School board selects personnel for 21st Century Community Learning Centers

At a called meeting held Monday, Oct. 30, 2017, the Greene County Board of Education approved personnel recommended by Superintendent James Carter for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) at Eutaw Primary School and Robert Brown Middle School. The two schools have been approved for a total of $300,000 funding each year for three years for the extended day programs scheduled to begin Monday, Nov. 6, 2017.
Dr. Shayla McCray, At Risk Coordinator for the Greene County School System, will serve as overall director of the project. Teachers include Keisha Williams, Charlease Smith, Lester Cox, Felicia Smith, Raven Bryant, Janice Jeams, Rebecca Coleman, Miakka Taylor, Shunetta Kirkman, and Tamecisha Abrams. Assistant teachers include Tweila Morris and Rachael Nickson. According to Dr. Carter, the personnel may be adjusted depending on the number of students participating in the programs.
The after school programs will operate approximately 2 hours after school hours at each school facility, serving up to 100 students with a focus on STEAM, Language arts, recreational skills, entrepreneurial education, nutrition and health, counseling and expanded library access.The project also includes a parental involvement and family literacy component; anti-bullying, drug and violence prevention.

Town of Union constructs first community storm shelter

L to R: Town Council members Helen Sanford, Louise Harkness, Gene Colvin and Mayor James Gaines; Town Council members Rosie Davis and Alonzo Thompson.

The Town of Union, Greene County, cut the ribbon on its completed storm shelter at a special program held Tuesday, October 17, 2017 on the town’s municipal complex. Mayor James Gaines and the Town Council welcomed the residents and friends who gathered to witness the grand event.
“This is truly a great moment for us. We got passed over the first time the Town of Union was designated to receive funds for our community storm shelter, so we took matters into our own hands and not only made plans to construct the shelter, but we carried it out those plans,” Mayor Gaines stated.

“ We are proud of ourselves and very appreciative of those who did assist us,” he said.
According to Ms. Marilyn Sanford, town clerk, “It took just about one year to complete our project, from the time the specs were let in October 2016 to this grand occasion in 2017.”
At a cost of approximately $83, 000, coming from Bingo resources, the Union Storm Shelter is 48 ft. in length, 10 ft. Wide and 8ft. in height. The structure is designed to hold about 100 individuals, but can really contain many more.
Mayor Gaines and the Town Council emphasized that the Union Storm Shelter is not just for the Union community. “This shelter will be open to all who are in need of a safe haven when a severe storm hits. We will not turn away anyone,” they stated.
Greene County officials attending the ceremony included County Commissioners Lester Brown, Tennyson Smith and Allen Turner; Greene County Sheriff Jonathan Benison; Hodges Smith, President of the Association of VFD; Iris Sermon, Director of E911; Boligee Town Council Member Teresa Mack; Kinya Turner represented Forkland Mayor Charlie McCalpine; and Carol Zippert, Vice-President, Greene County Board of Education.

West Alabama Works holds meeting to open AIDT Training Trailer at Greene Co. High School

JOB  Fair.jpgOver 150 mostly young people attended Tuesday night’s kick-off meeting for the AIDT Training Trailer, located at 14223 U. Highway 11 South, in front of the Greene County High School.
People were present to register and sign-up for classes and training to prepare for work in Greene County and surrounding counties in the West Alabama Black Belt.

Classes will be provided for Certified Nursing Assistant (CAN) for entry-level work in the healthcare field. Classes will also be available for GED studies leading to a high school equivalency; Ready To Work training and certification in “work keys” which will lead to employment in the growing Alabama automotive industry; computer skills and other skill areas.
Donny Jones, Chief Operating Officer for the West Alabama Chamber of Commerce and Director of West Alabama Works, said the AIDT Training Trailer will be in Greene County for the next three months, “to provide free testing and training for local residents who are willing to commit their time to acquire new skills and certification. At the end of this process, there are real jobs in the area but employers want to know if you have the skills and attitudes to fill and keep these jobs.”
“This is the opportunity of a lifetime and the chance to transform families and change communities. We are building a career connect system to provide you the entry level skills and credentials you need to work in the future business and industry” said Jones.
Jones explained that the Ready to Work program provides soft skills for people, interested in working in Alabama. These soft skills include team building, attitudes toward coming to work consistently and on-time, safety including avoiding drugs and alcohol on the job, basic math, precision measurement and other skills. People who faithfully attend this five-week program receive certification that they can present to employers when seeking a job.
The CNA training for the healthcare field will be an eight-week training leading to basic certification to work in nursing homes, hospitals and other health care facilities.
Persons attending the kick-off were able to register with West Alabama Works about their interest in training. They will be called back for more in depth testing and a recommended training curriculum to meet their specific needs. Persons who missed the kick-off can still register at: http://www.westalabamaworks.org or come by the AIDT trailer on Highway 11 at the Greene County High School.
The Region 3 Workforce Development Council, in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama, formed West Alabama Works to lead workforce development efforts throughout West Alabama. The regional workforce development system facilitates and implements a comprehensive, coordinated, seamless workforce development system for the region and supports workforce training activities
In the development of this mobile training unit, West Alabama Works is partnering with the University of West Alabama, Greene County Industrial Development Authority, Greene County Board of Education, Greene County Commission, Shelton State Community College, and AIDT to meet community needs. As Gary Nichols, Chairman of the West Alabama Works Steering Committee notes, “This will help individuals in the region prepare for new and existing job opportunities. We’re here to generate meaningful results.”

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.

Tuesday, Oct. 17 at Greene County High School Community-wide kickoff to be held for AIDT Mobile Training Unit to prepare Greene County residents for employment

Greene County and West Alabama Works are hosting an AIDT Mobile Training Unit at Greene County High School/Greene County Career Center, located at 14223 U.S. Highway 11 South in Eutaw, Alabama.
The mobile unit will be available to community members for the next 3 months for the purposes of holding Ready-to-Work (RTW) job preparation classes, resume building, GED classes, computer classes, and C.N.A. certification.
A kick-off, open to the public, is to be held Tuesday, October 17, 2017 from 6-7:30 PM at the high school. The kick-off is designed to educate the community beyond high school and enable community members to qualify for available career opportunities.
The Region 3 Workforce Development Council, in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama, formed West Alabama Works to lead workforce development efforts throughout West Alabama. The regional workforce development system facilitates and implements a comprehensive, coordinated, seamless workforce development system for the region and supports workforce training activities
In the development of this mobile training unit, West Alabama Works is partnering with the University of West Alabama, Greene County Industrial Development Authority, Greene County Board of Education, Greene County Commission, Shelton State Community College, and AIDT to meet community needs. As Gary Nichols, Chairman of the West Alabama Works Steering Committee notes, “This will help individuals in the region prepare for new and existing job opportunities. We’re here to generate meaningful results.”
Tennyson Smith, Chair of the Greene County Commission said, “The Commission is pleased to support this workforce effort to provide greater employment opportunities to Greene County residents.”

Danny Cooper, Chair of the Greene County IDA, stated, “ We are very supportive of this West Alabama Works program which will assess the skills and qualifications of Greene County citizens. It will help them to better prepare for employment opportunities to be developed in our communities and for jobs that are currently available in our wider area.”
Area employers are looking to hire individuals who have successfully completed the Ready-to-Work curriculum, as it proves individuals have mastered essential soft skills for workplace success and have a skill level desirable to business and industry.
Donny Jones, Chief Operating Officer for the Chamber and Director of West Alabama Works commented, “Ready to Work programs are part of our efforts in connecting residents with high demand employment opportunities and training that will revitalize local communities. Not only will this assist people in becoming more employable, this project will enable us to fill workforce needs in rapidly advancing sectors.”
To pre-register, call 205-372-9974. Commitment to attend classes is required of participants.

 

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.
*Activity/FUNraiser
* 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).

Board to pursue making Robert Brown Middle School an Art & Technology Academy

At the Greene County Board of Education meeting, held Monday, June 12, 2017, Superintendent James Carter, Sr. proposed that the board consider Robert Brown Middle School becoming an Art and Technology Academy and authorized the superintendent to apply for a Magnet School grant for this purpose. Dr. Carter explained that in this arrangement art and technology would be taught across the curriculum broadening the core curriculum for students.
Dr. Carter also stated that the Arts and Technology Academy would compliment the STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Art and Mathematics) program that will be implemented in grades 4-8 at Robert Brown Middle School in the next school session.
In his report Dr. Carter announced that the Chrome Books Program/Tablets will be available for students, parents and teachers in the 2017-2018 school session. This is a collaboration with the Housing Authority of Greene County and Stillman College. “In the Chrome book collection students and teachers will be able to discover a series of programs that will help teachers learn to use this product effectively,” he stated.
According to Dr. Carter, approximately 947 Chrome books and Tablets will be issued to students for use in school and to take home for continued school work. He explained that students and parents will be trained in using the Chrome books and Tablets. “We want our teachers, students and parents to feel confident using Chrome books technology in this new endeavor. The end results will be more online coaching and mentoring that helps them design learning experiences for each student,” Carter said.
Dr. Carter informed the board that according to recent reports the third grade cursive writing proficiency percentage indicated that 85% of the students were proficient in cursive writing.
The board approved the following personnel items for Robert Brown Middle School recommended by Superintendent Carter: School Personnel recalled at Robert Brown Middle School: Teresa Atkins – Family and Consumer Science; Jacob Sullivan – 8th grade Social Studies; Jeffrey Nolen – 7th grade Social Studies; Ms. Majorie Duncan – 5th grade teacher; Ms. Wanda Blakely – Special Education teacher; Ms. Shunetta Kirkman – 6th grade teacher. Ms. Ashley Moore was hired as 5th grade teacher at RBM

The board approved the non-renewal of Ms. Raven Brown, Special Education Teacher at RBM and the involuntary transfer of Ms. Doris Robinson from P. E. Teacher at Robert Brown to P.E. Teacher at Eutaw Primary. The board approved the following personnel items for Greene County High School recommended by Superintendent Carter: Three-year Principal’s Contract for Mr. Garry Rice, for the period of July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2020; Fentress Means – Greene County Learning Academy; Mrs. Nancy Cole – Long-term Sub Social Studies. The board also approved a family Leave Request for Ms. Linda Little, Social Studies teacher at Greene County High.
Dr. Bennie Pennington was hired as Lead Teacher at the Greene County Learning Academy, and Mrs. Sondra Green was approved as full time Health Science teacher at Greene County Career Tech Center.
On the recommendation of Superintendent Carter, the board approved additional Service Contracts 2017 – 2018 for the following employees at Greene County High School: (Separate Contract): Rodney Wesley – Head Basketball Coach (Boys); Kendra Payne – Head Basketball Coach (Girls); Janice Jeames – Girls’ Volleyball Coach; Frederick Holmes – Band Director; Jerome Franks – Head Baseball Coach (Boys); Su’Kova Hicks – Head Softball Coach (Girls); Drenda Morton – Cheerleader Sponsor.
Additional Service Contracts 2017 – 2018 were approved for the following employees at Robert Brown Middle School: (Separate Contract): Corey Cockrell – Athletic Director, B – Team Basketball; Jacob Sullivan – Assistant Football Coach; Jeffrey Wesley – Head Basketball Coach; Marjorie Duncan – Head Girls’ Basketball Coach; Dorris Robinson – Cheerleader Sponsor.
The following personnel were approved for Seamless Summer Feeding Program to operate at Eutaw Primary June 5 – 15, 2017 and at Greene County High School June 5 – 29, 2017 at a rate of $15.00 per hour for Managers and $13.00 per hour for Cooks: Linda Underwood – Manager at Eutaw Primary; Rosie Davis – Cook at Eutaw Primary; Mary Hill – Cook at Eutaw Primary; Gloria Lyons – Manager at Greene County High; Jessica Lake – Cook at Greene County High; Youlonda Coleman – Cook at Greene County High.
The board approved employment of the following teachers for Summer School June 5 – June 16, 2017 (Funding Source – Federal Funds): Greene County High Teacher, Kelsey Smith – Special Education, Summer school teacher.
At Eutaw Primary the board approved employment of Jacqueline Allen as Reading Intervention Teacher and Brittany January as Math Teacher at Robert Brown Middle School.
The board approved the non-renewal of Ms. Sherry Wright as bus driver.
Under administrative services, the board approved the following:
* First Reading Federal Funds – Conflict of Interest Policy.
* Agreement between Greene County Board of Education and Criterion Consulting, LLC for professional consulting services in area of Finance.
* Travel for Frederick Square to attend the National Conference on School Discipline in Atlanta, GA., June 21 – 24, 2017.
* Travel for Linda Underwood to attend the School Nutrition Association Annual Conference in Atlanta, GA., July 9 – 12, 2017.
* Travel for Sharon Jennings to attend NAESP Leadership Institute in Alexandria, VA. ,July 26-28, 2017.
* Travel for SFC Timothy Gibbs and JROTC students to attend the LeaderSTATE STEM Camp at Mississippi State University in Starkville, MS on July 17 and July 21, 2017.
* Four Day Work Week beginning June 5 – 9, 2017 and ending the week of July 24- 27, 2017.
* June 29th as payday for the month of June due to the 4-day work week.
* System to close July 3rd as part of the Fourth of July Holiday.
* Budget Amendments recommended by the CSFO, due to the SDE by June 15, 2017.
* Bank reconciliations as submitted by Ms. Katrina Sewell, CSFO.
Superintendent presented the board with a draft of the Greene County Board of Education Strategic Plan for first reading. The board will review the plan at a work session tentatively scheduled for Monday, June 26, 2017.