The February Meeting for the Sevier County Board of Education was almost as uneventful as usual. During “Old Business and Comments from the Director,” Dr. Parton revealed that the teacher and student population was at 14% absenteeism for Friday, February 8. Absenteeism had dropped 1% for Monday morning but had climbed to 16% by Monday afternoon. He acknowledged that everyone seems to be coming back to school before they are completely well and simply repeating the virus.
Unfortunately, no leader on the board stepped forward to ask if the problem may lie in the community's understanding of the excused absence policy, BP619, which stipulates that only 5 occasions may be excused by a parent's note. One problem may be that parents may wish to use “their” excused absences for family emergencies. Another problem may be that most parents know that viral ailments cannot be cured by medicine and that they have to run their course. A school nurse or another faculty member of the school can see that the child is unwell rather than the family shelling out a $30 copay to doctor or a $60 bill for those without insurance. Moreover some parents feel that their children may miss out on a teacher's lecture for which the child may not receive instruction upon returning to school even with an excused absence.
A presentation which lasted five minutes and forty seconds by students was next on the agenda. Alex McCandless opened the presentation. He said that the drive started with a petition to research problems. He named overcrowding as the major concern. He recognized that the building is not conducive to expansion and mentioned that the group investigated several other high schools.
Chucky McDaniels continued the presentation by bringing out the highlights of the study.... read the rest of the story by Subscribing now.