees, Emergency Preparedness Plan, and Compulsory Attendance Ages policies.
The Board Committees Policy now makes the Policy, Bid, Curriculum and Long-Range Planning Committees standing committees, while emphasizing that all such committees are advisory only.
The policy will allow for there to be three board members appointed to each committee. All board members are invited to attend all committee meetings, but only those actually serving on the particular committee may vote on committee business at a meeting and be compensated for their attendance.
Along with this policy change, Board Chairman Roger Jones announced, as chairman, the committee appointments for board, noting that he gave some preference to tenure.
Therefore, the two newest members of the board -- Tommy Cobble and Deborah Johnson -- were only appointed to serve on one committee while the remaining members will serve on two.
The board also granted final approval to the Emergency Preparedness Plan Policy, which now includes changes that include the following new language:
In response, the committee rewrote this portion of the policy to state the following: "In the event that weather conditions prohibit safe travel, buses will not run, and students will be retained at school and released to an adult with authority to pick that child up.
"Should circumstances require a school lockdown for safety reasons, the authority on site designated as the incident commander will make decisions regarding student admission or dismissal."
The board approved on first reading editorial changes to "Appeals to and Appearances Before the Board" and changes that would exclude any reference to a particular curriculum that could change over time in the "Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome" policy.
Changes to the policy also included striking individual references to "AIDS" and replacing that word with "Acquired Immune Deficiency Disorder."
Other changes approved on first reading included adding End of Course and TCAP testing requirements to the Attendance Policy and two new forms for teachers.
One form is an "Advanced Degree Intent Form" for teachers who will complete an advanced degree and request a salary increase.
The other form, In-System Transfer Application, will allow teachers to apply for a transfer to an open position at another school.
The board also heard from Debra Rucker, of Bible Road, Mosheim, who addressed her concerns that her daughter did not make the West Greene High School cheerleading squad due to preferential treatment.
Rucker explained that her daughter is an upperclassman who has cheered for a number of years but did not make this year's tryouts after participating with an injury from another sport.
She expressed concern with the fairness of the tryouts and what she said she perceived as the coach's bias in favor of students who attended Mosheim Elementary, where the coach teaches.
Downsizing of the coming year's squad resulted in cutting four positions, she said.
"This has caused a huge rip in the students at West Greene," she said.
Dr. Julia Lamons, West Greene's principal, addressed the situation to the board, saying that she reviewed the tryout process and found it to be a fair evaluation.
She also said the current coach is from a feeder school because no West Greene teachers were interested in the position for the past two years.
The coach has experienced some illness and issues the Lamons referenced as confidential that has caused her to miss meets, but Lamons said administration was always present for the squad to be able to perform.
Johnson recommended that the board review Rucker's recommendations for a policy on tryouts and returning members, as well as forming a cheerleading coach job description.
Jones agreed that the board would take these matters under advisement.
In final business, the board approved changes to the General Fund Education Budget to reflect end-of-year adjustments related to actual revenues received.
These amendments adjust revenues based on what the school system has actually received rather than what was projected and, in turn, adjusts expenditures accordingly as well.
In addition, the board approved interbudgetary adjustments, Title VI and Perkins Grant budget adjustments.
Other items receiving board approval included a $25 Freshman Academy Fee at West Greene High School, Erate applications, camps, and out-of-state field trips.
Information Technology Director Jason Patrick presented the Erate request, noting that the system saved thousands this year on the installation of wireless Internet in nine schools through the program, which offers a major grant, up to 90 percent.
Jones also announced that a contract extension for Kirk will be on the agenda for consideration during May's meeting of the board.