Concerns over Leader in Me at ACM

Much of the discussion of the Escambia County Board of Education at the regular meeting Thursday, March 23, concerned the proposed consolidation of A.C. Moore Elementary School with Rachel Patterson Elementary and Escambia County Middle schools.

Superintendent John Knott said a meeting is planned for Thursday, April 6, 5 p.m., at A.C. Moore. Knott said the proposed plan will be presented and stakeholders will be able to ask questions.

Board members were particularly interested in The Leader in Me program which is in its first year at A.C. Moore. At the February BOE meeting, ACM Principal John Brantley gave a presentation on the school, much of which centered on the program and the benefits for students and teachers.

“I was impressed with Mr. Brantley’s presentation on Leader in Me,” board member Mike Edwards said, “and they have Big Brothers Big Sisters.”

Knott said Leader in Me would transfer, adding that Assistant Superintendent Beth Drew has talked with principals about implementation.

The program should be in year two beginning next year, but Drew said they would probably redo year one at Rachel Patterson, which will include the third grade which would have gone to ACM but will remain at RP. She said it would be a good way to unify the faculties – the teachers already at Rachel Patterson and the teachers who will transfer from A.C. Moore.

Knott announced the school system will hold a job fair Saturday, April 8, 9 a.m. until noon, at Flomaton High School.

The following consent items were passed with one motion:

1. Authorization to prepare a list of non-renewal and / or transfers of personnel for the 2017-2018 school year.

Board member Danny Benjamin said there is always a shortage of teachers.

“We need to be careful who we non-renew,” he said. “We may not get them back.”

Knott said this motion only authorized him to prepare the list, that the recommendations would come back before the board for consideration.

2. Authorization to apply for federal funds and grants for the 2017-2018 school year.

3. Approval of 2017 Jump Start Programs for Escambia County Schools.

4. Approval of Title I Summer Programs for Escambia County Schools.

5. Approval of 21st Century Community Learning Center Summer Programs for
Escambia County Schools.

6. Approval to implement the Escambia County Schools Transportation Detailed Efficiency Review (DER) through LEAN Frog.

Knott said this company will help determine more efficient bus routing, adding that the biggest need is in Atmore. The cost of the review is not to exceed $10,850, which will be paid out of transportation department. Knott said he has talked with other school systems and they have told him they saved money by implementing recommendations by LEAN Frog.

In other business, Chief School Financial Officer Julie Madden presented the monthly financial statement for February 2017: $14.56 million unreserved fund balance, with 4.65 number of months in reserve.

The board awarded a bid for magnetic whiteboards to ITS, Inc.