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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Board Work Session Notes - 12-10

Sullivan Middle School made a presentation on some of the ways they are learning using the new IB "Middle Years" process. Around 20 students made the presentation with teachers and parents in attendance.

The Board met in executive session for personnel issues and approved William "Bill" Mabry as an Associate Superintendent upon entering open session. The vote was 7-0. Mr. Mabry comes to us from Sumter 17 and will begin his duties in February. He will be replacing John Hair who will be taking retirement at the end of this physical year (June 08).

The Board voted 7-0 to approve a trip by Walter Brown to attend the Federal Relations Network Conference, Feb. 3-5, in Washington, D.C.. Our district has had representation for a number of years and this is a great opportunity to meet with our representatives about education issues.

The superintendent reported on several initiates that the district is undertaking to improve performance and communications. Those include meeting with area civic and religious groups, and with teachers and staff.

Several board members gave an update on the recent state school board conference on legislative measures. They do not anticipate any new issues to come up this session and expect little activity because everyone will be up for election in the fall.

Dr. Kokolis gave a revised timeline on the reassignment process.

The Board held focus group meetings at Oakland Baptist and St. Mary's Catholic church - several members gave updates from those meetings. The next focus group meetings will be held on Feb. 7.

The Board received a report on a recent Effectiveness Audit from School Management Services. The report indicated even though performance in several key areas is not where it should be, the district has taken appropriate steps to bring in in line within a few years. The district was at standard for the percentage of students taking AP/IB exams and Dual Credit Courses but was below standard on the number successfully completing those courses. ACT and SAT scores were comparable for districts such as ours and Teacher and Student Attendance was above districts similar to ours. Our PACT results were low, our drop out rate was high and our graduation rate was low. Data indicates we may have a serious problem with grade inflation - but this is a problem in all states where state sponsored college scholarships are available based on high school GPA.

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