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Bartlett school board progresses on new bus lot

A Bartlett Elementary School pre-kindergarten group led by music teacher Christine Hughes set a light-hearted tone before Thursday night’s meeting of the Bartlett School board. The children warbled a set of Christmas carols, complete with gestures, tambourines and bells under her guidance in the lobby of Bartlett City Hall. A thick ring of proud parents held up a wall of cell phone cameras to record the whole performance. Photo by Carolyn Bahm.

A Bartlett Elementary School pre-kindergarten group led by music teacher Christine Hughes set a light-hearted tone before Thursday night’s meeting of the Bartlett School board. The children warbled a set of Christmas carols, complete with gestures, tambourines and bells under her guidance in the lobby of Bartlett City Hall. A thick ring of proud parents held up a wall of cell phone cameras to record the whole performance. Photo by Carolyn Bahm.

At Thursday’s meeting, the school board approved A2H for design and consulting on the design of a fuel station, erecting a small building and providing lot space for school buses on the campus of Bartlett Ninth Grade Academy.

Renovations at the high school made it necessary to move the bus lot off that campus. The district is also going to have a football practice field in that area of the Academy’s campus.

The goal is to have this project completed by the end of summer 2018. This change will also position the district well for the future if it decides to discontinue using Durham School Services and operate its own bus program, said Superintendent Dr. David Stephens.

A2H is a Lakeland-based planning and design firm of architects, engineers, landscape architects, planners, project managers, and surveyors.

The board also approved:

  • A policy about ensuring a free and appropriate education for students in foster care or who are awaiting foster care placement, regardless of the student’s ability to produce required records or adhere to district deadlines
  • The textbook selection committee
  • Memos of understanding between the school board and the Bartlett Police Department and the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office to provide school resource officers
  • A memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Between Youth Villages and the school board to provide tutoring and other services to students at Youth Villages.
  • A budget amendment to reflect the district’s $1 million payment this year toward the high school project’s debt
  • A routine budget amendment to move money into the capital outlay budget to start the first phase of development with A2H for the bus lot on the Ninth Grade Academy’s campus

The board further noted that Jan. 5 is the annual coffee with legislators, and it will be 9-10 a.m. at the new administrative offices for Arlington Community Schools.

District honors

Stephens also mentioned that Bartlett City Schools ranked second in the Large Business Workplaces category (behind St. Jude) as noted in the Dec. 3 “Best Workplaces” insert in The Commercial Appeal. Stephens also was presented with the top Leadership Award out of all the organizations in the Memphis area.

“My name was on that, but I attribute that to all the great work our principals and staff and people do all out in the district,” Stephens said.

Stephens also had personnel display the district’s “Exemplary” banner. Altruria Elementary School is the exemplary award school and will be recognized in January.

Athletes’ recognition

The board recognized the achievements of cross-country student athletes at the start of the meeting. The boys won the regional championship and placed fourth in the state meet, an improvement over last year’s fifth-place finish.

“So that means next year we have even better things to do, right?” Stephens said.

Other accomplishments were having the third best cumulative time in Tennessee and 33rd in the nation in the Hoka National Postal Championship two-mile. It was the first time in school history they had four runners finish in 10 minutes or less.

Bartlett also won the west Tennessee junior varsity championship and was one of the only teams with back-to-back Top 5 state finishes.

Stephens noted that the students made these achievements despite this year’s reorganization of districts and regions by the TSSAA, putting Bartlett High School into competition with powerhouses like Houston, Germantown, Arlington and Collierville high schools.

Members of the boys’ cross-country team include seniors Avery Wood, Brendan Hill and Kevin Zeng; junior Jacob Pierce; sophomores Travis Jones, Rylee Hertter, Andrew Burke and Jackson Williams; and freshmen Robert Dawson and Max Putnam.

The board also recognized girls’ cross-country runner Carly Garrett, a sophomore who finished the season as Bartlett’s top runner. She ran her personal best and broke the school record with a time of 20:18 on the 5K course at the regional meet, where she placed sixth overall. She ran again at state with a time of 21:20 despite the cold, rain and mud, placing 81st out of more than 200 in a highly competitive race.

She set these records despite starting the season recovering from a stress fracture in her foot this past spring, according to a report online at wearebartlett.com.


CAROLYN BAHM is the editor of The Bartlett Express. Contact her at (901) 433-9138 or via email to carolyn.bahm@journalinc.com.

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