Info from the School Board Meeting

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There was a CCSS School Board Meeting on Thursday, January 14. The following items were discussed:

Two new employees were officially welcomed into the Central Community School System. There is now a speech pathologist, which is a new position in our school system. She will be based at Tanglewood. Also, CCSS welcomed a new paraprofessional for special needs students.

A firm has been chosen to assist with arrangements for health benefits for employees who retire from the Central School System. These retired employees would be eligible for this sort of assistance until they become eligible for Medicare.

Permission was granted for Mr. Faulk to consult a licensed realtor if necessary when considering buying more land for the schools. If possible, the school system would like to purchase some land surrounding the place they decide to build the schools in order to provide easier access to the schools.

Mr. Faulk has made the suggestion not to apply for Race to the Top for the Central School System, and the School Board agreed. In order to be eligible for Race to the Top, the school system would be required to commit Central’s resources to continuing the program when the federal money runs out. Also, the majority of the available money goes to schools with a rating below 80, and Central has no schools that rank below 90. Central can still apply for Race to the Top later, so that idea is not ruled out should it become beneficial to Central in the future.

The issue of having before and after school care at Bellingrath Hills Elementary was brought forward. Tanglewood and Central Intermediate both offer this sort of program with teachers watching students and offering them help with school work. Parents pay for the service. 24 parents have come forward asking the administration at Bellingrath to provide this service at their school, as well. The parents made the point that it is difficult to have the service available for the kids at other schools but not at Bellingrath. Many Central residents came forward to make comments. Several owners of local child care centers said that having Central schools offer before and after care could take students away from them and deprive them of needed business. Another operator of a local learning center questioned the appropriateness of charging money for these services at public schools. One man stated that the decision of where to bring their students should be left up to the parents. In the end, it was agreed that what is best for the students is what should be done, and, if possible, local business should be taken into consideration before making any decisions. The school board voted to refer the matter to the Student Services Committee for further consideration.

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