City School Board renews contracts, approves playground addition

Published 9:36 am Thursday, May 19, 2016

It’s the time of year when some annual Elizabethton City Schools (ECS) contracts and some five-year contracts are up for renewal. While many of these have been renewed for years, members of the Elizabethton Board of Education revisit these items to ensure the payment is appropriate for the services rendered.

A number of contracts were renewed and one was amended in the regular scheduled Board of Education meeting Tuesday.

A 1-year contract with Physical Therapy Services was renewed at no increase in price for occupational and physical therapy provided to students. Board members commented on the excellent services they provide, and how through the years, they have exceeded expectations.

PTS Owner Danny Smith reported the company made 1,417 occupational therapy visits and 567 physical therapy visits in the first eight months of the school year 2015-16.

Board Members Grover May said they are often on the field with their own all-terrain vehicle to help with injuries. In addition, he said they are so observant of students’ conditions, they are able to prevent minor strains from escalating to fractures or worse.

“Now they’re catching injuries before they happen,” May said.

The board also approved a contract for counseling services with Human Development Counseling. Gardenhour said this saves the school between $10 and $15,0000 each year because they do not have to employ a full-time person in this position, but are able to provide quality service to all schools. In addition to those savings, Gardenhour said the company provides excellent services and does not charge for travel, which many others do.

Two contracts were renewed which benefit both high school students and college students. The East Tennessee State University Clemmer College of Education renewed its contract for placement of students in the high school in a co-teaching program. In addition, a contract renewal was approved with Northeast State Community College for a dual enrollment program.

Gardenhour said parents and students alike are grateful for the opportunity to participate in dual enrollment courses, as it allows students to get college credits while still in high school.

A contract that began October 1, 2015 for public relations services was amended, as the initial communications director, Kayla Carter, resigned, effective May 20. An application for the position by Rebekah Price was unanimously approved. She will continue with Carter’s contract beginning May 21 until September 30, when the contract will be considered for renewal.

Contracts for pest control and lawn services were also renewed with Chappell’s Pest Control and Jabez Complete Lawn Service. Pest control will cost $4,800 for the year, and lawn care will cost $47,869. The cost of lawn care increased 1.5 percent, due to additional services rendered.

Board Member Tyler Fleming noted the lawn care company is local and said it was important they continue to support local business.

In addition, the Board voted unanimously in favor of playground equipment upgrades at East Side at a cost of $24,472.46.

“This is to have developmentally appropriate equipment at East Side,” Gardenhour said.

Board Chair Rita Booher was not present at this meeting. The next regular scheduled Board of Education meeting will take place at ECS Central Office on Tuesday, June 21 at 6:30 p.m.