BOE dis­cussing change in top 10 re­quire­ments

Some board mem­bers want stu­dents to take all ad­vanced cour­ses

The Covington News - - School Beat - By Josh Briggs

The New­ton County Board of Ed­u­ca­tion met Tues­day for their monthly work ses­sion to dis­cuss sev­eral top­ics and re­view sev­eral hand­books for the 2008- 2009.

But the dis­cus­sions hit a bit of a snag while re­view­ing the pro­posed changes for the Sec­ondary Pro­gram Plan­ning Guide.

Board mem­bers ques­tioned whether or not the re­quire­ments for honor stu­dents and the Top- 10 grad­u­ates in New­ton County’s high schools should be re­vised to stip­u­late the course re­cip­i­ents’ course se­lec­tion.

Board mem­ber Johnny Smith raised the ar­gu­ment that the Top- 10 grad­u­ates, who are hon­ored by the Ro­tary Club, should rep­re­sent the 10 best stu­dents and should in­clude tak­ing into ac­count the level of class dif­fi­culty.

Smith and As­so­ci­ate Su­per­in­ten­dent of Cur­ricu­lum Linda Hay­den calmly went back and forth for close to five min­utes be­fore other board mem­bers joined the dis­cus­sion, lend­ing sup­port to Smith’s ar­gu­ment.

“ High school kids aren’t stupid,” he said with a grin. “ They know what the tough sub­jects are, and they find ways around those. Look at them in the back. They know what I’m talk­ing about.”

Smith was re­fer­ring to a hand­ful of stu­dents in at­ten­dance, who promptly chuck­led, nod­ded ac­knowl­edge­ment and held their heads in mock shame. Smith’s point was clear. “ We want to en­cour­age the kids and re­ward them for tak­ing the hard classes,” Smith said. “ I think the top10 grad­u­ates should re­flect the best of the best, pe­riod.”

The board has 30 days to re­view the sub­ject and that gives Hay­den and her staff time to re­vise the re­quire­ments, if they choose to.

The board plans to vote on the call to ac­tion at one of the up­com­ing reg­u­lar monthly meet­ings.

ICMS has new prin­ci­pal

The board unan­i­mously ap­proved the se­lec­tion of Re­nee Mal­lard as the new prin­ci­pal of In­dian Creek Mid­dle School.

Mal­lard has worked as an as­sis­tant prin­ci­pal at Cousins El­e­men­tary School for the past four years.

“ It’s bit­ter­sweet,” Mal­lard said in a press re­lease. “ I’m so ex­cited about the new po­si­tion but sad to leave my Cousins fam­ily.”

Mal­lard takes over for out­go­ing Prin­ci­pal Sa­man­tha Furhey who moves to the

county of­fice next year.

Bid for school No. 14 ap­proved

The board awarded the bid for con­struc­tion of school No. 14 on Kirk­land Road to Meja Con­struc­tion Com­pany from Jack­son.

Meja’s bid of $ 13.3 mil­lion beat out Amacher Brothers Con­struc­tion’s bid of $ 13.8 mil­lion.

Meja has pre­vi­ously built schools in New­ton County and plans to build school No. 14 sim­i­lar to past de­signs.

No changes to 20082009 cal­en­dar

Dr. Hay­den pre­sented the 2008- 2009 school cal­en­dar with no sig­nif­i­cant changes, al­though the board did briefly dis­cuss pos­si­ble re­vis­it­ing the mat­ter next year for 2009- 2010.

New teacher ori­en­ta­tion would start on July 23 ver­sus July 18 in 2007. Stu­dents would re­port on Au­gust 1 and the last day for stu­dents would be May 29 ver­sus May 23 this year.

Grad­u­a­tion for the three high schools this year is May 24 where next year that would change to May 30.

Pilot Club do­nates $ 1,000

The Pilot Club of Cov­ing­ton pre­sented a check for $ 1,000 to the BOE for the Spe­cial Needs Pre- School Pro­gram.

The Pilot club is cur­rently cel­e­brat­ing its 50th year and made the do­na­tion to aid the pre- school cur­ricu­lum.

Poor eco­nomic state im­pacts New­ton County Schools

In her pre­sen­ta­tion of the fi­nan­cial re­port, As­so­ci­ate Su­per­in­ten­dent of Busi­ness and Ad­min­is­tra­tive Ser­vices Deb­o­rah Robert­son said the school sys­tem is within its bud­get, but fu­ture vari­able costs may have a dra­matic im­pact on fur­ther bud­gets.

“ I don’t be­lieve we’ve seen a year where money is go­ing to be as tight as it is this year,” she said. “ Be­cause for the ris­ing fuel costs, we’ve asked the prin­ci­pals to re­view all their field trips.”

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