ROGERSVILLE — Director of Schools Rebecca Isaacs told the Rogersville Board of Education during its Monday, March 13, meeting that a budget workshop has been scheduled for 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 10, just ahead of the regular 5 p.m April BOE meeting.

In an unrelated, but important, matter, Isaacs also told the BOE that school officials are monitoring proposed state legislation that deals, in one fashion or another, with school safety and security. In addition, RCS officials constantly are working on ways to improve safety and security at the school.

One thing that is being talked about is having a professional come in and do a security assessment (of RCS),” Isaacs said. “I don’t think you can ever totally do enough when you are talking about these children and these individuals who dedicate their lives to their educational journey. This is something we are constantly striving to do better with and at.”

Isaacs said that, hopefully, the system’s 2018-19 budget can be presented to, and approved by, the BOE during its April meeting.

“We are hopeful, as of this hour, that we are going to be able to get the budget presented to you in April,” Isaacs told the BOE. “So, if it pleases the board, we will have the work session as we always do on the second Tuesday (in April) and have our regular meeting (after the work session at 5 p.m.).”

The director also noted that she had spoken with the City Recorder and that he had indicated that the earlier budget timing would be “wonderful for them (city officials).

We have always met the (budget) deadline as far as the town goes, but, typically, we have presented (it to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen) in May,” Isaacs told the BOE. “There is so much going on in that last month at Rogersville City School that if we could get that budget approved that would be good).”

Isaacs also told the BOE that the current budget year is the end of three-year contracts for cleaning, landscaping and pest control and that contracts for those services are already out for bids. The bids are to be opened next Tuesday, March 20. If approved, the new contracts can be included in the 2018-19 budget.

Director’s Report

Isaacs said in her report the school had undergone its annual fire inspection last week and that only one “minor infraction” had been found during that inspection. The infraction involved a missing exit sign in the little hallway behind the library that leads outside.

Isaacs then said she had been contacted by, and is scheduled to meet next Tuesday, with representatives of the Niswonger Foundation concerning a Rural Life grant that is aimed at improving literacy in the middle grades.

“We will be looking at this,” she said. “We have strong scores in literacy in our middle grades but we certainly interested in improving and want to hear what the Niswonger Foundation has to say.”

Isaacs also noted that RCS is in the process of applying for one of three $100,000 grants that are being issued by Tennessee for school fitness centers.

“We like fitness at Rogersville City School, so we are going for one,” Isaacs said.

The director also revealed that RCS has been contacted by East Tennessee State University about possibly participating in the university’s SLICE program. She noted that the SLICE program helps bolster STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education is elementary schools. Isaacs said several county school systems, including Hawkins County Schools, are already taking part in the program.

Participating schools, she said, get access to a STEM conference as well as printed materials and some technological hardware. The Hawkins County School System is the fiscal agent for the SLICE program grant.

Old awning to be removed

Isaacs told the BOE that, after study, it has been decided to remove the “old awning” beneath which students stood while waiting to be picked up after school before an addition to the building changed the pick-up point.

The director said that originally school officials had thought about either repairing or replacing the old awning, but that research had revealed that materials, alone, for a new awing would cost $40,000. As a result, the old awning is now slated to go.

Federal projects update

The BOE also heard a federal programs update from staffer April Myers who used an audio-visual presentation to explain how federal programs affect the education of students at RCS.

We use our $280,073 in allocated (federal) funds to generate high levels of student achievement in core academic areas through supplemental instructional programs and strategies to meet the educational needs of students,” Myers’ said.

The presentation also noted that RCS used $35,598 in allocated federal funds “to improve the quality and effectiveness of teachers and paraprofessionals through ongoing, high-quality professional development.”

Myers also displayed a slide that indicated RCS is using $10,000 in allocated federal funds “to provide a well-rounded education to students by teaching programming and engaging students in science, technology and engineering as well as mathematics learning opportunities.”

The presentation shown by Myers also indicated that $11,360 on the allocated federal funds are being used at RCS to provide supplemental instruction after school in core academic areas to students in need of additional subject subject-specific assistance.

Consent Agenda Approved

In other action, the BOE approved, on a single vote and without discussion, a “consent agenda” of generally routine matters.

Among the consent agenda items was approval of a field trip by the RCS Beta Club to Wonderworks/Hard Rock Café on May 18 at a cost per student of $25.

Also approved as part of the consent agenda was a Lease Agreement with Pitney Bowes for a Postage Machine.

In addition, the consent agenda included approval of general purpose, athletics, library and music budget amendments, with movement of budgeted monies already approved and no additional money received.

Also, the consent agenda included approval of the following policies on 2nd reading:

• 4.206 Special Programs;

• 4.603 Promotion and Retention;

• 4.700 Testing Programs;

• 5.203 Recommendations and File Transfers;

• 5.802 Qualifications and Duties of the Director of Schools;

• 6.200 Attendance;

• 6.319 Alternative School Programs;

• 6.405 Medicines;

• 6.4051 Glucagon and Diazepam Gel (Diastat); and

• 6.4052 Opioid Antagonist.

Retirement announced

Isaacs announced that long-time instructional assistant, Mary Lou Cinnamon will be retiring effective May 31, 2018.