Grainger Today Correspondent
RUTLEDGE – Every employee in the Grainger County school system will receive a $100 bonus as a reward for the county being recognized as an Exemplary School System by the Tennessee Department of Education.
The designation was a result of improvement shown in scores on the 2017 TNReady tests. It was the first time the system had been so designated.
The bonus was approved by the board of education at its Dec. 5 meeting.
“It is exciting to be recognized for the first time as an Exemplary School. We appreciate the hard work of our employees for making it possible,” Director of Schools Edwin Jarnagin said.
The board also approved the school system to join the Niswonger Foundation. Jarnagin said this will afford students the opportunity to take online courses that are not offered here, or do not fit in a student’s schedule.
The foundation declares on its website that its purpose is to “prepare students in East Tennessee’s rural school systems for the increasingly rigorous education necessary to compete for 21st Century jobs.”
In other business, the board approved:
• Approved the 2018-19 school calendar;
• mini grants from the UTrust Foundation that will be given to each school in the district, based on average daily attendance (Jarnagin said the funds can be used for needs within the individual schools.);
• a contract with Horn and Associates to conduct random drug and alcohol testing for bus drivers (Jarnagin said the cost for an individual drug test has been reduced from $50 to $45. The cost for alcohol testing will remain at $25.);
• tenure for four teachers: Maura Bishop, Jeff Mullins, Dean Mills and Nathan Lambert; and
- paving projects for all schools except Rutledge Elementary School. (Jarnagin said the parking lot at Rutledge Elementary had been recently paved.).
For the first time, Grainger County Schools has been recognized as an Exemplary School System. Pictured (l-r) are school board members Marcus Long, Harold Frazier, Coy McDaniel, Norma Tate, Gary Staley, Donnie Kitts, Karen McNish, Steve Hodge and Larry Turley.