TSBA District Director Kathy Dougherty attended Thursday night’s county school board meeting to present the award.
“Your board is among a select few,” Dougherty said.
Out of the 140 school districts in the state, she said only 30 or so had received that distinction. What she explained was TSBA’s “most prestigious” award was given to Bradley County’s board for doing well in “planning, policy, promotion and board development.”
Dougherty presented board members with a plaque and congratulated them. The recognition was nothing new for the school system; the board received the same award last year.
The board later heard updates on how some ongoing school renovation projects have been going.
A classroom building addition to Walker Valley High School has stayed well on track, said Angie Lyon of the architectural firm Kaatz, Binkley, Jones and Morris, which the school system had hired to design the projects.
Roofing projects at Prospect Elementary School and Lake Forest Middle School were also going as planned, she said. Lake Forest’s project was “almost finished,” and Prospect’s was expected to be done soon after Thanksgiving.
Lyon also said everything was on track to receive money from Travelers Insurance for money that had been earmarked for code upgrades after a tornado hit Blue Springs Elementary School in 2011. The board wants to use that money to move forward with renovations to Lake Forest Middle Schools auditorium.
She said the insurance company told her that the board just needed to send in drawings of the building plans and more concrete budget figures to handle their end of things, and the board would have access to the money once they had signed a contract with a contractor.
Johnny McDaniel, the school system’s director, said he took that as good news because it meant construction could begin sooner rather than later.
“I think they know we’re serious about it,” he said.
Board members also approved the official school calendar for the 2014-15 school year. Students will officially begin school with an abbreviated day on Aug. 8, 2014, and their last day will be another abbreviated one on May 27, 2015.
McDaniel noted that Bradley County’s schedule differed from Cleveland’s in that it only allowed for a three-day break around the Thanksgiving holiday next year, as opposed the week that had been planned for Cleveland City schools. The decision to keep the break short was to keep students from starting school a few days earlier in August and prevent teachers from having to begin in-service in late July.