School Board installs three members; re-elects Zippert and Cockrell as President and Vice President

A key feature of the November Greene County Board of Education meeting, held Monday, Nov.16, 2020, was the installation of three board members to six year terms each. First time board member, Mrs. Veronica Richardson, of the Dollarhide Community, now represents District 3. Mr. Leo Branch and Ms. Carrie Dancy were reelected in 2020 to their respective Districts 4 and 5. Greene County District Judge Lillie Jones Osborne officiated at the installation.
November is also the designated time that Alabama school boards must reorganize, selecting a president and a vice president; setting regular meeting dates and time. Dr. Carol P. Zippert and Ms. Kashaya Cockrell were unanimously re-elected as Board President and Vice President, respectively, for the 2020-2021 year. The board also agreed to continue its current monthly meeting schedule of the third Monday at 4:30 pm in the Central Office.
In his report to the board, Superintendent Dr. Corey Jones began his remarks with an update on the current COVID-19 positivity rate in Greene County, 22.13%. He stated that this impacts the school system’s overall goal of moving the academic program from Phase I – total virtual learning. “Health officials state that the COVID-19 positivity rate must be no more than 5% before it is safe to bring students and school personnel in face-to-face classes,” he said. He noted that it is likely that the system will begin the third nine week period continuing in Phase I if the coronavirus pandemic continues on this rising path.
Jones emphasized that the system is enacting multiple approaches to enhance student achievement during these difficult times. These efforts include retaining a curriculum specialist to assist teachers in designing and implementing effective class presentations that engage students in their learning. ACT tutors provide enrichment and tutoring, including Booth Camps before the actual test to further prepare students. The second year of the STAR Academy targets 7th & 8th graders providing more intensive studies in the core curriculum, and the 21st Century After-School Tutorial and Enrichment Program is also conducted virtually for students at Eutaw Primary and Robert Brown Middle Schools.
According to Dr. Jones, his office is in the process of arranging for additional tutors from Stillman College to provide one-on-one assistance to local students. “The Stillman tutors will be selected from honor students in the Department of Education,” he said.
Superintendent Jones announced that he is planning Virtual Town Hall meetings to connect with parents and other community persons to continue the efforts of engaging them in students’ education.
The board approved the following recommendations presented by Superintendent Jones.
Employment: Gerald Holloway as bus driver, Department of Transportation; Quinten Walton as Math teacher, Robert Brown Middle School; James Gaines, Supervisor, Transportation; Department; Tabitha Smith as long-term substitute for sixth grade Social Studies at Robert Brown Middle School.
One-time stipend for Corey Cockrell for Athletics Training with Greene County High School football team.
Resignation of Ms. Angelia Hood as Special Education Coordinator, effective January 29, 2021.
Memorandum between Greene County Board of Education and Stillman College for academic tutorial assistance to benefit students in their virtual classroom learning experience, to be prepared by Superintendent Jones and Attorney Hank Sanders.
In her report to the board, which represented the financial reports of September, 2020, CSFO, Ms. Lavonda Blair, stated that the finances of the school system were in good condition. She reported the following in her financial snapshot: General Fund Balance – $913,320.14; Check Register Accountability Report – $1,026,615.82 (This amount includes $326,131.13 debt service payment for the Star Academy Program, which is reimbursable from a State Grant); Payroll Register – $822,117.51; Combined Fund Balance – $4,290.024.18.
Local revenue totaled $158,128.65, with $109.075.65 from property/sale taxes and $49,063 from bingo.
Ms. Blair noted that the system was able to collect back revenue from the GEAR-UP Program, back to 2015, in the amount of $20,000.

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