School Board News

August 23, 2019

This photo is from the school system's recent school-year kickoff, at which Superintendent Jan Harris presented Dade's hometown hero, Maj. Tommy Bradford, the "Distinguished Graduate Award." Pictured are, from left: Mary Ann Bradford, Maj. Tommy, Dr. Harris, Dade Board of Education Chairwoman Carolyn Bradford, and board member Jennifer Hartline. 


At its Aug. 19 meeting, following an executive session for that purpose, the Dade Board of Education made the following personnel moves:


Norman Aarseth was hired as a facilities/maintenance worker for the school system and Cindy Weeks as a bus monitor. Rebecca Casleberry and Linda Aarseth were hired as cafeteria substitutes. Christy Vaugh was hired as an interventionist and Rebecka Chambers as a paraprofessional, both at Dade Elementary School. Keeley C. Page was hired as a parapro at Dade Middle School.


The board accepted the resignations of bus driver James Easter and bus monitor Jackie Smith.


The board also made the following coaching staff revisions at Dade Middle and Dade High: Charles Carver and Jackie Guffey were both approved as part-timers. 


In other business, the B of E adopted as a permanent policy the  perfect-attendance incentive for staffers it has used for the past three years with great success. Teachers who don't miss a day all year collect a $200 check. Despite the payout, Superintendent of Schools Jan Harris says the program saved the schools $12,205 net last year alone, $64,350 in the three years it has been in effect, reducing absentee days--for which the system is obliged to find and pay substitute teachers--by 990 days in that period. The attendance program is not just about money, the administration always stresses: Students also learn better when their teacher is consistently there.


Another policy on the consent agenda for the Aug. 19 meeting, though, was for when nobody is there: "Digital Learning Day." Director of Academics Patti Johnson presented the concept: Basically it's a plan for bad-weather closure days that allows students to work from home over the internet and prevents the school system from requiring the day to be made up at the end of the year. Teachers, also working from home, will be available during regular school hours to guide the students through whatever assignments they have arranged for these days. Students without good internet access will also have a plan, possibly a writing assignment. "We'll work out the details," said Dr. Harris.


"We’re looking for quality, not quantity, so it wouldn’t be a lot of work," said Ms. Johnson. "It would be enough to justify not having to make up that day.”


Other items approved on the consent agenda were a presentation by a Georgia Power vendor for upgrading the Dade Elementary School lights to LED, buying new computers for the A/V lab at Dade Middle School and proceeding with the ongoing renovation work at Davis Elementary.


The school board's next regularly scheduled meeting is at 5 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 16.

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