Cleveland school board adds teacher, buys furniture

Cleveland school board adds teacher, buys furniture

August 7th, 2012 by Randall Higgins in News

Dr. Martin Ringstaff, director of Cleveland City Schools

Dr. Martin Ringstaff, director of Cleveland City Schools

CLEVELAND, Tenn. -- City schools are waiting to see just how many new students they need to accommodate.

Several schools expect a significant increase, Dr. Martin Ringstaff, director of city schools, told the Cleveland School Board on Monday.

The prediction for Cleveland High School is more than 1,400 for the new school year that begins Wednesday. Cleveland High ended the last year with 1,254.

Ringstaff got board approval to hire an additional world lanuage teacher. The board also OK'd adding a substitute high school biology teacher for the first 10 days. If the need is there, as expected, that would also become a full-time position.

"It is just overall growth," Principal April O'Brien said. "I don't think there's any one thing driving it."

Cleveland Middle ended last school year with 1,175 students. On Monday, the school had 1,208 enrolled for the new year.

Some elementary schools also will have a significantly higher number, Ringstaff said.

The goal, Ringstaff said, is to anticipate student growth and avoid, if possible, reshuffling kids after they get settled in their classrooms.

Partly because of the growth, the board approved $117,261 in furniture purchases Monday. Some of the desks and chairs purchased for all but three schools replace furniture that has been used for decades.

"We are not replacing, it all cases," said board member Steve Morgan. "We are adding, too."

The furniture purchase will be paid from the school system's $2.3 million fund balance.

In other business, architect Brian Templeton showed the board the color scheme for the reworked Betsy Vines Theater at Cleveland High School. Templeton said the theater renovation work is on schedule.

Contact Randall Higgins at or 423-314-1029.