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In 90 minutes, Bartlett board passes on more than 40 policies for votes next week

Bartlett Superintendent David Stephens (center) packs up after a busy working board meeting.
Bartlett Superintendent David Stephens (center) packs up after a busy working board meeting.
Oliver Morrison

The Bartlett school board reviewed more than 40 district policies at their work session Monday. They discussed and passed policies for a vote next week on corporal punishment, new school lunch prices and transportation, among others. The board will make final votes on the policies June 26.“That might be a record time for the amount of work conducted in a work session,” said Chairman Jeff Norris at the end of the 90 minute meeting.Superintendent David Stephens introduced the policies and board members asked questions. Vice-chairman Bryan Woodruff was especially active, asking about everything from the financing of a new proposed contract with Apple for 600 computers to whether or not the police were required to notify parents if they wanted to interrogate a student.Some notable policies discussed and passed on for a vote next week were:

  • Corporal punishment would not be allowed because Stephens said that, for such a new, small district, the risk of litigation was too high. Stephens also said that very few principals still used corporal punishment. Woodruff said that, though he remembered benefiting form corporal punishment as a kid, he agreed that the risks to the new district were too high.
  • The board passed on a new contract to manage the district’s transportation, outsourcing management of bus routes and compliance reports. “This is such a big one because it gets so much attention,” said Boardmember Shirley Jackson. “Between this and payroll I just hope we’re on top of those two.” Stephens said he agreed. “I have touched that stove and burned my hand I do not want to touch it again,” Stephens said, who had to deal with transportation troubles when he worked for Shelby County Schools last year.
  • Lunch prices were raised from $2.25 to $3.00 at high school and $2.75 at the middle and elementary schools.
  • The policy on parent-teacher engagement left it open to parents to decide whether they wanted to be members of PTA or form a PTO organization of their own.

Norris disclosed during the meeting that his wife has been hired as a teaching aide at Elmore Park Middle School.

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