Bradley County Schools' Career and Technical Education Director Arlette Robinson presented a proposal to the board from Wacker Polysilicon for a Wacker Institute School of Chemical Science at Walker Valley High School.
The mission of the program is to "prepare high school students for an exciting career in the chemical manufacturing industry through a rigorous and challenging program of study which includes college-level engineering technology, math and science courses.
" The program will partner with both Chattanooga State and Cleveland State community colleges to offer the dual enrollment courses.
Business Office Manager Rick Smith brought the bid presentations for indoor and outdoor bicycles from Scott's Bicycles for the secondary schools, a fitness training ropes course for OMS, and climbing wall systems for various schools. Mr. Smith said the funding for all of these will be provided by a Carol M. White Physical Education grant. He said Bradley County is the only system in Tennessee to apply for the grant. It is 100 percent federal money and the $800,000 received is for three years. "Over $400,000 is equipment," Mr. Smith said.
Architect Angie Lyon with Kaatz, Binkley, Jones and Morris said her firm has completed the bulk of the FEMA grant (for hazard mitigation), and it has been sent to their grant writer. She said after the grant is submitted on March 1, they will have a good idea by the end of March whether or not Bradley County Schools will receive the grant. If so it will be formally approved by the end of summer. The board will then have three years to complete construction on the three projects (Lake Forest Middle School renovations, Walker Valley High School's new classroom extension and the new elementary school to replace Blue Springs Elementary), with two one-year extensions.
The Blue Springs Elementary abatement is complete and the demolition will be out for bid on Feb. 28. The demolition debris will be buried on the property. Director of Schools Johnny McDaniel said he met with Matt Ryerson, who is with the United Way and has been involved in long term recovery as well as a representative from the Salvation Army. They said there are funds left over that they would like to give to the school system. Mr. McDaniel said it will help with replacement things and he is very thankful to receive the funds.
Mr. McDaniel read a press release in which he acknowledged President Obama exempting Tennessee and nine other states from No Child Left Behind. "Bradley County Schools is reported in good standing by the Tennessee Department of Education for the 2011 AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress) report card," he read. "We have high expectations for all student and will continue to see test scores and real learning grow." He finished by asking for parent and community support as they see additional funding to meet the educational needs of children.
The board will meet March 8 for the regularly scheduled board meeting.