BOE ap­points new lead­ers

The Covington News - - FRONT PAGE - DANIELLE EVER­SON de­v­er­son@cov­

The Newton County Board of Ed­u­ca­tion has elected a new chair­woman and vice-chair­woman, ap­proved an online pay­ment sys­tem to be used for school ac­tiv­i­ties, and de­cided that stu­dents won’t need to make up the day of school they missed this month due to frigid weather.

At the board’s first reg­u­lar monthly meet­ing of 2014 Tues­day, mem­bers unan­i­mously voted to name Shak­ila Hen­der­son-Baker as their new chair­woman for 2014. In ad­di­tion, they ap­pointed pre­vi­ously serv­ing chair­woman Abi­gail Coggin as vice-chair­woman. The po­si­tions ro­tate an­nu­ally, with ap­point­ments in Jan­uary.

New online pay­ment sys­tem

Pay­ments for a num­ber of school-re­lated ac­tiv­i­ties will soon be ac­cepted online.

The Board ap­proved use of the Hori­zon Soft­ware In­ter­na­tional “MyPay­mentsPlus” sys­tem for a num­ber of ac­tiv­i­ties in the school dis­trict. The sys­tem is al­ready used for stu­dent food ser­vices, such as school break­fast and lunch pay­ments.

Peggy Bullard, busi­ness man­ager for Newton County Schools, pre­vi­ously noted that the over­all goal is for My Pay­ment Plus to be used to its fullest ca­pac­ity, with school per­son­nel deal­ing with few or no cash trans­ac­tions.

Ac­cord­ing to school sys­tem of­fi­cials, the MyPay­mentsPlus sys­tem keeps a record of all trans­ac­tions, so par­ents and au­tho­rized school per­son­nel can see online what has been paid.

Make-up day not re­quired

The BOE de­cided that stu­dents don’t have to make up the day of school they missed Jan. 7, though teach­ers will. All em­ploy­ees — with the ex­cep­tion of 12-month em­ploy­ees — will be re­quired to make up the time lost by log­ging time be­yond the school day.

Read­ing ma­te­ri­als for Live Oak

Live Oak Ele­men­tary School will soon have ad­di­tional ma­te­ri­als de­signed to im­prove stu­dent read­ing skills. The Board ap­proved the pur­chase of Sci­ence Re­search As­so­ci­ates read­ing ma­te­ri­als from the McGraw-Hill Ed­u­ca­tional Co. for $59,913. The funds will come from the Ti­tle I School Im­prove­ments Bud­get, which is fund­ing for “fo­cus schools” such as Live Oak.

School sys­tem of­fi­cials said the pro­gram is de­signed to help stu­dents de­code and com­pre­hend the mean­ing of words. The pro­gram has strat­egy-based in­struc­tion that ad­dresses “five es­sen­tials,’’ in­clud­ing read­ing, phon­ics and word anal­y­sis, flu­ency, vo­cab­u­lary and com­pre­hen­sion.

Ac­cord­ing to a let­ter from Live Oak Prin­ci­pal Ericka An­der­son, the pro­gram is de­signed to pro­vide stu­dents with a re­search-based di­rect in­struc­tion read­ing pro­gram. The goal is to de­crease the per­cent­age of un­der­per­form­ing stu­dents and in­crease the per­cent­age of stu­dents who are able to rea­son and com­pre­hend at grade level and above.

BOE cal­en­dar of meet­ing dates ap­proved

The Board ap­proved its cal­en­dar of meet­ing dates from Jan­uary 2014 to Jan­uary 2015.

Work ses­sions are sched­uled at 7 p.m. Feb. 11, March 11, April 15, May 13, Aug. 12, Sept. 9, Nov. 11 and Jan. 13, 2015. Reg­u­lar monthly meet­ings are sched­uled at 7 p.m. Feb. 18, March 18, April 22, May 20, Aug. 19, Sept. 16, Nov. 18, and Jan. 20, 2015. Four com­bined work ses­sions will be held at 7 p.m. June 10, July 22, Oct. 14 and Dec. 16.

School sys­tem of­fi­cials said some changes to tra­di­tional meet­ing dates were made to ac­com­mo­date cer­tain events dur­ing the school year, such as hol­i­day breaks.

BOE adopts ten­ta­tive FY2015 bud­get cal­en­dar

The Board adopted a ten­ta­tive bud­get cal­en­dar for fis­cal year 2015.

Ac­cord­ing to school sys­tem of­fi­cials, the bud­get cal­en­dar is set to co­in­cide with the adop­tion of the fi­nal bud­get prior to ad­journ­ment of the fi­nal BOE meet­ing in June.

Once school of­fi­cials fi­nal­ize en­roll­ment pro­jec­tions, schools will re­ceive al­lot­ments that will have pro­jected stu­dent en­roll­ments and staffing for the 2014-15 year. The cal­en­dar pro­vides time for prin­ci­pals to dis­cuss bud­gets and re­ceive in­put from their staffs prior to sub­mit­ting their guar­an­teed bud­gets.

Time is set aside for the BOE to hold bud­get work ses­sions and pub­lic hear­ings as needed or re­quired.

The NCSS FY2015 ten­ta­tive bud­get cal­en­dar can be seen online at Cov­

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