Diane Peltz – Contributing Writer
Nantahala School students had the privilege of performing the Star Spangled Banner and several Christmas jingles in front of the Macon County School Board Members at its regular meeting on Monday held in Nantahala. The children sang rousing renditions of Jingle Bells, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, and We Wish You a Merry Christmas.
“It was a very heartwarming way to start a board meeting” said Jim Breedlove, chairman of the board.
The meeting then turned its focus to the business at hand.
Macon County Schools Superintendent Dr. Chris Baldwin and board member Melissa Evans presented a Certificate of Achievement to Andrew Pyle, principal of Nantahala School, for academic growth and 100% high school graduation rate for the 2017/18 school year.
Several overnight/out of state trip requests were approved by the board.
Franklin High School (FHS) had eight trips approved. All but two involved sports teams travelling for competitions and tournaments. A group of 10 to 12 students will visit the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga, Tenn., on Dec. 21 to study freshwater fish and habitat and environmental concerns.
Twenty students will travel to the College of Charleston Math Meet on Feb. 22 in Charleston, S.C., to compete against others in the region on different levels of mathematics.
Macon Middle School also had two field trips approved.
– Annemarie Hornsby will be taking 40, 7th and 8th grade students to the Asheboro Zoo and NCSU Engineering Open House in Raleigh, on March 28 to expose advanced science-minded students to career opportunities and paths of study.
– William Kimsey will accompany six students to Ripley’s Aquarium in Gatlinburg, Tenn., on Dec. 20, to experience different life cycles and study fish.
Fundraising request were approved for several schools.
Cartoogechaye Elementary School requested fundraising for the PTO allowing parents and teachers to purchase birthday messages on their new electronic sign for $5.
Macon Middle School has asked to raise money for the end of the year trip to Six Flags by hosting student pajama and hat days, charging $1 for any student wishing to wear these items of clothing at school.
East Franklin has requested to raise money for the Physical Education Department by selling sets of Speed Stack Cups. These sets will cost between $20 and $25 and there will be no shipping charges. The school will profit by keeping 20% of the sales which should work out to be $80 to $200.
Mountain View Intermediate has requested to raise funds for a trip to Disney World for the 5th and 6th grade self-contained EC students. They have partnered with Franklin Ford to do a Ford Test Drive event. This will take place during December or January. Further details will be forthcoming.
There was some discussion regarding the EOC (end of course) test scores. The state policy is that there should be a 20% weight for these scores but the results will not be back until late August or even September or October. The board will discuss in further detail how to deal with the scores. The issue was tabled until the December meeting when the board should have more information on how to proceed with the scoring method.
Dr. Baldwin made a motion to make Dec. 21, the Friday before the holiday break, a half day of school. He stated that this is a testing day for high school students and keeping them in school after these rigorous tests has no educational value. The board approved his motion to dismiss students at 12:30 p.m. on Dec. 21.
A swearing in ceremony will be held at the Board of Education in Franklin, on Dec. 7 for the new board members.