Clay Community School (CCS) board member continued discussions regarding strategies to combat bullying, which they say is a growing problem.
"We're planning an anti-bullying summit May 3, at 6:30 p.m., that will probably be held at North Clay Middle School," CCS Superintendent Kimberly Tucker told those in attendance. "It will be an open forum for discussions with parents."
Tucker added the summit is still in the planning stages, but she believes it will be a good way to promote open communication with the community and help find a solution.
In addition, other board members, including Vice President Tina Heffner and board member Amy Burke Adams, gave their opinions.
"Adults, parents and teachers alike, need to make sure they are setting the example for how the students should and shouldn't be behaving," Heffner said.
Meanwhile, Adams said, "I teach in a federal prison and deal with the issue of bullying every day. I used to teach high school in Maryland and know the challenges faced by teachers," Adams said.
She continued, "They are expected to socialize the students, keep them safe, teach them subject matter, identify and remediate those who need help, provide feedback, adhere to the curriculum, demonstrate best teaching practices when being evaluated by administrators, and meet state goals all at the same time. All over the nation, teachers are being clobbered by the public about their jobs. I want to commend them on what they do every day, because no matter how challenging I think my job is, theirs is more challenging. It takes a great deal of energy to do what they do everyday."
Meanwhile, board member Jennifer Kaelber expressed opinions about the importance of administrators informing parents at the first signs of an issue.
She said in her experience as a mother with a student enrolled in a Clay Community School there have been times where she said she should have been notified of a problem sooner than she was.
Kaelber added many other parents have approached her complaining of the same problem with their students.
Tucker replied to Kaelber's statements with reassurance that solving problems like the ones Kaelber mentioned is the purpose for conducting the open forum summit.
In other news, the CCS board voted unanimously in favor of the following agenda items:
* Changes for the 2012-13 school year handbooks for the elementary schools as well as North Clay Middle School and Northview and Clay City high schools,
* An application for a federal Title I program grant that provides for instruction and services at East Side, Meridian and Forest Park elementaries and the LEEAP center for preschool students,
* The board approved a motion to begin the bidding process to accept bids for milk and dairy and bread and bun products,
* Board members approved the 2012-2015 CCS Goals and Strategies Plan,
* The board voted to extend grades 1-8 to nine-week grading periods, effective in the 2012-13 school year and grades 9-12 to the same effective in the 2013-14 school year,
* Board members accepted a language amendment in the bus driver's handbook regarding the use of the radio and other electronic devices,
* The CCS board gave permission to Indiana University students requesting to visit and observe the teachers interacting with students at the LEEAP Center pre-school for purposes of collecting research data toward a study on early childhood instructional practices. Their observations will take place in the spring, and all parents will be notified,
* Board members granted permission for the Clay City Jr./Sr. High School's softball team to participate in an out-of-state tournament Friday and Saturday, April 27-28,
* The board approved Northview High School Principal Lynn Romas' request to purchase incentive items for NHS students,
* Board members approved the purchase of a pitcher's screen and windscreen for the NHS softball team, per the request of Head Softball Coach Bethany Jones, and
* The board approved CCS Technology Director Bill Milner's request to purchase a new hosted phone system.
The board meets regularly on the second Thursday of each month.
Its next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, July 14, at 7:30 p.m.