Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)

May 22, 2013

School board requests review of student discipline policies

By Leeann Akers - Editor
Journal-Times

May 22, 2013 — The Carter County Board of Education spent considerable time discussing the district’s discipline policies Monday night following last week's cricket incident at East Carter High School.

“We want to ask you principals about this,” Board Chair Bryan Greenhill said. “We need a black-and-white policy about vandalism. We are going to ask you to look at this in your site-based committees this summer to get these things in line.”

“We do have a code of acceptable behavior – some of the things we dealt with last week are under the guidelines of strictly-prohibited behavior,” said Donald Damron. “Breaking and entering is a serious criminal offense that is covered by our discipline policy.”

The board also discussed other policies in need of attention.

“This is not only something we need to do in order to keep the building safe,” said Supt Ronnie Dotson. “But we also need to keep our students from doing something that they might regret later on.”

The issue was tabled until the July regular meeting.

Dotson did have some good news to report. One of the biggest school system benchmarks is college and career ready students.

After reporting last year's benchmark of 56.6 percent of students considered “college and career ready,” Dotson was happy to report that East Carter High School is now at 81.5 percent and West is at 81 percent.

“We already know ACT scores are up for the second year in a row,” Dotson said. “So far, from what we know for Carter County, our schools look great. Thanks for working so hard and working so well together.”

KEA representative Merry Berry asked for a raise for all the teachers in the district.

“I know the budget is coming up soon and you have to find money to give raises,” Berry said. “When you can’t compete with the surrounding counties, good teachers won’t come here. We would like to have a little raise. Two percent would be great.”

“I agree with you wholeheartedly,” Dotson said. “These people deserve the most that we can possibly give and we will be mindful of that.”

He went on to say that a one percent raise would translate to $250,000 in additional payroll costs for the district.

A special work session on the budget will be held Thursday at 6:30 p.m.

Construction at the new Tygart Creek and Carter City elementary schools is winding down while a $700,000 renovation of Star Elementary will begin this summer.

Renovation plans for gymnasiums at both high schools go to the state this week for approval. A pre-bid meeting with potential contractors will take place Wednesday.

The gym renovations are slated for completion by Oct. 15.

Leeann Akers can be reached at lakers@journal-times.com or by phone at 474-5101.