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Cherokee BOE hires two new staff members

The Cherokee Board of Education met at 7 p.m., Monday, Aug. 9 for their monthly meeting.

The meeting was called to order with Amber Wilhite, Kory Littlefield, Desiree Gibson and Kurtis Goodwin present. Shane Parker was absent from the meeting.

The consent agenda was approved first as follows:

• Minutes from July 12 meeting.

• General fund encumbrances, purchase orders and warrants.

• Building fund encumbrances, purchase orders and warrants.

• Child nutrition fund encumbrances, purchase orders and warrants.

• Treasurer’s report.

• Activity fund report.

• Activity fundraiser requests:

– Ninth grade class 50/50 drawing at rodeo with estimated profit $1,000.

– Softball selling coffee to buy equipment.

– Elementary activity fund selling pizza during back to school night. Funds would be deposited in the elementary activity account.

Next, the board approved the 11th and 12th grade mathematics and science courses taken from the Career Technology Center.

The school reported at least 29 students will attend NW Technology Center.

The board then approved the employment of Kelsey Cloud, elementary para-professional, and Mary Jane Constantin, fifth grade teacher’s aide and para-professional.

The junior high and high school  handbook changes were discussed and approved as follows:

• Semester tests: In the past, students with an A could miss three days of school and still be exempt from semester tests. Students with a B could miss two days, and students with a C could miss only one day without having to take the semester tests. Principal Lane Pruett recommended changing that to saying students with an A, B or C grade could all miss up to three days and still be exempt from semester tests.

• Critical Race Theory: This just states that the school will follow the law on Bill 1775 and not teach CRT.

• Activities: Changes made to allow for flexibility on students missing activity due to missing school.

• Juniors: Will be taking SAT instead of ACT.

• Graduation: Changes to include link to allow for ever changing policies.

• Internship: Adding if unable to finish due to unforeseen circumstances.

• Concurrent: Students can’t receive credit with just a pass grade. It has to be the actual grade instead of just a pass or fail.

• Changes to requirements: Students will have to take Comp 1 and 2 before senior year to be exempt from senior English. This year’s seniors will be grandfathered in.

All the changes were approved.

Elementary Principal Keela Patterson presented her changes to the handbook:

• Administration and faculty list updated.

• Took out the three-year-old program information.

• Teacher arrival was changed to 7:45 a.m.

• New dismissal changes with first through fourth on the west side and pre-k and kindergarten on the east side.

• School lunch was updated.

The items were approved.

Next, the adjunct teaching status for Brooke Meyer with NW Technology Center and Lyndee Cudmore with the school were approved. Also approved was the librarian statutory waiver for Hailey Cudmore.

Superintendent Bryce Schanbacher discussed changes to the return to learn plan.

The school will have no authority to quarantine, it will be up to the health department. Parents will have the chance to choose whether to quarantine or not if an exposure occurs.

The changes can be viewed in the school’s return to learn plan.

Next, the board approved HB 1775 policy in accordance with the State Standards of Accreditation, effective July 2021. This item bans the teaching of CRT in schools.

The three next items were approved as follows:

• Inter-local agreement with the County and school.

• Employment of Stephen L. Smith Corp as financial consultants to the school.

• District’s Level Services Program Agreement with CCOSA.

Pruett gave his principal’s report:

• Enrollment was held. High school was down three and junior high was up eight, but that could change with school starting.

• Drake Williams was a National Proficiency Finalist in FFA in Agricultural Sales.

• Softball season has kicked off.

• Football practice has started. The first scrimmage will be at 6 p.m., Aug. 20.

• Cross Country practice has started.

• Meet the Chiefs will be at 7 p.m., Aug. 25.

Patterson gave her report:

• Twenty-three new students enrolled and nine students left.

• All school supplies were donated and delivered.

• Back to school night will be from 5:30-7 p.m., Aug. 18.

Schanbacher gave his report:

• Enrollment is up overall.

• He commended Pruett, Patterson and Anita Jordan on working on the schedules.

• Teachers report Aug. 16 with three days of inservice.

• A meeting was held with federal program consultation team. The team consists of parents, teachers and administration.

• SB 658 prohibits mask and vaccine mandates. The students can still wear masks and the school will still disinfect.

• Gross production is still up from last year.

The facilities are looking great and ready to go.

After hearing no new business, the meeting adjourned at 7:45 p.m.

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