published Friday, August 9th, 2013

Dayton school officials eye portable classrooms

  • photo
    Mike Latham, principal of Dayton City School.
    Contributed Photo

DAYTON, Tenn. — The Dayton City School system’s overcrowded classrooms could get some relief in the 2013-14 school year.

“We have no room,” Superintendent Mike Latham told officials at the monthly Dayton City Council meeting this week.

Latham told council members the system has 822 students enrolled, and that number could rise to 845 when others complete the required physical testing and immunizations.

Councilman Bill Graham said the Rhea County school system has portable buildings, but that he couldn’t guarantee the city system could use them. He suggested Latham check with the county school board on the matter.

Latham also introduced the new principal of Dayton City School, Linda Abel, a 33-year education veteran, to the council members.

Abel replaces longtime Superindentent Richard Fisher, now a council member, who said he didn’t “think anyone [could] do a better job.”

Abel said she wanted to enforce a new sign-in policy for student tardiness.

Last year, at least 25 students who arrived late caused disruptions for the office staff and teachers, she said.

She said prekindergarten classes already use the sign-in policy, but she wanted to extend it up to the eighth grade to deter parents from dropping off their children without any consultation.

Graham asked City Attorney Susan Arnold if officials needed to enact an “administrative procedure” or update the policy manual.

Arnold told the council that an administrative procedure would suffice.

Director Kim Travis with the school’s coordinated school health program said it had partnered with the Rhea County Health Council for a $30,000 grant. One thing the grant will allow is for students to participate in a taste-testing project during their lunch periods.

The project will raise awareness of the importance of eating fruits and vegetables, Travis said.

Also, Dayton City Schools will serve as a pilot for a flu vaccination clinic, Travis said. The cost will vary, depending upon whether a child has insurance.

In other matters, the Ronald McDonald House honored the school’s student council with a plaque noting its decade of fundraising, Latham said. The students raised $500 to $1,000 annually for the local organization.

Kimberly McMillian is based in Rhea County. Contact her at kdj424@ bellsouth.net.

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