Sulphur Springs parents and students will notice a few changes when they browse the student handbooks this year as well as on the forms students must get signed to return to UIL activities after certain injuries.
“The elementary student handbook has very few changes,” Assistant Superintendent Betty Lawson said. “We work edtogether to more closely align the handbooks from kindergarten through seniors. For some things like dress code and discipline the handbooks allow for age appropriate accounting. If there’s a standard skirt length at secondary, for example, it’s the same for elementary as well.”
To make the rule books more cohesive district-wide, principals and administrators decided to utilize the same type of format for both the elementary and secondary handbooks. Initially, because of the simplistic design of the secondary handbooks, Lawson suggested using that format to reconfigure the elementary handbooks.
The secondary principals, however, noted that since the elementary handbook is structured using a Texas Association of School Boards form, they’d use it to restructure the secondary handbook, which would make it easier to align and make changes at any level should they be approved by the board or required by the legislature in the future.
"We’re using TASB format throughout the district. There was effort at the middle school and high school for clarity for homework and dress code,” Assistant Superintendent Randy Reed said.
Another district document amended is the UIL Return to Play form, which includes some rewording to make it clearer to understand.
“If we suspect a kid for a concussion, state law says they have to see a medical doctor,” Sulphur Springs High School athletic trainer Tammy Carrell said. “There’s been some confusion for parents, who think a nurse practitioner or chiropractor or others can sign the form so the student can return to play. They must see a medical doctor to get cleared. Some parents may not be too excited about it. I have contacted the medical clinic so they know.”
SSISD trustee Robert Cody asked if SSHS keeps stats on concussions and if there have been improvement in fewer numbers or what the trends were in recent years.
“We are seeing more increase. I think people are more aware of the signs and symptoms. We’ve been following the guidelines before they were required to be in place. Kids are more aware. Sometimes kids let us know if we don’t catch it,” Carrell said, adding that additional padded equipment for helmets have been purchased to some extent to see if that makes a difference.
Trustees also approved the addition of Brad Abell to the SSISD Concussion Oversight Team. Abell was officially hired during the June 9 board meeting as the new health science technology teacher at SSHS.
“He teaches all day, has one athletic period and helps after school,” Carrell noted of Abell.
Abell most recently worked at Royse City, but has considerable experience as an athletic trainer, including as head athletic trainer at Commerce when Superintendent Michael Lamb played football for A&M-Commerce. Lamb said he’d personally experienced Abell’s skills.
Sulphur Springs trustees Monday night also accepted resignations from six staff members and approved recommendations to hire nine new staff.
Lamar literacy support staff member Amy Friddle resigned to accept a position as student services coordinator over special programs and testing coordinator at Como-Pickton Consolidated ISD, while Amy Tanton was hired to teach first grade at Lamar. Tanton previously was a teacher at CPCISD.
Resigning at Sulphur Springs Elementary were fourth grade teacher Jennifer Graves, special education aide Christy Boyer and library aide Melody Jones. New personnel approved to join the SSES staff were Angela Grimes as a fourth grade teacher and Shannon Pennington as a Title I aide.
At Sulphur Springs Middle School, special education teacher Michelle Bearden and special education aide Tristan Morgan resigned. Angela McCrary was hired to fill the special ed teacher vacancy at SSMS, while Joanna Seaney and Candes Wakeman were hired as SSMS special ed aides.
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