School board briefs

February 07, 2007|by ERIN CUNNINGHAM

Negotiation meetings slated

The Washington County Board of Education and the Washington County Teachers Association have scheduled two dates for contract negotiations.

Both sides will meet again Feb. 12 and Feb. 15 at 4:30 p.m. at E. Russell Hicks Middle School.

Negotiations have been ongoing since December and are open to the public.

Wilfong touted for work on job day

Mary Wilfong, a former Washington County Board of Education member, was recognized during a board meeting Tuesday.

Wilfong was recognized for her support of the coordinators of the annual eighth-grade day on the job program, which was held Friday, officials said.

"We can't thank you enough for all you have done," said Board Member Paul W. Bailey.

Nurses recognized at board meeting

About 20 nurses were recognized during the Washington County Board of Education Tuesday for their work in the county's schools.


The nurses were thanked for the work they do every day for students, in addition to the work they did to make sure students complied with a new state vaccination requirement.

"The school health nurses have been the unsung heroes of our recent initiative to have all students meet the new vaccination requirements," said Board Vice President Wayne D. Ridenour. "In collaboration with school system staff, they worked diligently calling parents, obtaining necessary permission, making (appointments), arranging for booster shots and coordinating with the health department to make sure students are in compliance with the new immunization law."

School Counseling Week marked

The Washington County Board of Education issued a proclamation Tuesday making this week National School Counseling Week.

Board members said the proclamation recognizes and acknowledges the valuable contributions to student welfare and achievement made by school guidance counselors in the county's schools.

Palkovitz-Brown retiring in July

JoEtta Palkovitz-Brown, assistant superintendent for elementary instruction for Washington County Public Schools, will retire effective July 1, officials said Tuesday.

Her retirement and other staff changes were approved during the board's business meeting.

Superintendent Elizabeth Morgan said Palkovitz-Brown has been with the school system for more than 30 years.

Wellness status report shared

The Washington County Board of Education received a report Tuesday on the status of the school system's wellness policy, which was adopted before the start of the current school year.

Gary Dodds, supervisor of food and nutrition services, said healthier foods are available in schools' cafeterias. He said whole-grain hot dog and hamburger rolls were introduced this school year.

"Some of the students were so surprised that first week, they thought we added chocolate to them," he said.

The variety of fresh fruits and vegetable also increased, Dodds said. And guidelines on fat content and sugar also have been followed. Increases in the amount of fitness activities in the county's schools also were noted.

Calendar adopted

The school calendars for the 2007-08 and 2008-09 school years were approved Tuesday by the Washington County Board of Education.

The approved calendar for the 2007-08 school year lists the first day of school for students as Aug. 22, and the last day as June 10, 2008.

The approved calendar for the 2008-09 school year lists the first day of school for students as Aug. 20, 2008, and the last day as June 10, 2009.

Mike Markoe, acting assistant to the superintendent, said the No. 1 goal of the calendar committee was instructional integrity. He said members wanted most weeks to include five instructional days and include few weeks that have only three school days for students.

Board Vice President Wayne D. Ridenour said he believed the date of the first day of school for students would not allow enough time for athletic teams to have organized practices, which are only permitted on or around Aug. 15.

"We are missing out on very critical conditional time," Ridenour said. "I am very concerned. ... The bottom line is that our kids are really in some ways getting the short end of the stick."

Board Member Bernadette M. Wagner asked school officials to draft a letter requesting that Washington County schools receive an exemption from the Aug. 15 organized practice date.

Chiller replacement OK'd at Northern

The Washington County Board of Education voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a chiller replacement at Northern Middle School.

Bid proposals were received from five contractors, and the board approved the lowest bid of $368,000.

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