City schools to buy $76,000 scoreboard for stadium

Published 9:28 am Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The new stadium at Elizabethton High School is coming along, and the Elizabethton Board of Education approved the purchase of a new scoreboard and sound system for the facility during its meeting Monday night.

The scoreboard and system are from Daktronics of Brookings, S.D., and will cost $76,131. The scoreboard features a backlit, double-faced, 25-foot arched panel that will identify the facility as the Citizens Bank Stadium. The scoreboard will be 25 feet wide by 8 feet high. One feature of the scoreboard system is the inclusion of two play clocks, with one to be located in each end zone.

“With the play clocks, people in the audience will be able to watch the count and see where they are,” Assistant Superintendent Richard VanHuss said. “Right now, the back judge, one of the referees, keeps count and does a countdown with his hands when it gets close. These will allow everyone to see the play clocks and know what the standing is.”

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The TSSAA doesn’t yet require play clocks but is expected to in the next few years, VanHuss said.

“When that happens, we will already have everything in place,” he said. “And if it ever happened that a college game was to be held at the stadium, then we would be ready for that, too.”

The board also gave blanket approval for new math textbooks for the next school year. The Textbook Adoption Committee is facing the challenge of not knowing what changes will be made to the education standards for math classes over the next few years.

“We have been told there will probably be new standards for the 2016-2017 school year,” VanHuss said. “The problem is if we adopt textbooks based on the current standards, we are afraid they will not match up to what will be required.”

The school system must submit a letter to the state detailing its intent for textbook purchases by April 15. With standards still up in the air, the committee was presented with a few options on how to proceed, VanHuss said. One option was to keep the current textbook but use supplemental materials to meet the current new standards for rigor and higher thinking skills.

“If we kept the current textbooks, the teachers would have to use those supplemental materials for our students to be successful on the state tests,” VanHuss said.

Traditional new textbooks were an option but would likely be outdated in 2016-2017 when the new standards are introduced, VanHuss said. Online textbooks were another consideration, as were consumable textbooks.

“With consumable textbooks, the students use them for one year and then they are discarded,” he said. “The company sends out new textbooks every year, and they are automatically updated to meet any changes in requirements or standards.”

Because the school system was closed for almost two weeks due to snow, the committee did not have adequate time to study the textbook options, VanHuss said. To help the committee with the decision, the board gave a blanket approval for any of the textbooks on the list provided by the committee.

After the committee has time to further research the options, a recommendation will be made to the board and they will vote for final approval, VanHuss said.

“I will continue to report to the board until a concrete recommendation can be made,” VanHuss said.

The textbook committee comprises two teachers from each city school, an administrator and a parent. Math Coach Marcia Taylor has been providing guidance with the math textbook selection process, VanHuss said.

Also at Monday’s meeting, the school board recognized several student athletes and teams and announced the 2014-15 teachers of the year. The teachers of the year:

τ East Side Elementary: pre-K to 4th grade, Rachel Howell; grades 5-8 and specialty areas, Rachel Ayers.

τ Harold McCormick Elementary: pre-K to 4th grade, Brandi Erwin; grades 5-8 and specialty areas, Julie Harris.

τ West Side Elementary: pre-K to 4th grade, Courtney Mathena; grades 5-8 and specialty areas, Lee Ann Fox.

τ T.A. Dugger Jr. High: Michelle Butler.

τ Elizabethton High School, Ryan Presnell.

Mathena, Ayers and Presnell were also named system-level teachers of the year.

The EHS boys basketball team, girls soccer team and cross country team were recognized for their performance this year. EHS senior Jamie Hinkle was recognized for qualifying for state on the EHS golf team.