Wheeler Schools Awarded $175,000 FAST Grant for Parent Engagement
Wheeler County Schools are among 74 districts across the state to garner a $175,000 grant aimed at promoting parent engagement in their children’s school life. Wheeler County Schools Superintendent Suzanne Couey announced the Safer Georgia Schools Grant award at the continued from page
September 11 Board meeting.
Couey said that Safer Georgia Schools Grant funds will support implementation of FAST (Families and Schools Together) which is designed to “make a significant, long-lasting impact on child and family behaviors.” The district will implement two FAST cycles (one each semester) in each of its three schools with teams comprised of parents and school and community representatives.
FAST is a Georgia Department of Education- endorsed, internationally acclaimed parent engagement program shown to help children succeed at school by building stronger, more supportive relationships at home. Built on evidencebased practices and rigorously tested, FAST empowers parents to become more effective family leaders, connects families to schools, and creates a community engaged in children’s wellbeing and education. Old Elementary School The county’s elementary school located in Alamo was vacated when the system took possession of its new kindergarten-12th grade school a few blocks away. Now, as the system incurs ongoing costs in maintaining the site, the School Board is considering the future of the property. Last summer, the community benefited as the gymnasium on the site was used for a day camp for children.
Couey shared that the building’s old kindergarten rooms might be used for pre-kindergarten classes, if the need ever arose, and the media space at the school could be used for training or meetings, or as an alternative school classroom. She said there has been some interest in the purchase of closets and bookshelves attached to the walls in classrooms.
The Board requested that Couey explore selling the structure.
Couey told the Board that the remainder of previously- awarded Rural Technology Grant funds needs to be expended before the end of the year. She said she explored running fiber optic lines to the school’s Agriculture facility and checked with the Department of Education to ensure this is an allowable expense. The project is estimated to cost $20,000-$25,000. “This would be a great opportunity to get that done. We could also install vape detectors in the restrooms and have reliable internet for classes and events. They have tried using a hotspot, but it does not work in that building.” The Board approved Couey’s proposal. Proposed Millage Rate
The Board has proposed a new millage rate of 14.813, down from the previous rate of 15.709. A five-year history and notice of the millage rollback rate is being published in the county’s legal organ, The Advance. The rate is scheduled to be approved at the Board’s October session.
Personnel Recommendations The Board approved the following employment recommendations: Loren Kimble, as ES custodian (fulltime to take the place of Mike Kinsey). Kimble has already had a background check and has been working in this role as a substitute.
Alexis Griffin, as a classroom substitute.
Ruby Robinson, as a substitute custodian, and Rhonda Weeks, as a substitute for school nutrition, both pending background checks.
Amber Wommack, part-time (20 hours per week at $12 per hour plus benefits) to train with Curtis Wells for bus shop bookkeeping and office duties, as well as substitute driving (to work opposite Hal Ford’s schedule when he goes to 49% status.)