A news report from Bulloch County Board of Education meetings
• Superintendent Lewis Holloway welcomed teachers of the year from each of the District's 15 campuses and expressed his appreciation for their hard work for our students. Charles Webb, vice chairman of the Statesboro-Bulloch Chamber of Commerce Education Committee was on hand to present each of the honorees with an acrylic nameplate award and certificate for their accomplishments. The following teachers were recognized: Dawn Knight, Brooklet Elementary; Missy Jordan, Julia P. Bryant Elementary; Amanda Cartee, Langston Chapel Elementary; Barbara Brown, Langston Chapel Middle; Sharlyon Sikes, Mattie Lively Elementary; Patsy Parker, Mill Creek Elementary; Lisa Judy, Nevils Elementary; Melissa Bazemore, Portal Elementary; Rob Lindsey, Portal Middle High School; Nikki Lord, Sallie Zetterower Elementary; Janine Deal, Southeast Bulloch Middle; Brent Whitaker, Southeast Bulloch High; Cindy Hart, Statesboro High; and Denise Borck, William James Middle. Special recognition was given to Ashlee Mitchell of Stilson Elementary for her selection as the 2012 Bulloch County Teacher of the Year. Pictured (L-R): Charles Webb, Ashlee Mitchell, and David Ball.
• Jake Collins, a tenth grade mathematics teacher at Statesboro High School, made a presentation on how he uses YouTube to upload videos of his classroom lectures. Collins began uploading lessons in fall 2009, and he now has more than seven hours of lessons that encompass the curriculum for Mathematics II. Initially he began the project to give students who were absent a way to independently prepare for class while away. Collins has been successful in solving this issue, and it has become a valuable remediation tool as well.
• A slide show was shown of construction progress at the new Sallie Zetterower Elementary School. The school is on target to open January 6. (Visit the Bulloch County Schools website to view the slide show.)
• Assistant Superintendent of Teaching & Learning K-5 Jody Woodrum made a presentation on the use of Fast ForWord software at Langston Chapel Middle School, where all sixth graders used the program during 2009-10. A study investigated the academic performance of the school's sixth graders to determine Fast ForWord's impact on their standardized test reading scores, particularly with Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) tests. A significant percentage of students showed achievement gains well beyond expected improvement levels. With students who were both below grade level and above grade level, those who made gains improved an average of 1.5 grade levels in reading, doubling and nearly tripling their MAP target goals, and placing them in the 95th percentile nationally in reading achievement growth among MAP users.
Board Meeting Comments
Board of Education Chairman David Ball expressed his thanks to Board Members Susan Riley (8 years), Kenny Stone (4 years), and Scott Bohlke (4 years) for their years of service to the Board. Ball presented each with an award in recognition of their service. Each expressed their thanks to the Board for the friendships formed and the major accomplishments, such as technology advancements and four new schools.
Sallie Zetterower Moving Bid Approval
The Board approved a bid from Eagle Recreation, in the amount of $4,600, to move the necessary boxes and equipment from the old SZES to the new location. The work will occur December 17 - December 24.
Southeast Bulloch High School Athletic Projects Bid
After an in-depth discussion the Board voted seven to one to delay a decision on the Southeast Bulloch High School athletic complex improvement bids until its January meeting. This is due to the lowest bid with added bid alternates ranging from $4.2 million to $5 million, which was significantly higher than the Board's initial projected cost estimates of $3.6 million. Members wanted the input of its three newest Board members, who take office in January, before a decision was made. The Board will debate whether to proceed with the improvement design that was previously approved or redesign and rebid the project with significant changes that reduce the cost and scope of the renovations.
The original scope of the renovations included the following:
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)
For the SEB High School project, Wilson pointed out that the current stadium's sidelines do not meet the Georgia High School Association's safety clearance guidelines and poses a hazard for athletes on the field and sidelines. The Board reviewed nine different plan scenarios for this school's facilities, but to best provide for the school's current and future space needs and allow for adequate seating and facilities to host regional athletic events, the Board previously decided on the plan listed above.
New Business -Consent Agenda
The Board approved the following: (1) fundraising events at Southeast Bulloch High School; (2) sale of surplus property Lot #231 from Southeast Bulloch High School, Lot #232 Stilson Elementary School; and Lot # 233 Food Services; (2) Financial report for October 30, 2010; (3) Board minutes for the November 9 and 11 meetings; (4) Board member payroll for November 2010.
Director of Accounting Troy Brown reported on the October 2010 financials. He noted that revenues are in line with the budget with the exception of local option sales taxes that are down $168,000 to date. The District has completed 33.333 percent of its fiscal year, and we have expended 32.9 percent of budgeted expenditures.
New Business - For Approval
Southeast Bulloch High School Boys' Basketball Trip
The Board approved an overnight trip request for the Southeast Bulloch High School Boys' Basketball Team to attend a Christmas tournament in Albany December 17-20.
Dow Lohnes PLLC Public Broadcasting and Educational Telecommunications Agreement
The Board approved hiring Dow Lohnes PLLC to represent the District on a contingency basis to secure a suitable lessee, negotiate a long-term lease, and obtain FCC approval of said lease for the District's Educational Broadband Service (EBS) station WNC418 on Channels D1 through D4. The District received the FCC license for the EBS at no cost through the state through lottery funds; however the license will expire May 1, and unless the District can show significant use of the EBS, we will lose the license and the potential revenue it could produce. Other Districts have successfully leased similar EBS stations.
Dow Lohnes is the largest communications law practice in the United States, and it has handled similar transactions for the University of Georgia, the Georgia Institute of Technology, and numerous public broadcasting stations in the United States.
Proposal for E-Rate Year 14 (FY 2011-2012)
The Board approved E-Rate recommendations from Assistant Superintendent for Information & Technology Craig Liggett. Liggett gave a presentation on E-Rate which provides discounts to assist most schools and libraries in the United States with obtaining affordable telecommunications and Internet access. E-Rate funds are generated by the Universal Service Fund (USF) charge on all constituent telephone bills. This year the fund will provide $2.75 billion to eligible schools and libraries.
Liggett presented the Board with a proposed list of needed upgrades to our District's telecommunications systems that qualify for E-Rate funding and copies of vendor bids. Once vendors are approved by the Board, the school system can submit these budgeted expenses to E-Rate for reimbursement. The District will receive a partial refund of 70 - 90 percent for these expenses. The refund percentage is based on our number of free and reduced lunch students at each of our campuses. Liggett also noted that the District will now save an estimated $11,315.77 per year due to the recent telephone system upgrade to voice over Internet protocol (VoIP)
William James Middle School Septic System
The Board approved a recommendation from Assistant Superintendent for Business and Finance Charles Wilson to replace the failing septic system at William James Middle School at a cost of $225,000. The current system is not in compliance with the Environmental Protection Division. Based on a study by James W. Buckley & Associates, Wilson recommended replacing the existing oxidation pond and installing an onsite sewage management system that consists of a septic tank pump station and drain field. The new system would be located in the fields behind the school, which will partially impair the use of the site as a community athletic complex.
National Archery in the Schools Program
The National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) is providing grants in our area for schools to begin physical education and competitive archery in schools. Interest in the sport is growing locally due to the announcement that the Georgia Department of Natural Resources is going to build a $4 million indoor/outdoor Olympic archery and pistol range at Georgia Southern University. This is a safe, nationally recognized sport that offers opportunities to handicapped and wheelchair-bound students to compete. Currently there are nearly 4,000 Bulloch County students competing in archery and sporting clays events through 4-H's Project Shooting Awareness Fun Education (SAFE). Portal Middle High School has pursued obtaining a grant and has had two faculty members become certified to teach archery.
School Food Service Bids
The Board approved the school food service bids for January 2011 - June 2011.
New Business - To Be Placed on the Table
2011-2012 School Calendar Proposal
A proposed 2011-2012 School Calendar was presented to the Board for review and further discussion.
The District will now place both weighted and non-weighted scores on high school student transcripts.