The search is on for a new director of schools. The Claiborne County School Board approved a timeline last week to fill the position that will be vacated when current director Connie Holdway retires June 30.
The board plans to appoint the successor by March 9, according to Shannon England, sixth district school board and policy committee member.
However, a ‘start date’ for the new director has not yet been set, said England.
During an earlier telephone interview, Holdway did say she wanted the appointee to have some time to ‘learn the ropes’ before officially taking up the reins as the new director. That could apparently happen any time after the March 9 appointment date.
Applications will be accepted from Jan. 17 to Jan. 31. The successful applicant must have earned a master’s degree, hold a professional educator’s license and have experience in administration.
Applications may be downloaded online at: www.claibornecountyschools.com or may be picked up at the Board of Education Central Office.
Completed applications must be returned to Sheila Lester, who is located inside the central office, by 10 a.m. on Jan. 31.
The school system will hold a policy workshop on Feb. 2 to review the applications. Candidate interviews will begin on Feb. 13, to be held as an ‘open forum’ at the Cumberland Gap High School. A Feb. 16 ‘snow date’ has been worked into the interview portion of the schedule.
A policy committee workshop, consisting of the entire school board, will be held on Feb. 23 to select the new director of schools.
During the meeting last week, board member Justin Cosby questioned the way in which the December policy committee meeting was concluded. Cosby asked why there was no ‘official’ vote taken on the directorship hiring timeline prior to recommending the perimeters to the full school board.
He said it was “procedure” to take a vote on issues discussed during committee meetings.
“We did ask if everybody was in agreement, and nobody spoke up to say they were not in agreement to present this to the board,” said England.
The timeline, as presented, was unanimously approved by the full school board, by a roll call vote.
The upswing of asthma and other allergies in school-age children prompted a visit from Kim Smith, a representative with the Allergy, Asthma and Sinus Center.
“Asthma is a huge absenteeism problem at schools. Some parents don’t know their child has it or other allergies that can trigger the asthma,” said Smith.
She proposed a program that would allow asthma screenings in the school system. In addition to the screenings, representatives could be on hand to talk to school staff about the issues surrounding asthma and other allergies, she said.
Once the results were in, they would be turned over to the school nurse to alert the parent of any child showing positive for asthma, she added.
If approved, the program would be offered free of charge.
In other action, Holdway recognized H.Y. Livesay School for its 94.9 percent attendance rate, the highest of all county public schools.
“We have had the best attendance this year than we have ever had. Every month since school has started, we haven’t had any school’s attendance go below 90 percent,” said Holdway.
Springdale and Forge Ridge tied for second place with a 93.7 percent ranking. Midway snatched third place, with 93.3 percent of the students in attendance.
In another matter, the board voted unanimously to offer Air Med Care as an optional insurance program to employees. Those who sign up for the air transport service insurance will have $40 per year deducted from their pay. The insurance covers the employee and his or her family.
The program recognizes Lifestar and other emergency transport companies and is currently being used in 32 states, according to Holdway.
The board gave its unanimous approval to Amber Morris as a volunteer cheerleading assistant at Cumberland Gap High School, pending proof of a background check.
Reach Jan Runions at 423-254-5588 or on Twitter @scribeCP.