The number of students in the Liberty County School System is growing.
District Chief Information Officer Patti Crane told Board of Education members at their recent work session the latest enrollment number. As of August 25, there were 9,947 students enrolled, an increase of 141 students from Aug. 11.
Another bookkeeper at the Pre-K Center
The board approved the hiring of a second bookkeeper for the Pre-K Center. Chief Financial Officer Roger Reese said the Pre-K Center had a reduction in budget and staff last year. But this year the Pre-K Center is receiving additional funding, which will allow the hiring of a second bookkeeper.
The center’s funding from the Georgia Department of Education is based on current enrollment and an allotment. Reese said that last year, the Pre-K Center’s enrollment was 424 students. This year, it is 453.
Superintendent Dr. Valya Lee said that at one time, the Pre-K Center was under enrolled by about 125 students. The district was able to get the word out about having space available, and the center is now at capacity. She said the center has a waiting list.
Reese said that the center almost has 22 students in each class. The state DOE increased the allotment by an additional $84 per child. With the enrollment up and additional allotment, it is sufficient funding to hire a second bookkeeper to help support the teachers and more students.
Some department updates
Assistant Superintendent Susan Avant said district STEM — an education acronym that stands for science, technology, engineering and math — teams meet monthly, and the curriculum has been revised to incorporate STEM and STEAM activities. STEAM is STEM with “arts” added to the acronym.
Schools have received data highlighting the strengths and areas that need improvement. Avant also said that the teaching and learning department has made improvement plans for each core content area.
The Liberty Learning Experience is going well, according to Crane. She said the iPad deployment was a success and insurance sales are continuing. She showed pictures of students at Liberty Elementary School and Bradwell Institute using the iPads. Crane said students are using them for research and collaborative efforts with other students and teachers.
“I heard comments — one from a Bradwell parent, one from a Liberty (County High School) parent. They were amazed at the opportunities that their children were having in our schools,” board member Carol Guyett said. “They were brand new. They have been all over the world, and they’re in Liberty County saying, ‘Oh my goodness. This is what it should look like, and I’ve never seen it before.’”
Board members approved the closeout cost for various projects and renovations at different schools. Jason Rogers, the district’s chief operations officer, said all the projects were completed under budget. For example, Frank Long Elementary School’s approved project budget for interior painting was a slightly more than $53,000, but the actual project cost was $48, 350. The other projects included: painting inside Horizons Learning Center and restroom renovations at schools.