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Manchester school board hears winter weather update, approves teachers tenure

Posted on Thursday, January 11, 2018 at 11:55 am

John Coffelt

With a long stretch of winter weather behind us and more likely to come, Manchester City Schools Director of Schools Lee Wilkerson briefed the Board of Education during the regular monthly meeting, Monday, Jan. 9, on the how the system will accommodate more inclement conditions.

“We’ve got some bad weather coming,” Wilkerson told the board Monday night, “Be aware that we don’t have that many days built up in the calendar. It’s very important that we are in school. Any days we miss beyond that would be makeup days.”

The system had five snow days built into the calendar. Two were used during the week back from Christmas break because of dangerous wind chill threatened the system’s large population of students who walk to school.

Wilkerson, in a call to the Times Thursday explained, however, that the number of snow days will likely increased to a total of nine.

“Upon further analysis of how stockpile days work, (we found) that our district has requested fewer days than what were available to us,” Wilkerson said. “We are now requesting from the state all that we have earned.”

The system has verbal approval of the additional days as of Thursday and is awaiting written approval before making the changes.   

“Safety will be first for everybody involved,” Wilkerson said when deciding whether to cancel school.

Looking back over the days of sub-freezing temperatures in the area, Director of Maintenance Donnie Turner told the board that the buildings’ heat was working well.

“Our buildings were very comfortable even though we were at single-digit temperatures. We have very warm buildings.”

He noted there were no frozen water pipes or other issues due to the cold.

Wilkerson also commended Turner on updating the director on road conditions Monday, Jan. 8 when icy conditions forced county schools to close.

Six teachers awarded tenure

Also during the meeting, the board approved the tenure of six teachers.

System faculty Paul Anderson, Brittany George, Heather Hill, Karyn Lawson, Rachel Sain and James Dobson were granted tenure in accordance with updated state law.

Teachers must now have served five years or not less than 45 months within a seven-year period as a probationary teacher.  And have achieved effectiveness levels of above or significantly above expectations on evaluation guidelines during the last two years of the probationary period.