Elizabethton BOE addresses September agenda

Published 11:26 pm Thursday, September 16, 2021

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The Elizabethton City Schools Board of Education met in their regularly scheduled September meeting Thursday to address a relatively short list of items on their agenda.

To open the meeting, the board recognized student Kayleigh Shoemake, who was introduced by Robin McKamey, for placing first in the FBLA state competition in Multimedia & Website Development as well as tenth in the National Competition for the same category.

Moving to the Director’s report, School Director Richard VanHuss reporter that the school system had submitted its ESSER 3.0 grant request and had received the ESSER 1.0 re-budgeting request back on Thursday.

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Director VanHuss also encouraged everyone to go out and support students in activities such as band, sporting events, and all extracurricular activities.

The BOE also learned of a ribbon-cutting for the new STEM lab at Elizabethton High School set for Friday, September 18 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Director VanHuss reported the number of active Covid cases currently stands at 28 positive cases, down from 67 positive cases.

“This has to be a group effort,” Director VanHuss said. “Twenty-eight is still too many but we are trending in the right direction. I am asking that we continue to follow the current protocol as it works.”

Director VanHuss also took time to acknowledge those from the central office who have gone above and beyond to step in and cover for the cafeteria worker shortage at East Side Elementary to make sure children were fed.

He also recognized school nurses and other people who are stepping into roles that they don’t normally do to help keep the schools open for the children.

City Council liaison Michael Simerly appeared before the board to mention a couple of upcoming events that students can get volunteer credits for at Covered Bridge Days. He also discussed the new ice skating rink coming up later in the year.

Simerly said the need for volunteers is great and all would be welcomed to participate.

Also, Simerly said the City of Elizabethton is in need of engineers in the water resource department and the electric department. He said he hopes local students will focus on engineering and then come back home to work.

During discussion during the regular agenda, the BOE voted unanimously on several agenda items.

The board approved the rescinding of Resolution #001 for a 3-year Lease Agreement with Formetco for a video board to be installed in Treadway Gymnasium at Elizabethton High School that was approved last month.

After agreeing to rescind the resolution, the board approved the purchase of a video board from Formetco for $51,737.00 to be installed in Treadway Gymnasium at Elizabethton High School, using cooperative purchasing pricing from The National Cooperative Purchasing Alliance (NCPA).

Also, the board ratified the purchase of early literacy skills classroom kits from Amplify in the amount of $77,513.76, using ESSER 1.0 funds. Beginning next year, the kits will roll into the annual textbook purchasing.

A resolution of the Elizabethton City Schools Board of Education is requesting an amendment for an open enrollment period for LEA’s. The resolution asks that the 2021 Tennessee Public Acts 479 be rescinded or amended to require each local Board of Education to develop a policy to govern transfers within their district.

Director VanHuss said Elizabethton City Schools already has a plan in place that addresses students transferring from one school to another in the city as long as the transfer is approved before the start of school.

“I dare say that you can’t find anyone who will say that we haven’t worked with them if they have asked their child to be transferred to another school within the city,” Director VanHuss stated. [1]

The BOE approved the purchase of six power unit replacements for the main gymnasium bleachers at Elizabethton High School from FaciliServ, in the amount of $17,283. These units will be installed on what is considered the home side of the gymnasium.

Finally, the board upon request of the Director decided to leave the current COVID protocol in place until which time the board decides to rescind it.

That protocol includes wearing masks, temperature checks when entering the building during the morning, and social distancing whenever possible.

Students still have the right to opt out of wearing masks per parental request.

A meeting change was noted as Chairman Eddie Pless asked that the November meeting be moved to Tuesday, November 16 at 5:30 p.m.

The October regularly scheduled meeting will take place on Thursday, October 21 at 5:30 p.m. in the Mack Pierce Board Room.