Dyersburg School Board adjusts policies, settles on student transportation contract

Wednesday, July 3, 2024
State Gazette photo/William Northcutt



The Dyersburg City Schools Board met Monday evening, July 1, and passed items including acceptance of the transportation contract amount from Dyer County School with costs for both systems totaling $3,866,160. The board also passed changes to policies, many of them state mandated.

Attending were Schools Board members Whitney Allmon, Gleyn Twilla, Courtney Patrick, Dr. Scott Self, Mike Hickman and Carlos Doss. Chairman Jim Coy Houston was unable to attend, so Vice-Chair Self conducted the meeting. Appearing for Dyersburg City Schools Dyersburg City Schools were Director Kim Worley, Technology Coordinator/CTE Director Kim Yeiter, and Federal Programs Director/Personnel Director Julie Norville.


After negotiating costs, Dyersburg City Schools recommended acceptance of the contract from Dyer County Schools (DCS) for the amount they will pay DCS for student transportation. Total expenditures for both city and county schools comes to $3,866,160. Minus county revenue contributions of $1,429,600, the amount for both systems totals $2,314, 224. With $950,452 in city contributions and other factors, the amount contracted for Dyersburg City Schools totals $1,218,643.

Self asked Worley, “Are you happy with that amount?” Worley said yes, and she noted that Dyersburg City Schools charges DCS for “actual expenses at the end of the year” for the use of facilities, faculty, and School Resource Officers (SROs) at the College Street campus in Dyersburg. She added, “I wanted to make sure that we were billed for the actual cost of transportation.” She also stated that the amount would be broken into equal payments for the first three quarters of the fiscal year, with adjustments made for the fourth quarter.

Allmon asked about a footnote to the financial sheet provided, and Worley said costs could be reduced if the schools put students from all grades on the same buses. “But,” she stated, “I do not feel comfortable doing that.” Board members agreed.

Allmon made a motion to approve the contract figures, Hickman seconded, and the motion carried.

Code of Conduct for Families, Volunteers, and Visitors

Worley explained changes to the code of conduct which governs anyone, including family members, who comes to the school who is neither student nor staff. The content of the policy lists “prohibitive behaviors.” She stated, “We met with our admin staff and talked about what those prohibitive behaviors could look like.” She added that the schools’ attorney had read and “signed off on it,” and that now they will add it to the handbook and post it on the website.

She continued that the revisions to the policy better define who a visitor is and that families are visitors to the schools. She also said that the newly streamlined policy defines prohibitive behaviors, “and there are quite a few of them in there.”

She added, “The purpose is [to include] anything that is distracting to the school environment.” She said that it covers “anything during the school day” and any school event, such as ballgames. About the “consequences,” she said, “Our goal is not to kick anybody off campus forever.” But she said at certain levels, visitors can be removed for prohibitive behaviors.

Level 1 offenses would result in warnings; level 2 offences would result in removal. “So level 1 is the first offence and level 2 for the second? Self asked. Worley confirmed.

Allmon asked whether at extra-curricular activities visitors would have to provide ID as they do during regular school visits. “Do we have to specify that?” she asked. Worley replied, “I don’t think we’ll need to specify it. Allmon asked whether off-duty police officers were allowed to be armed. Worley said they provide ID to enter when armed to an event.

Patrick motioned to approve, Doss seconded, and the motion passed unanimously.

Policy changes

Self suggested passing the changes on “first and second reading because they’re all state law.”

*1.501—Visitors (the code of conduct discussed above).

*2.403—Surplus property sales must be announced publicly.

*2.806—Bids and quotations must be approved from $25,000 up, which represents an increase from the previous minimum of $10,000

*3.202—Schools must work with the local fire department to activate a fire alarm plan to have in place by January 1, 2025.

*3.205—Principals must call police immediately if there is an assault, illegal entry, serious personal injury, building damage, a weapon involved, a threat of mass violence, or if someone’s health is at risk. The principal can sign a criminal complaint.

*3.400—There must be signs on buses stating that no unauthorized persons shall board the buses.

*4.213—Family life curriculum. The schools must present a high quality, computer-generated presentation of fetus development of the brain, heart, and other vital organs. Schools are required to educate students about internet crimes against children. Age-inappropriate sexual activity subjects are forbidden.

*4.214—Use of artificial intelligence (AI). The policy requires safeguards concerning student identity and information for their safety.

*4.301—In the past, TSAA has allowed homeschool students to participate if they were part of that organization, but that is no longer a requirement.

*4.403—Librarians must inspect all materials before purchasing—which, Worley commented, “is already part of the policy.”

*4.600—Dual enrollment policy is the same as for AP courses in terms of points added to a student’s grade, now five points.

*4.603—Parents can voluntarily allow their child to be retained in 3rd grade if that child is not academically prepared for the 4th grade. Fourth grade pathways are allowed.

*5.307—Physical assault: if any employee is attacked at work, they are allowed to report it to law enforcement directly.

*5.701—Substitute teachers have to be in compliance with safety training even if they are from out of state.

*5.802—Qualifications and duties of director of schools: even if there is a teacher who has “done something wrong,” the director must report it to state licensure.

*6.203—Newly admitted students have to inform the school if they are “an adjudicated delinquent” (does not apply to pre-k and kindergarten).

*6.309—Threat assessment must be taken if a student makes a threat of mass violence

*6.316—Students can be suspended for making even an empty threat of mass violence or an assault upon and employee

*6.318—Schools can ask a parent for a discipline record when a student has been suspended or expelled.

*6.409—Schools must submit names of child abuse coordinators to the state’s Department of Childrens Services.

Twilla motioned to approve the policies, Patrick seconded, and the motion carried.

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