Simpson Co. board members to donate part of their meeting per diems to fund two college scholarships; security camera project now complete

Franklin Favorite, April 28, 2016

Board creates scholarship for graduating seniors

Franklin-Simpson High School students will have the opportunity to receive a scholarship funded by the Board of Education in the years to come.

The board approved the creation of two scholarships for graduating seniors from Franklin-Simpson High School beginning in 2017 at its regular meeting April 21. The scholarships, which will be awarded annually, will be funded by the board members' per diems. All will forfeit one-third of the allotment they are given for attending meetings throughout the year to fund the scholarship, according to Board Chairman David Webster.
"It was really a worthy cause to do this," he said.

After being accepted to a college, graduating seniors will be able to submit a scholarship application to the board, which will review it and subsequently select applicants for an interview before awarding the scholarship. One boy and one girl will receive the scholarship annually.

The board also approved final Site Based Decision Making allocations for 2016-17, an agreement with the firm Stiles, Carter and Associates to audit the 2015-16 school year, and the senior trip to Gatlinburg, Tennessee May 14-15.

A request was also approved to finance a library media specialist at Franklin-Simpson Middle School from April 22 to June 30 at a daily rate of $246.56.

The 2015-16 food service salary schedule was approved as well, which included a wage increase for staff working during the summer to match the pay scale received by food workers during the school year.

A vote to approve a bank as the school system's primary depository for the next two years was postponed due to a quorum not being present on the vote.

Superintendent Jim Flynn announced that the school district's camera project is now complete. Around 40 indoor and outdoor cameras were installed across the campuses of the five schools.

"We think this is going to be a good proactive, preventative measure that will help our students, staff and visitors be safe on campus," said Flynn.

DPP/ Student Support Services Coordinator Joey Kilburn gave an update on referrals to the board. Referrals at Simpson Elementary have been well below the state average this year. At Lincoln Elementary and Franklin-Simpson Middle School, they have been slightly below the state average. At Franklin-Simpson High School, referrals were significantly below the state's average, said Kilburn.

Though all numbers were below the state average, the board expressed some concern that numbers had risen compared to last year. Kilburn said he is working with school principals and the transportation department to decrease the number of referrals.

Finally, the school board heard reports from Simpson and Franklin Elementary staff. SES principal Michael Barnum briefed the board on new strategies the school's staff is employing this year, including flexible grouping and learning checks for all grades as well as an increased focus on vocabulary. He also detailed progress reports and summer initiatives.

Following the report, Estes said she appreciated Barnum's "laser-like focus."

FES staff and students, meanwhile, discussed some recent science experiments they have completed in the classroom with the board.

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