Children's safety discussed
by Paisley Boston
Dec 11, 2013 | 1157 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Cleveland School District Board of Trustees conducted its final meeting for the year on Tuesday. The next meeting is set for Jan. 14, 2014.
The Cleveland School District Board of Trustees conducted its final meeting for the year on Tuesday. The next meeting is set for Jan. 14, 2014.
Cleveland School District is making new strides in becoming more technologically advanced.

On Tuesday, Cleveland School Board members met to discuss several items on the agenda but one of the main items for discussion was the implementation of electronic tracking devices on school buses.

School board members believe that more attention should be focused on knowing the location of the buses at all time.

Currently, bus drivers have a cell phone that was given to them by the district but it is only intended to be used in emergency situations.

"We are going to advertise for the devices and get some competition going. We will be testing the devices on five buses first. I think these types of devices are pretty amazing," said school board trustee Lisa Bramuchi.

Board members also discussed finances and recent hikes in energy bills.

"Energy bill costs have increased due to weather conditions. I usually set the energy budget based on the previous year's budget," said Cindy Holtz, director of finance.

Although energy bills have increased, Holtz said the district is pretty much on target for the time of year.

Superintendent Jacquelyn Thigpen gave an update for the district's attendance rate for the month of November.

"The over all student attendance for the district is around 95 percent," she added.

Thigpen also announced that the district is in need of a Spanish teacher.

"It is highly important for us to find a Spanish teacher because it is a graduation requirement," she added.

Another item up for discussion and approval was a request to apply for the 2014 Nutrition Integrity Grant for Cleveland High and Margaret Green Junior High.

The purpose of this grant is to purchase steam cookers.

"We have taken fryers out of the schools. There is so much equipment that needs to be replaced. At the rate that we are going with equipment that needs to be replaced, the steamers are good investments," added Holtz.

The district was given the opportunity to receive the steam cookers for free through a grant but it was not enacted upon in a timely manner and the grant expired.

The request was approved but the district is required to pay for installation and 50 percent of funding — the funding for the match is coming from the Child Nutrition Funds.

Thigpen sought approval to apply for a Mississippi Community Oriented Policing Services Grant.

According to Thigpen, the grant will pay up to $10,000 per resource officer and she is currently in the process of taking applications.

"The resource officers will be placed at schools that have the highest population within the district which are Cleveland High School and Margaret Green Junior High School," Thigpen said.

At the end of the meeting, board members went into executive session to discuss appeal requests, student misconduct, personnel and legal matters.