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Schools are running smoothly despite construction work

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Posted: August 31, 2007 6:07 p.m.
Updated: September 15, 2007 5:00 a.m.
    Teachers and students are busy and down to the business of teaching and learning even though many schools have had construction disruptions to deal with. That’s the report from Superintendent Dr. Lewis Holloway, having visited all the schools at least once since school began.
    “First, I am impressed with the high quality of teaching occurring at each of our schools,” Holloway said. “Teachers are on task teaching and students are engaged. I see evidence of curriculum mapping, common planning and pacing guides. Student discipline is exemplary.”
    He also said that classroom sizes in the elementary schools are among the best in the nation.
    After visiting approximately 60 percent of the classrooms, Holloway said, “It is my belief the community should be proud of their principals, teachers and schools.”
    In other business, the final vote for the purchase of nine new buses was unanimously approved. The Board will purchase seven 72-passenger buses with air conditioning, and two Special Education lift buses with air conditioning. Each 72-passenger bus will cost $77,768, while each Special Education bus will cost $78,890. The buses will be purchased from Nalley Motor Trucks International.
    In other business, Craig Liggett, assistant superintendent information systems, scheduled a Smart Board presentation to take place at the Sept. 13 Board of Education meeting. Smart Board is a brand name for interactive white boards. The Board purchased these boards for all the classrooms at Nevils elementary, and a business donated the boards for Southeast Bulloch High School. Installation of the boards at SEBHS will be completed by December. The business donating the boards for SEBHS will be recognized at the Sept. 13 meeting.
    The interactive white board consists of a ceiling-mounted projector and a white board mounted much like a traditional blackboard. But a blackboard never dreamed of the possibilities available with white board technology. For example, teachers presenting a math lesson on angles can draw a triangle with a finger and bring down a transparent protractor so that measuring angles can be demonstrated easily for students. Students can also use the board themselves, and wireless slates can be purchased that work with the white board. A few wireless slates have been purchased for teachers to check out and use.
    “We have had good feedback from our teachers,” said Liggett.
    The boards will be evaluated to see if they really enhance teaching and learning in the classroom. If so, more of the boards will be purchased and existing classrooms will be retrofitted with the technology, which carries a price tag of approximately $3,000 for the complete system for each classroom.
    There was no public participation.

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