The Board Brief
April 15, 2021
This edition of The Board Brief is a summary of the information presented and actions taken at the Board of Education Meetings on April 13 and 15, 2021.
Chief Financial Officer, Williams Principal Appointed; Personnel Items Approved
On Thursday, April 15, Board members approved the appointment of Sharon Roberts as Chief Financial Officer. Additional appointments included:
Dr. Cynthia Jones, Williams Elementary School Principal
Dr. Meredith Byrd, Alexander II Magnet School Assistant Principal
Dr. Eric Fuller, Springdale Elementary School Assistant Principal
Asia King, Williams Elementary School Assistant Principal
Arlecia Sewell, Southwest High School Assistant Principal
To view all personnel items, click here.
District to Offer Virtual Instruction Through VIP Academy Next School Year
The Bibb County Board of Education approved the VIP Academy as a virtual school at its regular monthly meeting on Thursday, April 15. With this expansion from a program to a school, the VIP Academy will be the new home for all virtual learning for the 2021-2022 school year. Students will enroll in the VIP Academy just as they would any other school in the Bibb County School District. This option will be available through an application process to all District students in the fourth through 12th grades.
Superintendent Dr. Curtis Jones announced the District intends to resume normal operations – with safety modifications – for the 2021-2022 school year. This means all students not enrolled in the VIP Academy will attend classes in person five days a week next school year. There will be no remote option at each school as there has been during the 2020-2021 school year. Any students in grades 4-12 interested in virtual instruction for the 2021-2022 school year should apply for enrollment in the VIP Academy.
VIP Academy is fully housed online through Edgenuity, with video lessons offered in a self-paced structure. The application process will be open April 19-May 10. Students accepted into the VIP Academy will be notified by May 24.
For more information, including a list of frequently asked questions, and to complete an application for enrollment in the VIP Academy, visit vipacademy.bcsdk12.net.
Watch the informational video below for a parent’s perspective of the VIP Academy:
Board Approves Sale of Brookdale Elementary School
On Thursday, April 15, Board members approved the sale of property, located at 3600 Brookdale Ave., which was formerly Brookdale Elementary School, to Macon-Bibb County. The building is currently serving as the Brookdale Warming Center, a location for individuals and families that are provided with meals and shelter in their time of need. For more information, click here.
Board OKs Contract for Special Education Support for FY 2022
On Thursday, April 15, Board members approved contract services in order to meet the needs of Bibb’s student populations as dictated by the Individualized Education Program (IEPs) through the Program for Exceptional Children. Several companies may be used to provide these special education supports for students in Bibb County during the 2021-2022 school year. The District has a continuous posting for Speech-Language Pathologists and other special education staff, but has been unsuccessful in filling those vacancies with full-time employees. For more information and for a list of the companies, click here.
Board Approves ELA Textbook Adoption
On Thursday, April 15, Board members approved the adoption and purchase of English Language Arts (ELA) textbooks and instructional materials for the 2021-2022 school year. The materials will be purchased using Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act 2 funds. For more information, click here.
Board Approves Amendment to Intergovernmental Agreement
On Thursday, March 18, Board members approved an intergovernmental agreement (IGA)with the Macon-Bibb County Land Bank Authority. The purpose of the agreement is to extinguish liens and claims of delinquent real property taxes owed to the District. For several years now, the Land Bank Authority has entered into an agreement with the District to extinguish liens and claims of delinquent real property taxes owed to the District.
At a recent Land Bank meeting, the directors noticed that certain provisions had been omitted in the IGA and there was a need to change language in the IGA to accurately reflect the following: “a member of the Board of Public Education for Bibb County (Board of Education) shall serve as one of the Land Bank’s directors.” On Thursday, April 15, Board members voted to rescind the approval of the Intergovernmental Agreement approved at the March 18 Board meeting, and approve the amended Intergovernmental Agreement with the Macon-Bibb County Land Bank Authority. For more information, click here.
Board Authorizes Athletic Upgrades to be Funded by ESPLOST
On Thursday, April 15, Board members approved the installation of sports lighting packages at Harry Thompson Stadium and Ed DeFore Sports Complex as part of the 2021 Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (ESPLOST) athletic upgrades. The upgrade includes LED fixtures with wireless lighting effects, color-changing controls, ball flight tracking and video streaming capabilities. For more information, click here.
Additionally, Board members approved the recommendation for a video scoreboard at Harry Thompson Stadium. An upgraded video board was installed at Ed DeFore stadium in 2019 as part of athletic upgrades. The video board installed at Ed DeFore has been successful in terms of fan experiences and digital display capabilities. Installation at Thompson Stadium would create the equity and consistency in products desired for both locations. For more information, click here.
Also a part of the 2021 ESPLOST program, the Board of Education approved site improvements to Harry Thompson Stadium. Based on construction schedules and anticipated collections, the improvements will be performed in two phases. Phase I will include: a new synthetic turf field; new video scoreboards; LED sports lighting package; expanded seating capacity (1,500 additional); additional parking (approximately 572 spaces); new high jump; new discus and shotput; new bus parking; and new ticket booth. Upgrades to existing Fieldhouse Phase II will include: New Concessions Plaza and modifications of existing plaza; additional parking and modifications to existing lots; new entry and exit lanes; and a new identification sign. For more information, click here.
Board Approves Renewal of Banking Services Contract with Truist Bank
On Thursday, April 15, Board members approved a contract renewal with Truist Bank, formerly SunTrust Bank, for the District’s banking services. For more information, click here.
School Renovations Approved
Board members approved renovations at Rosa Taylor and Skyview Elementary Schools at the April 15 Board meeting. As part of the 2021 Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (ESPLOST), the Board of Education approved renovations to both schools. Based on construction schedules, the projects are expected to be completed by August 2021. For more information, click here.
Board OKs Extending Use of Microsoft Program
On Thursday, April 15, Board members approved the renewal of the Microsoft EDU Office Pro Plus products for all faculty, staff and students. The suite includes Microsoft Teams, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Skype, OneDrive, Publisher, Sway, Forms and many other educational and business applications. In addition, the license provides the District with advanced threat protection as well as Azure active directory. The funding source will be through the District’s General Fund for Technology. For more information, click here.
Board Approves Purchase Orders for Staffing, Produce
On Thursday, April 15, Board members approved a purchase order for the Maintenance and School Nutrition Departments to Qualified Staffing for temporary employment of staff on an as-needed basis for Fiscal Year (FY) 2022. For more information, click here.
Additionally, Board members also approved a purchase order for to Bi-City Produce for produce purchases for the FY 2022. For more information, click here.
Board Reviews Policies
Board members reviewed various policies for first or second reading on April 15, 2021. Policies must be read twice before they may be voted on for final action. To review the policies, click here.
- PR-1 Revision of Policy JRA – Student Data Privacy Complaints (ACTION – Second Reading)
- PR-2 Recession of Policy KDC – Solicitations (ACTION – Second Reading)
- PR-3 Revision of Policy IDB – Health Education (INFORMATION – First Reading)
- PR-4 Revision of Policy IDBA – Sex Education (INFORMATION – First Reading)
- PR-5 Revision of Policy IDDD – Gifted Student Programs (INFORMATION – First Reading)
- PR-6 Revision of Policy IDDG – Language Assistance (INFORMATION – First Reading)
- PR-7 Revision of Policy ICC – Curriculum Research (INFORMATION – First Reading)
- PR-8 Revision of Policy IHA – Grading Systems (INFORMATION – First Reading)
Stakeholders are encouraged to review policies posted after first reading and make public comment via Simbli before the proposed policies are brought back before the Board for action the following month. Simbli may be accessed through the District’s website, www.bcsdk12.net, under “About Us” and “Simbli.” On Simbli, “Pending Policies” will appear on the right side of the screen.
Board Continues FY 2022 Budget Discussions
On Tuesday, April 13, Chief Financial Officer Ron Collier presented Board members with a second update of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 General Fund Budget. Numbers presented on Tuesday are merely estimates as the District continues planning for the next school year. To view this presentation, click here.
Additionally, Assistant Superintendent of District Effectiveness and Federal Programs Dr. Lori Rodgers presented Board members with an update on the planning process for American Rescue Plan funds the District will receive to support student learning loss. Schools will follow the Continuous Improvement Process to identify specific needs and goals for this funding. Schools will be required to prepare specific budget planning documents and monitor the impacts of these funds. To view this presentation, click here.
The next Board of Education work session to continue discussions about the FY 2022 General Fund Budget will be Monday, May 10, at 5 p.m.
Board Receives Update on One-Time Retention Bonus
On Thursday, April 15, Board members received an update on the one-time retention bonus from the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE). The District is anticipating payments to be released to staff on May 4, which is Teacher Appreciation Day. The October 2020 Certified/Classified Personnel Information (CPI) report, based on “eligible” jobs as determined by the GaDOE, was used to determine who was eligible for the GaDOE grant and what dollar amount the individual would receive. The District is awaiting information for Pre-K staff from Bright from the Start, which is a separate grant. Payments will either be $1,000, $500, $490, or $245. All other employees who are not on the state-approved list will receive a bonus from the District’s CARES funds. For more information, click here.
Board Reviews Presentations
On Thursday, April 15, Board members were provided with the following presentations pertaining to:
- Kelly Education Services, which included information on the substitute teaching staffing services provided by the company. To view the presentation, click here.
- Project AWARE, a 5-year grant that stands for Advancing Wellness & Resilience in Education. To view the presentation, click here.
- School Library Month, to recognize the importance of school libraries and the important role Media Specialists play in our schools. Macon-Bibb Mayor Lester Miller proclaimed April as School Library Month in Macon-Bibb County and Dr. Curtis Jones endorsed the proclamation. To view the presentation, click here.
District Hosting Summer Camp Program STEAM Olympics 2021
On Thursday, April 15, Board members were informed about the District’s plans for summer school, themed as “Bibb VIP Presents STEAM Olympics 2021.” Summer school will support K-12 students at no cost to parents and will be designed as a summer camp to provide an educational and enjoyable response to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on students’ learning. Summer school students will receive face-to-face instruction five days per week. The academic areas addressed in summer school will be reading, language arts, and math. Additionally, enrichment activities in the areas of STEM, Fine Arts, and Physical Education will be included. Summer school will be held from June 7-July 2, 2021. For more information, click here.
Board Informed of Springdale Elementary Modernization Project
On Thursday, April 15, Board members were informed that the Capital Programs Department will present recommendations for the Springdale Elementary modernization project at future Board meetings. At the March 2021 Board Retreat, the Board provided direction to move forward with the Springdale Elementary modernization project and to continue identifying resources for future upgrades and continued maintenance to Bernd Elementary School. Funding will be from the 2021 Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (ESPLOST). For more information, click here.
Board Informed of Asynchronous Learning Days for Teacher Professional Development
The Bibb County School District will add three professional development days for teachers by implementing asynchronous learning days during the 2021-2022 and 2022- 2023 school years.
Research has found that teacher effectiveness is the most significant factor related to increasing student achievement. In order to provide students effective instruction, teachers must have a clear understanding of content standards as well as high impact instructional strategies that foster student mastery. For this reason, additional time spent providing professional development to increase teacher effectiveness is highly correlated to increasing student achievement. The dates approved are listed below.
Tuesday, September 7, 2021
Monday, October 18, 2021
Monday, November 29, 2021
Tuesday, September 6, 2022
Monday, October 17, 2022
Monday, November 28, 2022
To see the revised academic calendars, click here.
Board Informed of Enhancement to Supplemental Retirement Plan
On Thursday, April 15, Board members were informed of an effort to help District employees achieve a better retirement outcome through the recommendation of an enhancement to the District’s current supplemental retirement plan. This enhancement consists of automatic enrollment to a mutual fund platform through AIG (VALIC) for new and current employees, and would be fully implemented by January 1, 2022. District employees are currently offered an annuity platform through Equitable (AXA) and AIG. For more information, click here.
Board Reviews Monthly Financial Report
On Thursday, April 15, Board members reviewed the District’s monthly financial report. For more information, click here.
Board Receives Presentation from Capital Improvement Program
On Thursday, April 15, Board members received a presentation in regards to the 2011 and 2016 Capital Improvement Program, including information on expenditures and encumbrances. For more information, click here.
Board Reviews Investments, Investment Income and Bonds Report
On Thursday, April 15, Board members reviewed a presentation about the Investments and Investment Income report as well as the monthly Bond report associated with 2020 project accounts. For more information, click here.
State Board of Education Member to Hold Public Hearing
On Thursday, April 15, Board members were reminded that the Georgia State Board of Education will hold a town hall listening session for citizens in the Eighth Congressional District, which includes Bibb County. The event will be on Thursday, April 22, 2021. The Eighth Congressional District is represented by Jason Downey, Vice Chairman of the State Board of Education. The meeting will be held from 7-8 p.m. in the Auditorium at Howard High School, 6400 Forsyth Road, Macon, Georgia 31210. The event will be live-streamed as well.
The purpose of the hearing is to hear comments from interested citizens and educators within the congressional district regarding the performance and problems of public education. Anyone wishing to speak should sign in upon arrival. For more information, click here.
State BOE Vice Chairman Holding Public Hearing
Thursday, April 22nd, 7-8pm
6400 Forsyth Road
The State Board of Education will hold a public hearing for citizens in the Eighth Congressional District on Thursday, April 22, 2021. The Eighth Congressional District is represented by Jason Downey, Vice Chairman of the State Board of Education. The public hearing will be held from 7-8 p.m. in the Auditorium at Howard High School, 6400 Forsyth Road, Macon, Georgia 31210.
Each member of the State Board of Education shall hold one or more public hearings annually during the regular school calendar year in the respective congressional district from which the member was appointed. The purpose of the public hearing shall be to hear testimony from interested citizens and educators within the congressional district regarding the performance and problems of public education within the congressional district.
The event also will be streamed live at www.youtube.com/bibbschools to allow citizens to attend and participate in the public hearing in person or virtually. Citizens may submit questions or concerns prior to or during the public hearing at https://bit.ly/31AfpgG. Citizens may reach out to Vice Chairman Downey with questions and concerns at any time prior to or following the public hearing via email at Jason.Downey@doe.k12.ga.us.
The Georgia Department of Education does not discriminate on the basis of disability in admission to, access to, or operations of its programs, services or activities. Individuals who need assistance or auxiliary aids for participation in this public forum are invited to make their needs known to Geraldine Price at firstname.lastname@example.org no later than 72 hours before the scheduled event.
Highlights and Recognitions
Students Recognized as Young Georgia Authors
The following students were recognized as District winners in the Young Georgia Authors contest: Amara Rogers, Kindergarten, McKibben Lane Elementary; Dylan Floyd, first grade, Springdale Elementary; Jacouri Fields, second grade, Veterans Elementary; Aria West, third grade, Vineville Academy of the Arts; Gracie Creel, fourth grade; Alexander II Magnet School; Angelina Wang, fifth grade, Springdale Elementary; Jayven Stanley-Jackson, sixth grade, Howard Middle; Kendren Williams, seventh grade, Howard Middle; Elena Jackson, eighth grade, Rutland Middle; Marcelle Williams, ninth grade, Northeast High; Jonta Thorpe, 10th grade, Northeast High; Peter Chon, 11th grade, Howard High; and Jameel Walters, 12th grade, Howard High. From that group, Dylan Floyd, Jacouri Fields, Aria West, Angelina Wang, Kendren Williams, Elena Jackson, Marcelle Williams and Jameel Walters all placed first in the regional competition.
Grooms Named Top Athletic Director
Northeast High School Athletic Director and Boys’ Basketball Coach Kevin Grooms was recently selected as the Class AA Athletic Director of the Year by the Georgia Athletic Directors Association. The GADA selects the top AD at every level of Georgia High School Association athletics, as well as at the regional level.
Bruce Elementary Teacher Named to State Council
Bria Smith, a fourth grade teacher at Bruce Elementary School, was honored for being selected to State Superintendent Richard Woods’ Teacher Advisory Council. This group includes 50 teachers from across the state, who meet twice a year with the superintendent to discuss educational issues affecting the classroom. The meetings will be held in the spring and fall and are currently held in a virtual setting.
Central High Business Education Teacher Receives Regional Honor
Central High School’s Dr. Luciana Green was recognized for being named the regional FBLA Advisor of the Year. In addition to advising Central’s FBLA chapter, Dr. Green teaches business education classes at the school. Her honor also came with a cash prize and recognition during a virtual meeting of regional advisors and officials.
Springdale Teacher Receives Mentoring Award
Springdale Elementary School first grade teacher Lea Mitchell was recognized for receiving the Middle Georgia P-20 Collaborative Mentoring Award. She was nominated by Mercer University, as she has mentored current and former Mercer students.
Board Recognizes Leader in Me Lighthouse Schools
Recently, Springdale Elementary School was notified they received Lighthouse School status from Leader in Me. Additionally, Bernd Elementary School was recertified as a Lighthouse School, and Burdell-Hunt Elementary School and Sonny Carter Elementary School have also received the designation. This status means that these four District schools have implemented the Leader in Me practices with fidelity across all aspects of school life.
Watch the recognition video from tonight's Board meeting below:
Next Board of Education Meeting
The Bibb County Board of Education will meet for a Budget Work Session on May 10, 2021. The next monthly meeting of the Bibb County Board of Education will be held on May 20, 2021. Watch the monthly meetings online at www.youtube.com/bibbschools.
Bibb County School District
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