School board acts to secure Birdine school property, anticipating sale to Town of Forkland

Shown above former Birdine School in Forkland, AL

The Greene County Board of Education met in a virtual meeting, Tuesday, January 19, 2021with all board members in attendance. The sale of the former Birdine school property to the Town of Forkland was among the superintendent’s recommendations approved by the board.
In preparation for this sale, the board had to certify to the State Superintendent of Education that any funds derived from this sale will be used for public school purposes and that it is to the benefit of the Greene County School District that Birdine School Property be sold.
According to school board legal counsel, Attorney Hank Sanders, years ago county boards of education could not own real property. School property had to be in the name of the State of Alabama. The Birdine School Property was in this category and even after boards of education could own real property, property owned by the state remained with the state.
“The Greene County Board of Education is now working to get the Birdine School Property out of the state and in the Greene County Board of Education by authorizing the superintendent and board president to execute the necessary documents of certification as required by the Alabama State Department of Education, ” Attorney Sanders stated. According to Superintendent Dr. Corey Jones, the Town of Forkland is prepared to purchase the Birdine School Property when all state requirements are met.
In his report, Superintendent Jones noted that the total positive coronavirus cases among school personnel is 18 and to date the total that reportedly have been exposed/isolated/quarantined is 40. He assured the board the all school facilities are thoroughly cleaned and sanitized daily.
Jones provided updates on the maintenance and repairs associated with various school facilities, including an update on the new roofing project at the central office.
The following personnel items were approved by the board:
Maternity Leave for Kalyn Bryant, Science Teacher, Robert Brown Middle School, effective January 4, 2021.
Employment of Angela Taylor, Long-term Substitute Science Teacher, Robert Middle School; and Milton Jones, Greene County Board Maintenance Department.
Retirement of Atausha Tinker-Mitchell, effective January 7, 2021.
Rescind employment of Latonya Taylor, Special Needs Teacher, Robert Brown Middle School. She did not accept position.
The board approved the following administrative service items:
Sale of Birdine Elementary School to the Town of Forkland.
Payment of all bills, claims, and payroll.
Approval for the Extension of the Families First Coronavirus Response ACT (FFCRA) Leave until March 31, 2021.
Ms. Lavonda Blair, CSFO, presented the following financial snapshot for the period ending November 30, 2020: General Fund Bank Balance – $1,124,226.97; Accounts Payable Check Register – $450,615.36; Payroll Register – $815,656.88; Combined Fund Balance – $4,424,586.70; Local Revenue: Property/Sales Taxes – $136,055.01; Bingo – $57, 873; Total Local Revenue – $193,928.01

Greene County School Board given tributes for Board Appreciation Month

L to R: Boardmembers Kashaya Cockrell, Carrie Dancy, Board President Carol P. Zippert,
Superintendent Dr. Corey Jones, Boardmembers Leo Branch and William Morgan

The Greene County Board of Education was given special salutes in recognition of January as the state-wide School Board Appreciation Month at its recent meeting held Tuesday, January 21, 2020. Delegations of school personnel and students from each school presented gifts of special treats and kind words to each board member, the superintendent and the board’s attorney. The Greene County High School choir favored all in attendance with a heartfelt song, led by choir director Mr. Siegfried Williams.
The board’s Central Office Staff, the Tishabee Community Tutorial Program and the Parent Engagement Program also provided Certificates of Appreciation and favorite treats. Robert Brown Middle School invited the board members to a continuing Board Appreciation Program at RBM scheduled for Friday, January 31.
As the board continued in its business meeting, CSFO, Lavonda Blair, presented the financial report as of November 31, 2019. Blair noted the general fund balance as $1,147,527.97; checks written for the period totaled $231,148.11; Payroll register total $860,169.77. Blair reported local revenue as local taxes in the amount of $217,426.22 and bingo revenue in the amount of $47,540.
According to CSFO Blair, the school system’s liquid assets in November exceeded $3,000,000.
As his report to the board, Superintendent Dr. Corey Jones opened the discussion of the board’s annual on site Whole Board Training workshop conducted by staff of the Alabama Association of School Boards. The board members reviewed the workshops completed since 2014 and listed preferences for the upcoming schedule.
The personnel items recommended by Superintendent Dr. Jones included the following.
Resignations: Herman Thomas, maintenance helper, effective January 31, 2020; LaToya Consentine, as school bus driver for the after -school 21st Century Program, effective ????
Cheryl Morrow as 21st Century Teacher, for the 2019-2020 School Year.
Ann Spree, released as Math Tutor, Greene County High School.
Supplemental contract for Rhonda Cameron, to assist CNP director with CNP related tasks.
Supplemental Contract for Corey Cockrell, as Girls Basketball Coach for the 2019-2020 School Year.
Supplemental Contract for Kelvineshia Williams, as Girls Assistant Basketball Coach for the 2019-2020 School Year.
The board approved the following administrative items recommended by the superintendent.
Approval of Alabama Supercomputer Authority (E-Rate) Contract, for the 2020 – 2021 School Year.
Approval of Criterion K-12 Consulting Evaluation Support Services for the 2019-2020 School year.
Approval of Contract between Greene County Board and Dutchess Jones, to provide ACT Mathematics Test Prep services for 11th and 12th grade students, at Greene County High School for the 2019-2020 School year.
Approval of Contract between Greene County Board and Pruett Oil Company, to provide Petroleum Products for the 2019-2020.
Approval of ADS Custom Security Needs for Robert Brown Middle School.
Approval of two (2) school buses to be added to Surplus List for sale or discard.

School board re-elects Branch as President and Zippert as Vice President

At its annual re-organizational meeting held, Monday, Nov. 19, 2018, the Greene County Board of Education elected the same officers to serve for the next year: Mr. Leo Branch as President and Dr. Carol P. Zippert as Vice President. The election of board officers was conducted by Attorney Hank Sanders who explained that the officers could be selected through the nomination process or by a motion and second. The latter was selected and the motion to re-elect the current officers was made by board member William Morgan, with a second by board member Carol Zippert. The motion passed on a vote of 3 to 1. Only four of the five school board members were present. The board agreed to maintain its same meeting schedule: Third Monday of each month at 4:30 pm. In his report to the board, Superintendent James Carter announced that the State Department of Education will be conducting a Comprehensive Review of the Greene County School System, which will include a review of all programs. This is a federally mandated review that is routinely conducted of all school systems within a three to five year schedule. The team from the state will review policies, visit classrooms, conduct interviews with administrators, teachers, and other school personnel, students and parents. The Comprehensive Review will be conducted November 26-30, 2018. Dr. Carter also reported that the Greene County School System is one of the first in the state to include a coding program for students. This will enable students to create various robotic instruments and components as well as develop systems by the time they are ready to graduate. In other business, the board approved the following personnel items: Resignations of Cardelia Paige as 5th Grade Teacher at Robert Brown Middle School and Cassandra Burton as Math Teacher at Greene County High School. Employment: Ann Spree as Math Tutor at Greene County High; Elroy Skinner as Math Teacher at Greene County High; and Jacqueline Carter as 5th Grade Teacher at Robert Brown Middle School.

The board approved the following Administrative Services recommended by the superintendent: * Request approval to survey and appraise Birdine School property. * Request approval for Makane Morrow to travel to Howard Computer Technology in Mississippi. * Approval of Contract with West Central Official Association of York, Alabama for Girls Basketball Officials during the 2018 -2019 school term. * Approval of Contract with West Central Official Association of York, Alabama for Boys Basketball Officials during the 2018 -2019 school term. * Request approval of field trip for Debate Team to travel to Kennesaw State University to compete in a 2-day event, March 2019. * Request approval of field trip, for Debate Team, to travel to Mississippi State University, to compete in a 2-day event February 2019. * Approval of Bid for fuel from Pruett Oil Company for Department of Transportation. * Approval of 2.5 % raise for LaVonda Blair, CSFO. * Approval to pay cost of T-Mobile connectivity for students in Greene County School District. Payment of all bills, claims, and payroll. The meeting adjourned with no comments from the public.

Superintendent Carter updates board on school initiatives

In the recent meeting of the Greene County Board of Education, held Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017, Superintendent James H. Carter, Sr. reported on the following initiatives in the school system.
*The Backpack Meal Program has been implemented at Eutaw Primary as a pilot this year. This program is a partnership between the Greene County School Board and the Tuscaloosa Food Bank
*Greene County High School will begin producing a Greene County High newspaper this fall.
* STEAM program this year will provide students an opportunity to show their skills in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics. Each program will have a Robotics Component. STEAM is not just about providing access to resources or programs; it is about providing quality teaching and learning experiences to students – how much is needed in a curriculum to ensure students are career and college ready.
*The school system has been approved for a grant in the amount of $15,000 for the At-Risk Program, Launching Excellence and Achievement Project.
*The system will develop a social media lounge for teachers and students to go on Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat to express their support for public schools; develop a College and Career Ready Room for students to apply for colleges and universities; also to provide students the opportunities to apply for financial aid and scholarships.
*The system will implement an action plan to decrease the absentee rate for students and teachers. This plan will address the specific reason why absenteeism is more problematic in some schools versus others.
*The system will pursue T-Mobile to give hotspots to students who do not have internet access at home.
*Congratulations to Robert Brown Middle School on the very innovative concept of going out to visit the school community, instead of community visiting the school.

In other business the board approved the following personnel items recommended by Superintendent Carter.
* Employment: Carl Oliver, Part-time Maintenance/ Part-time Custodian, Greene County High School; Employ Additional Resource Officer at Greene County High School; Additional Service contract(s) for the following employees at Robert Brown Middle School for the 2017 – 2018 academic year. (Separate Contract): Corey Cockrell, Head Girls Basketball Coach; Henry Miles, Assistant Girls Basketball Coach:
* Catastrophic Leave: Sadie Moore, Secretary, Eutaw Primary School.
Family Medical Leave: Verna Nickson, Bus Driver, Department of Transportation. * Leave without pay: Siegfried Williams, request leave of absence for every Tuesday in the month, beginning August 22 – December 12, 2017. Total of 17 days. * Travel: Rachel Nickson to travel to Atlanta, GA to attend Save the Children Cluster Meeting on November 14 -17, 2017.
The board approved the following administrative services recommended by the superintendent. First Reading: Student Discipline Implementation Guide; Email Acceptable Use Policy; Travel Policy; Capital Plan 2017-2018; Payment of all bills, claims, and payroll; Bank reconciliations as submitted by Ms. Katrina Sewell, CSFO.
School Board CSFO, Katrina Sewell, presented the following report for September. Total revenue for September was $734,680.56; From the accounts payable register, state funds expended totaled $57,652.40; federal funds expended totaled $92,143.89; local funds expended totaled $321,578.79. Accounts payable totaled $471,285.08. Payroll expenditures for the month totaled $861,819.08. The current fund balance of $3,274,984.27 does not include final expenditures for accounts payable in FY 2017.
Attorney Hank Sanders, in his report to the board, advised that a lawsuit has been recently filed by the Alabama Attorney General against six counties where electronic bingo operates. “If this lawsuit succeeds, the Greene County School System, along with other entities, will lose funds,” Sanders noted. Attorney Sanders also informed the board that a law suit filed by an employee has been settled, but the employee is seeking more.

Greene County School System rolls out Technology Initiative

At the regular monthly meeting of the Greene County Board of Education, held Monday August 21, 2017, Superintendent James Carter announced that a press conference to announce the rollout of the new Technology Initiative will be held Monday, August 28, 2017 at 10:30 pm at the board’s central office, 220 Main Street, Eutaw, AL. The public is invited to attend.
According to Dr. Carter the Chrome Books Program/Tablets will be available for students, parents and teachers in the current 2017-2018 school session. The Chrome Books are for students in grades 4 -12; the Tablets are for students in grades K-3. The initial rollout will begin the process of training first teachers, staff and students in using the technology. The next step will be to train parents, so students will have support at home for homework projects.
Superintendent Carter stated that a survey is being conducted to determine how many student households have access to the internet. A follow up phase will be to determine how to assist families without internet access.
According to Dr. Carter, approximately 947 Chrome books and Tablets will be issued to students for use in school and, hopefully at a later date, to take home for continued school work.
The Chrome Books Program/Tablets is a collaboration with the Housing Authority of Greene County and Stillman College and T-Mobile.
In his report Superintendent Carter also cautioned that in order for our students to be Career and College Ready, there must be an Educational Proficiency Plan for each student grades 8-12. If a student is preparing for college, there should be a written plan to follow the student’s progress.
Dr. Carter noted that the ACT Aspire Data results showed increases in reading and math at Eutaw Primary School; Robert Brown Middle School students’ results flat lined across the entire school; Greene County High showed little or no improvement across the school population. Carter explained that the state has determined that the ACT Aspire does not test students according to the Alabama Department of Education’s mandated curriculum, thus, the ACT Aspire will no longer be used and will be temporarily replaced with the Global Scholar assessment.
In other business the board approved the following Personnel Services Items:
*Reassignment: Fentress Means, half day Physical Education Teacher, at Eutaw Primary School, and half day Drivers’ Education Teacher, at Greene County High School.
* Resignation(s): Robert Brown Middle School, Majorie Duncan, 5th Grade Teacher, effective June 25, 2017; Jacob Sullivan, Assistant Football Coach; Greene County High School, Jerome Franks, Physical Education / Drivers’ Education Teacher effective July 19, 2017.

* Employment at Robert Brown Middle School: Cardelia Paige – 5th Grade Teacher; Angel Cardona, Adjunct Instructor, Dance; Katlin Whittle, Arts Instructor, Eutaw Primary and Robert Brown Middle School, Grades 4-6; Justin Booth, Part-time Physical Education Teacher, at Greene County High School, and Part-time Agro-Science Teacher, Robert Brown Middle School, for 6th, 7th and 8th Grade; Ms. Lester Cox, Teacher Aide at Eutaw Primary School from August 9th 2017 – September 29, 2017.
*Additional Service Contract 2017-2018 for the following employee at Greene County High School (Separate Contract): Fentress Means, Head Baseball Coach.
* Catastrophic Sick Leave: Linda Little, Greene County High School.
* Family and Medical Leave : Angelia Hood, Central Office.
Administrative services items approved:
* Increase in admission for Robert Brown Middle School Athletic events from $3.00 to $5.00.
* Contract with West Central Volleyball Officials Association, and West Central Football Officials Association, as home game officials.
* Meal price change to be in compliance with the Child Nutrition Guidelines for visitors during the 2017-2018 school year. The necessary meal price adjustments are as follows: Visitor Students Breakfast $1.25, Lunch $3.50; Visitor Adult Breakfast $2.00, Lunch $3.75; Employees Breakfast $1.75, Lunch $3.50.
* Bid summitted by Flowers Bakery for bread during the 2017 – 2018 school year; Bid summitted by Borden Dairy Milk Company Inc. for Milk during the 2017-2018 school year.
* Bank reconciliations as submitted by Ms. Katrina Sewell, CSFO.
* Payment of all bills, claims, and payroll.
* Travel for Greene County High School Debate Team to John Paul II High School in Nashville.
Instructional Services Items approved: First Reading for Greene County Schools One-on-One Technology Handbook; Implementation Guide of Curriculum Component for Strategic Plan (Phase 1).