School Board members installed; school system gets C on state report card

At the Greene County Board of Education’s monthly meeting held Monday November 21, 2022, Dr. Carol Zippert officially opened the meeting and conducted the preliminary items on the agenda, including the presentation of the FY 2021 Audit Report presented by Shelly Patrenos of the Alabama Office of Public Examiners.
Following the Audit Report, Zippert vacated her position at the meeting and two new board members were sworn in – Mr. Robert Davis for District 1 and Mr. Brandon Merriweather for District 2. District Judge Lillie Jones Osborne conducted the installation ceremony as Merriweather’s mother held the Bible for him and Davis’ wife held the Bible for him.
Following the installation, the board re-organization was conducted by Attorney Hank Sanders. After explaining the procedure, Attorney Sanders opened the floor for nominations for Board President. Mr. Merriweather nominated Mr. Leo Branch and Ms. Carrie Dancy nominated herself. Mr. Branch received three votes: Merriweather, Davis and himself; Dancy received two votes:  Verionca Richardson and herself. Sanders called for a motion to accept Mr. Branch as Board President for this term. The vote to accept was unanimous.
Attorney Sanders called for nominations for Vice President and Ms. Dancy nominated Ms. Richardson. No other nominations were offered. Ms. Richardson was also accepted by unanimous vote.
Superintendent Dr. Corey Jones focused his report on the school system’s report card from state testing for the 2021-2022 school term. Grades tested included 3rd, the entire middle school and the 11th grade. According the Dr. Jones, the Greene County School District received a 70 ( C ) on the State Report card, which is the same score the District received  the last time the State Report Card scorer was released in 2018-2019.
The indicator scores for the District were Academic Achievement, Academic Growth, Graduation Rate, College and Career Readiness and Chronic Absenteeism.  The District received 6.64 of the possible 20 points for Academic Achievement. Greene County School District received 27.75 of the possible 30 points for Academic Growth due to the fact that 92.51% of the students tested grew academically during the school year.  The District received 24.32 points of the possible 30 points for the Graduation Rate.  Greene County received 4.60 points of the possible 10 points for the College and Career- Readiness indicator and 7.17 of the possible 10 points for Chronic Absenteeism.
Superintendent Jones noted that the last testing period followed nearly an entire school year of virtual classes due to the pandemic. “At home learning is difficult without proper guidance and supervision. The district will work diligently to improve the scores in each indicator,” he said.
The Superintendent encouraged parents to ensure that our Scholars attend school everyday to decrease Chronic Absenteeism which is when a student is out of school for 18 or more days during the school year regardless if the absence is excused or unexcused. Also, parents are encouraged to enroll our scholars in after school programs and take advantage of summer school to give our scholars the best opportunity to be successful.
The board approved the following personnel items recommended by the superintendent.
Employment: Cassandra Kelley, Long-Term Substitute, Greene County Learning Academy for 2022-2023 School Term; Victoria Moore, Chemistry/Physics Teacher, Greene County High School for 2022-2023 School Term.
Custodian Department: Willie Harkness from full-time Substitute Janitor to 3-day Substitute Janitor at Greene County Career; Jerome Jackson, from split hours at Greene County Career Center to Full-time Janitor at Greene County High School.
2022-2023- Supplemental Contracts: Ephraim Russell, Band Coach, Greene County High School; Henry Miles, Football Coach, Robert Brown Middle School; Quenton Walton, Assistant Football Coach, Robert Brown Middle School; Tavaris Lacy, Assistant Football Coach, Robert Brown Middle School; Marquavis King, Assistant Football Coach, Robert Brown Middle School; Ashley Moody, Cheer Coach, Robert Brown Middle School.
2022-2023 – Robert Brown Supplemental Contracts – Basketball: Henry Miles, 8th Grade Boys Basketball Coach; Marquavis King, Assistant Boys Basketball Coach; Quentin Walton, 7th Grade Boys Basketball Coach; Tavaros Lacy, Assistant Boys Basketball Coach; Shafontaye Myers, Grills Basketball Coach; Ashley Moody, Cheer Coach.
T.E.A.M.S. Contract: KaNeeda Coleman; Havelen Carodine; Elroy Skinner; Tracy Hinton; Dutchess Jones.
After School Tutorial Program-School Nurse: Jacqueline Raby; Dorothy Jones; Brenda Lawrence;
Mentor Teachers for 2022-2023 School Term: Teresa Atkins; Angela White; Kaneeda Coleman; Tura Edwards; Sharron Martin; Siegfried Williams; Felicia Smith; Ashley Moody; Vanessa Bryant; Annie Howard; Raven Bryant; Carolyn Beck; Montoya Binion.
Approval of Mentor Teachers for 2021-2022 School Term: Patricia Rhone; Walter Taylor; Felecia Smith; Rhinnie Scott; Janice Jeames; Raven Bryant; Valerie Moore; Doris Robinson; Rhinnie Scott.
The board approved the following administrative items.
* Payment of all bills, claims, and payroll.
* Approval of September 2022 and October 2022 bank reconciliations as submitted by Marquita Lennon, CSFO.
* Contract Between Greene County Board and Alabama High School Athletic
* 2022-2023 Petroleum Contract between Greene County Board and Pruett Oil Co.
Contract between Greene County Board of Education and Clear Winds Technologies Devise Repair Services.
Contract between Greene County Board and Tiffany Bishop, Education Consultant ACT Prep Facilitator.
CSFO Marquita Lennon presented the following Financial Snapshot as of October 31, 2022.
* General Fund Balance – $2,201,143.62; reconciles to the summary Cash Report.
* Accounts Payable Check Register – $252,142.58.
* Payroll Register – $948,125.20 (total gross pay rot include employer match items).
* Combined Ending fund Balance – $4,707,128.95.Total Local revenue – $ 286,901.

School board presented detail plans for students’ success in reading; RBM School initiates Creative Girls Rock project

The Greene County Board of Education met in regular session Monday, February 21, 2022. Dr. Corey Jones, as part of his superintendent’s report, presented Curriculum Coordinator, Mrs. Barbara Martin, who gave a detailed report on the school system’s intensive activities designed to equip students with effective reading skills. Ms. Martin elaborated on the various programs in place from the primary school level through high school. She emphasized the overall theme of ‘continuity and consistency’ of delivering and monitoring the daily reading engagements of students with one school level building on the previous.
Martin explained that the schools have a system in place that quickly identifies students who need additional attention, noting that parents are also kept informed of their children’s progress. “Parents and guardians are significant partners in assuring that their students are getting the best and all that is needed for their children’s educational growth and success,” she said.
The schools have enacted tiered levels of reading instruction with allows for intervention as needed for individual students. According to Ms. Martin, after school programs as well as summer programs are continuing opportunities for students to access extra time and attention needed for skill improvements and other academic and cultural enhancements. Portfolios are kept on all students.
She noted that teachers at all schools are engaged in intensive training to accommodate these various approaches to teaching reading.
Martin noted that it is crucial that students are engaged in participatory roles in reading classes, as well as other academic classes. “It is crucial to student’s success that their self esteem is lifted throughout the learning process,” she said.
Superintendent Jones announced a recently funded program focusing on developing self esteem in young girls and preparing them for career choices. The Creative Girls Rock project is an after school program funded by Alabama Power Company, which can serve up to 100 girls at Robert Brown Middle School. The $2,500 grant award will be used to provide all materials and supplies needed for the project. The project will be presented through Zoom, engaging noted presenters.
The superintendent also presented John Cole with American Fidelity Insurance, who described the detailed management approach his company could provide to school employees, regarding the section 125 Cafeteria Plan for Education Employees. His presentation at this time was for informational purposes only.
Jones also introduced a key mentoring approach for school principals. “ All our current school principals are new to their positions, and I noted that we have central office personnel who have served in the role of principal at some point in their educational careers and can serve as mentors, therefore, I have assigned mentors to basically give support to our principals,” he explained.
As part of his report, Dr Jones presented information on the following: the COVID positive update for the county; testing calendar for schools; current schools enrollment; summary of the Wellness Camp on Asthma held last summer (20021).
The board approved the following personnel agenda items recommended by the superintendent.
* Employment of Robin M. Campbell, First Grade Teacher, Eutaw Primary School, for 2021-2022 School Year.
Supplemental Contract – Track Team – Ralph Marshall – Coach and Rodney Wesley – Assistant Coach.
The board approved the following administrative service items.
Payment of all bills, claims, and payroll.*
Bank reconciliations as submitted by Ms. Marquita Lennon, CSFO.*
Approval of Greene County High School Debate Team Travel to Mississippi State for Team Competition.
Select Raymond James as the underwriter for the Bond refinancing.
A Resolution Authorizing the Issuance, and Making Provision for the Payment, of a Public-School Warrant (Federally Taxable), Series 2022, to Refinance the Capital Outlay School Warrants, Series 2013, of the Board, and Approving Related Financing Documents.

Superintendent addresses parents concerns on returning students to in-class instruction

The Greene County Board of Education met in regular session Monday, September 20, 2021. One of the key issues addressed related to the re-opening of face-to-face classes for students. Superintendent Dr. Corey Jones stated that various official health reports indicate that COVID positive cases are down in Greene County at this time. He also said that the data indicates that achievement rates are lower among students who are in virtual programs. “My main concerns are for the safety of our students and, just as important, my concern for the achievement of our students. We cannot allow our students to continue to fall back,” he explained.
Several parents were in attendance and were allowed an opportunity to express their concerns which related to cleaning routines at school facilities, availability of cleaning supplies, the cooling system at Robert Brown Middle School, alternate instructional programs for students with pre conditions, and the consideration of implementing the Hybrid Instructional Plan where the number of students in a class is reduced. Dr. Jones addressed these assuring all that the maintenance department worked additional hours each day for repeated cleaning of facilities. He stated that the school system will remain in full attendance at this time, but students needing alternative instructional methods will be considered on an individual basis. He added that parents can make such requests through the school principal or directly to him.
As part of the personnel items presented to the board, Superintendent Jones recommended the suspension of Corey Cockrell as teacher and coach for five days without pay. The board held a closed conference with Cockrell and when returning to open session, no action was taken on the superintendent’s recommendation.
Regarding other personnel items recommended, the board approved the following:
Employment: Marqavius King as 6th Grade Language Arts Teacher at Robert Brown Middle School. Resignation: Nyesha Watson as 1st Grade Teacher at Robert Brown Middle School; Jamar Jackson as Custodian at Robert Brown Middle School.
Supplemental Contracts: Elroy Skinner as Assistant Football Coach at RBMS; Cyonti Lewis as Assistant Football Coach at GCHS,  
The board approved the following administrative items presented by the superintendent.
* Payment of all bills, claims and payroll.
Bank reconciliations as submitted by LaVonda Blair, CSFO.
Confirmation of Interim CSFO Contract.
* Confirmation for Limited Financial Agreement.
* Memorandum of Agreement between Greene County Board and Stillman College Foundation.
* Memorandum of Agreement between Greene County Board and the University of Alabama Dual Enrollment.
* Memorandum of Understanding between Greene County Board of Education and UAB for voluntary COVID weekly testing for students, faculty and staff, pending attorney’s review and superintendent’s agreement.
* Contract between Greene County Board and Malysa Chandler for Educational Consulting Services.
* Partnership between Greene County Schools and Alabama Cooperative Extension Services for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Education Program.