Published 3:17 am Tuesday, March 16, 2021

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By Lucas C. Allison
Dispatch Correspondent


The Wilcox Board of Education held its regular monthly meeting Tuesday night.  Board members reviewed the BCBI-Public Participation Policy. Sherman Styles addressed the board regarding his faith-based mentoring program which is a 501(03)C non-profit and his desire for the school system to continue diversifying staff by hiring more minority teachers. Styles also agreed to help the board with recruitment of the teachers.

A map of the old school campus and proposed renovations was presented for review.  A called meeting will be held  Tuesday March 16, to focus on facilities and repurposing of the old school campus buildings.

Financial reports were presented showing the board is currently under budget by more than one percent.

The draft referendum for the November  E-SPLOST renewal was presented for review.

Chairwoman Denita Childs was selected to serve as the GSBA voting delegate and Eddie  McKie was selected to serve as the alternate.  Board members presented their top two priorities from the GSBA self-assessment.

The calendar was approved with virtual Mondays for all students, however if COVID-19 is under control those days will convert to face-to-face learning.  The board and school principals desire to have the students back for five-day face-to- face learning, as some students are falling behind.  Employee contracts for 2021-2022  were also approved.  Davis noted that 60 percent of middle school virtual students are failing, and 37 percent of high school virtual students are failing.  Both stressed they are working with these students, even going to their homes to help test them.
Childers also noted that four para pros were hired to work with virtual students who are struggling.

Open enrollment for non-health benefits information will be March 22 thru April 2. Staff from Alexander and Company will be on site at the schools to assist and answer any questions.

A legislative overview was presented for informational purposes. Childers reported that House Bill 60, the Georgia Educational Scholarship Act (GESA)was withdrawn and no action was taken.

Senate Bill 47, the Georgia Special Needs Scholarship Act, revised to meet a  prior school year requirement , had passed in the Senate and is now in the House.

Board members were recognized with a meal provided by the principals from our Daily Bread for Board Member Appreciation Week March 15-19. Childers congratulated Wade Burnette for receiving a $7,000 SPDG  grant to assist with MTSS professional learning.
The board entered into executive session and the following personnel actions were recommended by Childers and approved by the board:

  • the resignations of Ira Tucker and Scotty King were accepted with regrets due to retirement
  • approved personnel for the 2021-2022 school years so that contracts could be issued next week
  • approved the annual supplements for coaches, club sponsors, administration, etc.
  • employed Kristey Davis as a kindergarten teacher and Letoya Coley as a PK teacher
  • employed Amy Layfield as WCHS history teacher pending the resignation of a certified staff member currently interviewing in a larger school system.
  • Approved to place PK teachers on the K-12 salary scale so they can be compensated at the same level as other teachers and added four more subs (three wish to also drive a bus).

There being no further busines the meeting was adjourned.  The Board of Education meets for a work session the first Tuesday of each month and holds its regular meeting the second Tuesday of each month.