Macon County Board of Education members met in regular session last Thursday, November 12, at Red Boiling Springs School, voting to approve a contract with Interquest Detection Canines for the 15-16 School Year.

According to the contract, the company will provide 12, half-day visits to the county high schools and junior high for $275 per visit starting in December.

Director of Macon County Schools Tony Boles stated that the Student Resource Officers at the schools will accompany the canine and handler and continue to perform the searches once the canine ‘hits’ on something.

Interquest Detection Canines have been implemented in 18 other Middle Tennessee counties including Bledsoe, Jackson, Pickett, Trousdale and Clay.

“I’ve talked to the Bledsoe County and Jackson County directors,” said Boles. “They’re the ones that actually steered me towards this gentleman. They said it had cut there’s down in Bledsoe by about 75 percent during the year in instances they’ve had with contraband.”

Drugs, alcohol and firearms can be sniffed out by these canines. The dogs are also considered ‘pettable’ and sit down when they ‘hit’ on something. 

Board members also voted to approve a teacher equity proposal for the 15-16 SY. Two options were proposed during the meeting - 1. To split the equity up among teachers according to years of service, 2. Split the equity evenly among teachers across the board ($910 each). Board members ultimately agreed to go with option one, splitting up the funds by: 1-5 years ($600), 6-10 years ($750), 11-15 years ($900), 16-20 years($1,050), 21+ years ($1,200). A total of $248,550 in salary equity was provided by the state for all full-time certified teachers in the Macon County School System that were employed during the 14-15 School Year (273 employees total). Option one was approved on roll call. 

School Board members voted to form a Building Construction Committee and a Building Finance Committee during last Thursday night’s meeting to work on future building plans to present to the county commission.

Board member Jeff Harper was appointed chairman of the construction committee and board member Wayne Marsh was also appointed to the construction committee. Board member Steve Walton will serve as chairman of the finance committee and Jimmy Cook will also be a finance committee member. Board members appointed to these committees will report back during the January meeting with their recommendations for other committee members. 

“We’re probably going to be facing a building project in the next two to three years,” said school board chairman Rebekah Tuttle.

In other business:

The board approved the agenda as presented.

The consent agenda (minutes from previous meeting, leave requests and trip requests) was approved by the board. 

Authorization was granted for the posting of a new position at Fairlane Elementary School for a special education teacher assistant. The funds for this position will come from federal special education funding. Twenty-seven kids are currently enrolled in the CDC program at Fairlane and nine more are in the process of enrolling. The hire date for this position will be December 1. 

Macon County High School Principal B.J. West spoke to the board about the band program, stating that they are appreciative of their new equipment and uniforms and have recently made their second payment on the loan provided by the board of education, four months in advance thanks to fundraising efforts.

Macon County Schools Technology Director David Flynn announced that all k-12 e-mail addresses will be obsolete in December and new e-mail addresses will be set up. 

Board members voted to approve the revision of Policy 6.3101, dress code 6-12, on second reading. This revision will take effect on January 1, 2016.

Bids were accepted for two used buses on roll call. Transportation supervisor Larry Holland presented the submitted bids for $71,383 (2014 bus) and $70,364 (2013 bus).

Certification of Compliance for the 15-16 SY was approved.

Textbook Committee for the 2015-2016 SY was approved.

The revision of Policy 4.700, testing programs, was approved on first reading. The language changes to the policy were recommended by the state department of education. 

A work session was scheduled for December 7, 2015 at 6 p.m.