For the first time ever, the Liberty County School System will conduct Criterion Referenced Competency Test remediation during the school year. In years past, remediation for the standardized tests was held during the summer, school officials said.
Liberty County schoolchildren in third through eighth grades will take the CRCT next week, Assistant Superintendent for Student Services Mary Alexander said. The CRCT tests students in reading, English/language arts, math, science and social studies. Students in third, fifth and eighth grades must pass the CRCT to be promoted to the next grade, she said.
“As required, we must designate a nine-day window for test administration,” Alexander told school-board members Tuesday during a regular meeting. “Five of these days are for the main administration, while four of these days are reserved for make-up.”
Alexander said the test will be given March 31-April 4, and April 7-10 will be make-up days. CRCT remediation will be held May 7-9 and May 12-16 and Monday, May 19.
She said on May 5 that substitute teachers will be provided so remediation teachers can have a day to analyze the CRCT data and coordinate individualized remediation plans for students. Alexander said remediation teachers will focus on the specific academic skills or concepts these students had difficulty retaining.
“Students will receive remediation instruction for three hours daily in math and/or reading,” she said. “If a student needs remediation in reading and math, the three hours should be divided to accommodate the child’s needs.”
Children who take the remediation will be re-tested for reading May 20 and for math May 21, according to Alexander. School ends for students May 23.
In other business, Assistant Superintendent for Administrative Services Jason Rogers informed the school board that the system will be hit with a $2.4 million net loss in state funding because equalization funds to the district have been “cut in half” from more than $8 million to about $4.3 million.
Although Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has put money back into state education, tax digests in metro Atlanta “have plummeted.” Therefore, they will receive more equalization dollars, and counties like Liberty, which have remained property-tax steady, will receive less equalization funds for schools, Rogers explained.
He said Liberty County was one of 13 school systems across the state to receive less in state funding this coming fiscal year. There are 180 school systems in Georgia.
Rogers said due to the decrease in equalization funds, the district has had to be conservative in restoring furlough days. Teachers will have four furlough days in the 2014-15 school year, down two from the six furlough days teachers received in the 2013-14 school year. Furlough days are scheduled for Sept. 2 and Nov. 10, and Feb. 13 and March 16, 2015.
Board members also voted to approve several contracts, including a $45,767 contract with BAK Builders to replace 12 toilets that are not working properly at the Liberty County Pre-K Center. The BoE awarded CenturyLink a contract for the district’s metro Ethernet before service expires June 30. The cost to the district is $241,989.12, according to Rogers.
The school board approved a number of personnel actions, naming Linda Dycus Holland as director for school nutrition and hiring a school principal. The board approved two resignations — one from a social-studies teacher and one from a science teacher.
The school board’s next meeting will be at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 8, at the central office, 200 Bradwell St. in Hinesville.