Assistant principals in the Monroe County School System will see an increase to their supplement pay in the upcoming school year.

During the Board of Education’s meeting on Thursday night, the board voted to increase assistant principal supplements in the 2018-19 school year.

Director of Schools Tim Blankenship said assistant principals at the high school level currently get a supplement of $2,250. They will now receive a $3,500 supplement. Sequoyah High School has three assistant principals, Sweetwater High School has two assistant principals and Tellico Plains High School has one.

At the elementary and middle school levels, full-time assistant principals received a $500 supplement this past school year. Next year, their supplement will increase to $2,250. Coker Creek Elementary School and Rural Vale School do not have full-time assistants. The assistants at those two schools will see an increase from $250 to $500.

“This comes at a total cost of $18,000,” said Blankenship. “I think it is money well spent.”

First District School Board member Faye Green asked how much head coaches receive as a supplement. Blankenship said head football and basketball coaches receive a $5,000 supplement.

“While I appreciate the increase for assistants, I would like to see them match coaches at least,” said Green. “We require that some admin be at all ballgames at the high school level. The assistant principal often has to be at games and they’re still below head coaches.”

The School Board agreed to look more into that in the 2019-2020 fiscal year budget.

Also at the meeting:

  • The School Board approved a lengthy consent agenda, numerous budget amendments, the 2018-19 Differentiated Pay Plan for the school system, the upcoming fiscal year’s meeting calendar for the Board of Education, policies on their first and second reading as recommended by the Policy Committee, and the Transportation Services Contract for 2018 to 2022.

The board also approved a memorandum of understanding with Centerstone of Tennessee Inc. and Access Medical Care for behavior health services for the upcoming school year, in addition to approving the renewal of contracts with the Little Tennessee Valley Education Cooperative, Grace Rehabilitation Center and The King’s Daughters’ School for special education services for the 2018-19 school year.

  • The Board of Education heard many requests and updates from the Maintenance Department. See related story inside this edition.
  • The board voted to continue giving a $1,500 donation to Monroe County’s Imagination Library program. Marsha Boring Standridge said there are currently 1,579 children who are enrolled to receive books during their first five years of life.
  • At the request of Blankenship, the School Board voted to purchase a new Special Education bus from some of the remaining funds in the 2017-18 fiscal year budget.

“I’d like to take $45,000 to buy a bus to run the Rafter route with. I don’t think it will take the full amount, but we want to make sure,” said Blankenship. “It will end up paying for itself. We are buying one that has 10-15,000 miles on it and it will be driven by a school system employee.”

  • The board voted to not run buses on 10 a.m. dismissal days during the upcoming school year.

“Every day that we don’t run buses it saves us about $10,000 countywide,” said Blankenship.

  • The school system will also be switching to Reinhart Foodservice for food vending.

“That will save us $84,504,” said Blankenship. “Every system around us has gone to this vendor. If we can save $84,000, that’s something we can spend on kids.”

The Maintenance Department is also changing custodial supply vendors.

“We had problems out of our last company. Invoices didn’t match what was being left. There were weeks where they charged us more than $500 extra. I finally told them a couple months ago that we were done.”

The system will now utilize the services of Kelsan, Inc.

  • The board voted to send a resolution to state representatives and senators in support of a fire station being built on property owned by the Monroe County School System near the Central Office. The City of Madisonville is applying for a grant for the new fire hall after the school system entered into a lease with the city to allow the construction at 205 Oak Grove Road.

“We want to point out that it’s on the side of Madisonville divided by railroad track and that for the safety of students we need this,” said Chairwoman Janie Harrill.

“We’ve done our part by donating the land for the station.”

  • In his director of schools report, Blankenship said Central Office staff will be off the week of the Fourth of July. “This summer we will be working somewhere in the building. They’re redoing the floors so we will be in different parts. We will have signs up,” he said.

Blankenship also announced that Becky Duncan has been named a teacher and assistant principal for kindergarten through sixth grades at the Alternative School. No new money was added for the position, he said, as a position wasn’t needed at an elementary school for the upcoming school year.

Last school year, Blankenship said the school system gave a $300 incentive for teachers and professional employees if they missed three days or less.

“We had 102 teachers and professional employees who missed three days or less,” he said. “It was a cost of $30,600 but we saved on substitutes. It was a win, win for the kids.”

  • There will be a PECCA (Professional Educators Collaborative Conferencing Act) meeting on Thursday, June 21 at 3 p.m. followed by an insurance meeting from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The School Board will also meet in a special called meeting at 5 p.m. prior to the July 12 monthly meeting at 6:30 p.m. to open the bids for qualifications for the building projects at Madisonville Middle School, Tellico Plains Junior High School and Sweetwater High School.

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