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Liberty BoE focusing on 'Day One'
Parents urged to accompany kids on first day
Demere Bowen
Liberty County School System Director of Public Relations Demer Bowen tells Board of Education members about the systems Day One campaign during Tuesdays board meeting. - photo by Photo by Randy C. Murray

The Liberty County Board of Education is looking forward to “day one,” the first day of the 2013-14 school year.
During its Tuesday evening meeting, board members and new Superintendent Dr. Valya S. Lee heard about a campaign designed to encourage parents to attend school with their children the first day of school, Aug. 7.
School system Director of Public Relations Demeré Bowen said the campaign encourages parents to get involved in their children’s education and urges businesses to be more supportive of parents’ academic involvement, even if it means taking time off work. The education of our children is important to the entire community, she said.
Bowen said the Day One campaign is a communitywide initiative implemented at all schools in the system to celebrate education. In addition to encouraging parents to accompany students to first-day classes, Bowen also invited parents to open houses for pre-K through 12th-grade students from 3-5 p.m. Aug. 5 at all Liberty County schools.
The board approved six action items, most having to do with construction projects. One project that involves renovating the gyms at Button Gwinnett and Joseph Martin elementary schools drew comments from board members. A change order has been requested to the original contract because mold growth was discovered in the gyms’ ceilings.
Vice Chairwoman Carol Guyett asked about the high costs of the amended project, which came to $69,893.30.
“This is a maximum cost in a worst-case scenario,” said Rodger Osborne, director of maintenance and operations. “We are going to be working with the industrial hygienist (to ensure the mold is properly removed). We think it will be less money than this (estimate).”
Board member Marcia Anderson and Board Chairwoman Lily Baker suggested that future projects include proper inspection of facilities before obtaining cost estimates. The change-order request was recommended, seconded and unanimously approved.
The board also approved its participation in the Georgia School Board Association’s Quality Board Recognition Program process. Lee told board members the GSBA recognizes boards of distinction.
She said Liberty County’s BoE already is headed in the right direction and recommended going through the process for obtaining quality-board recognition.
The process includes compliance with the state’s “Visions for Public Education in Georgia:  Equity and Excellence,” reviewing and revising the district strategic plan and verification that board members have completed required training hours. Their approval includes meeting a timeline for completing all steps by the Sept. 10 meeting.
The board also heard information items on the first readings of two new policies and the tribunal report of three student suspensions.
The GSBA issued a policy that implements new safety procedures to prevent concussions during athletic activities. Part of that policy dictates that whenever a student taking part in an athletic activity displays symptoms of a concussion, he or she will be removed from the activity and examined by a health-care provider.
The GSBA also issued a revision to its professional personnel recruitment policy, with language alterations that reflect changes in technology and online databases for job announcements.
After hearing the information items, the board went into executive session to consider new personnel recommendations. After reconvening in open session, Lee said the board decided to take no major actions, but did approve some new personnel and employee transfers.
The board recommended moving its Nov. 12 meeting to Nov. 19 because the scheduled date falls on a mandatory furlough day. The BoE next meets at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 13.

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