Weakley County School Board Revises Volunteer Policy

Martin Primary School teachers and staff welcomed the Weakley County School Board to their location for the October meeting of the board.

Martin Primary School hosted the Weakley County School Board last week for its monthly meeting when revisions to the volunteer coach policy and a new volunteer coach were among the items approved.

In her welcome to the board and other guests, Martin Principal Tracey Bell reported that the school now includes 40 pre-K, 130 kindergarteners, 150 first graders and 136 second graders. She praised and presented the second grade enrichment class’ Charger Chronicle, a newspaper produced by teacher Rachel Cooper and the students. Cooper’s work with former Martin peers Rachel Bearden and Beth Davidson on unit starters to improve student literacy was also spotlighted.

The board approved revisions to the policy related to non-faculty coaches, which means new approval procedures will now be in effect. Those procedures include:

  • Volunteers may not be immediate family of team members except in extreme cases of need.
  • The head coach or sponsor of the activity initiates the request for a volunteer coach with the school principal and then both discuss with the local school board member.
  • The volunteer is notified if all agree with the placement and, at that time, the name goes to the full board for approval.
  • The volunteer must complete all requirements including a background check.
  • All returning volunteers must be reapproved each year.

A second policy matter was approved that ensured the ethics policy was aligned with the state’s.

Corbin Jordan was approved as the Westview boys’ basketball volunteer coach.

New policy revisions were reviewed and will require a second reading at the November meeting before going into effect. These revisions address overhauling the attendance policy to comply with new state law and create a progressive truancy intervention plan; add language regarding who can know about criminal backgrounds of students’ parents (matches state law); update guidelines for students leaving campus to match guidelines elsewhere in the policy; clarify language regarding prohibition of tobacco and simulated tobacco products and the punishments for violation; and update the zero tolerance offenses policy to match the student handbook policy, adding simulated firearms to the list of weapons and dangerous instruments.

Director of Schools Randy Frazier noted that a letter to medical providers asking for their partnership in addressing absences had been prepared. He also updated the board on the progress toward school resource Ooficers. He reported that the Weakley County Sheriff’s Office had completed the preliminary screening and that the next step would be a district oversight committee looking at specific candidates for each school. The applicant and the school would then have an opportunity to meet.

All consent items were approved including: Westview and Martin Middle School Book Clubs to travel to Bowling Green, Ky., to attend a book festival; Gleason FFA to attend the National FFA Convention and Expo in Indianapolis, Ind.; Dresden High FCCLA to attend the YMCA Camp in Antioch; and Sharon and Gleason Beta Clubs to attend the state conference in Nashville.

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