By: Eddy Gifford, Publisher
The Dade County
Board of Education held their first meeting of the new year on Monday night and
it was a marathon.
opened the meeting at 3:00 p.m. with three hours of training on finance led by
Doug Eza. The meeting was finally adjourned after an hour and twenty minute
executive session at 9:20 p.m.
three hour and twenty minute Special Called Meeting the Board covered a variety
of items in preparation for next week’s regularly scheduled meeting.
Shawn Tobin gave special recognition to Dade High School Teacher Tonya Gatlin
and student Bobby Brimm to start the meeting.
Sandy Bradley gave a detailed report to the Board on Math Matters In Dade
out that at the present time math scores are not good in Dade County but that
the entire staff is working hard to correct this. Out of the 16 North Georgia
schools in our district we rank from 13th to 15th in overall scores.
that, “Our current recipe for improvement in math achievement is professional
learning, teacher collaboration, data driven standards based instruction,
remediation for struggling students and parental and community awareness and
“For the first
time the entire system is focused on a common goal, improving math scores,” she
explained that state assessments are changing and therefore, we must change the
way we teach.
that you see much more student engagement now and that is the key. Higher level
thinking and problem solving, each day, each week, is now stressed in every
class and grade level.
stated that the rigor and complexity of the Common Core Math Curriculum might
surprise you. She gave an example of a math problem and asks Board members what
grade they though the question applied to.
answers varied the question was a fifth grade level question.
Transportation Director gave the Board updates on fuel consumption and reported
on repairs that have been done to buses during the past month.
Cantrell, CTAE Director gave the Board a brief update on his department as
principal gave reports on their individual schools and the activities going on
Elementary principal James Fahrney reported that attendance for the 15 December
school days was 88.28%. He stated that they had been hit extremely hard by the
flu and other illness and that on Monday only eight fourth grade students were
Dade Elementary Principal reported attendance for Dec. was at 88.57% but seemed
to be better since the Christmas break.
Dade Middle Principal reported attendance at 87% and stated the “bug” had hurt
their attendance as well.
Dade High Principal reported attendance at 88.25% and felt his attendance was
somewhat effected by a surprise senior skip day.
attendance rate for December 3-21 was 88% as compared to 93.22% for the previous
that time period was down four students with 14 withdraws and 10 student
December reporting period certified personnel took a total of 149 sick or
personnel days with a total cost of substitute pay being $6,449.00. The system
employs 175 certified personnel.
non-certified personnel, 66 total, took a total of 83.5 sick or personnel days
at a cost of $888.00.
School Nutrition Director reported on the school lunch program and suggests a
change to a board policy at a later date.
Superintendent Shawn Tobin’s report he emphasized the commitment to safety at
the school and explained the cooperation between the 911 Center, Dade County
Sheriff’s Department, the Trenton Police Department, Trenton Fire Department
and the Dade County Commissioner’s Office.
The addition of
another school resource officer, Christy Miles, is a big plus for Dade Middle
School he stated.
Some of the
items discussed for action at next week’s meeting were a band and chorus trip
to New York City in March 2014. Funds
raising needs to start now for this trip and the Board is being asked to
approve the trip now.
A safety issue
at Dade Elementary concerning the addition of double doors for added security
will be discussed as will the license renewal for Power School.
Tobin explained that the Green House project at Dade Middle School is a
collaborative effort with local groups including Kenny Gray Construction, Bull
Moose, Dade Commissioners, Chris Bradford with Dade Gas and community member
Brian Birchett and others.
The intent is
to grow plants for the purpose of showing relevancy. Dade Middle School Science
classes and others will be involved.
reimbursement has been raised from .555 per mile to .565 per mile. That amount
was last changed in April of last year.
The Board then
reviewed several board policies for action in some at a future Board meeting.
The Board will
have a special called meeting on February 11 to view possible renovation
projects for the summer. Those include viewing the track, press box, tennis
courts, bath rooms and video broadcast lab at the High School. They will also
view the parking lot and gym at Dade Elementary and the gym at Dade Middle
The Board will
then reconvene at the Board of Education Office for a work session.
In action items
the Board rescinded the Board Policy pertaining to Home Schooling since they no
longer are responsible for that area. The Georgia Department of Education now
monitors Home Schooling.
The Board also
approved a fuel bid from Jat Oil for $3.3089 per gallon for 7,200 gallons.
The Board then
went into executive session to discuss personnel and after an hour and twenty
minutes returned adjourned.