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Board opposes universal start date

KENDRA MAJORS

A resolution to oppose a universal school start date was passed at Monday night’s meeting of the Troy City Schools.

This resolution comes in response to bill that will go before the state legislature during the February legislative session.

According to Superintendent Dr. Linda Felton-Smith, Troy City Schools along with other school systems across the state would like to keep the school start date a local decision rather than have a statewide school start date.

Board members expressed the importance of letting local legislators know how their constituents feel about this issue.

“It’s important that we all contact our legislators,” Board member Roxie Kitchens said.

Felton-Smith said that business and tourism advocates are the main groups that want this bill passed.

A copy of the resolution will be sent to Representative Alan Boothe, D-Troy and Sen. Wendell Mitchell, R-Luverne, Alabama Association of School Boards and Gov. Bob Riley.

For the freshman class beginning fall 2009, parents will have to sign an opt out form in order for a student not to participate in the advanced diploma program.

Troy City Schools will offer an honors endorsement to the statewide advanced diploma program.

The program will consist of tougher courses in all the core subjects, including AP courses, global studies courses and ACCESS courses.

Felton-Smith said that counselors would come to Charles Henderson Middle School to take with students, but there would be a parent meeting beforehand.

Other changes would include credit recovery, which will be a program for students who fail a class to retake the portion that they were lacking in not the whole class.

To be eligible a student would have to make a 40 or higher to do this and the highest that could be made would be a 70.

Students will also have the opportunity for credit advancement, where a student and parents could meet with a teacher and decide that the student was ready to move on.

If this action is decided, an end of course test will be administered. The student will be expected to have at least an 80 average to take this route.

Three students from Spanish III and IV were on hand to talk about the Spanish Immersion project they participate in every year.

Melanie Sims, president of the Spanish Club, Katie Blocher and Devan Beitel presented a slideshow to the board to tell about their experiences with the Spanish Immersion project.

During this two-day event, students are only allowed to speak Spanish and no English is allowed.

If English is used a student will be sent home or back to school depending on the time.

Throughout the two-day program, every student is required to participate in every activity in Spanish.

According to Sims, the greatest part is realizing when you can speak Spanish in an everyday setting, or dreaming in Spanish.

According to Merkel, when the weekend is over, students have a difficult time speaking English.

January is Board Recognition Month, at the meeting; Felton-Smith presented board members with a certificate of appreciation.

According to Felton-Smith, the board members do not receive compensation for their time, but they all believe in education.

The board members we also presented pieces of artwork from the fifth-grade art class and gift baskets from CHMS.