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Halifax County school board approves new plans for transportation and attendance

SoVaNow.com / July 11, 2013
Halifax County trustees on Monday evening approved several changes to the Code of Student Conduct and Parent Notifications presented by director of secondary education Frosty Owens.

The first of those changes deals with school bus riders, stressing that no notes or phone calls will be accepted by the schools for changes to the student’s original transportation plan which will be set up at the beginning of the school year after parents sign the transportation plan for their child.

That plan states that the child will ride the assigned bus in the morning and will be picked up at the established address and that the child will ride the designated bus in the afternoon and be dropped of at the address designated on the plan.

The transportation plan will be for the entire year and parents must come to the school office to amend or update it. According to the plan, if the student needs to go to another address, it is the responsibility of the parent or guardian to meet the bus at the designated pick-up or drop-off location to take him/her to a different address. Emergencies will be handled on an individual basis.

Owens stressed that the change is based on student safety. “We cannot accept notes or phone calls changing the student’s bus routes and still be responsible for their safety,” Owens said.

Another change deals with student attendance, noting that students must be in attendance for at least half of the school day in order to be counted present. If a student checks out before noon, the student will be counted as being absent and a student must check in before noon in order to be counted as present.

Tardies and early check-outs will result in an accumulation of time missed from instruction. Every 6.5 hours of instructional time missed will result in an absence which will be recorded and counted toward overall attendance.

Students who have been absent are requested to bring a note on the first day of their return to school with four reasons being granted as an excused absence: a doctor’s note; a court subpoena, an obituary of family or close friend and a religious holiday.

Yet another change which trustees found highly amusing, but based on state law was added to the Code of Student Conduct. Deliveries of nonessential items to students are prohibited. Food deliveries such as pizza, fast food, subs, etc must have prior written approval from the principal and the parent or guardian delivering the lunch must remain at school and eat with the students. No non-household lunch items can have marketing logos on them such as Wendys, McDonalds or Hardees and must be packaged in plan wrappings before being brought into the school.

In other actions trustees approved a final $57,075.159 budget for the coming school year which includes the additional $110,000 appropriated by County Supervisors on May 20. They also approved the signing of checks by Valdivia T. Marshall and Robin C. Mahan in the absence of the Superintendent.

Following a closed session trustees approved the following personnel changes: appointments, Mary Garrard, special ed teacher at HCMS, $40,841; Lisa Burton, library media specialist at HCHS; $45,069; Jocelyn Forest, business teacher at HCHS, $36,976 and Gwendolyn Smith-Mangum, teacher at HCMS to Assistant Principal at HCMS, $64,105. Transfers approved were for Marvin Bowman to move from a teacher at Meadville Elementary to HCMS; Curtis Wayne Murray from Cluster Springs to Sinai Elementary; Donna Hudson, an instructional coach at Cluster Springs to Instructional Technology Resource teacher and Marcia Crowder, instructional coach at Meadville to Instructional Technology Resource teacher.

Named as football coaches were Michael Roark, head varsity coach, assistants Woody Bane, Kenneth Day, Darrius Jennings, Corey Jackson, LeVa Medley, Andrew Keeney, Dearrion Snead, Garrick Vogt and Michael Lloyd.

David Graham was named head golf coach with David Riddle named to head the girls cross country team and Brady Taylor as head boys cross country coach.

Amanda Cross will be the head varsity fall cheerleader coach with two assistants yet unnamed.

Tiffany White will be the head volleyball coach with Jessica Martin being the assistant.

Classified personal appointments included Keith A. McDowell as a mechanic foreman in the Transportation Department at a salary of $48,224; Danny M. Wilborn, transportation mechanic, $40,034; Brittney Lambert, secretary at $15,395.; and Sherry Tucker, cafeteria manager at Meadville Elementary at $15,162.

Trustees also approved the two percent raise for Superintendent of Schools Dr. Merle Herndon which is the same percentage increase that all school personnel received for the coming school year.

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Love how they do this pass it so the public can't speak out!


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