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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Chew named NP assistant principal

Friday, May 22, 2009

BAINBRIDGE -- The North Putnam School Board accepted a number of personnel moves Thursday night and also discussed the school's cell phone policy and the 2009-10 school calendar.

Chief among the personnel moves was the transfer of Jason Chew to High School Assistant Principal. Chew has served as dean of students for the last year.

Chew replaces Scott Spencer, who is set to become the principal of Roachdale Elementary, replacing the retiring Helen Blubaum.

Blubaum was recognized by board president Debbie Sillery, who noted this would be her last meeting with the board. For her part, Blubaum had high praise for the school system.

"I would like to say thank you to all of you for allowing me to serve the children of Putnam County and for your support," Blubaum said.

Also among the personnel moves were the resignations of Brady Armstrong as high school P.E. teacher and varsity basketball coach and Mark McClenning as high school biology teacher, both effective at the end of the school year.

Tyler Egli was hired as high school guidance counselor, and the nonpermanent teaching contracts of Paul McGill and Ben Wells were cancelled. Pride said it was not a reflection on the teachers, but one was hired under an emergency license and the other was a retiree.

The agenda also included a number of items in new business, two of which led to extensive discussion of school policies.

The board approved adjustments to next year's school calendar to add a professional development day for faculty in August. The new teachers' master contract requires the additional day. To make the change without affecting students, the administration recommended that teacher orientation day be moved from Aug. 13 to Aug. 12, with the additional development day slated for Aug. 13.

While the change passed, it prompted questions from board member Andy Beck about why further adjustments couldn't be made to bring back parent teacher conferences. The old conference days were lost with guidelines from the state that half days can no longer count as full days of school.

Superintendent Murray Pride admitted that no one -- teacher, parents or administrators -- thinks losing the conferences is a good thing. However, no solution has been found.

"Nobody wants to lose (parent teacher conferences). We have a very positive situation with our parent teacher conferences," Pride said.

Beck asked why records days, which are slated for the end of the semester, could not be changed to conference days. While Pride allowed this was a possibility, he said the days would have to be moved to earlier in the semester and the change would have to be discussed with the teachers.

Pride told the board he would try to reopen the discussions before the end of the school year and see what could be done.

Another issue came up in the approval of student handbooks. Beck asked about the school's cell phone policy. He related that at a recent regional school board meeting he and Sillery attended, it was suggested that the devices not be allowed in the building.

"Their biggest concern is sexting," Sillery said. She related that the sending of pornographic messages by youths can be charged as child pornography and in certain situations, schools can be held liable.

Pride deferred to Spencer on how cell phone issues are handled in the high school. Spencer said that although they seem to be dealing with the issue every week, the policy is working.

"Very few students who get caught the first time get caught a second time," Spencer said.

First offense results in the device being confiscated, with it only being returned to parents. Second offense is Friday after-school detention. Third offense is four days of GRASP suspension, but this is being reduced to two days for the coming year.

Spencer said that if it were a matter of sexting, the offense would change to the school's policy on lewd or pornographic materials, which carries much stiffer penalties.

The board also approved a plan to replace the high school computers. Pride said the estimated cost of the project had been $242,400, but the corporation would be able to get them as a lease rental for $171,672.

The corporation will also be seeking a $3,000,000 temporary loan to help cover the anticipated late tax draws again this year.

"This is less than half of what we've applied for in the past," Pride said. "The state distribution (of the general fund) is covering us and we've been paying off our loan."

Pride said the loan also cover the corporation's lease rental and debt service commitments.

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CONGRATS Jason, way to go!!!!

-- Posted by THxGC on Fri, May 22, 2009, at 7:35 AM

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