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Danville School Board – LIVE! (12/3/15)

SouthsideCentral was LIVE! at the Danville Public School’s central office for Thursday’s Danville School Board meeting. We were the only media outlet that was at the meeting and we’re glad to give you the information as it happened. This article is now complete, so enjoy the recap.

We’re underway! Renee Hughes & Philip Campbell are out tonight. Juliet Jennings is also out tonight. Boo!

It’s the amazing Lynette Lawson!

Lynette Lawson is here representing the Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce. She’s announcing the teachers who received grants from the chamber for classroom projects.

Public comment section now.

It’s Glenn Scearce!

I notice that Cheryl Bryant quietly reminds board clerk Allison Shackelford to start the five minute clock. Bwahahaha!

Yes, we have a clock. Hahaha! It turns yellow with 30 seconds to go.

Glenn Scearce was remarkably on target tonight and did a good job speaking about the lack of parenting being a root cause for discipline problems.

These three students say that they want to attend GW high school, but their parents are concerned about the reputation.

I truly admire these students for standing up and speaking. Ed Polhamus goes all Daddy P. with these students and nicely tells them that the board will make sure that GW is going to be perfectly fine. He’s right on that.

Hunter Byrnes

Hunter Byrnes is up next. He challenges that the GW issues are worse than ever. He says immediate action is required. He’s a bit over dramatic. It’s not like GW is on fire right now because they’re working on the issues.. He does say that he wants to hear GW principal Randy Stokes’ proposals before he says any more, and that’s a smart thing to do.

Mona Whittle!

Mona Whittle talks about how the school system is going after December graduates for teachers. She says that she just got back from a recruiting event and was very pleased with the preliminary results.

Here’s a look at tonight’s board area.

Here’s one side of the audience.

Department heads are lined up against the wall.

And here’s the other side of the audience.

Director of Nutrition Stacey Emsminger.

Banners like this will hang in every school this year. Coretta Lipscomb does an amazing modeling job. She has a future in game shows.

Stacey Emsminger talks about the free school lunch program in place this year. She accepts two proclamations for the program. She also talks about the problems with lunch times at GW. Since more students are now eating free lunch in the GW cafeteria, some students aren’t getting enough time to eat their lunch. She says she’s working on the problem and will report back to the board.

Randy Stokes, GW principal, is up next. He’s proposing adding four teachers for special assignment in the school. That would cost $35K in substitute teacher pay.

These special assignment teachers would be an intermediary between administration and teachers. Superintendent Stan Jones says that you could consider them administrative interns. Ed Polhamus asks directly if Stokes is getting the ringleaders out of the high school. Stokes says that the semester break is two weeks away and that will happen. Polhamus says it would be good to get rid of troublemakers who are failing their classes anyway. Stan Jones says that’s in progress, but policies and due process have to take place on that.

Terri Hall asks about in-school suspension. Stokes said says it averages 10 to 12 students per day.

Jones says about 15 students will be booted from GW to Langston once it’s done. Some of those students are already gone because they’re already on suspension. I’m chuckling at Ed Polhamus. He has gone from Daddy P to Pimp Daddy P, emphatically pointing how that he wants the troublemakers out of the high school and sent to Langston. It’s fun to watch Polhamus with an “They Gots To Go” attitude. I can really see his dedication to getting the school system right.

GW student Ishmael Davis was on the speaker list but wasn’t around at the public comment section. Steven Gould makes a motion to suspend the rules and give Davis his five minutes.

He’s a student at GW and he Gets It. He says that knows of three girls that continually skip class and nothing happens. He blasts some teachers for not caring. I loved his speech and so did the board and the audience. I told him SouthsideCentral will publish whatever he writes.

We now move to the revision of some school board policies. The only grumbling that I hear about is a new policy limits the amount of sick leave that can be cashed out at retirement to 200 days.

We move to the around-the-horn section. All board members talk about their desire to get the GW discipline problem solved. Ed Polhamus says he might have seemed angry tonight, but that anger wasn’t directed at any school personnel. Quite frankly, it was enjoyable to see Polhamus show some heartfelt strong emotions on the GW discipline issue. I can say the same about all five board members here tonight.

Here’s my take on tonight’s meeting: Things are changing at GW. The problems have been there for a while, but bitching about that isn’t going to help now because there’s a new superintendent in place. Stan Jones deserves the time and resources needed to get this problem under control, and the entire school board sees that and is giving it to him. That may not resonate well with the “FIX IT NOW!” crowd, but that type of “FIX IT NOW!” reactionary approach isn’t practical in the real world.

And we’re done. Thanks for reading the most detailed recap of Thursday’s Danville School Board meeting. It’s only here on SouthsideCentral!

2 comments to Danville School Board – LIVE! (12/3/15)

  • Taking good teachers out of the classroom to do the job that administrators ought to be doing shows that these so-called leaders don’t have a clue. At least one of the assistant principals has never been in the classroom, so how will he help the teachers who are having trouble with discipline? The key to helping the teachers is to back them up! Do not send a student back to the classroom after the teacher has sent him out. This totally undermines the teacher’s authority. All teachers know that discipline problems are worse in lower level classes, so those teachers really need to know that the administrators are supporting them. I could go on and on. I know I would not have taught for 35 years without good administrators.
    There are many problems in this system; however, the lack of leadership is the main one from school board to school administrators.

    • Dad Polhamus ha ha

      Polhams was advised of a serious infraction at GW last year. He ignored it. The infraction was felony level. He is surprised at current allegations?

      What a joke. He couldn’t be a dog catcher in decent city. He should tender his resignation.

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