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Community News Apr 13th, 2022 - 09:27:07

Many things discussed at BOE meeting.

By Dave Whitaker
Apr 13, 2022, 12:12

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There was little in terms of action taken at last night’s monthly Board of Education meeting held in the middle school media center. But many things were discussed, some of them will be discussed further during the May meeting.

One of them is a change at the Success Academy proposed by director Christie Dean and faculty to require student uniforms for the FY23 school year. Superintendent Dr. Steve Smith said the goal of the proposal was to be a behavioral deterrent. As in making it less desirable for students to attend because of the uniform requirement.

There was also a proposed change in the Bleckley Elementary student handbook that would change the weighing of grades from 65 percent tests, 35 percent homework, to 60 and 40 percent. As both were viewed as major changes to the student handbook, they were left on the table until the May meeting when handbooks will be voted on.

Also left on the table until May was a draft proposal of Board norms and protocols. They’re required to be adopted under the Georgia School Board Association Awards of Recognition for the Exemplary Award. Agreeing to vote on the handbook changes as well as the board norms in May were both part of consent items passed unanimously.

Smith spoke briefly regarding ongoing construction projects, saying all were going well. The resurfacing of the BCHS track is completed, the cheer/wrestling facility as well as new middle school tennis courts should be done by the end of May.

Regarding the high school track, Smith said it would be closed to the public. Walkers and other recreation seekers will be directed to the track on ninth street as it will be reopened once new primary school construction is completed.

Smith also noted that Mobile Modular had ben informed the district would not be extending the lease on the modular units currently being used by Pre-K. The last payment will be made in May.

A preliminary FY23 budget was presented by Smith. It included adding music for Bleckley Primary, raises for all classified staff, as well as the $2,000 raise for certified staff passed by the Georgia Legislature and Governor Brian Kemp.

The budget doesn’t call for a millage increase, leaving the current rate intact. A vote on the preliminary budget will be taken in May, with a final vote taken in June.

Abstinence Education Coordinator Laura Knox requested her yearly program grant be expanded to include sixth graders. Smith noted the program was optional for all grade levels. Knox made the request after discussing it with sixth grade teachers and BCMS Principal Carla Thrower. If her request is approved, the board will consider accepting the expanded grant at the May meeting.

From the executive session, the board accepted the resignation of District Mental Health Therapist Tamiko Owens, effective April 29.

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