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Odoms resigns as NHS principal

By Staff, 02/23/18 10:28 AM


ROSSTON – Michael Odom, principal at Nevada High School, will be leaving his position at the end of this school year.

The Nevada School Board, at its February meeting Thursday night, voted to accept his resignation. Odom has accepted a job as principal of Texarkana, Arkansas High School, where he will start this summer. Nevada Superintendent Rick McAfee reminded the board it didn’t have to accept the resignation, and reluctantly recommended it release Odom from his contract. Odom has been with the Nevada School District for three years. The board also approved advertising for a new high school principal.

In other personnel news, the board voted to rehire all certified office staff and modify the superintendent’s contract to include fringe benefits, primarily the use of a school vehicle.

Odom told the board he’d recently taken six students and five teachers to Murfreesboro to examine that district’s flex mod scheduling, something the Nevada district has been looking into instituting. He said some districts are good using the flex mod schedule, while others aren’t, adding Murfreesboro is having success with the program.

Flex mod scheduling, he told the board, frees up time in the schedule for teachers and students. Students must meet an enrichment criteria or they’ll be required to undergo tutoring sessions and lose free time. The system, he said, allows students meeting the criteria to take college courses with no sacrifice to a district’s academic standards.

Odom pointed out a lot of time is lost with regular classes, and there are times the halls are crowded with students going to and from classes in different areas. In addition, he said, there are no school bells under the flex mod system. “It seems crazy. The students were receptive and the teachers seemed to like it. It’s something we seriously need to look at as a district. It would help us stay competitive with other districts with school choice.”

McAfee said if Nevada goes to a flex mod system, there will be an intensive two-week training period and the district will have to purchase a software program for $20,000. The program, he added, will help design schedules and lay out classes. Students will move around at different times. He pointed out this system is used in a lot of Florida schools as well as some area schools.

McAfee told the board the district had an OSHA inspection during the week and no violations were found.

The district has to get its carryover funds down, he said, to $648,000 by the end of the year, or this amount will be taken from the district’s budget by the state. McAfee said money could be transferred into the building fund, and later transferred wherever needed.

The board approved the 2018-19 salary schedule, which was unchanged from last year. McAfee reminded the panel the district raised the salaries to the required state rate last year and is currently above the state minimum and most area schools when it comes to teacher pay. However, there have been changes made by the legislature and now the superintendent’s housing and use of a school vehicle must be included in the superintendent contract as fringe benefits. McAfee said this would amount to $1,800 for housing and $3,000 for vehicle use. The changes were approved, as was the salary schedule.

No action was taken on the 2018-19 school calendar, under McAfee’s recommendation. He suggested the issue be tabled until the March meeting to allow teachers to go over it and make recommendations. The board agreed and will address the calendar at its March 29 meeting.

As the meeting was ending, McAfee told the board the school year is flying by and Spring Break will be here soon. Spring Break is scheduled for the week of March 19.