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MCBOE Approves Community Partnerships

Partnering with entities within the community for the betterment of students within the area was a hot topic at the Montgomery County Board of Education meeting on Monday, September 18, as the Board approved partnerships with the Ohoopee Regional Library System and Brewton-Parker College.

Board members agreed to allow the Ohoopee Regional Library System to provide every student with library cards through the PINES Library Access for Youth (PLAY) cards. According to Library System Director Cameron Asbell, these cards will give students a public library account based on their student number at their school; this access will let students access all digital library resources for free, as well as check out 5 books or movies with no overdue fees and two renewals. Students can also use this account to use computers at a library within the Ohoopee Regional Library System for up to 3 hours per day, pending a parent’s written agreement.

“We are not trying to take away from your school media centers in any way,” Asbell emphasized to the Board. “We just know how much digital content can cost and want to help enhance those media resources.”

BPC Nursing

The Board also approved to partner with Brewton-Parker College to allow nursing students to shadow the school nurses at each campus. “Last year, we started our first nursing cohort,” Director of School of Nursing Debbi Bryarly told the Board. “Part of nursing education is for students to work in a clinical setting. A lot of that is done in a hospital, but there is also a lot more to nursing than just working in a hospital. So, another part of those clinical experiences is working with community-based nurses and seeing what else there is out there for nursing students once they graduate for them to go into besides hospital nursing if that’s not what they want to do.”

Brylarly said that school nurses are included under the category of “community- based nurses;” thus, allowing students to utilize the school nurses’ offices as clinical settings was an excellent option to broaden students’ horizons of career options. These nursing students will not administer any care to the students who enter the school nurses’ offices, but will merely shadow the nurses.

Extension Agent

Board members also renewed their contract with the University of Georgia to help fund the Montgomery County Extension Agent, whose salary is paid by combined efforts of UGA, the Montgomery County Board of Education, and the Montgomery County Commission. The Board’s portion of the salary is $10,000 plus benefits.

Action Items

In addition to these community partnerships, the Board approved the annual Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education (CTAE) budget, which totals $15,616.

Seven buses were declared as surplus to enable them to be sold, which will save the district over $6,500 per year in insurance costs.

Several Bard air conditioning units were approved to be purchased to replace outdated units at the Montgomery County Elementary School and Little Eagle Learning Center campuses. Currently, the units in place at the locations are almost 20 years old, and can be used for parts once they are uninstalled. The purchased units include 12 3-ton units and 8 4-ton units, totaling $131,300. These units are currently in stock, and are expected to arrive in 16-18 weeks.

Superintendent Stan Rentz informed the Board that a $7,000 of safety grant money that was received over the summer will be used to purchase security cameras to install within the district’s bus fleet, and that an additional $10,000 of Special Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) will fund a GPS system, which will not only help substitute drivers to efficiently drive their routes, but will also allow administrators to be able to locate the buses at any moment.

Superintendent’s Report

During his report, Rentz also told the board members that the school year was almost 25% complete, and that Fall Break would be coming up on October 6 and 9.

In addition, he shared that the school’s softball and cross country programs were currently thriving, as softball pitchers Shelley Conner and Marley Bell had struck out a total of 98 batters within 12 games, and 5 softball players – Conner, Bell, Bailey Fountain, Erin Adams, and Trinity Wideman – all had batting averages over .300. Meanwhile, Cross Country Runner Tulsi Patel came in 1st place at a meet on Saturday, September 16, while Runner Yaribeth Ortiz came in 3rd at a recent meet at Bulloch Academy. Rentz also informed the Board that the athletic department had purchased 36 cushioned chairs with the school logo on them to utilize for basketball games, wrestling meets, and other events.

He stated that the Montgomery County High School senior one-on-one meetings with Principal Scott Barrow to update individualized graduation plans had been completed, and that Barrow was meeting weekly with 10 seniors at risk of not graduating to ensure they were staying on track. The junior one-onone individualized graduation plan meetings will be held this week.

Rentz informed board members that the 20-minute Teacher of the Year observations were completed on Wednesday, September 20, as teachers from Tattnall County Schools, Treutlen County Schools, and Vidalia City Schools came to evaluate the teachers. The Teacher of the Year and Support Person of the Year Annual Breakfast will be held on Friday, October 13, where the system-wide Teacher of the Year will be announced.

According to Rentz, Assistant Superintendent Beverly Faircloth, Instructional Coach Emily Cartwright and Instructional Coach Leigh Anne Helms have began a literacy leader institution, which will provide professional learning development in preparation for the installation of House Bill 538, which focuses on early literacy standards.

Montgomery County Elementary School had their most successful Coca-Cola fundraising sale to date, Rentz said, as over $35,000 of products were sold. Also, he shared that Principal Eric Burns had informed him that over 450 grandparents had attended the Grand- continued from page

parents Day breakfast and lunch event, which was held at the elementary school on September 8.

Public Participation

Citizen Linda Page addressed the Board, asking them to allow members of the public to be involved in the Montgomery County youth’s education by being guest teachers on different topics, such as bird watching. She also requested that the Board share information on the knowledge they gained at a recent Floating Homestead Exemption training, where the tax option was discussed for the County.

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