The Parsons Advocate

See LSIC page 4 Volume 125 No. 49 Wednesday, December 2, 2020 75 cents (tax incl.) See Parsons page 4 Parsons Cancels Annual Christmas Parade Tucker Valley LSIC Highlight Benefits and Needs By Heather Clower The Parsons Advocate The City of Parsons Events Coordina- tor Tammy congratulated City Adminis- trator and Treasurer Jason Myers for 20 years of service to the City. She followed with thanking Councilwoman Amy Wag- ner, Councilman Michael Matlick, and everyone else for their contribution to the Hometown Heroes banners that were placed throughout the area. “I am very honored to say that we have 95 banners that we have up in our little community,” Michael said with more on the way. The intention is to do the banners over Memo- rial Day, the Fourth of July, and Veterans Day. Wagner added that she would like to do something for the First Responders of the county as well honoring them for their service. She suggested doing it during the month of May since that is the month of their homecoming events. “Unfortunately, we are unable to have our (Christmas) parade,” continued Michael. In an effort to provide some - thing festive and fun for the community, a snowman contest has been put together, much like the scarecrow contest. The rules and regulations for anyone interested can be found on the City of Parsons Facebook page or by calling during office hours. Councilwoman Melissa Jones made a motion with regret to cancel the Christmas parade with a second from Recorder Bruce Kolsun and all in favor. In addition, the City is working with PRO (Parsons Revitalization Organiza- tion) to host a Community Christmas Festi- val of Lights. Residents who are interested in participating are being asked to register by calling the City Office so their dwelling can be listed on a map. Those registered will then decorate their house in time for a guided tour on December 12 from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. Spectators will then gather at the City Parking Lot for small groups to line up behind a guide that will travel the route between all of the light displays. If possible with COVID-19, popcorn, coffee, hot chocolate, and cookies will be provided to spectators going through the tour of lights. Wagner suggested residents be neighborly and check with each other and assist where possible in order to get as many people involved as possible. A plan is being developed to have Santa and Mrs. Clause ride through the City on a fire truck much like the Easter Bunny did. The goal is for this event to take place on December 19 beginning at 1 p.m. Engineer for The Thrasher Group, Eleni Brick, was present at the meeting to pro- vide a status update on the Parsons Sewer Extension Project and request another pay- ment installment. The current estimated project cost has not changed, however due to the delay in obtaining needed materi- als, electrical issues, and additional work requested by the City, contracting group Glen Johnston requested a 60 day contract extension. Councilman Tim Auvil and Jones motioned to extend the contract until January 8, 2021 with all in favor. Requested at this time is $150,388.20 for the contractor, $10,000 for Region VII Planning and Development Council, and $7,177.33 for the Thrasher Group for a total of $167,565.53. Auvil made a motion to pay the invoice with a second from Councilman Kenneth “KC” Morrison and all in favor. David Koritko, Principal at Tucker County High School, along with the other two principals in the county addressed the Board of Education on their stance of the school schedule moving forward. The City of Parsons has hung nearly 100 banners in recognition of the local Veter- ans which will remain throughout the city for the month of November in their honor. By Heather Clower The Parsons Advocate The Tucker Valley Ele- mentary Middle School Local School Improvement Council (LSIC) group offered a presentation to the Tucker County Board of Education to showcase the positive aspects that have come from the SBA Grant and efforts from the parents and staff, along with the needs and difficul - ties they are facing. The goals that have been set are to improve student achievement and behavior, increase attendance, and increase parental involve- ment. How the schools are addressing those goals were highlighted and included new equipment and materials, positive behavior awards, and after- school programs when per- missible. Improvements made to the facility as a result of the SBA Grant were showcased including the new roof, a middle school awning, a safe and secure entryway, and new light- ing and paint in the caf- eteria. Safety measures included a new fire alarm, intercom, and lockdown system. Hopeful future projects are awnings for the early elementary wing and the parent drop off area near the gym, bleach- ers suitable for the gymna- sium, a paved track area, playground equipment, an outdoor courtyard, middle school lockers, new floor - ing for the library, stage, and music room, class- room phones, a paved bas- ketball court, smaller class sizes, upgraded security cameras, and an additional physical education area so more than one class can be scheduled at one time. Within the first few days of school, a new diagnos- tic testing program called i-Ready was administered and the results were pre- Parsons Parks and Recreation Commission Adds Basketball Court to Mill Race Park The Parsons Parks and Recreation Commission added a basketball court to its list of recreational oppor- tunities in Mill Race Park. "Jake Kopec striped our basketball court," said City Administrator Jason Myers. "He is always willing to jump in and help when he is called upon. We are grateful for his contributions to our community." The basketball court is now ready to use. sented. The first tests revealed a lot of red indi- cating below grade level, however, teachers have commented they have seen a lot of growth in their stu- dents and feel confident in the next benchmark results. Attendance Director Amber Kyle provided the board with the annual attendance report for Octo- ber 1. Current enrollment includes 174 at Davis Thomas Elementary Mid- dle School, 444 at Tucker Valley Elementary Middle School and Tucker County High School with 301 for a countywide total of 919 students with the count as of October 1 being 927. “Our attendance rates at Davis Thomas and Tucker Valley are very good,” Kyle stated. DTEMS currently has a 98.22% attendance rate with 1.72% chroni- cally absent, TVEMS has a 97.55% attendance rate with 3.16% absent, and TCHS has an attendance rate of 97.06% and 11.96% chronic absenteeism. The countywide chronic absen- teeism rate is currently at 5.77%. There are 137 stu- dents across 104 families engaged in homeschool- ing where 50 students would be at TVEMS, 64 at DTEMS, and 23 at TCHS. Since the beginning of the year, seven students have re-entered school or have moved from Tucker County. The BOE received 52 transfer requests for this school year, 10 transferred within the county, 42 came from outside the county. Kyle provided the stu- dent numbers who are deemed homeless, defined as lacking a fixed, ade - quate nighttime residence or doubled-up, includ- ing those living in a shel- ter. Currently, there are 58 homeless students, 12 from DTEMS, 20 from TVEMS, and 26 at TCHS. The Ridgeline Facility had 70 students enrolled within Tucker County Schools during the 2019-20 school year with an average stay of 33 days. So far in 2020- 21, 17 students have come from Ridgeline with nine currently enrolled. Board President Tim Turner stated, “I think there’s only one county in the state that’s had an increase in enrollment and