The Liberty County Board of Education had a short meeting last week, when members heard concerns from community members and recommendations for the school system’s student Code of Conduct.
The board heard from two people during the audience participation segment.
Carson Wells, a member of the Bradwell Institute Tiger Touchdown Club, asked for an update on issues he shared with the board during a meeting in April.
In April, Wells told the board that he and other club members did not feel supported by the school administration.
“We were working towards, as a team, with the administration,” Wells said in April. “We no longer feel like we’re working. We’ve completely fallen apart. Bradwell Institute is 0-20 in the last 50 years, as a football program. Not only is the football program not being shown any preference whatsoever, they’re not being shown any concessions to make this team better.”
He also talked about “coaches who are paid supplements for bus duty after school when they’re supposed to be at practice” and a rule change allowing coaches to change the football schedule.
At the July 12 meeting, Wells said the club has not been updated on any actions or resolutions. He said BI “is down to four certified teachers on the coaching staff,” which is a concern of because football starts in August.
Scott Simmington talked about the Georgia Milestones Assessment System test.
“It’s common knowledge that the school system in Liberty County … did not do very well with the GMAS testing,” Simmington said. “I was just wondering what, if any, remedies the school board and school district has in mind for that.”
Simmington also asked if the state will continue GMAS testing online in light of the recent testing system glitches.
Board member Marcus Scott IV suggested that the board review the process of providing feedback to questions from audience participation so people can get answers in a timely manner.
The board does not respond to audience participation comments during the meeting. Liberty County School System Superintendent Dr. Valya Lee is responsible for responding to comments after meetings.
Student Code of Conduct
Dr. Kathy Moody, the district’s executive director of student services, presented possible additions to the student Code of Conduct. Recommendations included updates to the Liberty Learning Experience (iPad initiative) information, a new mentoring program called MindShift at Button Gwinnett Elementary School, eliminating the citizenship requirement for honor roll in first through fifth grades and allowing for an absence not defined in policy but that has merit based on circumstances, to be accepted.
There was a recommendation to give out-of-school-suspension students the opportunity to do up assignments while out and make up exams and other assignments upon returning to school.
“The suggestion to allow OSS students to make up work or past due assignments, is that something that was voted on by the group?” board member Carol Guyett asked.
Moody said that each school’s staff was asked to meet with its governance team.
“Then suggestions were given by the school’s governance team members, and then those suggestions were given to the LCSS Code of Conduct committee, which also included parents,” Moody said. “We had some discussion at the Code of Conduct committee. Some were in favor of it, some were not in favor of it.”
Guyett said she has heard both sides of the argument and wants to know that a majority of staff and parents are in favor of allowing OSS students to make up their work.
One person commented that students are already receiving the consequence — OSS — and should not have “a double consequence,” Moody said.
Students would turn in their work and do makeup tests when they return to school or receive a zero on assignments.
Board member Marcia Anderson thinks there should be a very strict deadline for handing in assignments.
In other business:
• The school board approved continuing the contract with SunCoast Paper Chemical Solutions, the current vendor for paper and chemicals, for $215,000 for the 2016-17 school year.
• BI Principal Scott Carrier received the Georgia High School Association and Georgia’s Electric Member Cooperatives Cooperative Spirit Sportsmanship Award on behalf of Bradwell.
• Bianca Pendleton from Taylors Creek Elementary School spoke about a book she wrote called “The Delivery Girls: The Job Application.” Her book will be a part of the media center at Taylors Creek.