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February 14--  Here are excerpts of board minutes from the Toombs County Board of Education meeting in February.

The Toombs County Board of Education met for its regular meeting on Thursday, February 8, 2018, at 6:30 p.m. with the following members present: Mr. Clint Williams, Chairman, Mr. Russ Benton, Vice-Chairman, Mr. Mitch Bellflower, Mrs. Toni Wilkes, Mr. Trent Akins, Mr. Jonathan Holland, and Superintendent Richard Smith. Mr. Michael Grimes was absent.

Visitors in attendance were: Juli Alligood, Barry Waller, Tonawanda Irie, Jennifer Davis, Stacy Reese, Daryl Corley, Tabatha Nobles, Shannon Chambers, Kim Corley, Kip Hart, Rustin Parker, Dorsey Hart, Linda Bratton and Danielle Morris.

During the Superintendent’s Report, Mr. Smith shared that the STAR student is Christian Adams, and Coach Richie Marsh is his STAR teacher. A ceremony was hosted by Vidalia Heritage for area STAR students and teachers.

The board was presented enrollment projections with a 5 year history. Mr. Smith shared that the information is provided to principals for the purpose of looking at numbers and trends to determine staffing for the coming year.

Included in the Superintendent’s Report are the results for the survey concerning the FY2019 calendar. Mr. Bellflower asked if the survey was mandatory and inquired as to how many employees we had in the system, given that only 211 employees responded. Mr. Smith stated that we employed close to 500 people, that the survey was sent to everyone who had a Toombs County email address, and that it was not mandatory for an employee to complete the survey.

Lyons Primary is looking for readers for Dr. Seuss Day on March 2. Anyone interested in reading to students should contact Dr. Hellgren at the school.

Regarding the finance report, the board was provided the SPLOST report. There is a bond payment due in April. Deposit account balances are current as of Tuesday. Next, the general fund activities report, the monthly cash flow report, the monthly check register, the Amazon report and employee reimbursements over three hundred dollars from September 2017 through December 2017, as requested by Mr. Bellflower directly from the finance officer. Mr. Smith stated the report was presented as the finance director had developed it, and that if it did not show what was being looked for, they would try again. No action was necessary.

On a motion by Mr. Bellflower, seconded by Mr. Akins, the board approved the recommendation for the 2018 Fleet Insurance Policy with Zorn & Sons Insurance. There is a $3000 savings if paid at one time. The total cost actually reflects a small decrease.

Unanimously Approved

Two versions of the FY2019 calendar were developed by the calendar committee and presented for the board’s review. After review by the board, the faculty and staff will be surveyed as to which they prefer for next school year. A request was made to Mr. Waller, committee chairperson, to bring the calendar committee back together for the purpose of reviewing the survey data and making any adjustments they felt where needed. Mr. Waller informed Mr. Smith earlier in the day that he had polled the committee members by email and they did not see a need to change their recommendations as a result of the survey. Mr. Holland did not wish for the calendar survey to be dispersed to all staff until the he had an opportunity to study comments and compare them to the submitted calendars. He indicated that the board needed to be certain all requests had been addressed. Mr. Smith stated that to give time for everyone to review the materials provided, the calendar selection survey would not be sent out until after the Presidents Day Holiday on February 19th. If any of the members have a question concerning the calendar, they should contact Mr. Smith by Friday, February 16th. Mr. Bellflower asked if the two calendars in the packet were in fact the ones submitted by the calendar committee. Mr. Waller responded that they were.

The board was presented with a proposal to pilot an audio/video enhancement system in 10 classroom. This is the system the board had seen presented at a GSBA Conference a few years ago. The board asked for further information regarding the systems before making a decision.

On a motion by Mr. Benton and a second by Mr. Bellflower, the board approved the following recommendations: Retirement: Matilda Edwards, Teacher – LUES, Terresa Winge, Media Specialist – LUES, Coopie Foshee, Teacher – TCMS, Lisa Watkins, Teacher – TCMS, Kathy Roberts, Teacher –

LPS, Pamelia Wimberly, Teacher – LPS, Gloria Hunt, Paraprofessional – LPS; Employment Recommendation for FY2019: Kaitlyn Pope, Teacher – LPS, Samuel Sapp, Teacher – LUES, Heather

Morris, Teacher – LPS, Jessica Downie, Teacher – LPS, Kay Rushing, Bus Driver (Begin February 9th), Kristen Morris, Paraprofessional - LPS. Resignations: Shelia VanDyke, Donna Beall, Marcy Hill, Yolanda Springer, Audrey Fletcher, and Pamela Simerly.

On old business, Jonathan Holland asked if any changes to the Superintendent’s Advisory Council had been made. Mr. Smith reported that the group has met and discussed ideas to improve the process. Any changes made would be for next school term. Mr. Holland stated that he wanted it to be a group of teachers selected by their peers to be the liaison between the school and board to voice concerns but not be a complaint group. He would also like to see a couple of principals and a couple of board members be part of the group, and that it should be facilitated by the teachers and not involve central office staff.

Under new business, Mr. Williams has some ideas to implement an initiative to teach every child in the system to read a tape measure. He stated it was a vital life skill that students do not have. He has spoken to Handy Andy and hopes to partner with them and a national tool group to provide the materials for this at no cost to the system. He sees it as a math skill for life that is needed.