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Halifax County trustees adjust school calendar, vacation policy / December 13, 2012
Halifax County School Board trustees on Monday night made two changes to the school calendar for the coming semester and approved a revised vacation day payment policy.

However, the trustees delayed taking action on a proposed policy to reduce the work force should downsizing become necessary.

Students will make up the first of the two days lost earlier this fall on Friday, March 15 with an early dismissal of 1 p.m. The second make-up day is scheduled for Thursday, May 30 with an early dismissal at 11:30 a.m.

The vacation day policy caps payments to employees who accumulated 30 days of leave as of June 24. Employees will be paid for a maximum of 30 days at retirement or the time of their resignation. Employees who on July 24, 2012 had 31-59 days of accumulated vacation will have their pay capped at the number of days they had at that time.

Employees with more than 60 days of accumulated vacation as of July 24, 2012 will be paid their per diem rate for 60 days at the time of their retirement or resignation. Their additional days may be taken during their continuing years of service.

The trustees approved the vacation pay policy on a unanimous vote.

In delaying action on the reduction in Work Force Policy (RIF), trustees asked for further study to assure that affected employees could be granted an avenue of appeal. The policy states that teachers who are teaching in subjects or classes to be reduced who are not fully certified or properly endorsed in the subject or grade will be the first to be considered for release based upon seniority.

Teachers who are on a plan of improvement, or who have unsatisfactory evaluations on one or more of the past three annual evaluations will be considered next for release.

The third tier involves teachers who are fully certified and teaching in the area or subject of their endorsement. They would be considered next for release based on seniority.

Any fully certified tenured teacher whose position is reduced under the last priority shall be given seniority rights for other teaching positions for which that teacher holds a valid endorsement. Moreover, any fully certified teacher whose services are terminated shall be entitled to be recalled to the position vacated or to any other position which becomes available within eighteen months, provided the teacher is certified for the position or has performed in such position as a regular full-time, fully certified teacher.

Both trustees Kim Farson and Walter Potts said they want to be sure that teachers have a stated avenue for appeal. “We don’t want our employees to be afraid of our policies, we want those policies to be as transparent as possible,” Farson said.

In other business, superintendent Dr. Merle Herndon provided copies for trustees of the court order which dismissed the case of Brenda Lee Traynham vs. County School Board of Halifax back on June 28, 1972. A question about the case, involving the hiring of African-American and Caucasian principals at the middle and high schools, came up recently when Herndon was seeking to remove the case from the books.

Herndon also congratulated the board on being named a certified green school division. Halifax County was one of 32 divisions of the 133 across the state named for the certification. Halifax earned 145 points of a possible 200 designating divisions as “green.”

Following a closed session trustees on a 7-0 unanimous vote approved the personnel report (ED-4 Trustee Cheryl Terry was absent from the Monday meeting). On a separate personnel issue involving an employee’s resignation, the motion passed to accept the resignation on a 5-2 vote with trustees Farson and Karen Hopkins opposing it.

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I thought that when teachers got on the board we would not have these problems. Mr. Potts seems to be the only one with any sense and he and I are political opposites! This new sup. is worse then Stapleton. who would have thunk it?

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