Troy City Schools meets with Department of Justice

Published 10:50 pm Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Troy City Schools Board of Education approved nearly 20 hires, transfers and resignations on Thursday in preparation of the upcoming school year.

Among the personnel actions was the hiring of Lisa Fayson as Charles Henderson Middle School vice principal and the transfer of Randy Grant from CHMS vice principal to Troy Elementary vice principal.

The board had previously approved the hiring of Joseph Boswell as the new elementary vice principal, but he did not accept the position.

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Jason Thomas, the only board member to abstain in the vote to approve the personnel actions, said after the meeting he did so because of the elementary school position but would not elaborate.

“I know the administrators have been working hard to fill all these positions before Monday,” said Roxie Kitchens, board member.

Other personnel actions include the hiring of Adriane Creel, psychometrist; Michael Robinson, CHMS math teacher; Amanda Nolin, CHMS social studies teacher; Jenny Meadows, CHMS English teacher; Shanna Boothe, TES teacher; Amy Folmar, TES teacher; Haley Gillo, TES teacher; Mary Phalen Jackson, TES teacher; Elly Reeves, TES teacher; Stephen Bradley, special education aide; William Teal, special education aide; and Julius Terrell, special education aide.

Resignations accepted included Trent Givens, CHMS social studies teacher, and Jennifer Mayotte, CHMS English teacher.

Transfers approved also included Donny Barron, from CHMS ISS aide to Charles Henderson High School ISS aide, and Valeri Mabary, from TES teacher to Troy Pike Center for Technology Education and Training teacher.

Also in preparation for the school year, Superintendent Dr. Lee Hicks said members of the elementary school administration had been meeting with a representative of the Department of Justice’s Office of Civil Rights to review the process for placing students in classes, as outlined in a court settlement last fall.

The school system reached a mediated settlement in December 2013 to a complaint filed by a group of parents who said the practice of allowing parents to request child placement in classrooms was intentionally discriminatory. In signing the consent agreement, the school system agreed to cease the practice of allowing parents to request teachers. The consent agreement did not assign any fault in the district’s administration of the practice. The school system also must provide racial and gender demographics for all K-6 classrooms to the plaintiffs’ attorney at least two weeks before the start of school for the next two academic years. The agreement specifies that the plaintiffs’ attorney will work with the district in a good-faith effort to investigate and resolve any concerns.

“They’ll be working on it the next few days,” Hicks said prior to the board meeting. “Our administrators are showing them how the classes are set and reviewing with the attorneys.”

The superintendent said the district had not solicited requests from parents regarding student placement for the upcoming school year and he had received little feedback or comments from parents about the placement process. Class lists should be finalized within the next week and distributed to teachers then to parents, he said.

In other business during the meeting, the board:

• Received a copy of the revised dress code and uniform policy, to review. The policy includes changes to allow additional pants colors (charcoal and white) as well as “Chaco-type” sandals. The policy also clarifies what types of spirit items, pants, sweatshirts and sweaters can be worn. The board will vote at its August meeting to approve the changes.

• Approved the financial report, which noted that the district has completed 75 percent of its fiscal year. Expenditures total 74.8 percent of budget, and revenues received are 77.9 percent. Local revenues are above the benchmark at 83.8 percent of budget, with ad valorem receipts at 98.3 percent of budget. Out of district fees collected totaled $11,130, compared to $5,197 for the prior year. As of June 30, the General Fund balance was $2.79 million or 2.18 months operating reserve. Projects place the operating reserve at 1.1 to 1.5 months at Sept. 30.

• Approved the purchase of textbooks for CHMS and TES using Title 1 federal funds.

• Approved the garbage collection contract with Mark Dunning Industries, at $24,480 per year. The board had previously approved a continuation of the contract with Advanced Dispoal, but collection issues have prompted a reevaluation. “The garbage is not being picked up on a regular basis,” said Mickey Daughtry, CFO. “We’ve received multiple excuses or explanations.”