Valdosta Daily Times

School News

June 4, 2014

Board discusses test scores, text books and CAD days

VALDOSTA — Lowndes County school board weighed many items Monday evening during its regular meeting.

Textbook purchases, the new school calendar, the 2014-2015 testing calendar, fuel and tire bids, and a technology bid proposal were among items up for vote.

• The school board unanimously approved the purchase of new social studies textbooks and resources for grades 6-12. Prior to this, the new resource adoption for social studies was in 1998. The total cost for the new resources is $185,886.08, $99,115.86 for grades 9-12, and $86,770.22 for grades 6-8.

• After originally announcing a plan to have zero Calendar Adjustment Days, or furlough days, the board received less state funds than originally planned. This resulted in the board having to reinstate two CAD days. The new calendar shows the two CAD days on July 31, 2014, and Feb. 17, 2015. The board approved the new calendar unanimously.

• The board unanimously approved the 2014-2015 testing calendar. The new calendar has students doing retakes for the graduation tests in July, August and November. The PSAT will take place in October. End-of-course assessments will take place in December. The high school writing test will be held in February and the AP tests will occur in May.

• Several bids and proposals were presented to the board. A proposal for new technology tables and also the replacement of the current school messaging solution. The board voted to approve the purchase of new tables for Lowndes High, Dewar Elementary, Hahira Elementary, Moulton Branch, and Westside computer labs, contingent on the decision to proceed with the project from SPLOST. The total cost for LHS would be $13,024, with the other schools’ total at $14,584. The cost for the new messaging solution would be $19,570. The board unanimously approved the decision.

• The school board considered transportation bids on tires and fuel. The tire bid went to Hill Tire Company which quoted $282 for Bridgestone, $327.50 for Continental and $87.50 for trade-in Bridgestones. The fuel bid went to Jim Hinton Oil which quoted $3.0519 for diesel fuel and $2.9525 for unleaded.

• The board discussed several items that were not yet ready for a vote. The school board discussed the English for Speakers of Other Languages Jump Start Project which will provide ESOL with the opportunity to work on grade level content standards with ESOL-endorsed teachers, two weeks prior to the start of school.

It also discussed new courses to be added in Fiscal Year 2015. The discussed course would be the addition of accelerated math 7B/8; coordinate algebra for Hahira Middle, Pine Grove Middle and Lowndes Middle schools.

• The board discussed test scores. Board members reviewed the system’s CRCT scores, as well as the EOCT scores and the writing test scores. On the writing test, grade 5 had 82 percent of students meet or exceed the standard, 2 percent above the state average. Grade 8 had 82.5 percent meet or exceed, 2.5 percent above the state average. For grade 11, 94 percent met or exceeded the standard, even with the state average. Grade 5’s scores remained the same from 2012-2013. Grade 8 dropped by 3.5 percent, and grade 11 dropped 2 percent from its previous scores in 2012-2013.

• The board celebrated one of the system’s teachers. Curt Johnson, a Pine Grove Middle School engineering technology teacher, was awarded the title of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) teacher of the year by the South Georgia Chapter of the Air Force Association. Nick Lacey, chapter president, presented the award.

Ken Overman, PGMS principal, and Ivy Smith, assistant principal, nominated Johnson. He competed against six other teachers locally for the title. Johnson will compete at the state level for the title of Georgia AFA Teacher of the Year and could compete at the national level.

The impact of STEM training on the future of the nation is evident to the Georgia AFA.

“The South Georgia Chapter is proud to participate in this very meaningful program and to recognize our outstanding STEM teachers,” Lacey said. “Today, there is not a more important profession, positively impacting the future well being of our country than the classroom teacher.”

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