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Education

  • School board members have hands-on meeting

    The setting for Thursday night’s school board meeting was a little unusual: Instead of board members seated before an audience, board members found themselves writing papers on genetics.

    At the beginning of the meeting, West Middle School teacher Kerri Holder arranged the boardroom like a classroom and seated board members with student participants, complete with colored construction paper and plenty of pens and pencils with which to complete their assignment.

    The objective?

  • SCPS budget balanced – for a few minutes

    The Shelby County Board of Education approved a tentative budget at Thursday's meeting, but it's a budget that is far from what the final version will look like.

    In fact, immediately after passing a budget that balances at $58.2 million – down about 2.3 percent from the 2010-11 working budget but up about 1.5 percent from the 2009-10 actual budget – board members passed two separate measures that would add more than $800,000 in expenses.

  • Split of high schools doesn’t equal fewer honors

    Though many eyes are focused on high school graduations on June 4, the county's two high schools will celebrate the millions of dollars earned by students toward continuing their educations at colleges and universities across the land with senior awards nights next week.

    With the student body separated into two schools, this traditional ceremony also split into two nights: Tuesday at 6:30 for SCHS and Wednesday at 7 for Collins, moving from First Baptist Church to the theaters at each school.

  • Duct tape, cardboard commission these ships

    On the early 1990s TV show MacGyver, a roll of duct tape often was the answer to fixing any problem. And on Wednesday morning at the pool at Clear Creek Park, students in Collins pre-engineering program showed just how useful duct tape remains.

    With nine days to work, teams of students were charged with making boats from cardboard, deck sealant and duct tape large enough that one of them could sit inside and paddle the length of the pool at the Family Activities Center.

  • EARLIER: Final time is something new for Pflughaupt Scholarship

    This year's Pflughaupt Scholarship winner will be like many of the past – intelligent, driven and involved – but they likely won't be forgotten.

    What makes this group standout?

    "We're all girls," Britt Mahan said plainly.

    Of course there's more than that, but at quick glance it's the first difference seen between this year's group and 16 previous factions.

  • School board gets second look at its budget

    The Shelby County Board of Education will take the next step in the 2011-12 budget process by voting on the tentative budget at its meeting Thursday.

    Superintendent James Neihof told the board May 12 that the budget is balanced but implied that it is tight and that some decisions are still left to be made, including salary increases.

    As of now, he told them, there are no salary increases included, but that could change.

    Neihof told the board that there are “some options” he would present to them that do include salary increases.

  • Parents signing contracts for summer school effort

    Shelby County Public Schools Superintendent James Neihof said preparations for summer school have been taking up a lot of time.

    He told the school board at its meeting Thursday that principals have been dealing face-to-face with families to achieve signed contracts with parents for summer school participation.

  • Board chooses firm to design new schools

    The Shelby County Board of Education finally settled on an architect for the district's two new building projects.

    K. Norman Berry Associates has been selected to serve as the architect for both the new school on the Southside location and the new early childhood center at the Northside location.

  • A chorus of praise for top teacher

    Frances Fonza loves music.

    “I just love to share music,” she said. “I want the students to love it as much as I do.”

    That love of music obviously has spilled over to her students, based on the successes the different choirs in events ranging from Atlanta to Nashville and Cincinnati to Indianapolis to Chicago.

  • SCPS to students: Graduation seating will not change

    Officials of Shelby County Public Schools say they have no interest in reverting to class-rank seating for this June's graduations at Collins and Shelby County high schools.

    Despite a written appeal by a large group of seniors from Collins and public requests some of their parents, Superintendent James Neihof and Collins Principal Anthony Hatchell said there will not be any return to the old system.