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The Giles County Board of Education approved a grant for the Elkton Elementary School library during a called meeting May 19.

The school was awarded a $5,000 grant from the Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries for the purchase of new books. Elkton was one of only 300 schools in the nation to receive the award from the foundation, which according to its website “provides funds to our Nation’s neediest schools so that they can extend, update and diversify the book and print collections in their libraries with the goal of encouraging students to develop a love of reading and learning.” 

Board member Jim Stewart asked if there was an approved list of materials from which to purchase, and if the school board has any control over what is purchased. Director of Schools Dr. Vickie Beard answered that Elkton Library Media Specialist Jennifer Wilsford would select the materials and the order would be placed by grades 6-12 Instructional Supervisor Dr. Courtney Woods. Beard reminded the board that the school library catalogs are searchable online by the public. The board voted to approve receiving the grant money in a 6-1 vote, with Stewart voting against.

New Truck

The Giles County School System Maintenance Department was authorized to purchase a new truck for $46,736 from a dealership in Murfreesboro that is on the state contract. Beard said trucks, new or used, have been incredibly hard to come by over the last year, and asked the board to act quickly to ensure this purchase could be completed. 

Board member Scooter Sumners asked Beard about wear and tear on the maintenance vehicles that are driven home by the maintenance staff. She explained the reason for that was so they could respond quickly to after-hours calls at the school to prevent damage that would be in excess of the cost of the vehicle use, as well as the convenience of keeping the trucks stocked with necessary tools that may be stolen if left unsecured on school property. Sumners asked Beard to look into the cost/benefit of this policy and the price of a secured parking area for school vehicles.

Other information and action during the called meeting included:

• School board member Joe Parker asked Beard to invite State Sen. Dr. Joey Hensley and State Rep. Clay Doggett to an upcoming work session “to show them how we want education to go in Nashville. If they do nothing, they will know we were looking at them.”

• Beard announced that Giles County was named a district-wide Project Adam Heart Safe school system in conjunction with Monroe Carrell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, meaning each school passed an AED drill to ensure help is available in the event of sudden cardiac arrest at any of the schools.

• The board voted to approve tenure for Mary Beth Barrett, who was accidentally omitted from the list of tenure granted at the last board meeting. 

The called meeting of the school board was held on the same night as its regular work session. Other items discussed during the work session included:

• Removing the overlook at Southside Elementary. It is in disrepair and is a public hazard. Beard said that “damage is being done not during school hours.” Southside Principal Carmen Hayes said the caution tape seems to be drawing more attention to it, and that it “would not be a blow to our school if it came down.” The overlook was originally built in partnership with the TWRA, and board member Richie Brewer agreed to contact them to see if they were interested in repairing or rebuilding it.

• Changes to the following policies were added to the agenda for the upcoming board meeting for second reading: Policy 1.104 Memberships; Policy 6.206 Transfers Within System; Policy 6.205 Student Assignment.

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