By MARY JEAN HALL
Special to the Press
MARTIN — The Weakley County School Board selected Friday, May 17 as the tentative graduation date for all of the county high schools.
The unanimous decision was announced Thursday at the board meeting, which took place at Martin Primary School.
“Hopefully we won’t have a lot of inclement weather,” Weakley County Director of Schools Randy Frazier said. “The recommendation I’d like to make at this time is for us to target May 17 as the graduation date throughout the county.”
The school board unanimously approved the second reading of Board Policy 1.802, which brings the Weakley County School Board’s policies in line with the state.
“It’s recommended that all boards adopt this to bring the entire state in line,” Frazier said.
Resolution 2013-24 was also unanimously approved. The resolution amends the General Purpose School Fund to include two donations. The Bank of Gleason donated $1,500 to the Weakley County Adult Learning Center for local travel, instructional supplies and for radio ads. The Weakley County School Board received a $5,000 grant from the 2012 Healthier Schools challenge from the Tennessee School Board Association to be spent in the School Nursing Department.
Federal Resolution No. 142-13-04, which simply reallocates money to the appropriate spot, was also unanimously accepted. According to Frazier, there is no additional revenue, just transfers of monies to the appropriate budgets.
The board congratulated Tori Liggett, a teacher at Greenfield, for being selected WBBJ TV Channel 7 Teacher of the Week.
Frazier said that the biggest news in the school system this week is that the 5th, 8th and 11th grade students have been taking the writing assessment test. He noted that there were two major changes with the assessment this year.
This was the first time that a test was all online where the students had to type out the answers. Also, the prompts were all factually driven. In the past they have all been non-fiction oriented where the students had to read text and respond to it.
“I’d like to thank our technology staff,” Frazier said. “They were able to relieve some of the tension and it went very well.”
This was considered by Frazier to be a practice run for the 2014-2015 year. Due to a state-wide decision a few years ago, all tests after that year will be administered online. There will be no more tests with paper and pencil.
Frazier also recognized some of the accomplishments of Martin Primary School.
“It’s an excellent staff and you should be proud of the performance of this school,” Frazier said. “They achieve as high as any primary school in West Tenn.”
He noted that Tracy Bell recently became the principal at Martin Primary School.
“She’s done an excellent job and has gotten a lot of positive comments,” Frazier continued.
Bell welcomed the board to her school and informed everyone about the school’s progress.
“We appreciate all of your help and we know that we couldn’t do it without you,” Bell said to the board.
Kim Castleman from Martin Primary is the district teacher of the year.
“We are very blessed at Martin Primary School to have a fabulous faculty and staff,” Bell said.
Bell said that one of the goals for the school this year was to get the community more involved. This past fall the University of Tennessee at Martin Agriculture Department came to the school.
Dr. Wesley Totten, associate professor of turfgrass and landscape management, brought some students to the school to create a new landscape design for the front of the school. According to Bell, Totten hopes to apply for a grant this spring to fund the landscaping project, which may include a new sign.
The school placed first among the other schools in the city before Christmas in a contest by getting over 2,000 cans of food for the needy.
They have also started a faculty wellness plan at the school, where the teachers are actively exercising in the Library in the afternoons. They offer a Zumba exercise for the faculty.
The next meeting of the school board will be March 7 at 5 p.m. at Dresden Elementary School.
Published in The WCP 2.12.13