Cordele Dispatch, Cordele, GA

Local news

September 21, 2013

Dooly BOE sets millage

Vienna — VIENNA — Dooly County citizens are safe for another year from an increase in taxes. Board of Education members here set their millage rate for FY 2014 at 16.942 mills for the fifth consecutive year at their Thursday meeting.

Also during the meeting, Board members heard a report from Dooly County Recreation Department director, Jacob Joiner, regarding a partnership with the board.

According to Superintendent Dr. Grady Miles this partnership has been in the works for the past two years. He and Joiner would like the entities to cooperate so that students who are being punished for infractions at school also will face penalties at recreation department activities.

“We will have to get parents on board,” said Joiner. “We want the emphasis to be on being a student first and then an athelete. We want to get a handle on them while they are young.”

If approved the DCRD will work directly with the schools, and students with poor academics or behavior will be subject to progressive punishment such as running laps or sitting out games. Joiner said he believes it will be a good partnership between the DCRD and the BOE.

Board members heard a report from Dr. Miles on the student achievement trend data. The report provided a breakdown of student achievement for the Criterion-Referenced Competency Test (CRCT) at the elementary/middle school level and End of Course Tests (EOCT) and the Georgia High School Graduation Test (GHSGT) for the high school.

The data included the number of students from each grade level that met or exceeded standards on the CRCT for grades 3-5 and 6-8 for the past seven years including the most recent 2012-2013 scores.

This data showed improvement in every subject on the CRCT for each grade level. It also outlined the percentage of students passing the writing comparison for the last five years in grades 3, 5, 8, and 11.  

On the high school level the data showed the percentage of students passing the GHSGT the first time it’s taken at the 11th grade level as well as the percentage passing EOCT’s for 9th grade literature, American literature, biology, economics, Math I, Math II, physical science and U.S. history.

High school data included the school’s graduation rate over the past five years which has seen a steady rise since 2008-2009 school year when the rate was 54.8%. That number increased to 69.3% in 2009-2010, up to 70.9% in 2010-2011.

The rate decreased in 2011-2012 to 62.2%, but last year’s graduating percentage brought the number back up to 68%.

“Being able to understand how our students are performing is very important,” said Dr. Miles. “It helps us figure out the best way to serve our students.”

Some ways for helping outlined in the data included collaborative planning, interventions, professional learning, formative and summative assessments, data analysis, high expectations, seamless relationships with students, preparation, and celebrations for student achievements.

During public participation, Sylvester Granville addressed the board with concerns he has regarding the possible misappropriation of money collected from game concession sales.

He also expressed his dissatisfaction with the functioning of the lunchroom and treatment of the staff. He alleged that employees in the lunchroom were not receiving their breaks required by state law for hours worked. Granville challenged board members to investigate this situation.

Following his comments, Board Vice Chairman Melvilla West inquired whether the money from concession sales was audited as is the other money going through the school System.

Dooly County Schools Police Department personnel discussed a new program to be utilized in the school called “Commissioned to Save our Youths.”

The program will be a partnership between the Dooly County Commission and the Dooly County School Board Police Department to teach drug and gang awareness programs in the schools. It will be similar to the D.A.R.E., G.R.E.A.T. and C.H.A.M.P.S. programs already in place in other schools such as Crisp County.

Chief Mathis said classes are available for grades K-12 and include lessons on being safe, drug safety, saying no to drug offers, educating students on resisting peer pressure, and steering clear of gangs. Classes will also teach kids personal safety, role modeling, consequences for wrong choices and how to say no.

Chief Mathis said he is in the process of working out the kinks to get the program started, and he will keep the board updated on his progress.

 

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