Updated September 27, 2012
Rumor: I have heard students at Gallatin High School have been told they will be suspended if they are caught praying on the school’s campus. Is there any truth to this rumor?
Fact: Students at Gallatin High School have been asked to come inside the building if they arrive on campus after 7:45 a.m. The principal has made this request to manage the entry of all students into the school building and ensure that all students are being properly supervised prior to the start of school.
The administration at Gallatin High School informed a group of students who wish to regularly pray at the flagpole that they may do so as long as they are inside the building by 7:45 a.m. per school rules. The students were also told that if they wish to pray after 7:45 a.m., the administration would provide them a classroom inside the building prior to the start of school.
Updated May 23, 2012
Rumor: Is Sumner County Schools no longer allowing teachers to earn personal days?
Fact: The issuance of Personal Leave days will remain consistent with Board Policy GBRH and is also detailed in our Employee Handbook. There is no truth to a rumor that employees will no longer earn these days.
That policy states:
“2. Personal Leave a. All employees earn one (1) personal leave day for each semester employed. ”
As in previous years, any unused Personal Leave days will roll into the sick days total after the end of the fiscal year in June. Any new totals will show on the first check payable for the 2012-2013 school year. For ten and eleven month employees, this will be the August paycheck. For twelve month employees the accumulation will show on the July paycheck.
Updated April 23, 2012
Rumor: I heard that Sumner County Schools is considering ending the school year two weeks early or going to a four day school week because we did not use all our snow days this year.
Fact:Tennessee Commissioner of Eduction Kevin Huffman issued the following statement regarding this question in his update to directors of schools throughout the state:
"Due to the light winter Tennessee experienced this year, many LEAs were not required to use as many stockpiled days as in the past. Based on questions received from several LEAs regarding the possibility of amending school calendars to use stockpiled days to dismiss school early, the department determined it necessary to issue guidance statewide to answer the question.
The law does not authorize the commissioner to approve the use of stockpiled days to end the school year early. At this late date in the school year, we will only consider approval of professional development days in limited circumstances (e.g. no more than two days, and must be limited to key strategic topics, such as Common Core or evaluation).
Updated January 23, 2012
Rumor: Is Sumner County Schools considering removing all fourth period athletics from the school day? I have also heard the School Board will be considering cutting coaches pay and supplements.
Updated January 16, 2012
Rumor: I saw that Policy GBL, Tenure is proposed to be rescinded at the Board's January 17 meeting, does this mean the Board is doing away with tenure?
Fact: The Board is being asked to revise several policies to reflect recent changes in state law. Teachers who currently have tenure may not lose their tenure status based on the language in Public Chapter 70 that states, “no teacher who acquired tenure status prior to July 1, 2011, shall be returned to probationary status." Teachers who did not have tenure prior to July 1, 2011 can become eligible for tenure by meeting the requirements set forth in State Law 49-1-302.
For further information, visit the Tennessee Department of Education frequently asked questions page by following the link below:
Updated January 10, 2012
Rumor: I have heard a possible rumor that Bethpage Elementary and North Sumner Elementary are going to be closing at some point for good?
Fact: School districts close and consolidate schools when they experience a declining population. Sumner County Schools has a growing population. Dr. Phillips shared during Learn and Listen that there are no plans to close any schools in SCS.
Updated January 6, 2012
Rumor: I have heard that Sumner County Schools has shut off the heat in many classrooms due to budget cuts. Is this true?
Fact: No. As our energy costs represent $5.9 million in our budget, we are doing all we can to ensure that our buildings are operating with as much energy efficiency as possible. The HVAC units in our schools are centrally controlled and set to a specific temperature range. The range is 66 to 70 degrees in the winter and 74 to 78 degrees in the summer. Through December, our energy management measures have cut our energy costs drastically.
Updated December 7, 2011
Rumor: Sumner County Schools has entered into an agreement with the ACLU that takes away students' religious freedom.
Fact: The ACLU and the Sumner County of Board of Education have reached an agreement that will end the ACLU’s lawsuit against the Board and a number of Sumner County principals. “The Board was able to secure an agreement that fully protected the constitutional rights of students and teachers,” said David French, ACLJ Senior Counsel and lawyer for the Board. “Protecting student and teacher rights was and is a top priority of the Board, and the Board is pleased that this agreement accomplishes its primary goal.”
Under the terms of the consent decree entered today, students enjoy the full range of constitutional rights to share their religious views so long as they do so in a non-disruptive manner. They can form religious clubs, organize See You at the Pole prayer events, share their faith, pray in the end zone after football games, and engage in other non-disruptive religious activities. “With regard to teacher rights,” says French, “the settlement clarifies the distinction between official and personal conduct, protecting personal conduct while ensuring that teachers use their taxpayer-provided positions to teach their subjects in accordance with their legitimate pedagogical judgments.”
Under the settlement, the school district may also continue to use religious venues for school events when necessary to accommodate a large number of expected attendees. According to French, “This provision recognizes the practical reality that in some school districts, facilities adequate to hold such events are scarce or even non-existent.” As such, schools in Sumner County will be permitted to make use of religious facilities in the community when necessary to safely host large events, such as large high school graduations.
Finally, the settlement preserves the privilege of visitor access to school grounds. Because of the difficulty in supervising visitors during lunch periods and the exceedingly short lunch periods for many students (who can unfortunately sometimes serve as a captive audience for lunchtime visitors), the settlement limits visitors during lunch to family members only. Those community members desiring more information can read an FAQ hereand the full text of the consent decree here.
The Board is pleased that it has been able to achieve a settlement that fully preserves the constitutional rights of students and teachers and looks forward to the school district’s continued success in its mission of educating students by preparing graduates, engaging minds, and developing character.
Updated October 17, 2011
Rumor versus Fact regarding the Teacher Evaluation Process
Rumor: The model is designed with the intent of identifying teachers to be dismissed – a “got you” method.
Rumor: A score of “3” equates to a letter grade of “C.”