Georgia 8th graders are now being required to come up with a college/career/ graduation plan, the assistant superintendent of teaching and learning told the Barrow County Board of Education Tuesday night.
Claire Miller said students and their parents will be assisted with this by specially trained advisors, who will also monitor students’ progress towards their graduation goals. Miller also told the BOE that the system has been selected as one of two Georgia school systems to serve as a model site for the “360 Degrees of Family Engagement”program.Miller said the plan was developed by federal programs and school improvement coordinator Shannon Hammond, Title I family engagement specialist Andrea Lott, special education parent mentor Cyndi White and Pre-K director Tonya Royal.
The Barrow County School System’s financial ratings are good, said executive director of business services Ken Cato. Moody’s gave an AA2 rating; SSRN gave an A+ the same ratings the system had in 2006, Cato said.
The school system has $25,000 in Direct to Discovery (D2D) grant funds budgeted to buy 20, 50-inch plasma TVs to be wheeled between classrooms for “massive student engagement” presentations.
When the bids came in, the lowest out-of-state vendor bid $860 per TV, $160 less per unit than the lowest in-state bidder. The school system usually goes with the lowest bid, but since the grant requires the TVs be under a two-year warranty, and the manufacturers offer one year warranties, extended warranties have to be purchased and those require damaged TVs be shipped back to the outof- state vendor in the original box.
Given the size and relative fragileness of the TVs, the board discussed going with the more expensive, but also more accessible Lawrenceville-based vendor, but decided to consider the matter further at the next meeting on Nov. 4.
After a closed meeting to discuss personnel issues, the board voted to approve the following personnel changes: Recommended certified and classified personnel: Zachary Black, Title 1 parapro, AHS, 75%; Amy Hulsey, kindergarden parapro, BES; Whitney Quinn Kelley, Title 1 parapro, AHS, 75%; Debra McClung, custodian, BES, 50%; Patricia McLendon, transition pre-K coach, all schools; Mary Van Den Heuvel, special education teacher, AES, 50%.
Recommended substitute personnel: Nicole Barrett, Karla Jo Hamann, Allison Hamilton, Caitlin Jones, Teresa Loden, Heather Miller, Jessica Parker, Peggy Perkins, Kell Pihera, Bobbi Smith, Sharyn Stone, Donna Stovall and Rivka Sweatman.
Resignations/Seperations: Donald Clark, special education parapro, BRES; Vanessa Conwell, Title 1 parapro, AHS; Mary Glockson, special education parapro, SES; Amanda Kahn, special education, AES; Rita Lein, bus driver; Dorothy Leist, bus driver; Denien Yanez, special education parapro, HMMS.
•Superintendent Wanda Creel reported that Winder-Barrow High School was awarded $6,000 in Georgia Appalachian Center for Higher Education grant funds and Apalachee was given $7,400. The funds are to encourage and assist students who seek to be the first generation in their family to go to college. The funds are available to schools in the 30 counties around the Appalachian area, Creel said. Winder-Barrow received a similar amount from GACHE last year.
•The JROTC Bulldogg Battalion hosted the state JROTC competition on Oct. 23 (see coverage on page 1C in today’s edition) at Fort Yargo State Park. Still said 79 teams competed and over 1,000 people attended. Winder-Barrow girls’ teams took 4th in the state, Winder-Barrow boys’ teams finished in the upper third, and the Apalachee boys’ team won one first place, Still said.
•Barrow was the first school system to deliver a charter petition to the Charter Advisory Council and Georgia Department of Education for the Nov. 1 deadline, Miller said. The petition was hand delivered on Oct. 15.