Cleveland School Board Approves New Bullying Policy; Makes Plans To Extend Greenway To Connect Schools

Monday, April 4, 2016 - by Hannah Vickery
Cleveland School Board
Cleveland School Board
- photo by Hannah

The Cleveland City School (CCS) board on Monday approved the second reading of a policy regarding student discrimination, harassment, and bullying, as well as a textbook adoption.

Dr. Murl Dirksen, board member, brought forth a proposal to extend the greenway to connect Cleveland City schools. With this extension, street crossings on the greenway would no longer exist, making the path safer for children.

“I am very pleased that we would have the greenway to connect our schools for our children,” said one CCS board member.

Next, the board recognized this year’s National Merit Scholars from Cleveland High School. The National Merit Scholarship Program is an academic competition for recognition and scholarships. In order to qualify for the program, students must take the PSAT by the third year in their high school education. This year, four students from Cleveland High School advanced into the final rounds of the competition. These students are Sarah Barnette, Graham Hammond, Chastin Kim, and Alec Shirer.

Following the recognition of the National Merit Scholars, a group of four students were recognized for participating in the SCOPE competition, a debate contest held for high schoolers who act as teachers and students in discussing possible real-life scenarios. This year’s topics included incorporation of cell phone usage in the classroom, community service hours, and an increase of days in the school calendar. Participants included Logan Foley, Phoebe Han, Anjali Patel, and James Vecchio.

With the opening of the new Raider Arena at Cleveland High School just around the corner, an update was given to the board. The arena has passed the state fire marshal's inspection and landscapers and cleaners are adding the final touches to the gym.

Bradley County hosts a rich heritage and history of the Cherokee population. This area is recognized as a Trail of Tears territory. As such, the East Tennessee Historic Society asked permission to place signs at Fletcher Park and the new Candy’s Creek Elementary School to preserve a part of history.

The Candy’s Creek Mission School existed during the time of the Cherokee Native Americans. Cleveland sits on top a treasure of Cherokee sites, including the Candy’s Creek Mission School. The school produced notable individuals such as Betsy Tayler, a former First Lady of Cleveland, and Rev. Stephen Foreman, a missionary, preacher, school teacher, and translator.

“This is an amazing opportunity to share the roots of our area,” said Melissa Woody, vice president of tourism development for the Bradley County Chamber of Commerce.

Since the new elementary school will be built on top of old Candy’s Creek property, the historical society advocated the placement of signs to honor history and educate the future. The board voted to include this proposal on next month’s agenda.

The board heard site committee recommendations to replace parts of Cleveland Middle School’s roof, which is past its 10-year guarantee. The replacements will take place over two phases to reduce budget issues and allow for more building time.

After funding previous improvements for the Stuart Nurse’s Clinic, the board approved a motion to provide more funds toward updates of the clinic.

Cathy Goodman, interim school director, updated members of the audience and the board on recent school events. She said students and parents are happy with the new online portal, where courses, grades, and other items of importance can be seen. Kindergarden registration will start on Thursday. Schools successfully transitioned back to paper and pencil for testing materials.

Student liasion Mariah Voytik corresponded with the board on recent events from Cleveland High School. She said College Model UN students traveled to Washington, D.C., where their competition went well. The Cleveland High School National Honor Society chapter participated in the Great Strides fundraising event at Lee University.

After the board members went over end-of-year dates, they discussed possible implications for the school system regarding the Tennessee State Legislature’s bill to require transgender students to use the bathroom that relates to the gender on their birth certificate. The CCS school system could face issues with this bill if a transgender student decides to take legal action against their school, it was stated.

 


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