Greene County school system’s chief financial officer resigns

The Greene County Board of Education met in a special call meeting, Thursday, September 2, 2021, for matters involving the system’s CSFO, Lavonda Blair and for personnel matters. Following an executive session, the board voted unanimously to accept the CSFO’s resignation, effective September 16, 2021. The board did not disclose reasons for the resignation. Ms. Lavonda Blair was hired as Chief School Financial Officer for the Greene County School System, on a three year contract, beginning August 1, 2018. In June of this year, the board renewed Blair’s contract effective July 1, 2021, expiring June 30, 2024. The board authorized the President, Dr. Carol Zippert, with the assistance of the Superintendent Dr. Corey Jones, to seek temporary personnel to continue the tasks in the system’s CSFO Department, especially regarding the closeout of the books for the current fiscal year ending September 30. The board further authorized President Zippert and Vice-President Kashaya Cockrell to initiate the search for a qualified CSFO for the system. Regarding personnel items, the board approved the superintendent’s recommendation to hire the following: Mary Henderson as Secretary for the Department of Transportation; Cyontai Lewis as Physical Education Teacher at Robert Brown Middle School. Following the close of the board meeting, Superintendent Jones announced that Greene County Schools would continue the remote learning program for approximately another two-weeks, up to the next regularly scheduled school board meeting, September 20, 2021. Dr. Jones noted that his decision is based on the rising number of COVID virus cases in Greene County and the surrounding region. According to Jones, each school would prepare lesson packages for students not yet able to participate in the on -line virtual classes. “We had to secure more tablets or repair existing ones as well as purchase more hot-spots for students in areas not accessible to the internet. Even with the hot-spots, some students are having difficulties logging-on. To address this, the system is arranging for log-on spots (crater points) that students can access,” he said. Dr. Jones urged everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated. “The low vaccinated rate in our county, including among parents, school personnel and eligible students, is the main reason the COVID virus is attacking us,” Jones said. It was also announced that beginning with the September 20th meeting, the board will hold its regular monthly meetings at 5:30 pm in the Central Office.

Board holds Budget Hearing

Parents concerned about COVID positive cases in schools; anxious for alternative programs

Parents attend school board meeting to express concerns for children’s safety with rising COVID positive cases in some schools.

The Greene County Board of Education, at its regular session, Monday August 16, 2021, held the first of two required public Budget Hearings relative to the 2021-2022 fiscal year.  The second public Budget Hearing is scheduled for Thursday, August 26, 2021 at 4:30 in the Board’s Central Office.

  Superintendent Dr. Corey Jones opened his report with a statement that the school system has received information that five students at one of the schools have tested positive for the coronavirus. (Editor’s Note: At press time Wednesday, the school system had 20 students reported COVID positive.)  Those students are currently in isolation and no longer in school.  He noted that his immediate response was to implement contact tracing and send written communications to the parents of students who may have had contact with the students reported to have tested positive.  He cautioned all parents to monitor their children closely and have them tested at any signs of related illness.  He also urged parents to get their children who are of age vaccinated, and to encourage other adults to get vaccinated as well.

    “We are implementing all methods we can to provide a safe environment in our schools, but in this situation, the children testing positive did not get infected in school.  Contact tracing indicated this occurred in the community.  There is a rise in the spread of COVID 19 and its variants all over Alabama, including Greene County.  Vaccinations are still at a low rate, and without a mandatory mask mandate for the public, our community is greatly exposed,” Jones stated.  

    He emphasized that masks are required by everyone in Greene County schools and school properties. “We are also not allowing visitors at the schools.  This is another measure to keep students and personnel safe,”  he said.

    Superintendent Jones remarked that, understandably, parents are concerned about the safety and welfare of their children and are anxious about continuing to send them to in-school classes.  “ We are also monitoring the COVID situation closely, giving attention to the guidance of all health agencies and directives from the Governor’s office, and we will be prepared to make adjustments in school operations as authorized and needed,” he stated. “ Virtual learning is currently available for students who have serious underlying conditions,” Jones added.

    Jones reminded that  officials from the State Department of Health will be at Robert Brown Middle School and Greene County High on Wednesday, August 18 to hold clinics and administer vaccinations,  with parental consent, to students 12 year and older. 

    A number of parents attended the board meeting to express their concerns, during public comments, about the report of students with COVID positive and the risk to their children continuing with the in-school classes. Parents, seemingly, were seeking assurance that school officials would keep their children safe.  They were also anxious to know the specific plans for an alternative academic program (virtual classes).  Many expressed that they were considering keeping their children home, even if they were not COVID positive.  One parent expressed that the news that some students from a particular school had the virus was a traumatic experience for her child.

    Superintendent Jones repeated the process for continuous sanitizing of all school facilities; mandating masks; sanitizing hands, and stated he will be contacting State Department of Education regarding alternative schooling.

    In continuing his report, Superintendent Jones noted that current school enrollment is down. “We have 838 students enrolled to date; so far there is a decrease in the ADM by 46.65%.  We have 152 employees.   All bus drivers are vaccinated and with 19 bus routes and 19 buses, all but seven are equipped with air conditioning, and buses on the longest routes have air conditioning,” he said.  

    Jones stated that buses have to be purchased on a staggered schedule, to comply with state directives and benefit from the limited state resources for the Transportation Department. 

“If we bought five buses now, these are likely to need replacing at the same time and we would not have sufficient resources to replace all five,” he explained. 

    Jones also noted that there will be greater emphasizes on student reading and Math improvement, with interventionists at each school; this is in addition to the regular classroom teachers.

    The board approved the following personnel items recommended by the superintendent. 

Rescind: Calvin Finch –  History Teacher, Greene County High School; Tanisha Strode-2nd grade Teacher at Eutaw Primary School.

Employment: Ralph Marshall – History Teacher, Greene County High School; Brittany Jenkins – Math Intervention, Greene County High School; Randall White – Maintenance, Greene County Board of Education; Glenara Faust – Fifth Grade Teacher, Robert Brown Middle School; LaDaisha Grace – Seventh/Eight Grade Social Studies, Robert Brown Middle School; Tabitha Smith – In-School Suspension Facilitator, Robert Brown Middle School; Nyesha Watson – First Grand Teacher, Eutaw Primary; Destiny Taylor – Long Term Substitute, Eutaw Primary; Shana Lucy – Third Grade Teacher, Eutaw Primary.

Voluntary Transfer: Pamela Pasteur, from First Grade Teacher to Reading Intervention Teacher, Eutaw Primary School; Corey Cockrell, from PE Teacher at Robert Brown to 9th Grade, Greene County High; Sherita Pickens, from 3rd Grade Teacher to Math Intervention Teacher, Eutaw Primary; Felecia Smith, from 6th Grade Teacher, Robert Brown Middle to Math Intervention Teacher, Robert Brown Middle; Tameshia Porter, English Teacher Greene County High to Reading Intervention Greene County High.

Supplemental Contracts Robert Brown Middle School:  Henry Miles, Head Football Coach; Quentin Walton, Assistant Football Coach; Ladasia Grace, Girl Basketball Coach; Henry Miles, 8th Grade Boys’ Basketball Coach; Elroy Skinner, 8th Boys’ Assistant Coach; Quentin Walton, 7th grade Boys’ Basketball Coach.

Supplemental Contracts, Greene County High School: Corey Cockrell, Head Football Coach; Janice Jeames Askew, Volleyball Coach; Halven Carodine, Assistant Boys Basketball Coach, Boys.

     The Board approved the following administrative items. 

* Payment of all bills, claims, and payroll.

* Bank reconciliations as submitted by Ms. LaVonda Blair, CSFO.

* Resolution Agreement Special Education.

* Certificate of Agreement between Greene County Board of Education and Brandon Comer of    Comer Capital Group.

* Authorize Attorney Hank Sanders to interact on vaping lawsuit and bring back written proposal to the board for consideration.

School board authorizes use of masks; superintendent presents goals for 2021-2022 school year

The Greene County Board of Education met in a call meeting Thursday, July 29, 2021, focusing on three specific agenda items: Personnel, Masks in the school system and Superintendent Dr. Corey Jones Goals for 2021-2022 school year.

    The three board members present (Kashaya Cockrell, Leo Branch and Carol Zippert) voted to authorize Superintendent Jones to implement the use of masks, as needed, in the school system for 2021-2022. The Alabama Department of Health is urging mask-wearing for all students and staff, following the recommendation of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for universal mask-wearing in schools, regardless of vaccination status, due to a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases as the contagious delta variant of the virus spreads through the country. 

    Following a brief executive session, the board approved the following personnel items recommended by the superintendent for the 2021-2022 school term.

Employment at Robert Brown Middle School: Carlie Rhodes as 4th Grade Teacher; Tavoris Lacy as 7th/8th Grade English Teacher; Tyletha Lord as Library Media.

Employment at Greene County High School:  Calvin Finch as History Teacher; Jakayla Woods as Science Teacher.

Eutaw Primary School: Dothea Smith as long-term substitute, 2nd Grade Teacher.

Resignation: Alphonzo Morton,III as Science Teacher, Greene County High School.

    For the remainder of the meeting, Superintendent Jones presented 10 goals he will focus on for the 2021-2022 school term, including the strategies for implementation and measurements.  Dr. Jones noted that his goals correspond to goals and areas of focus in the system’s Strategic Plan.

    As he presented each goal, Dr. Jones and board members engaged in discussions that provided more specifics relative to the strategies for implementation with timelines and measurements.  The board members requested that these additional approaches and means are included in the superintendent’s document of goals. 

    The following is a listing of the superintendent’s goals 

Goal 1: Maintain a safe and healthful environment that maximizes learning for students and      staff. 

Goal 2: Analyze and evaluate all aspects of the district’s academic and curriculum work.  Continue to improve student mathematics and reading achievement at all grade levels for all students and decrease achievement gaps where they exist.

Goal 3: Work in partnership with the community to enrich educational programs and create a true school community. Schedule quarterly town hall community meetings to enhance collaboration, communication and engagement.

Goal 4: Meet monthly with Superintendent’s Advisory Council to learn more about what our students’ value in their education and their ideas for improvement of the Greene County School District.

Goal 5: Develop and monitor a plan to improve and maintain a graduation rate of at least 90%.

Goal 6: Meet with local and state elected officials to continue to develop collaborative relationships.

Goal 7: Ensure that the district is financially solvent by continuing to monitor the district financial position and ensure that the district maintain the state mandated operating reserve.  Work with the CSFO to ensure that all funds are expended in the most efficient manner.

Goal 8: Attend professional development opportunities to increase leadership skills.

Goal 9: Develop and monitor a plan to reduce the district’s long term financial obligations.

Goal 10: Develop and monitor  plan to access and meet the professional development needs of          the administrative leadership of the district.

Lottery-Gambling Bills leave many unresolved questions for Greene County

News Analysis by John Zippert, Co-Publisher

The Lottery-Gambling Bill which passed the Alabama State Senate failed in the Alabama House of Representatives on the last day of the session. The bill as passed by the Senate created an Alabama Lottery with most proceeds going to higher education scholarships and established casino gambling at six designated locations in the state, with proceeds going to the state’s general fund for broadband expansion, rural health care support and other priorities. The bill provided for casino gambling with slot machines and table games, such as Blackjack, Roulette and others, at places in the state that previously had dog racing and some new locations. Casino gaming was specifically provided at Greenetrack in Greene County, Mobile, Birmingham, Shorter (Victoryland in Macon County), Dothan and a new facility in the northeast corner of the state (near Chattanooga, TN.). The lottery and gaming regulation was placed under the control of a statewide commission and tax revenues flowed to the state. There was also a provision that some portion of the taxes would be returned to the local jurisdictions where gaming facilities were located. The Porch Creek Band of Choctaw Indians that own and operate electronic bingo gambling, on tribal land, at Atmore, Wetumpka and Montgomery would be allowed to upgrade their gambling operations to table games, under Federal regulations. The Porch Creek interests were allowed to compete for the new location in NE Alabama. There were also provisions allowing a compact between the State of Alabama and the Porch Creek Band relative to revenues from gambling. There were many groups and interests in Greene County who opposed the bill because it did not answer some issues and questions they had. Greene County voters overwhelming approved Constitutional Amendment 743, in November 2003, which allowed electronic bingo in the county. The licensing and payment of monthly fees and charitable contributions is governed by the Sheriff of Greene County. Currently there are six licensed bingo operations in Greene County – Greenetrack, Bama Bingo, Frontier, River’s Edge, Palace and Marvel City. There were five operating bingo enterprises during the last legislative session. These bingo operations employ 300 to 500 persons in their operations, most of whom are Greene County residents. Greenetrack is responsible for approximately 100 of the employed positions. For the month of April 2021, the five bingo operations contributed $600,948.87, based on fees per machine, to the Greene County Commission, Greene County Board of Education, Greene County Health System, Greene County Sheriff’s Department, the cities of Eutaw, Forkland, Union and Boligee, as well as a group of non-profit charitable organizations. Greenetrack provided $71,000 to the same government and municipal agencies. These agencies receive over $7 million a year in revenues from the bingo operations. The heads of these agencies are quick to say without these bingo revenues they would have a difficult time in providing necessary services to the residents of Greene County. The major unresolved questions in the effort to create statewide lottery and casino gambling were what happens to the other bingo operations in Greene County, if Greenetrack becomes the only officially designated gambling site in Greene County. What happens to the other bingo halls in Greene County? Will they have to close? Will they have to lay off their employees? What guarantees are there to the county agencies, including the schools, health system and municipal governments, that receive $7 million a year in revenues from bingo, that these funds will be continued or replaced with other funds? The lottery/gambling bill died in the legislature this session but it will surely be revived again in a future special or regular legislative session. The questions we have raised in this article and that are on the minds of Greene County residents remain unresolved. Greene County is a special case, we and Lowndes County, already have an established electronic bingo industry, which was not taken into consideration in the debate on the lottery/gambling bill in this year’s session. We must take actions to assure our interests and concerns are considered in future discussions of gambling in Alabama. The Democrat will stay on top of this issue and welcomes letters and comments from our readers.

GCHS graduation scheduled for Friday, May 21 Superintendent reports 53% of student enrollment returns to on-site classes

The Greene County Board of Education held its April 19, 2021 regular meeting face-to face in the Board’s Central Office, the first since November, 2020. All board members were in attendance and observed social distancing and wearing masks. In his report to the board, Superintendent Dr. Corey Jones provided enrollment data of students since the Phase II Hybrid Plan went into effect on April 5, 2021. Eutaw Primary School reported 214 students (64.4 %) returning to on site classes; Robert Brown Middle School reported 184 students (52.8%) returning; and Greene County High School with 133 (42%) returning. “I am pleased that 511 (53.8%) of our students have returned to on site classes. We are continuing to provided our virtual academic program to the those students who have not chosen to return yet,” he said. Dr. Jones noted that he continues to monitor the status of COVID-19 rates in Greene County and surrounding areas. “Greene County had a positivity rate of 4.5% for the previous 14 days, but the risk factor was high, due to nine recent cases,” he stated. According to Jones, since Phase II has been implemented, zero cases have been detected in the schools, however one individual is in quarantine, due to exposure. Jones announced that Greene County High School 2021 graduation is scheduled for Friday, May 21, at 6:00 pm on the athletic field at Robert Brown Middle School, providing weather permits. Students will be allowed four invitations; social distancing and wearing masks and related safety measures will be observed. Regarding his report on facilities, the superintendent reported that water coolers have been installed in all school facilities; hot water will be added, where needed, to the bathrooms at Eutaw Primary and Robert Brown Middle. Phase I of the Bat Removal Project at RMB is completed, with Phase II to include installation of vents. The re-roofing at the central office did not meet the April 15 deadline due to inclement weather. The project is expected to be completed by mid May. The CSFO Lavonda Blair reported that the school system is financially sound, with an excess of $4 million in the combined fund balance. Blair presented the following financial snapshot as of February 28, 2021: General Fund Balance – $980,540.25; Accounts Payable Check Register – $390,509.33; Payroll Register – $811,704.03; and combined Fund Balance at $4,032,471.83. The board took action notifying the CSFO that it intends to continue her contract. The board approved the follow personnel items recommended by the superintendent. * Rescind employment of Vera Richardson, Special Services Bus Aide. * Employment of Stephanie L. Spencer, Special Services Bus Aide. * Catastrophic Leave for Bridgette Ward, from January 1, 2021 thru August 24, 2021. * Resignation of Brianna Bryant, Pre-K Teacher, Eutaw Primary School. * Retirement of Willie Gilmore, Cosmetology Instructor, Career Center, Effective June 1, 2021. The board approved the following administrative items. * Payment of all bills, claims, and payroll. * MariMac Academic Solutions, to perform ACT Testing services to Greene County Schools. * Contractual Agreement between Greene County Board and Denise Horton-Behavioral Aide, Eutaw Primary School. * Contractual Agreement between Greene County Board and Eleanor Smalls, Behavioral Aide, Greene County High School. * Approval of 2021-2022 School Calendar. * Adoption of Math Textbook Series. * Professional Development Agreement between Greene County Board and Kathi Wilson, LLC. for the 2021-2022 School Year. * School Resource Officer Contract for 2020-2021 School Year.

Superintendent Jones schedules reopening of on-site classes in Greene County Schools

Dr. Corey Jones

At the regular meeting of the Greene County Board of Education, held virtually, March 15, 2021, Superintendent Dr. Corey Jones announced the reopening of schools, Monday, April 5, with on-site academic classes. Dr. Jones presented an overview of the Road Map to Reopening utilizing the system’s Phase II Hybrid Schedule. According to Jones, the decision to bring the students back is based on several factors including the substantial decrease in COVID-19 positive rates for the county; all school employees having had the opportunity to begin their vaccination process; continuous sanitation of all school premises; placement of plexiglass dividers in classrooms for teachers and students and other related safety measures. Dr. Jones noted that more than 50% of school personnel have had their first coronavirus vaccination. Reopening plans include the following: Students with last names beginning with A to M will attend classes all day Mondays and Tuesdays; Students with last names beginning N to Z will attend classes all day Wednesdays and Thursdays; Students will log in virtually on Fridays for tutoring or enrichment. Sanitizing of all facilities will also occur on Fridays; Students and school personnel must wear masks, reusable masks will be provided by the school system; School lunches will be served in the classrooms; Students school uniforms have been suspended for remaining current school term, but appropriate dress codes will be in place; School buses will operate at one half capacity with planned seating separation. The system’s reopening plan will be posted on the web site. Parents may elect to keep their children in the all virtual program. The superintendent emphasized that it is imperative to get students back with face-to-face instruction to further prepare for the State Department of Education ACAP Assessment. “This assessment will provide scientific basis of just where our students are academically,” he said. Dr. Jones announced that he is planning a summer school program with details to be provided later. The CSFO, Lavonda Blair, presented a snapshot financial report for January 2021. She indicated that the school system continues in a sound financial state, maintaining appropriate cash and investment reserves. Ms. Blair reported that, due to the coronavirus, there was a delay in the system receiving property taxes on a timely basis from the Revenue Commissioner’s office, however, there is an increase in the tax receipts. Ms. Blair noted that the State Examiners of Public Accounts office is conducting a routine financial and legal compliance audit of the Greene County Board of Education for the period October 1, 2019 through September 30, 2020. In other business the board approved the following personnel items recommended by Superintendent Jones. * Employment: Michael Moore, Maintenance, Greene County School System; Tina Cherry, Full-time Custodian, Eutaw Primary School; Vera Richardson, Special Services Bus Aide, Department of Transportation. * Retirement: Jeffery Wesley, Physical Education Teacher, Eutaw Primary School. • Catastrophic Leave: Kalya Gray, Science Teacher, Robert Brown Middle School. The board approved the following administrative items recommended. * Emergency contract with Conserv Wildlife Services, to resolve bat issues at Robert Brown Middle School. * County School System establish and maintain only one Athletic Booster Club with all funds being deposited therein and properly shared among teams regardless of gender. * Payment of all bills, claims, and payroll.

Greenetrack adds DHR to charity distribution with $9,000 as aid to families during COVID-19 pandemic

In the spirit of giving, Greenetrack has added the Department of Human Resources to its charity distribution list. The Greene County Department of Human Resources will receive nine thousand dollars ($9,000). This addition comes during a time when families will benefit most. Many families have been affected by COVID 19 and Greenetrack’s employees and shareholders hope that this contribution will help ease some of the burden caused by this pandemic.
The non-profit charities operating electronic bingo at Greenetrack in Eutaw, AL, E-911 Communication Services, the Greene County Volunteer Fire Fighters Association, and Woman to Woman, Inc., provided charitable contributions, for the month of November, to a variety of local organizations, all benefitting Greene County residents.
A total of $71,100 dollars was divided and given to the following charities:
Greene County Board of Education, $13,500; Greene County Hospital, $7,500; Greene County Commission, $24,000; City of Eutaw, $4,500; City of Union, $3,000; City of Boligee,$3,000; City of Forkland, $3,000; andGreene County Department of Human Resources, $9,000.
The following non-profit groups received $300: Greene County Nursing Home, SCORE, Greene County Golf Course, James C. Poole Memorial Library, Greene County Foster & Adoptive Parents Association, PARA, Greene County Housing Authority Youth Involvement, Children’s Policy Council, Reach, Greene County DHR, Greene County Volunteer Fire Fighters Association, and the Society of Folk Arts and Culture.

Superintendent Jones addresses challenges in students virtual academic program

Superintendent Dr. Corey Jones displays the School Board Member Academy Team Training Achievement Award 2020 presented to the Greene County Board of Education by the Alabama Association of School Boards for demonstrating a commitment to excellence in education through boardmanship training.

At the Greene County Board of Education regular meeting held Monday, September 21, 2020, Superintendent Dr. Corey Jones gave an update on the school system’s remote learning program. He noted that there are still issues with providing connectivity for some students who reside in certain areas of the county. “ We purchased additional Hots Spots from At& T as well as Verizon in efforts to assure that all our students are able to access the virtual services for their classroom work, and we are exploring alternative community sites that could assist students,” Jones explained.
Dr. Jones informed the board that the school administrators are monitoring students’ access to their daily classes. Parents or guardians of students who are not participating on a daily basis will be contacted to determine if the problem is related to technical access, the need for other academic assistance, or just delinquency on the part of the students. “Students who choose not to participate in classes through the system’s remote process will be noted as truant and subject to the appropriate follow-up,” he stated.
The superintendent warned that the COVID-19 positivity rate in the county is still high and the school system will continue to monitor the local situation. “ We really don’t know how long we will be in Phase I with our academic program. We want our students to be safe, but we are also mindful of doing our best to provide them the opportunity for a great academic program, “ Jones said. The board approved the following personnel items recommended by the superintendent. * Retirement: Nathaniel Webb, Mechanic, Department of Transportation, effective September 1, 2020; Mona Duncan, 4th Grade Teacher, Robert Brown Middle School, effective October 1, 2020.
Employment: Brandi Eubanks, 7th Grade Math Teacher, Robert Brown Middle School, for the 2020-2021 academic year; Rebecca Coleman, Technology Coordinator, effective September 21, 2020; Sharon Washington, Maintenance Supervisor, effective September 21, 2020; Dutchess Jones, Math Teacher, Greene County High School.
Confidential Settlement Agreement canceling Mr. Garry Rice’s Principal Contract and implementing a Math Specialist Employment Agreement.
The board approved the following administrative services recommended by the superintendent.
Agreement between Greene County Board of Education and Links 2 Learning Consulting.
Contract Services between Greene County Schools and Hands LLC, Alabama Autism Assistant Program.
Contract between Greene County Schools and ATT Assistive Technology Association.
Accept Bid from Assurance Service Group for re-roofing and alterations to Greene County Board Central Office.
Dr. Jones presented the board with the School Board Member Academy Team Training Achivement Award 2020, from Alabama Assoication of School Boards for demonstrating a commitment to excellence in education through boardmanship training.
Prior to its regular meeting on Sept. 21, the board held a work session to continue the annual evaluation of Superintendent Dr. Corey Jones. As per his contract, Superintendent Jones will submit his annual work plan to the board by October 19, which will include goals and objectives for the current school term. Subsequent superintendent evaluations will be based on the duties of the superintendent and the goals and objectives of the school system for the year in question.

Board gets unmodified audit report; conducts superintendent evaluation Superintendent Jones reviews Roadmap to Reopening Schools

In photo above, Greene County schools faculty and staff distribute student Tablets to parents/guardians, while observing masks requirement and social distancing.

The Greene County Board of Education held its monthly meeting, Monday, August 17, 2020 in the board’s Central Office. The first order of business was the school board’s audit report of Oct.1, 2018 through Sept.30, 2019, presented by Auditor Shelly Patrenos, with the Alabama State Department of Examiners of Public Accounts. The following is from the summary statement of the audit report: An unmodified opinion was issued on the financial statements, which means that the Board’s financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, its financial positions and the results of its operations for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2019.
Although Superintendent Dr. Corey Jones, in the July board meeting, laid out the system’s plan for the 2020-2021 school year which includes Remote classes for the first nine weeks; Hybrid blend of remote and traditional classes for the second nine weeks; and Traditional on campus instruction for the third nine weeks, Dr. Jones presented a summary of the system’s Roadmap to Reopening at the August meeting.
Dr. Jones opened his presentation with the comments: “As we begin this school term, I would like to inform our students, parents and the community that we will continuously strive to provide the best educational opportunity for our children in the safest environment possible.”
He proceeded to review guidelines for employee and student protocol for confirmed positive COVID-19 diagnosis (symptomatic and asymptomatic); and guidelines for when diagnosed employees and students may return to school.
The Roadmap also includes guidelines for the following: Health, Wellness, Safety and Prevention; Child Nutrition; Transportation; Counseling; Social Emotional Learning; Athletics and Extracurricular Programs and Activities.
Dr. Jones also announced that 700 Tablets and hotspots, with tracking devices, have been purchased for students and will be distributed August 18 and 19. This adds to the 400 tablets already on hand for students. He noted that the State of Alabama will provide free internet hook-up to families on the free and reduced lunch schedule, however, the families must apply directly.
According to the superintendent, while students are physically away from school, daily breakfast and lunch will be delivered to students via the system’s bus routes. Arrangements will be made for students who do not ordinarily ride a school bus.
The board approved the following personnel recommendations of the superintendent:
Rescind Employment- Robert Brown Middle School (Did not accept position) Samantha Jones 6th Grade Social Studies; Caaliyah Nelson, 4th Grade Teacher; Franklin Ball 7&8 Grade Math Teacher, for the 2020-2021 academic year.
Employment – Tammy Barber, 4th Grade Teacher; Garria Spencer, Bus Driver; Glenda Hodges, Long-term Special Education Substitute Teacher, Grade 4-6, Robert Brown Middle School; Deidre Paige-Carter, School Nurse; TraKayla Brown, Pre-K Auxiliary Teacher, Eutaw Primary School; Shelia Daniels, Secretary/Bookkeeper, Eutaw Primary School; Jasmine Smith, Mental Health Coordinator.
Resignation – Russell C. Rivers, Automotive Instructor/Career Coach, Greene County Career Center, effective August 17, 2020; Lakeisha Johnson, Pre-K Instructor, Eutaw Primary School, effective August 3, 2020.
CSFO Report
The board’s CSFO, Lavonda Blair, presented the following Financial Snapshot Report, as of June 30, 2020: General Fund Balance $2,023,115.91; A/P Check Register Accountability Report – $120,476.67; Payroll Register – $800,451.87; Combined Fund Balance – $4,543,431.17; Local Revenue – $96,520.72. Blair also presented additional funding update on CARES funds:GEER (Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund – total $75,989; ESSER (Elementary & Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund) – total $864,032; CRF (Coronavirus Relief Fund) Education, Health/Wellness – total $162,771; Remote Learning – total $232,530.
School Board Attorney’s Report
Attorney Hank Sanders reported that the Hearing Officer for the Joe N. Webb appeal ruled in the affirmative for the Greene County Board of Education.
School Board conducts annual superintendent evaluation
The August 17, 2020 regular board meeting was preceded by a work session in which the board members conducted the annual evaluation of superintendent Dr. Corey Jones.
Board Attorney Hank Sanders conducted the evaluation session which included the following performance standards: (1) Personal, Interpersonal and Professional Leadership addressing these categories -Vision for the District, Relationship with the Board, Relationship with the Community, Communication, District Leadership and Management, Decision Making and Planning, Ethics; (2) Organizational and Departmental Leadership addressing these categories – Curriculum and Instruction, Technology and Data Analysis, Fiscal, Law and Policy, Human Resources and Professional Development, Student Services, Facilities and Operations.
The board members rated the superintendent individually on each of the categories with a numerical rating. Once the scores are compiled and averaged, the board will meet again with Superintendent Jones for a summary conference.
Dr. Jones also conducted a self-evaluation of his role as superintendent.

Greene County schools postpone all extra-curricular activities

The Greene County Board of Education held an emergency meeting Tuesday, July 28, 2020 to take action on the superintendent’s recommendation regarding extra-curricular activities for the 2020-2021 school year.
Superintendent Dr. Corey Jones explained that the school system has already determined a three-phase opening for the coming school term and in efforts to keep the students, school personnel and community safe, the Greene County School System will operate its first phase virtually for the first nine weeks.
According to Jones, if it is unsafe to bring students together for classes, it is unsafe for students, faculty and others to gather for any extra-curricular activities, including football, cheerleading, dance, etc. He stated that as we progress through the school term, we will reassess the health condition of the local community and do what we must for the safety of all