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Archives 08-19-2009

News

Overton County Schools receive $425,000 grant
Improvements made at local Farmer’s Market
School Board considered restarting building program

Overton County Schools receive $425,000 grant

Julie Young photo
Overton County Board of Education staff review the $425,000 afterschool program grant award. On hand for the review are, from left, Special Education Supervisor Sheila Pemberton, Countywide Grant Coordinator Gary W. Ledbetter, and Assistive Technology Coordinator Linda Archer.

Overton County Board of Education has been awarded a 21st Century Community Learning Center grant. The grant, in the amount of $425,000 per year for three years, will fund afterschool programs for at-risk students at five Overton County schools.

Funding is available for three years with the opportunity for a two-year extension if the program demonstrates adequate student progress. This is the second largest grant amount awarded in the State of Tennesee. Schools that will have afterschool programs through this grant are A. H. Roberts, Allons Elementary, Hilham Elementary, Rickman Elementary, and Wilson Elementary.

Livingston Middle School was already a 21st Century grant site and will continue their program. Livingston Academy will continue to be served through the LEAPS afterschool program.

Director of Schools Matt Eldridge said, “This grant means that, for the first time in history, afterschool programs can be offered to all Overton County schools. Twenty-First Century funds are used to support programs that work to raise achievement levels of at-risk students.

“The afterschool programs will include remedial education, tutoring, homework help, and enrichment activities. This is a great opportunity for our students and families.”

Overton County School Grant Coordinator Gary W. Ledbetter stated, “We were fortunate to have Linda Archer on our staff. She has grant writing and proposal skills that allowed us to be successful in a highly competitive environment. Only 10% of these grant proposals are funded statewide. We’re grateful for her expertise in this area.”

The 21st Century Learning Centers program provides federal funding to establish or expand community learning centers. These centers provide students with opportunities for academic enrichment, youth development, and family support during hours when school is not in session.

Even though activities are outside of the regular curriculum, the goal of the program is to improve student performance on report cards and state testing. This program also includes activities for families and incorporates resources from many community organizations.

The complete grant narrative can be viewed on the Overton County Board of Education website at www.OvertonCountySchools.net.

 


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Improvements made at local Farmer’s Market

Carson Oliver/OCN photo

Vegetable gardens have come into full yields the last few weeks and much of that produce is available at the local Farmer’s Market, which has undergone a few changes this year. New market improvements were brought about by a grant the Town of Livingston obtained.

Market Manager Vella Ledbetter said, “It’s all different now with new pavement, bathrooms, signs, and everyone is astonished at the new look.”
All gardeners and producers are encouraged to bring their excess vegetables and fruit to sell for extra income. Contact Vella Ledbetter at 823-0688 or Ron Johnson at the UT Extension Office at 823-2735 for information on space at the market. The market was built in a joint venture between the city and county in 1988.



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School Board considers restarting building program

By Dewain E. Peek,
OCN staff

Overton County Board of Education will once again look into a building program. Growth of more than 50 students added at Rickman Elementary School this year was one example brought up in a work session held immediately prior to the regular monthly meeting Monday, Aug. 17. All members were present.

The School Board plans to choose from firms other than the one that conducted the last evaluation in order to get a fresh look at the current needs of the school system.

Another item discussed in the work session was updating the school system’s drug policy. Board members expressed the need to add testing of new hires into the current drug testing policy, but random drug testing will not be added to the policy after legal counsel advised against it.
In the regular monthly meeting, two members, Kelly Hill and Sam Pendergrass, voted against approving the agenda for the meeting.
The gas mileage reimbursement rate was changed from $1 per mile to 50 cents per mile.

Marcia Johnson’s letter of retirement was accepted, effective the end of the 2008-2009 school year.

Sarah Hogue’s letter of retirement was accepted, effective the end of the 2008-2009 school year.

Marcia Johnson and Sarah Hogue were approved for a 100-day contract.
Director of Schools Matt Eldridge said, “We’re going to save about two-thirds of a salary on each of those ladies while they’re doing that.”
One of the programs involved in the 100-day contract is reinstating the AmeriCorps program.

In-House Budget Amendment No. 1 for Title I Part A-2008/09 was approved.

Quarterly reports were approved.

The following Livingston Middle School Beta Club trips, requested by Jr. Beta Club sponsor Vanessa Farris, were approved: Tennessee State Jr. Beta Convention at Gaylord Hotel from November 22 to November 24; and a spring reward trip to Chattanooga Aquarium, Chattanooga Choo Choo, and Lake Winnepesauke from May 6, 2010 to May 7, 2010.

In executive action, the low bid from Mustang on chain link fence and removal of existing fence was approved at $12,315.

Director of Schools Matt Eldridge said, “That’ll be for that softball field that we’re upgrading.”

The low bid of Maynard-Fixturcraft Inc. was approved on one rack conveyor dish machine, including booster heater, to be set up and installed for $20,550.

Low bids were approved for the following items for School Nutrition Program: bread – Sarah Lee/Earthgrains; milk – Southern Bell, which is a firm bid; ice cream – Purity Dairies; food and supplies – Institutional Wholesale Co.

Livingston Academy’s football program was approved to hold a fundraiser July 24, 2009 to sell Gold Cards, as requested by LA Football Coach Bruce Lamb.

The Director’s Report was issued to the School Board.
The meeting adjourned.



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