Elkin students were honored Monday at the monthly Board of Education meeting.
Several prize winners and notable student achievements were presented to the board and public audience before the regularly scheduled business took place.
Elkin High School Principal Joel Hoyle presented a certificate to Career and Technical Education teacher Chaise Swisher for his service and involvement to the students and school. He summarized Swisher’s character by quoting a student who told Hoyle “he (Swisher) cares about us both in class and outside of class.”
Elkin Elementary School art teacher Bill Land recognized third grader Kayla Van and her rendering of Vincent Van Gogh’s “Wheat field with Cypress.”
Elkin Elementary Principal Tom Caton read a poem entitled “Snow” by Vincent Cianchetta. Vincent was unable to attend, and Caton received the certificate in his absence. Caton is a North Carolina State University fan, and by losing a bet he was forced to wear a UNC shirt to the meeting due to the Wolfpack loss to Carolina in men’s basketball last weekend.
Principal Pam Colbert of Elkin Middle School presented two outstanding groups. Eighth grader Matt Martir-Tullock is this year’s Spelling Bee Champion, and the Elkin Beta Club brought back several awards from the State convention this year. Griffin Wheeler won 3rd place for Art in addition to the Multi-Media 3rd place winners Kenya Easter, Harrison Hall, Ryan Russell, and Reagan Parks. The theme for this year’s Beta Club competition was “the Heart of Beta Club.” This was Elkin’s first year competing at the State competition, said Colbert.
Following the student portion of the evening Dr. Randy Bledsoe and Chair of the Board of Education Foley Norman gave a review of the annual Board Retreat held Feb. 22 and 23. Commissioner James Freeman said this year’s retreat was the best Elkin City Schools has had since he came to the board.
Dr. Bledsoe addressed minor changes in the schools’ policy. Policy 6220, the policy on the Operation of Student Food Services, was amended so as not to be read in a way that made the school system appear to be taking food away from students who could not pay. Prior to this wording update the policy appeared to read that students who could not pay would not be allowed meals.
Bledsoe said that the wording was misleading and that efforts were being made to help children receive meals, not to take them away.
Bledsoe then noted the changes in policy 6420, which authorizes the school superintendent to enter into contracts with the board. This policy allows the superintendent the power to enter into contracts or approve change orders less than or equal to $15,000. These have to be approved by the board and in certain contexts must be viewed by the town attorney. Wording was changed to make sure “fiscal accountability and reporting” were upheld, said Bledsoe.
Policy 7130, concerning Licensure/ Renewal Credit for teachers, has been changed, with a test code number being altered. The policy has not been changed for the adoption of “Race to the Top” over “No Child Left Behind,” but he expected that change would be coming soon.
Allison Moxley gave an update on the Personnel Projections and Human Resources department for 2012-2013. Reviewing this year’s flu vaccinations, Moxley said the Oct. 1 clinic at the Middle and High Schools vaccinated 10 students and 21 students, respectively. At a Oct. 12 clinic at the Elementary School 46 students were vaccinated. D-Rex hosted the clinics.
Moxley told the board that reports of this year’s vaccine effectiveness was bleak, with 27 percent of those vaccinated being unaffected.
Moxley also reported that the school system is making efforts to insure every employee is properly vaccinated for Hepatitis B. Those at most risk are custodians, bus drivers, lunchroom employees, and others in positions to be infected easily.
Substitute teacher applications will be accepted begin in April. Those interested will begin orientation in August for the 2013-2014 school year. As of this year, there are 60 teachers on the list to contact if needed.
Jan Zachary updated the board on the need for a new contract with the town auditor. Dixon Hughes Goodman, the auditing company used by the town for this year, was awarded a new contract for the upcoming year unanimously by the board. Zachary said the company was very helpful to work with and was available for comment or question any time the school system had a concern.
During budget updates, the board was told the Phase II and III of the school renovations were now complete and the project came in under budget. Zachary said the board allowed the school system to put the remainder toward the next steps in construction, the process of making the school up-to-date according to the Americans with Disabilities Act by putting in handicap-accessible features and ramps.
Calendar development for the 2013-2014 school year was tabled until the March monthly meeting.
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