By LYNN HAMILTON
During the May meeting of the Clay Community Schools Board of School Trustees, eight teacher contracts were canceled. Due to several resignations and retirements and a couple of leaves, the Board was able to call back five of those teachers during their regular meeting Thursday night. Two of those called back are only on a temporary basis, but Assistant Superintendent Mike Mogan said, "We're doing all we can."
The Board also approved proposed student handbook language on the determination of grades 3-4. The language describes the process a teacher must go through in order to fail a student who has passed according to the electronic software being used in the building. President Steven Grigsby asked for examples of when this might be justified action for a teacher to do so.
Teacher Russ True explained that sometimes it is difficult for an instructor to make sure that exactly one-third of the material is covered in each six weeks. Therefore, if a student failed during a grading period in which more important information was covered, but passed the other two, a teacher may feel that the student should take the course again.
Superintendent Bill Schad stated that another situation when a teacher might override the electronic gradebook system would be if a student is "barely skimping along" and decides not to do anything else for the rest of the year.
Northview Principal Ken Wallace cited one case in which a student at the high school had a passing grade, but missed 22 consecutive days of school.
According to the language that will go into the student handbooks, a teacher may change a grade assigned by the electronic gradebook. If the building principal questions the matter, that teacher must provide justification. If the principal disagrees with the teacher's actions and the two cannot find a compromise, then either or both of them can make an appeal to the superintendent.
The superintendent and the Certified Teachers Association will then appoint a "neutral third party (i.e. local business person, university professor, etc.) to arbitrate. That person's decision will be final."
Board member Joe Thomas expressed concern over these last two lines, saying that he feels this kind of issue can and should be handled within the corporation. He felt that a third party would not know the student as well as the teacher, principal or superintendent and would not be qualified to make such a decision. Thomas, Robert Atkinson and Jon Hull voted against the policy, but Grigsby, Terry Barr, Len Fischer and Ted Jackson voted in favor, so the motion carried.
In other business the Board took the following action:
- Appointments were made to the Corporation Reconsideration Committee. Schad made the superintendent appointment of a building principal, Gayle Williams. The Board voted to re-appoint teachers Lisa Brand and Judy Tribble if they desire to continue work on this committee.
- The hiring of Energy Education, Inc. was approved. The company guarantees to save the corporation money on energy bills under contract. "There's nothing to lose," Schad told the Board. "The worst we can do is break even, and then there will be opportunities to get out of the contract."
- Claims for the Guaranteed Energy Savings Project were approved in the amount of just over $180,000.
- Emergency CPF Appropriations were approved to repair the roof over the music area and over the mechanical deck at Northview High School, in the amount of $33,180. The Board also approved repairs to the air conditioning system at Clay City High School which totaled $10,070.90.