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News Education

Macon County schools is working to keep up with the changing technology and influx of social media platforms. During February's regularly scheduled meeting, Director of Personnel Dan Moore briefed board members on a new social networking policy for the district.

The policy, which the board approved under its first reading, meaning they will review the policy over the next month and consider it for final approval in March, is designed to address the increase of social media usage and to establish boundaries that allow school employees to maintain a safe environment for all students.

According to the proposed policy, cyber-bullying, threats of violence, and internet sexual predators have become increasingly common in the last few years, causing concern for school systems across the nation. Disciplinary actions based on information posted by students on public websites have become too common in the school system, and in an attempt to avoid future problems in Macon County, the social networking policy was created.

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State reversions and pay raises exacerbate situation.

Despite making significant cuts to operational costs since last fall, Macon County Schools are in serious financial trouble for the remainder of the 2012-13 school year. The situation is not a complete surprise, as Macon County Schools finance director Angie Cook and Interim Superintendent Dr. Jim Duncan announced last September that without a fund balance, the school system would be in trouble by the end of the year.

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Construction crews are three months in to the projected 13-month long renovation project to the Smoky Mountain High School gym and performing arts center. The contractor began laying concrete masonry units for the auditorium walls in late January. Jackson County officials held the groundbreaking ceremony in November 2012 and anticipate the project to be completed by the end of this year.

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The goal of Catch the Spirit of Appalachia is to support and encourage youth in honoring and preserving local Appalachian heritage. Therefore, this year CSA will provide four opportunities for a scholarship in the amount of $500 each for “Appalachian Studies,” to be presented to four deserving seniors within four Western North Carolina counties: Jackson, Swain, Haywood and Macon. Each scholarship is focused on a different aspect of Appalachian heritage, and established in honor of someone locally who has made a difference.

Scholarship # 1—The Annie Lee Bryson Memorial Scholarship will be presented to a student from these counties who has declared a major or minor in Appalachian Studies or related studies with an interest in “traditional crafts."

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