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Sullivan County BOE approves strategic plan for schools

CHRISTAN M. THOMAS • Jan 8, 2007 at 10:45 AM

BLOUNTVILLE - "I think it's one of the better things we've done in the 20 years I've been on here," said Sullivan County Board of Education Chairman Larry Harris. "Set the plan and stick with it."

Harris was referring to the Sullivan County Department of Education strategic plan, which was officially approved by the BOE during its regular monthly meeting Monday.

The strategic plan - which was worked on during a board retreat in November 2006 - outlines strategies and actions for achieving three main goals. Those goals are improving student achievement, optimizing resources, and encouraging parent and community engagement in the schools.

Also during Monday's meeting, Director of Schools Glenn Arwood told the BOE that a structural engineer had been hired to look at sagging floors in Blountville Middle School. Officials hope to know more about the situation by the board's facilities work session, which is scheduled to take place at 3 p.m. on Jan. 25.

In other action, the BOE approved members of the negotiation committee for this year. The committee, which will work on contract negotiations for teachers, is made up of chief spokesman Jack Barnes, Bill Copas, Evelyn Rafalowski, Martin Wright and Janie Barnes.

The BOE also approved three policy changes, which were presented for review at December's meeting.

• Changes were made in Policy 3115 relating to student rights to surveys, marketing and physical exams in order to comply with the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

• For the 2007 -2008 school year, a change was made to policy involving the length and early dismissal of kindergarten. The previous policy set the length of a kindergarten day at six hours and 30 minutes but allowed for early dismissal an hour and a half early. For those not picked up early, instruction was to continue through the end of the day.

Under the new policy, all students in grades K-12 sill have a six hour and 30 minute school day, with written approval from the director of schools needed before the schedule can be altered.

• A new policy was also added allowing the use of non-faculty coaches, as permitted by the Tennessee Secondary School Athletics Association and the Tennessee Middle School Athletics Association, and when approved by the director of schools.

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