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"Possibility" for Park View to Open for New School Year
by Ashley Murphy

Friday, May 7, 2010

The Bradley County Board of Education held their regular monthly meeting on Thursday, May 6th in the Administration Building on Bradley High School's campus. The following are highlights from that meeting.

Director of Schools Johnny McDaniel opened the meeting with several good news reports from County Schools. Angela Lawson has been announced as the new Principal at Blue Springs Elementary School.

Bradley Central High School presented 538 students, grades 9-11, with academic letters. The letters recognized those students who earned a 3.0 or higher GPA during the school year. Bradley Central also has a 2010 graduating class of 306 students; 126 of those students are eligible to receive the Hope Scholarship. Jessie Garrett has been named as the Valedictorian and Angela Childers was named Salutatorian.

Walker Valley High School also has a large 2010 graduating class of seniors, of which 179 will graduate with honors. There are 80 seniors graduating as Tennessee Scholars, 78 seniors will graduate as Circle of Champions and over 200 are eligible to receive the Hope Scholarship. Robbie Caldwell has been named Valedictorian and Dillon Yost was named Salutatorian.

Walker Valley also offers classes for Certified Nursing Assistants. It seems to be a popular program, as the Health Science Department hosted a CNA graduate pinning ceremony for 13 students who have completed the state required coursework.

The board has approved new special courses at Bradley Central and Walker Valley. Bradley Central will offer an Outdoor Leadership class and Walker Valley will offer Mythology II, Words of War and HomeWorks. Words of War will be a literature of war - all aspects of war - and HomeWorks will be a literature of Tennessee authors.

Also approved were class extensions at Walker Valley for Etymology/Vocabulary and Science Fiction. All courses are elective courses and are requested when interest is shown by the student population for the course.

An update on the progress of Park View Elementary was given by Derek Martin of American Constructors. Martin stated that in the next 30 days, shingle roofing will begin to be put in place and brick work around the building should be complete. Answering Chairman David Kelley's question about whether the school will be open for the 2010-2011 school year, Martin said there is a "possibility" that it would be ready. However, based on all information at hand, it is still being predicted to have a completion date of late August.

Board member Terry McGuire also expressed concerns about funding for the Park View project. Apparently, all contingency funds have been depleted and the school is only 50% complete, according to Martin. McGuire stated that he was extremely concerned and asked to be kept up to date on this matter.

Cason Conn with TriCon gave the board an update on bids for Bradley Central's Fine Arts facility. Conn stated that he has received approximately 16 bids so far and 80-90% of those are within 30 miles of Cleveland. He continued by saying that their location is not the biggest priority, but quality is number one. Conn also explained that he has a "not to exceed" price in his head, but he wants to follow through with a few more meetings and discussions before naming that price limit; hopefully within the next two weeks.

Rick Smith was also present to give the board an update on Bradley County Schools Budget. The budget is currently a little over $61 million, a significant decrease from previous years. Kelley added he felt if it weren't for the (sales tax) referendum, County Schools could have experienced lay-offs for the coming school year. Smith continued by saying the reserve fund has also dropped, from $3.7 million in the previous year, to $2.3 million and that he doesn't see the budget getting better. Based on his outlook, there could possibly be $700,000 to $1 million that may need to be cut from next year's budget.

The Bradley County School Board meets on the first Thursday of every month at 5:30 p.m. in the Administration Building located on the Bradley Central High School campus.