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Board of Education January meeting

Posted on Saturday, February 3, 2024 at 12:19 pm

LACIE SILVA – Editor

On January 8, the Marion County Board of Education gathered for its monthly meeting to discuss and approve the consent agenda regarding updates in Marion County Schools.

The agenda items included the following*:

Monteagle Elementary School Principal Veronica Rogers-Horton wrote to Dr. Griffith, regarding Joey DiMarco’s interest in beginning a girls’ soccer program. The season will tentatively run from the third week in August through October. Rogers-Horton requested the approval of the board to proceed and sought further information for next steps and administering a background check to comply with regulations.

The first reading of the following new policy was proposed:

“New Board Policy 1.500.1 “Conduct on School Property or at School Activities” (First reading)

The school district hosts or participates in many curricular and extracurricular activities attended by parents and the general public. These include, for example but not by way of limitation, interscholastic athletic contests, proms and other social events, dramatic or musical performances, field trips, fund-raisers and meetings for parents, patrons and the public and are referred to herein as “events”. Events occur on school district property as well as at other locations or on property (such as school vehicles) leased or licensed to the school district for a particular purpose, all such property being referred herein to as “school district owned or controlled property.” Groups and members of the public also use school district owned or controlled property under facilities use policy.

All persons using or appearing at events conducted upon school district owned or controlled property will observe, at a minimum, those standards of behavior and conduct expected of school district staff and students. Specifically, whether they appear as users, participants or observers of an event, such persons shall not:

  1. Obstruct, disrupt, or interfere with, or threaten to obstruct, disrupt or interfere with, teaching, research, service, administration, control, discipline, coaching. officiating or any other district operations sponsored or approved by the district;
  2. Physically abuse or threaten to harm any persons or school district owned or controlled property;
  3. Damage or threaten to damage school district owned or controlled property of the school district, regardless of location, or property leased or licensed in connection with an event or property of a member of the community when such property is located on district property;
  4. Force or make unauthorized entry to school district owned or controlled property, or occupy district facilities, including both buildings and grounds;
  5. Use, possess, distribute or sell drugs, other controlled substances, alcohol or other illegal contraband on or in school district owned or controlled property, at district or school-sponsored functions or while using or being in any district vehicle. For purposes of this policy, “controlled substances,” means drugs identified and regulated under federal law, including but not limited to marijuana, cocaine, opiates, phencyclidine (PCP) and amphetamines (including methamphetamine). Persons known to be under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance shall not be permitted to enter school district owned or controlled property, or school sponsored activities or events.);
  6. Distribute, manufacture or sell controlled substances or possess controlled substances with intent to distribute them within 1,000 feet of the perimeter of school grounds;
  7. Enter District buildings or grounds under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance;
  8. Unlawfully use any tobacco product;
  9. Possess a concealed or dangerous weapon, on school district owned or controlled property. For the purpose of this policy, “deadly weapons,” means:
    1. a firearm, whether loaded or unloaded;
    2. a fixed blade knife with a blade that exceeds three inches in length:
    3. a spring-loaded knife or pocket knife with a blade exceeding three and one-half inches in length; or
    4. any object, device, instrument, material, or substance, whether animate or inanimate, that is used or intended to be used to inflict death or serious bodily injury including, but not limited to, a BB gun, a slingshot, bludgeon, nunchucks, brass knuckles or artificial knuckles of any kind.
  10. Use profanity or verbally abusive language;
  11. Engage in any conduct constituting a breach of any federal, state or city law or duly adopted policy and/or regulation of the Board;

Persons determined by the director of schools, his/her designee or the principal, or his or her designee of a host school to be in violation of this policy may be instructed to leave the school district owned or controlled property.

Where repeated violations occur or where a person threatens or appears likely to violate this policy in the future, the director of schools or his/her designee or the principal of a host school may ban or restrict the person’s access to events and to the use of school district owned or controlled property. The principal of a host school’s authority. however, shall extend only to events and school district owned or controlled property of his/her school.

In appropriate cases, persons violating this policy may be referred to law enforcement authorities for criminal prosecution.”

As clarified during the meeting this is a brand new policy to be added and will be seen on the following month’s agenda as required before enacting. This policy comes to the board as updates occur in Nashville schools and as a result the state is bringing all school districts up to date.

The board was also asked to approve copier contracts with Beeler Impression for two copiers at Jasper Elementary School and Marion County Board of Education. Furthermore, approval was sought for the payment of Tri-Con, Inc. Application #14 and the retainage account for the New Jasper Middle School.

After regular site inspections and thorough evaluations of the construction progress, Applications for Payment, and related representations, it is with the understanding, based on knowledge and belief, that the work aligns with the Contract Documents. Consequently, it was proposed to approve a payment of $1,270,878.48 to Tri-Con, Inc., along with $66,888.34 to the retainage account. This results in the cumulative payment to Tri-Con, Inc. reaching $21,536,821.14, and the total for the retainage account reaching $1,133,516.90.

Finally, a request for approval pertaining to the acceptance of the Battelle Grant providing funding for the acquisition of science equipment for South Pittsburg High School. Principal Paige Hill submitted a proposal for this grant, and upon its approval, she approached the board seeking permission to officially accept the awarded funds. It’s crucial to note that this grant is not a matching grant. South Pittsburg High School has been granted $1,500 specifically designated for the procurement of science equipment.

The consent agenda was unanimously approved without objection.

 *The following among others, please contact the Board of Education for further details and a copy of the consent agenda if so desired. Call (423) 942-3434 or visit https://www.marionschools.org/boardmembersandpolicies for a downloadable copy of the agendas and packets.

The Marion Tribune – January 25, 2024