Henry County High School plans to bury a time capsule during the weekend-long homecoming celebration later this month.

In a Henry County Board of Education meeting Thursday, HCHS students spoke to the board about the capsule and their intentions to get every student involved in some way.

Students have written letters to their future selves, which will be mailed to addresses left in the letters in 25 years when the capsule is opened. The student committee has been meeting weekly to accomplish its goals.

HCHS Principal Michele Webb said they plan to bury the capsule at an open house Sept. 29 after the dedication of the Linda Wilson Miller Theater.

Other homecoming plans include former band members performing with the HCHS band and a gala on Sept. 28.

In other meeting business:

• Betsy Allison, director of career and technical education, said the additions of art and agriculture at the middle school level are progressing well.

The board approved the addition of an art and agriculture teacher at Lakewood School, and this position has been filled by Mary Kate Paschall of Paris.

An agriculture advisory committee for the middle school grades has been formed.

Emory Bradley will serve the committee as chairman. Ty Wilson of Wilson Farms will serve the committee for Henry School, Travis McLeese of the Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce will serve for Lakewood and Tracy Middleton of Middleton Lumber will serve for Harrelson School.

Only 13 chartered middle school agriculture programs existed in Tennessee before Lakewood, Henry and Harrelson approved their programs.

• The Future Farmers of America requested approval for a field trip to the FFA National Convention from Oct. 30 through Nov. 2 in Indianapolis.

HCHS FFA adviser Laura Moss said the chapter has received a national three-star award for the sixth time. This award is the highest an FFA chapter can obtain. The FFA students will attend workshops and seminars at the convention.

The board unanimously approved the field trip.

• Director of Schools Leah Watkins presented data findings for the school system.

Watkins said the Henry County School System has been ranked as “level three advancing” on a 1-4 scale.

She said third-grade reading increased by 10% this year and the system is one of three noted in northwest Tennessee as showing growth in math for grades 3-8.

Individual schools received rankings as well, with Henry getting a level one ranking with targeted support and improvement (TSI.) Henry did not show growth in designated subgroups.

Grove School received a level two, and was removed from TSI because of increases in achievement and growth in designated subgroups.

Lakewood’s middle school grades and HCHS both received level three, meaning they met all expectations, and Lakewood’s elementary grades received level four, meaning it was above expectations in growth and achievement.

Harrelson received level five, meaning it was significantly above expectations.

• The board revisited board attorney Rob Whitfield’s request for a pay increase.

The board unanimously agreed to pay Whitfield his regular retainer and no longer require him to attend every meeting.

If work for the board exceeds his retainer, he will bill the board for extra hours.

• Watkins announced the system will be replacing the food service van because of excess mileage.

The van is used for summer feeding programs and school deliveries, among other food service responsibilities.

The system will purchase a new van for food service and roll over the old one for maintenance use. The cost will be split between the maintenance and food service budgets.

• Watkins moved to amend the budget to allow for the purchase of a new school bus.

One of the larger buses in the fleet was damaged earlier this year and considered a total loss.

Insurance covered about $82,000 out of the $101,000 needed to purchase a replacement.

The board unanimously approved the amendment.

• The board unanimously approved a grading policy amendment read at the August meeting.

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