Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Area News

June 27, 2013

BOE to tackle attendance changes

CROSSVILLE — The Cumberland County Board of Education will take up changes to its attendance policy when it meets Thursday in an effort to help keep students coming to school and to better prepare high school students for post-secondary education.

Last month, the committee discussed the problem of students over the age of 18 missing 30, 40, 50 or more days of instruction and still passing their classes. That's because the current policy allows all missed work to be made up, regardless if the absence was excused or unexcused. That's placed a burden on teachers, administrators have said.

This month, the committee has recommended changing the policy to allow only work missed for an excused absence to be made up.

Reasons for missing school that would be considered excused absences include personal illness, or the illness of an immediate family member; death in the family; extreme weather conditions; recognized religious observances; failure of a school bus to make scheduled or snow routes; or appointments with a doctor or dentist. The policy also allows students a one-day absence when their parent or custodian is deployed into active military service or returns from active military service. The policy also allows for circumstances which, in the judgement of the principal, create emergencies over which the student has no control, or that involve an educational opportunity not otherwise available.

A maximum of five days each semester will be recognized as an excused absence with a parent note, but those notes must include an acceptable reason for the absence.

The policy committee has also recommended changing the final exam exemption policy that allows students to skip exams if they meet certain grade and attendance criteria. Currently, students can skip exams if they have an A average and no more than three excused absences; a B average and no more than two excused absences; or a C average and missed no more than one excused absence.

Richard Janeway, 2nd District representative, said surveys of former students have noted this left them feeling unprepared when they had to prepare for a final exam in college.

"That's from the feedback we're getting from graduating seniors," he said. "A lot of them have struggled because they've never had to take an exam because they've been exempt. A lot of graduates have requested the schools stop having the exemptions."

The committee also recommended changes to the homeschool policy following changes in state law that requires public schools to allow home school students to participate in public school athletics.

The law requires students to be enrolled in a home school conducted by the student's parent or legal guardian and the home school program is recognized by TSSAA guidelines. Students must be registered as home school students by Aug. 1 of the school year in which they want to participate in interscholastic athletics, and students must meet the same academic and conduct standards required of other participants on the schools' athletic teams.

Also, students who would be ineligible to participate in a school's athletic programs at the time they withdraw from public or private school will remain ineligible to participate as a home school student until successfully completing one grading period and re-establishing eligibility.

Other policies up for consideration on first reading are:

•Zero tolerance offenses, policy 6.309, adding electronic threats as a reason for expulsion.

•Physical assault leave, policy 5.307, providing workers' compensation benefits to teachers who are absent from work as a result of personal injury caused by physical assault or other violent criminal acts committed in the course of the teacher's duties.

•Nepotism, policy 1.108, calling for disclosure of family relationships of new hires to board members, the director, school administrators, county commissioners or any appointed or elected official; requiring board members to disclose any such relationship prior to voting on any matter that may have an effect on the employment of that relative; and not allowing someone to directly supervise or be directly supervised by a relative. Relatives will include spouse, parents, in-laws, grandparents, grandchildren, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, nephews, nieces or any person residing in the same household.

•Suspension/expulsion/remand, policy 6.319, states a student may not face disciplinary action if, after investigation, administrators find a student acted in self-defense under reasonable believe they or another student may have been facing the threat of imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury.

•Extracurricular activity drug testing, policy 6.3071, removes "all signatures must be witnessed by a designated school official and must comply with consent requirements as stated on the consent form."

The board will consider second and final reading of a policy change to school board meetings, policy 1.400, calling for all board meetings, including regular monthly meetings, special-called meetings and work session, to begin with a moment of silence and the pledge to the flag.

The board will also consider its 2013-'14 budget, the 2013-'14 school nutrition program budget, discussion of student resource officers for county schools, proposed additions at North Cumberland and Crab Orchard elementary schools and renovation of the Cumberland County High School stadium and line-item budget amendments. The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. at the Central Office. The public is invited to attend.

Text Only
Area News
  • rendezvous.jpg TSRA starts spring off with paddling trips

    About 150 members of the Tennessee Scenic Rivers Association (TSRA) recently gathered April 2-6 in Crossville at Camp Nakanawa for the Annual TWRA Rendezvous.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Panel recommends using third-party billing for old EMS bills

    The budget committee approved hiring the same third party billing company to help go through older EMS ambulance service bills to resubmit them to help the EMS department get caught up with billing collections.

    April 19, 2014

  • Sales tax collections down

    Cumberland County Finance Director Nathan Brock reported to the Cumberland County Budget Committee that local option sales tax collections have fallen below budgeted projections for the 2013-'14 fiscal year.

    April 19, 2014

  • Motion to toss evidence in burglary denied

    A defense motion to have evidence seized by deputies searching for a man who fled warrant service thrown out failed when deputies testified they had oral permission from the defendant's son to search the residence the father and son share.

    April 18, 2014

  • donate life.jpg Organ donation gives man new lease on life

    Travis Hodges has a new lease on life, thanks to a selfless gift a young father made the year before.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fireworks, sign change get council OK

    While the April Crossville City Council meeting was generally a calm one, there were some fireworks on the agenda.

    April 18, 2014

  • quackers at the library.jpg Spring jamboree

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Suspect charged in Sportsman Club break-in

    A Crossville man has been arrested and charged in connection with the burglary of a shooting club's building in the county that occurred last week, according to arrest reports.

    April 17, 2014

  • Panel discusses auditing hotel/motel tax collections

    Commissioners on the budget committee discussed the possibility of auditing hotels and motels in the county regarding the collection of hotel/motel tax collection figures being down.

    April 17, 2014

  • Repent burglar must serve time

    Some defendants cry, because they get caught, and others are tearful with remorse. No one in the courtroom doubted Robert Killeen's sincerity when he apologized to his victim, his loved ones and supporters for committing crimes against an elderly widow, stealing the money her late husband left her.

    April 17, 2014

Marketplace Marquee
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Weather Radar
2014 Readers' Choice