County school board OKs partnership with Professional Care Services

Thursday, October 12, 2017
The Dyer County Board of Education convened Tuesday evening at 6 p.m. at Dyer County Central Office, located at 159 Everett Ave.

RACHEL TOWNSEND

rtownsend@stategazette.com

Tuesday night, the Dyer County Board of Education convened to discuss items on the agenda, including the purchase of three school busses, back-up cameras, and air brakes and a presentation from Professional Care Services Prevention Specialist Katherine Scott.

Professional Care Services Prevention Specialist Katherine Scott is seen presenting board members with information regarding prevention services offered to students in grades 4-12.

During her presentation, Scott highlighted a growing need for students in grades 4-12, to receive age-appropriate curriculum in a program designed ‘to reduce rates of substance abuse, depression, anxiety, aggression and suicidal behavior’.

According to Scott, students will learn about communication skills, healthy relationships, peer pressure, managing stress, media influences, self-esteem, anger management, and school smarts.

The program will also be extended to students in Alternative School, and will be covered in 12 closed-group sessions. Guidance counselors, teachers, behavior specialists, probation officers, Department of Children’s Services, and parents/ guardians can make referrals to the program.

Students chosen to participate in the program must have low school performance [G.P.A. less than or equal to 2.0], truancy issues, alternative school attendance, involved in the juvenile justice system, be 13 years old or younger and used substances more than one time.

For children to participate in the program, the parents/legal guardian must give permission. The program is free of cost and funded through state grant funds from the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse.

Closing the presentation, board members passed a motion to approve a partnership with PCS.

Dyer County Schools Transportation Supervisor Allen Cook asked board members to approve necessary funds for the purchase of 3 additional school busses for rotation into the department’s fleet. In addition, Cook asked the board to approve funds for the purchase of a back-up camera for a bus, as well as air brakes for all busses in the fleet.

“Air brakes have 20-percent more stopping power,” said Cook, “The brakes and the camera will both provide added safety. It’s rare when a driver needs to reverse a school bus, but in the instance they need to, the camera will help tremendously.”

Bids for the new 78-passenger busses were submitted by Mid South Bus Center [$103,999/bus] and Cumberland International [$110,918.31/bus].

Cook says the cost of the camera and brakes will only cause a slight increase in the school’s budget.

“Over the past 2-years, we have only increased the budget by $3,500, so I think we are doing a great job managing our purchases,” said Cook.

A motion to approve the purchase of the busses from low bidder Mid South Bus Center was made by Mike McLaughlin and seconded by Maria Stark.

Closing his presentation, Cook introduced Robert Newsom, who will serve as the shop’s new foreman. Newsom is a graduate of National Diesel College in Nashville.

In other business:

• Board members accepted a motion approving a resolution to appropriate CTE [Career and Technical Equipment] state grant funds in the amount of $30,000. The motion was made by Dr. Carolyn Feather and seconded by Stark.

• Board members passed a motion approving the 2017 LEA Compliance Report, which ensures Dyer County Schools System is in compliance with current education laws established by the Tennessee Dept. of Education. As indicated in the report, Dyer County Schools is currently compliant.

• Board members approved a trip for DCHS cross country to the 39th Annual Footlocker Cross Country Championship held in Charlotte, North Carolina. Students and chaperones will be flying out from the airport on Nov. 24, 2017, with a return date set for Nov. 26. The trip will include 7 runners and two chaperones. All expenses for the trip were paid for with cross country funds.

• Board members approved the first reading of policies: DH [Bonded Employees], DIA [Accounting System], DIC [Inventories], DJ [Expenditure of Funds], and DJD [Expenses and Reimbursements].

• Board members approved the second reading of policies: BBAA, DA, DC, DCI, DF, and DFL.

• With all in favor, board members approved a trip to Orlando, Fla. for a DCHS cheer squad competition.

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