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.

Superintendent Carter gives update on school initiatives

At the regular school board meeting held Monday, April 17, 2017, Superintendent Dr. James Carter, Sr. presented an update on some of the initiatives introduced this current school year. His report included the following summaries:
Eutaw Primary: The Eutaw Primary School Chess Club provides students an introduction to the game of chess. Students are able to view videos on playing chess. Dr. Carter pointed out that this is a significant approach to teaching critical thinking skills in young students.
School wide action plans in the areas of reading and mathematics have been developed and are in the implementation phase. All faculty/staff members are placing greater emphasis on phonemic awareness, fluency, writing, and open ended/constructive responses in the area of reading. All faculty/staff members are placing greater emphasis on problem solving and constructive response in the area of Mathematics.
Progress monitoring of goals is consistently taking place. The pre-K department is currently focusing on phonemic awareness and preparing students for kindergarten skills that are covered on Dibels Next Assessment and the ACT Aspire Periodic Assessment.
Cursive writing has been incorporated into the curriculum for grades K-3. The infusion of Black History into all subject areas has been initiated.
Discipline Referrals are currently low.
The Eutaw Primary School Webpage is currently updated. Eutaw Primary School has made great improvement in area of parental involvement and culture. Club/organization days are being incorporated into the master schedule.
Robert Brown Middle School Grade 4-6: Mr. Henry Miles, Jr, has been designated chess master in training. Robert Brown Middle School students have been using a computer based website to learn the basics of chess by playing computer generated matches. Mr. Miles has already begun to build relationships with established Chess Programs in other parts of the state. These relationships are significant in developing a solid and competitive program.
Robert Brown Middle School webpage is an ongoing process and we are working to get all teachers’ pages up to date, with updating pictures and calendars. Several changes have been incorporated to update the page from Paramount to Robert Brown Middle – a work in progress.

Robert Brown Middle School Grade 7-8: Robert Brown Middle School is consistently reviewing data in order to drive instruction. Our students made gains/progress on the last ACT Periodical Assessment. 130 students showed increase out of 160. We celebrated by providing students with hotdogs, juice, and chips. We are continuing to focus on reading, informational text, reading across the content area, math blitz (basic math word problems, vocabulary and reading comprehension).
Teachers are using strategic teaching and best practices in the classroom. They are assessing students by using the format outlined for the ACT Aspire test. AMSTI has been working with our math and science teachers. Teachers are reviewing mastery and non-mastery of standards and providing me with documentation and deficiency reports. The teachers have the outlined expectations for curriculum and instruction.
In reporting other areas of progress, Superintendent Carter noted that referrals are down for this year. The 7th & 8th grade division webpage is up to date. The teachers are updating all information on their pages.
“It has been an awesome journey this year. I am excited to see all the new relationships with the students and teachers. My team does a great job with ensuring that all students are treated equitably. Teachers were able to provide me with feedback as it pertains to this year. All the feedback was of a positive nature. We continue to work together to solve problems and be proactive in all situations. The teachers have embraced all the expectations that were outlined in reference to curriculum/instruction, discipline, culture/climate and attendance. As we continue on this journey, I expect to see even more students and adults impacted in a positive way both academically and socially,” according to Carter.
Freshman Academy: There are currently 25 members of the freshman academy chess club. All member of the chess club are using mobile apps, which allows tutoring for students to learn the game of chess. Plans are being made to hold the first annual chess tournament in May, of this year in an effort to build interest in the game. Cash prizes will be awarded to the top finalists for participating, and to motivate them to do the same for the 2017-18 school year.
Greene County High School: The number of students earning honor roll status has continued to increase this year. There were more students recognized for honor roll during the second nine weeks. As a whole, students this year are more concerned with their academic progress. There is also an increase in the number of seniors that have benchmarked in various subtests of the ACT. The number of students receiving office referrals has shown a decline this year. Greene County High School has fewer students committing class II and class III infractions. Student morale and student participation in other extra-curricular activities may be the source of this improved school culture.
To date, this has been a very positive year for student behavior and achievement. We have made a lot of improvement in both areas. There are always areas that we want to continue to grow and improve.
Track and Field: The track team has competed in two track meets thus far. The meets were held at Greensboro High School. The girls relay team placed first in the 4×200. The girls relay team consists of three freshmen and one junior. There are three additional track meets scheduled for this month. They will be held in Demopolis, Greensboro, and Selma.
Softball: The softball team has only competed in 4 games thus far this year. They were doubleheaders at Greensboro and American Christian Academy. The team is young and determined. The team is now practicing in Branch Heights.
Baseball: The Greene County High School Baseball team has competed in 10 games this season. The team is 0-10 thus far but has continued to be competitive. There are 15 players on the team with most being underclassmen. There are only two seniors on the team. Greene County High School looks forward to continuous growth and success in this program.
Band: Greene County High School Band is scheduled to practice after school on Tuesday and Thursday of each week beginning Aril 11, 2017. Band camp is scheduled to run from July 24 – August 4, 2017.
The board approved the following personnel items:
Employment of Willie Wright as tutor and mentor at Greene County Learning Academy on as as need basis.
FMLA request for Raven Bryant, teacher at Robert Brown Middle School.
The board approved the following administrative service items recommended by the superintendent.
Greene County Board of Education Information Guide for Students and Parents.
Contract between the Greene County Board of Education and Marcheta B. Bedgood to provide assistance to CSFO on an as needed basis to prepare financial documents throughout the fiscal year
Contract between the Greene County Board of Education and Farrell Duncombe for mentoring services at Greene County High School.
National Writing Project’s College-Ready Writers Program Grant for the Greene County School System in collaboration with UAB Red Mountain Writing Project.
BackPack Meals/Secret Meals Program Sponsored by Tuscaloosa Food Bank and Greene County Board of Education (No Cost to GCBOE).
Field Trip Requests: Greene County Career Center – Bodies Exhibit and CNN Studio Tour in Atlanta, GA on April 24, 2017
Bank reconciliations as submitted by Ms. Katrina Sewell, CSFO.
Payment of all bills, claims, and payroll.
Instructional items approved by the board:
Summer School (Promotion) at Greene County High School, June 5 – 30, 2017.
Summer School (Enrichment) at Robert Brown Middle School and Eutaw Primary School, June 5 – 16, 2017.

School Board names consolidated middle school for former superintendent Robert Brown

robert brown

At its regular monthly meeting, July 18, 2016, the Greene County Board of Education voted unanimously to name the new middle school, formed recently with the combining of Carver Middle School and Paramount Jr. High, the Robert Brown Middle School.  Dr. Robert Brown was appointed as the first African American Superintendent of Schools in Greene County and served in that leadership position from 1970 to 1980. Prior to his appointment as superintendent, by the all African American member school board, Brown served as Principal of Paramount High School for three years, following his service as a science teacher at what was previously Greene County Training School.
According to School Superintendent Dr. James H. Carter, Jr., once new signage is obtained for the Robert Brown Middle School, the unveiling ceremony will be announced.
At the opening of his report to the board, Superintendent Carter brought forth a young man who had completed requirements for his high school graduation by attending summer courses.

Vince

Shown above  GCHS Principal Garry Rice,
 Vince Mullen and Superintendent Dr. James Carter

Vince Chevas Mullen, Jr., 18 years old, was determined to achieve his high school diploma even though he did not have sufficient credits to march with his Greene County High School classmates at the May 2016 commencement.  Mullen satisfied all course requirements through the summer school program offered in the school system, and plans to attend Shelton State Community College. He is the son of Cathleen Prater and the grandson of Ethel Giles of Forkland, AL.

In his report, Superintendent Carter noted that the first day of school for students is Monday, August 8, 2016. Institute Program for school personnel is Wednesday, August 3 at 8:00 a.m. at Greene County High School.  New Teacher Orientation will be August 1 & 2 at 9:00 a.m. at the Board’s Central Office.
The board approved the following personnel items recommended by the superintendent. *Recalled faculty and staff include: Erik Hendricks – Physical Education teacher at Eutaw Primary; Jerome Franks – Physical Education Teacher at Greene County High; Cordarrin Wilson – Teacher at Greene County Learning Academy; Linda Little – Social Studies Teacher at Greene County High; Romanda Askew – Cook at Eutaw Primary.
* New employment approved:  Malenie Wakefield – Science Teacher at the new middle school; Ms. Cassandra Glover – School Nurse; Teresa Atkins – Family and Consumer Science Teacher at new middle school; Jerome Franks – Physical Education/Driver’s Education Teacher at Greene County High; Ellanise Walker – Science Teacher at Greene County High; Mary Henderson – Part-time Secretary at Greene County Career  Center; Wanda Gaitor – Part-time Secretary at Greene County High.
* Reassignments approved: Sandra Gordon from 7th and 8th grade Reading Coach at Carver Middle School to 4th – 8th grade Reading Coach at new middle School for the 2016 – 2017 school term; LaJoycelyn Davis from Secretary/Bookkeeper at Carver Middle School to Secretary at new middle school for the 2016 – 2017 school term; Marilyn Sanford from Secretary/Bookkeeper at Paramount Jr. High School to Bookkeeper at new middle school for the 2016 – 2017 school term.
* Resignation: Bruce Jackson – Physical Ed/Driver’s Ed Teacher at Greene County High.
* Additional Service contract approved: for Jocephus Patrick – Track & Field Coach at Greene County High School for the 2016 – 2017 academic year. (Separate Contract).
Other points from Superintendent Carter’s report are as follows:
* All students will have opportunity to take AP classes.
* More students will be encouraged to participate in dual enrollment program at Shelton State as well as the University of West Alabama.
* Superintendent will organize a Superintendent’s Faculty Cabinet.
* Pacing guides will be placed on-line for parents to follow.
* Teachers will be required to develop syllabus for academic classes.
* Student grades will be available to parents in a timely manner.
* Professional development will be customized to needs of students and teachers.
* Teachers and principals will be required to develop curriculum guides for all core subjects.
* Local staff members will receive in-service training in use official curriculum documents that guide instruction.
* Use of Chrome Books as resource to teach computer science.
* Develop comprehensive curriculum for special needs students.
* Actively encourage more parental involvement in education of our children.
* Develop preventative maintenance plan for Greene County Middle School.
* Create landscaping plan for all Greene County schools to enhance campus beautification.
* Create menus in CNP Program that will be more inviting to students, but will meet the healthy lifestyles initiative.
* Organize all Greene County Schools to ensure safety for students and teachers.
Provide ACT tutoring for grades 9-12.
In other business the board approved the following administrative services:
* Revision of Information Guide for Parents and Students.
* Hiring a company that deals specifically with Chillers for repair of the A/C unit at new middle school.
* Agreement between board and Mattie J.  Strode to provide homebound instructions for identified children with special needs for 2016-2017 school year.
* Agreement between board and Helping Hands Therapy to provide Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapy for 2016-2017 year.
* Agreement between board and Woods Therapeutic Services, Inc. to provide Behavior Aides for the 2016-2017 school year.
* Agreement between board and Amy Wilson Quitt to provide Speech-Language Therapy services to children at Greene County Head Start for 2016-2017 school year.
* Agreement between Kim Herren to provide development delay services to children at Greene County Head Start for the 2016-2017 school year.
* Agreement between board and Community Service Programs of West Alabama to provide Special Education Services to eligible children in the Greene County Head Start Program for the 2016-2017 school year.
* Mission and Vision Statement for the Greene County Board of Education.
* Bid submitted by Johns and Kirksey for re-roofing Peter J. Kirksey Career Tech Building in the amount $168,000.
* Bid submitted by Borden Dairy Company as milk supplier for CNP -FY 2016-2017.
* Bid submitted by Flower’s Bakery of Birmingham as bread supplier for CNP FY 2016-2017.
* Payment of all bills, claims and payroll.
Bank reconciliations as submitted by Mr. Leon Dowe, CSFO.
The board approved the following instructional Items:
* All students will have the opportunity to take AP Courses beginning 2016-2017 school year.
* Develop a procedure and process to accommodate non-traditional students who request to participate in Greene County School’s athletic program.
* Require all students and employees follow a standard and professional dress code.
* Reconstitution of the Alma Mater/School Song at Greene County High School with the collaboration of the band director and choral music teacher.