Curriculum consistency and updating the weapons policy were the big topics at the Murray County Board of Education on Monday.
The MCS Core Course Sequence for 2020-2021 “ensure equity for students,” said Spencer Gazaway, who presented the changes to the board.
Science was one of the biggest areas the two schools needed to streamline, said Brooke Young.
To shore up some of the issues, she said North Murray High School would start offering environmental science next school year while Murray County would offer regular chemistry instead of honors chemistry.
Both schools will offer dramatic writing as a new English-Language Arts course.
Dana Ford, who presented the math and ELA portion said the schools are looking at bringing back more foundational math.
“We did the research and the scores are still low in Algebra one. We need to make sure they have those foundational skills first,” Ford said.
In addition, they are offering math of finance for small group math instruction, focused at students who may not need Algebra.
Dual enrollment students who transfer between schools will not have to worry about their college level classes.
“They will have their seat and not have to sit in the computer lab,” Gazaway said.
Gazaway said that there will still be flexibility as the changes are worked it to help next year’s sophomores, juniors, and seniors.
New weapons policy
The board approved changes in the weapons policy, allowing schools and the tribunals to have more flexibility when students unintentionally bring a knife to school.
Until a few years ago, Georgia required any student who brought a knife to school had to be automatically suspended for a full year. Georgia law recently changed, allowing schools to have more flexibility in punishment.
However, until Monday’s Board of Education meeting, Murray County had not updated their policy.
Michael Tuck, Director of Administration, said the policy had unintended consequences.
“A student who forgot he had a knife in his bag or even a child with a butter knife to cut an apple had to be suspended for year, despite no intent to hurt anyone,” he said. “The result was the board (of education) had to overturn these suspensions.”
Updating the policy will allow the schools to determine the suspension for students, he said. To see Tuck’s full comments, click here.
The board also:
Recognized school counselors for School Counselors Week.
Approved declaring unused buses as surplus.
Clarified that money alloted to the schools for security updates will pay for the radios for the schools. The school system will purchase radios for the buses, allowing the have the full capabilities. The proposed plan would replace half the radios this year and half next year. The current radios will work with the new system, but will continue to have “dead spots.” According to the report, the new radios will have access to more than 30 repeaters, compared to the current two.
Voted to replace Windstream with ENA as their internet provider. For backstory, read here.