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VCS Financial Reporting Recognized

VCS Financial Reporting Recognized VCS Financial Reporting Recognized

Effective Use of CARES Funds Cited by Wilcox

An Award of Distinction for Excellent Financial Reporting for 2020 has been given to the Vidalia City School System by the Georgia Department of Audits and Accounts (DOAA). VCS has been recognized for quality, documented and timely financial reporting not once or twice, but for six years in a row. Superintendent Dr. Garrett Wilcox explained that of 180 school districts in Georgia, only 42 received this award for the past year’s fiscal reporting. “This award shows just how hard Norma Croft (VCS Finance Director) and her staff work within the guidelines that are set by the state. We couldn’t be more proud of their efforts and are thankful that we have a group of individuals who work so well as a team to make sure that the state and taxpayers’ finances are being managed in the proper way.” Wilcox said, “The Department of Audits is very trusting and appreciative of Norma Croft and her Accounting Department team, and we are very appreciative, too.” Croft said the award encourages governmental agencies to go beyond the minimum requirements of generally accepted accounting principles and recognizes individual organizations that successfully achieve this goal. “I am so proud of what we have accomplished as a team for the past six years, and how we are able to present the system in a positive light while also being good stewards for the community and their tax money,” Croft said. Personnel recommendations presented to the Board for the 2021-22 school year signify that all teacher and staff vacancies have been filled. These positions include bus drivers, paraprofessionals and a maintenance assistant. The Board approved these recommendations.

A full virtual option will not be offered for the 2021-20 school year beginning in August. There will not be teachers dedicated for online instruction as during the past year. With the exception of students with medical needs, virtual services will not be available in K-5th grades or in grades 6-8. If needed for medical reasons instruction for grades 6-8 will be the APEX online curriculum, and will be self-paced.

Experience in the past year in using Google Classroom, which is tied to instruction standards, will provide that platform for use by teachers designated to serve hospital and home-bound students.

If any family is not comfortable sending their children to school with the risk of COVID, a medical note from a doctor will be needed and the school will work to accommodate the student with an online program that will be monitored, although not with individual instruction.

Wilcox recommended to the Board that construction of six additional classrooms for J.R. Trippe Middle School be approved, pending the final state budget approval of CARES Round 3 funds, which is expected to pass. If approved, advertisements for construction management bids will be published. This management could also oversee other needed repairs at J.R. Trippe, which would all be under approval for use of CARES funds. Each repair project, while referenced in the bidding process, would still be subject to Board approval.

The recommendation to pursue construction management bids for the classrooms was approved by Board members.

Wilcox credited Tammy McFadden, VCS Director of Federal Programs, for her diligence in processing the applications for CARES funding. McFadden consulted with principals for their wish lists of needs, and applied the correct information to the State. Decisions by the Board to enhance after school and summer programs, to hire more paraprofessionals, and to add extra classrooms is in keeping with the guidelines for spending.

Dr. Wilcox said, “I really am proud of the fact that we have tried to make the most that we could out of the CARES money. The principals had a lot of input. There’s money for technology. I’m proud of how much effort everyone put into efficient and effective use of the funds.”

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