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Long schools add portables to handle growth
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LUDOWICI — After adding two portables classrooms last year and an additional one already this year, it appears the school system is still grappling with growth in Long County.  
At the Aug. 7 BoE meeting, Superintendent Dr. Robert Waters reported additional portable classrooms would be placed at Smiley Elementary School and Walker Middle School.  Waters said preliminary plans for the new classrooms have been approved.
According to the superintendent, as of Aug. 1, Smiley had 807 students. On Aug. 4, it had 815, and by Aug. 6, the number had climbed to 838.  
Despite the increase, Waters said, “We are within the capacity to house the students, as of now.”
Waters also reported that the state had a $1.6 billion shortage in revenues, and that this shortage would impact the Long County School System financially.  The Georgia Department of Education’s budget was cut by 2 percent, which means $203,000 less for Long County.
Waters informed the BoE the Georgia School Board Association will have a forum Sept. 4 in Waycross, and the GSBA/Georgia School Superintendents Association Annual Conference is Dec. 5-6 in Atlanta.
Waters requested that the BoE consider a board retreat toward the end of September or  early October to review board standards.
Assistant Superintendent/Curriculum Director Dr. Glenn Purcell presented a presentation on the 2008 Long County Adequate Yearly Progress report.  
According to Purcell, Long County was one of only 34 counties across the state to have every school meet the AYP standards. Currently, there are 159 counties in Georgia.
Some of the information given to the group was a breakdown of what the AYP standards were and how the school exceeded the standards.
“A major contributing factor as to why all of our schools met these difficult standards was due to the fact that the schools are focused, and everyone in each of the schools is on the same page,” Purcell said.
He commended the schools.
“This is something to be proud of,” he said.
Pre-k Director Donna Rosenbaum informed the BoE that she had received notice from the Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning.
According to Rosenbaum, the pre-k has been distinguished as an “Exceeds All Program Assessments” program.
The BoE hired an additional lunchroom worker, bus driver, substitute teacher, technology assistant, six paraprofessionals and five teachers.
The board also hired Scotty Hattaway as the new assistant principal for Long County High School.
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