COOK COUNTY -- The Cook County Board of Education voted Monday to work with Frank King and Associates with its upcoming superintendent's search.

Cook School Superintendent William Sampson's contract expires June 30. He has offered to work with the board until a permanent replacement can be found.

During a Feb. 24 work session, Board members heard from Bill Cason, a representative from the firm, about what the firm offers.

Services include candidate recruitment and staff development on working with a new superintendent.

The firm charges a flat fee of $4,000 to assist with the search, which can take about four months to complete. Additional services, such as advertising in national publications, staff development and contract negotiations, cost extra.

The Board plans to meet with firm representatives to begin the search process and determine what it wants in a new superintendent at its March 24 meeting.

In other business:

l The Board voted to allow the City of Adel to provide water and gas lines to the new elementary school. The cost for the water line is expected to cost $57,781.56; the water line, $5,500. The Board at first wanted to see if the Town of Sparks would provide the water. The town couldn't.

l The Board looked at three new board policies. The policies, drafted by the Georgia School Board Association, deal with parental involvement in education, homeless students, and student records. These are new policies, not revisions or updates to previous ones, Sampson said.

In the homeless students policy, school systems will be required to enroll homeless students into their school systems. It's a way of ensuring children still have access to an education and a way to prevent school systems from denying the children because they don't live in a permanent residence in the district.

"Children can't help their circumstances," Sampson said.

Homeless, in the policy, refers to children sharing housing with others due to loss of their own home or economic hardship, those living in motels, or other temporary lodging; those who were abandoned in hospitals, awaiting foster care placement, living in vehicles or other spaces not intended for human residence. Migrant children are also included.

To contact reporter Marie Arrington, please call 244-3400, ext. 254.

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