The Grove School Board of Education hired nine new teachers school year at a regular meeting Tuesday night.
Included in that number were Sandy Boswell, adjunct computer teacher at the Alternative Ed site; Jan Hopper, special education teacher for the Sequoyah Home; Lindsey Waggoner, special education teacher at the Middle School; Denise Durbin, special pathologist; Peggy Hokit, Middle School teacher; Richard Rohde, Middle School Teacher; Melissa Williams, Middle School Teacher; Jayla Teel, Lower Elementary Teacher; Cassie Stinnett, Lower Elementary Teacher, and Jaimy Eberle, Lower Elementary reading and math interventionist/teacher.
All nine were hired on temporary contract.
At the end of the 2009/2010 school year the board laid off 21 teachers who were on temporary contract.
In other business, principals reported that they were busy preparing for the new school year.
As of Tuesday night the number of students enrolled at the ECC stood at 322, with room for six more students before they start a waiting list. The Lower Elementary had 597 students with 12 files waiting for enrollment, coming to a possible 609. The Upper Elementary had 355, with an average of 23 per class. The Middle School had 554 students.
GHS Principal Rene Dozier reported that enrollment at the high school was “drastically down” from the number of students they usually begin the year with. She said there were 675 students enrolled, contrasted with their average of about 720.
Dozier also said that she was pleased to have 18 students enrolled concurrently at NEO, taking college classes along with their regular high school courses.
In her report, Superintendent Sandy Harper noted that the district’s accreditation status showed no deficiencies.
She also said she had been working with the daycares and had established a transportation plan whereby the school would let them use a bus and they would provide gas and a driver.
“I think we have hit a happy medium,” Harper said.
In addition, she said all new employees and substitutes would be required to have a national background check.
“That is a new law this year,” she said.
The background check will cost $50, which will be paid by the new employees.
In other business, it was reported that the four new classrooms at the Middle School were expected to be completed by next week.
Tim McCrary, of Rose-McCrary, a local engineering firm, presented the traffic study that his firm had done for the school and the city.
The school and city have already implemented most of the study’s recommendation, including making the streets around the Lower and Upper Elementary Schools and the Middle School one-way.
McCrary explained that the main goal of the study was safety.
“There are going to be some things to work through,” McCrary said. “It’s not going to be all smooth sailing right off the bat, but in the long run I think the congestion (around the schools) will be alleviated and everyone will be safer.”
“If we increase safety one little bit it will be worth it,” commented Board President Dr. Jim Rutter.
The board will hold a special meeting Tuesday, August 17 at 6 p.m. to discuss ongoing construction projects.