The Trousdale County School Board addressed the placement and use of vaping sensors in schools at its Thursday-evening meeting.
Parental concerns were raised to school board member Barbara Towns about the vaping situation at the high school.
One parent expressed concern that students may not be going to the restroom all day for fear of being associated with students who are vaping.
Trousdale County High School principal Teresa Dickerson sent a message to students that read, “If you don’t vape, and if you see someone in there, turn around and go to a different restroom, or tell an adult, or come to the office. I will not tell you no about using our restroom (in the office).”
She went on to say, “I don’t think I’ve disciplined anyone that didn’t admit to it (vaping).”
Trousdale County school superintendent Clint Satterfield expressed support for Dickerson and the administrators in the county.
“I think the ability to have a safe learning environment is (having) good student discipline and having a culture and climate where students feel welcomed and they feel safe, and they’re protected,” Satterfield said. “It takes a lot of work on the part of our principals and our faculty, and we appreciate the tough work that they do.”
Vaping sensors have been installed in the restrooms at Trousdale County High School and are slated to be installed at Jim Satterfield Middle School by next school year.
“I can’t believe how much it (vaping) has cut down,” Dickerson said. “Now, I’m not going to tell you it’s not at all. Installing the vaping sensors has really helped my school to be a place where it’s not going on every break and during class time.”
Also, as the school year draws to a close, the board heard updates from school principals on state testing.
“Two years ago, we weren’t able to take the TCAP (Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program tests),” Satterfield said. “Last year was the first year we took it (since the pandemic). So, we wanted to be sure that we got back into the regular routines that we were in place before the pandemic.”
According to Trousdale County Elementary School Principal Demetrice Badru, TCAP testing has gone well.
“Parents have been doing a great job getting our students to school on time (during testing) and scheduling around that, and we really appreciate it,” Badru said. “We have really tried to kick off testing in a positive light. Our kids are doing such a fantastic job. They are working hard, they are excited.”
Elementary-school TCAPs are scheduled to finish next Friday.
At the middle school, 330 students are taking the 10 section TCAP over eight days.
“There is so much work that goes into this week, so many pieces that people don’t see,” Jim Satterfield Middle School Principal James McCall said. “We will be done by Thursday.”
Trousdale County High School began testing online on Monday morning, but it was delayed an hour due to technology glitches.
“We are testing all over the building,” Dickerson said. “We’ve learned one thing in high school ... if you will move kids out of their normal environment, they take it more seriously. We have had 100% attendance.”
High-school testing will continue an additional week beyond elementary and middle-school testing. It is scheduled to finish on May 5.
The state will have test scores back to public schools by May 20.
Because Trousdale County schools let out on May 20, there is discussion of setting an alternate report-card day scheduled for May 26. That would allow time for schools to process the test scores.