Annual Organizational Meeting
Bulloch County Probate Judge Lee DeLoach presided over a special swearing-in ceremony for the four recently elected members of the Board of Education. Pictured left to right with Judge DeLoach are the following: (1) Anshul Jain, an educator who represents District 6, the post formerly held by Susan Riley; (2) Mike Sparks, a former educator who retired in 2004 after 30 years with Bulloch County Schools and represents District 2, the post formerly held by Scott Bohlke; (3) Steve Hein, director of The Center for Wildlife Education at Georgia Southern University who represents District 4, the post formerly held by Kenny Stone; and (4) Vernon Littles, who was appointed by the Board in May 2010 to fill the unexpired term of former District 5 Representative Charles Bond. Littles then qualified as a candidate for the post and was successfully elected to the seat in the November 2010 election.
Also as part of the annual organizational items, the Board elected its officers for 2011, and approved its meeting dates and times. The following members were elected to serve as the Board’s officers: David Ball, chairman; Maurice Hill, vice chairman; and Superintendent Lewis Holloway, secretary. The Board’s meeting dates, times and locations for 2011 were also approved.
The Board held a moment of silence to remember former Board of Education Chairman Edwin Crosby and his family. Chairman David Ball also spoke of Crosby and credited his tremendous leadership example for unifying the Board and giving it a District-wide verses individual-zone focus. Ball noted that Crosby was a great man who will be deeply missed in the community.
· In keeping with the practice of providing the Board examples of our students’ great achievements, Superintendent Holloway welcomed Southeast Bulloch High School Music Director Brent Whitaker and his choral students to the meeting where they performed four pieces for attendees. Whitaker’s students have been very successful in competition and concerts. Both the boys’ quartet and girls’ trio won first place in the 2010 Region 3-AA Literary competition, three students qualified for the 2011 Georgia Music Educators Association All-State Chorus, and two students qualified for the 2011 GMEA All-State Reading Chorus. Also a vocal performance video submission by boys’ quartet member Jake Manahan was one of only 185 selected by well-known, modern composer Eric Whitacre to include in his next upcoming Virtual Choir release. Manahan was chosen from thousands of vocalists from all over the world. Manahan could not even read music when he was in tenth grade, and he had never sung in a choir in his life. He has spent many hours after school learning to sight read and perform.
The Bulloch County Foundation for Public Education presented its spring 2011 mini-grants totaling $7,998.20 to ten projects from Mill Creek Elementary, Langston Chapel Elementary, Portal Elementary, Stilson Elementary, Southeast Bulloch High School, Nevils Elementary, Brooklet Elementary and Julia P. Bryant Elementary. Teachers developed each of these projects and submitted applications to the Foundation’s grant review committee for the competitive bid process. The selected projects range from purchasing additional instructional technologies and books to enhance learning to providing additional learning manipulatives and motivational tools for students with disabilities.
The Foundation is supported by tax-deductible, individual and corporate donations. Bulloch County Schools’ teachers contributed $20,000 to the Foundation last year through their ongoing Blue-Jean Fridays Fundraiser where they pay $5 to dress down on Fridays. A complete list of all recipients is attached.
· Administrators presented to the Board an initial draft plan for rebalancing the transportation zones for the new Sallie Zetterower Elementary School. The draft was based on parameters cited by each of our 15 campuses’ school council members during an annual, district-wide planning session last February. These parent and community volunteers identified the following guidelines for administrators in addressing this issue: (1) allow a “grandfather” option; (2) balance student demographic populations in the schools; (3) logically keep neighborhoods together; (4) consider the socio-economic balance of the student populations; and (5) consider transportation options, particularly for students who walk to school.
Administrators utilized these guidelines and prepared the submitted draft plan. The draft recommends changing the transportation zones of Sallie Zetterower, Brooklet, Mill Creek and Langston Chapel Elementary Schools by moving Pepperidge and Berkshire Sub-divisions as well as residential areas behind East Georgia Regional and portions of Georgia Highway 67 to SZES’ transportation zone. The changes will meet the criteria noted by the school councils and raise SZES’ utilized capacity from its current 49 percent to 75 percent. It will also reduce the currently used capacities of Brooklet Elementary (85 percent), Langston Chapel Elementary (95 percent) and Mill Creek Elementary (93 percent).
The draft does offer parents a “grandfather” option to remain in their current attendance zones if they are willing to provide transportation, while bus riders will be automatically moved to the new, expanded SZES transportation zone beginning August 1, 2011. The change only affects the elementary zones and students will remain in their original middle and high school zones regardless if they are car or bus riders.
The draft information will be sent to the affected schools for review, and the school councils will give input about the draft and its implementation during a work session with the Board of Education on February 24. Superintendent Holloway noted that another transportation zone rebalancing will be needed in August 2012, after the opening of the new Mattie Lively Elementary School.
Three parents voiced their concerns to the Board about the school system’s decision to operate school on a normal schedule Monday and Tuesday
2011-2012 School Calendar
The Board approved the 2011-2012 School Calendar.
Southeast Bulloch High School Athletic Projects Bid
After an in-depth discussion the Board again voted to delay a decision on the Southeast Bulloch High School athletic complex improvement bid for two weeks to allow James W. Buckley & Associates time to meet with the low bidder to suggest possible changes that would reduce the cost by at least $700,000.
The original bid of $4.2 million - $5 million is significantly higher than the Board’s initial projected cost estimates of $3.6 million. At its January 27 work session, the Board will continue to discuss whether to proceed with the improvement design that was previously approved or redesign and rebid the project.
The original scope of the renovations included the following:
Ø Southeast Bulloch High School $3,800,000
o Combination stadium/track ($1.8 million)
o Concessions/Bathroom Building ($500,000)
o Soccer/Practice Field ($200,000)
o Renovation of old gymnasium for Field House and secondary practice area ($800,000)
o Contingencies & Fees ($500,000)
New Business – Consent Agenda
The Board approved the following: (1) fundraising events at Langston Chapel Middle School and Portal Middle High School; (2) the sale of surplus property; (3) agreements with the Statesboro Officials Association for the 2011 middle and high school baseball season; (4) an agreement with Herff Jones to produce the Statesboro High School Yearbook; (5) Board Minutes for the December 6, 2010 Legislative Dinner and December 9, 2010 regular session meeting; (6) Board member payroll for December 2010; and (7) the November 2010 Financial Report.
Director of Accounting Troy Brown gave a brief financial report that highlighted the following: (1) Local Option Sales Tax Revenue collections for the month of November were under budget by $97,000 and are $265,000 below budget to-date; (2) property tax collections for November were $6.5 million; Total expenditures for the General Fund are currently one percent under budget; and (3) School Nutrition has collected more than budgeted due to increased sales.
New Business – For Approval
Playground Equipment Bids for Sallie Zetterower
The Board approved a bid from DRP, Inc./Gametime for $34,000 to supply playground equipment for the new Sallie Zetterower Elementary.
Overnight Study Trips
The Board approved requests from Portal Middle High School and Southeast Bulloch High School for a series of overnight study trips for their National Future Farmers of America Organization and Health & Occupational Services Association chapters to attend conferences, state camps, and leadership events.
Bus Bid Recommendation
The Board approved a bid from Nalley Busgroup for $514,554 to provide five 72-passenger buses and one 48-passenger bus. The state has allocated funding for six buses in the amount of $457,752. The difference of $56,802 will be covered by funds budgeted in the Fiscal Year 2011 Capital Outlay Fund.
New Business – To Be Place On the Table
Policy DIB – Financial Reports – Revision
The Georgia Association of School Business Officials’ Statement 51 requires that the boards of education have a policy for recording intangible assets. To comply we must modify our existing fixed asset policy to include the required information.
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.