Floyd BOE breaks ground for Ar­muchee High gym

Also, the sys­tem-wide free lunch pro­gram is set to end Jan. 1

Rome News-Tribune - - FRONT PAGE - By John Popham JPopham@RN-T.com

The Floyd County Board of Ed­u­ca­tion broke ground on a new com­pe­ti­tion gym­na­sium Tues­day night for Ar­muchee High School, mov­ing in­side the school af­ter­ward for their monthly board meet­ing.

Stu­dents, fac­ulty, par­ents and other mem­bers of the Ar­muchee com­mu­nity gath­ered at the school to watch as Floyd County Schools of­fi­cials thanked them and vot­ers across the county for vot­ing to make this project pos­si­ble. The project is be­ing funded by ELOST, and, de­pend­ing on weather, is sched­uled to be com­pleted in about 16 months.

In­side, the mem­bers met for their cau­cus where they were shown a 3D ren­der­ing of the con­struc­tion of the gym as well as a sim­u­lated fin­ished in­side. Fa­cil­i­ties Man­ager David Van Hook re­ported Pep­perell Mid­dle School con­struc­tion is hap­pen­ing on sched­ule while the drainage project at Pep­perell Pri­mary is nearly com­plete. He also made the board aware that the Mid­way school build­ing is be­ing checked for as­bestos and the board is cur­rently plan­ning to tear the build­ing down. They will de­cide at a later date whether or not to sell the prop­erty.

Chief Aca­demic Of­fi­cer John Parker gave the board a break­down on how the county school sys­tem is do­ing aca­dem­i­cally in com­par­i­son to the state and other schools in the North­west Ge­or­gia Re­gional Ed­u­ca­tion Ser­vice Agency. Parker told the board the Col­lege and Ca­reer Ready Per­for­mance In­dex for FCS is fourth in the RESA and 37th over­all in the state of Ge­or­gia.

“That means we’re pretty good; pretty good is not where we want to be,” he said.

This is the sec­ond year in a row FCS has sur­passed the state num­bers, he added, which is a first time for the school sys­tem. FCS is only four points away from be­ing in the top 20 in the state. This is a goal Parker thinks is at­tain­able in a year.

The school sys­tem is also on track or su­per­sedes state test av­er­ages in­clud­ing SAT and ACT scores. Ar­muchee High School av­er­aged the best test scores out of all high schools in the school sys­tem on both the SAT and the ACT, Parker said.

School Su­per­in­ten­dent Jeff Wil­son added that en­cour­ages all stu­dents to takes those tests re­gard­less on if it raises or low­ers the schools state-wide av­er­age.

“We are not go­ing to play that game where we keep the top scores in the state be­cause we don’t let kids take those tests,” Wil­son said. “We will do both, in­crease our kids and in­crease our scores.”

Dur­ing the of­fi­cial board meet­ing, mem­bers voted unan­i­mously to end the sys­tem-wide free lunch pro­gram while leav­ing the free break­fast por­tion in place.

Since the pro­gram has now been cut, board mem­bers will im­me­di­ately be­gin col­lect­ing ap­pli­ca­tions for el­i­gi­ble stu­dents to con­tinue re­ceiv­ing free lunches. School lunch prices will be $2.25 for ele­men­tary stu­dents, $2.50 for mid­dle and high school stu­dents and al­low­ing a re­duced lunch rate of $.40 for ap­pli­ca­ble stu­dents start­ing Jan. 1. Wil­son said the schools will be flex­i­ble for the first cou­ple of months and no stu­dent would go hun­gry be­cause they weren’t aware of the pol­icy change or did not have lunch money.

The rea­son for this pro­gram be­ing cut was the school sys­tem was no longer be­ing re­im­bursed by the state for the free lunch pro­gram be­cause FCS no longer had stu­dents at a cer­tain per­cent­age. The school sys­tem will re­visit the is­sue if the per­cent­age meets state re­quire­ments, how­ever, for now they will try to sta­bi­lize their food ser­vice bud­get.

Lastly the board re­viewed first and sec­ond read­ings of pol­icy up­dates for sick leave and em­ployee dis­missal poli­cies. Two Floyd County Board of Ed­u­ca­tion mem­bers were re-elected in Tues­day’s midterm race. Both ran un­op­posed. Chip Hood from Dis­trict 1 and Tony Daniel of Dis­trict 4 have both been re­elected to the Floyd County School Board for an­other term.

/ John Popham

Board Mem­bers Jay Shell (from left), Melinda Jeffers, Melinda Strick­land, Tony Daniel, Chip Hood, Ar­muchee Prin­ci­pal John Rho­darmer, Floyd County Su­per­in­ten­dent Jeff Wil­son, South­ern A&E CEO Stephen McCune, Car­roll Daniel Con­struc­tion Pres­i­dent Brian Daniel and David Van Hook, fa­cil­i­ties man­ager for Floyd County Schools, break ground at new Ar­muchee gym Tues­day night.

/ John Popham

Stu­dents, fac­ulty, par­ents and com­mu­nity mem­bers gather at Ar­muchee High School on Tues­day night for the ground­break­ing cer­e­mony for the new com­pe­ti­tion gym­na­sium.

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