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School Board Meeting Brief - February 11, 2011
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Superintendent’s Report

·    Data from last semester’s Measures of Academic Progress testing show academic growth in math and reading scores across every grade level except one.  Staff will continue to inform the Board about the useful data the system receives from MAP testing and how it is used to individualize and improve instruction.
·    Dr. Holloway welcomed Statesboro High School Choral Teacher Lisa Muldrew and two SHS students who performed several musical arrangements as a flute trio.  Muldrew thanked the Board and administration for their support of fine arts in our schools.  Artwork by SHS students was also on display during the meeting.
·    Sallie Zetterower Elementary was selected by Statesboro newcomer William Simpson to house 40 of his hand-carved, hand-painted ships.  The collection was previously housed at Citrus High School in Florida.
·    The Information & Technology Department is completing installation of 760 leased Dell laptops as part of its three-year refresh program.  Software upgrades to Windows 7 are also being made.
·    The Board and school administrators will hold an annual joint meeting with each school’s council on February 24 at Sallie Zetterower Elementary.  The main topic of discussion will be the initial draft of the SZES transportation zone change. The draft was presented to the Board at its January meeting.
·    A committee of teachers and school and central office administrators has been formed to study alternatives to block scheduling that will help the district further reduce expenses.
·    Julia P. Bryant Third Grader Keylee Phillips demonstrated for the Board how she can use the school system’s instructional software Compass Odyssey both at home and at school to improve math and reading skills.  Compass Odyssey also corresponds to a student’s MAP scores.  After each semi-annual MAP testing session the exercises are updated and individualized to remediate or challenge students.  Compass Odyssey is available to all Kindergarten through eighth grade students in the district.  Students can access the program via Internet from home.

Old Business
Social Studies Curriculum Proposal

The Board approved a request from administrators to allow high school students to exempt the current, locally required half-unit of Geography if they take AP Government.  It is not possible to teach AP Government in nine weeks (half-unit), so students currently do not have the opportunity to take that course on the Advanced Placement Level.  The half-unit of Geography is a local requirement.  The state does not require Geography at the high school level because students receive two years of geography in sixth and seventh grade social studies.  Students who do not opt to take AP Government will still take the half-unit of Geography.

Policy DIB – Financial Reports – Revision

The Board approved a new policy for recording intangible assets that was required by the Georgia Association of School Business Officials. Administrators modified the district’s existing fixed asset policy to include the required information.

Request to Purchase Classworks Site License
The Board approved a request from Special Education Director Susan Rutherford and Southeast Bulloch High School Principal Trey Robertson to purchase a Classworks site license for SEBHS.  It is a computer-based instructional program aligned with local, state and national academic standards.  It provides Tier II, III, and IV math interventions and allows customizable instruction based on identified student deficits.  Funds were set aside in the district’s special education budget and the SEBHS budget to cover the $35,900 cost.

Southeast Bulloch High School Athletic Projects Bid
After an in-depth discussion the Board voted to reject the original low bid from Pinnacle Construction for the SEBHS athletics project.  The Board also agreed that the scope of the project needed to be re-defined with input from all necessary parties to establish a clear and accountable direction. The project has been previously discussed with SEBHS personnel and community volunteers since 2007. The Board is attempting to ensure proper and accountable use of Education Special Local Option Sales Tax funds that will ultimately finance the project.  The driving factors that necessitate construction of new athletic facilities at the school are safety concerns on the current football field and adequate facilities for all current sports.  The Board had originally estimated a budget of $3.6 million, but the lowest base bid was $4.2 million. 

New Business – Consent Agenda

The Board approved the following:  (1) fundraising events at Langston Chapel Middle School, William James Middle School and Southeast Bulloch High School; (2) an agreement with the Eagle Student Officials Association for soccer at William James Middle School; (3) overnight study trip requests for the Southeast Bulloch High School FFA and chorus, and Statesboro High School Skills USA, FFA and golf team; (4) financial report for December 2010; (5) Board Minutes for January 13, January 27, and February 3; and (7) January 2011 Board member payroll.

Director of Accounting Troy Brown gave a brief financial report that highlighted the following: (1) Current QBE revenue is being collected as budgeted, but reductions are anticipated.  These future reductions, estimated to be $1.6 million, were accounted for in the current budget adopted by the Board; (2) to date, local option sales tax revenues are $337,324 below budget, and if the pattern continues, the district may collect approximately $260,000 less in LOST revenue than was budgeted; and (3) The district has received 82 percent of its ad valorem (property taxes) revenue; (4) General Fund expenditures are one percent under budget; and (5) School Nutrition has collected more than budgeted due to increased sales.

New Business – For Approval
·    The Board approved a request to submit two applications on behalf of Langston Chapel Elementary and Langston Chapel Middle School for 21st Century Community Learning Centers Grants from the Georgia Department of Education.
·    In accordance with the Drug-Free Communities Support Program grant received by the district in 2001, the Board approved the annual continuation application and agreed to continue to serve as fiscal agent.

Food Bank Request

The Board approved a request from The Food Bank, Inc. to lease the old Sallie Zetterower Elementary School cafeteria March 1, 2011 – December 31, 2011 for $1 per year.

New Business – To Be Placed On the Table
Invoice Settlement Program

The Board tabled for further discussion a proposal to enroll in an invoice settlement program with American Express. The program generates revenues for users who pay their largest vendors using AMEX.  The Board’s concern is that vendors would recoup the fees they are charged by increasing the district’s costs for services.

Portal High School Greenhouse Bid
The Board approved to place on the table a bid from Jaderloon Greenhouse Company to construct a new greenhouse at Portal Middle High School.  Funding for the project would be through a construction-related equipment grant that was awarded to the district’s Career Technical and Agricultural Education program.

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