Bridges to Careers presentation

A presentation was made on Monday to the Marietta Board of Education to officially introduce the new Building Bridges to Careers (BBC) coordinator.

Tonya Anderson, the new coordinator, has been on the job for more than a month.

“My first day was Nov. 1,” Anderson said. “My main job is working with schools and students and businesses to bridge the gap between those two worlds.”

Anderson said she does a lot of things for the BBC, including helping Marietta High School because of the career class that’s already set up there.

Since beginning her job, Anderson has helped with 15 job placements of high school students.

She said there is a lot of job shadowing involved.

“(BBC) had someone to do just job shadowing,” Anderson said. “BBC is a lot more than that. It’s helping students make good career choices.”

Tasha Werry, director of Community Outreach for Marietta City Schools, added that it’s a lot of dialogue.

“The teachers can have a conversation with local businesses,” Werry said. “Teachers don’t have time to keep up with the latest job market. We have a curriculum we have to keep up with. Our students need to know more than just how to take a test.”

“The biggest influence is personal experience,” Anderson added.

She said determining a career path was something best done with some real life experiences, so that students can decide what they both like and dislike.

Board President Greg Gault said that it was a good plan to draw all school districts in the area into the program.

“It’s much better if (students) start out knowing what they want,” Werry said of pursuing a college degree. “They can make an informed decision about what they want to do.”

Lice policy

Another area of concern at the Board of Education meeting was a parental concern about the lice policy in Marietta City Schools.

Sharon Bricker, of Marietta, shared her concern that children are kept in school even if they have lice.

“We keep kids in school,” said Interim Superintendent Will Hampton. “We used to send them home so they have time to have that taken care of. We do our best to make sure kids are there.”

Bricker said she was concerned about checking heads when her children get home, picking nits and washing laundry for 10 people.

“You spend all that time and money to get rid of them and they come back,” Bricker said. “The current situation is insanity.”

“We’ve all gone through it and it’s a lot of work,” Hampton said. “It’s an enormous job to tear your home apart, but it’s also important kids are in school.”

Bricker asked the board to review the current lice policy.

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure…I’m one parent but I speak for many,” she said.

It was brought to the board’s attention that sharing lockers in elementary school could be helping the spread of the lice.

“We can absolutely look into this,” Gault said, also referencing the policy change of keeping children in school began last year.

In other business

The district’s financial report for the insurance fund had many more expenditures than last year.

Last year’s expenditures at the end of November totaled $1.3 million. This year’s expenditures as of the end of November have totaled right under $2 million.

Treasurer Matt Reed said this year has seen several claims, where the previous four years had been relatively uneventful.

“Hopefully the worst is over and things settle down,” he said.

The board also heard an update on the status of Superintendent Harry Fleming who is still recovering from a fall in October.

Fleming has been working a few hours here and there and working from home since his fall.

“He will be coming back,” Reed said. “At what capacity on a full-time basis, we don’t know.”

“He may be able to come back on a part-time basis,” Hampton added. “We won’t know until after Jan. 9.”