BOE prepares for mandatory math coaches

News Staff Writer

The Escambia County Board of Education approved during its April 27 meeting a move to get a leg up on an anticipated state requirement that all county school systems employ math coaches to strengthen math instruction at the elementary and middle school levels.
BOE members voted unanimously to purchase instructional math materials for students from Heinemann and Next Level Libraries at a cost of $17,986.34. They also approved the purchase from BBB Educational Enterprises Inc. of professional development for math coaches.
Superintendent of Education Michele McClung told board members the purchases would allow the county system to already have math coaches in place when provisions of the 2022 Alabama Numeracy Act become mandatory.
“The Numeracy Act is calling for each county in the state to have math coaches,” the superintendent said. “We’re going to get a head start on that, since math has been one of our biggest deficiencies.”
A math coach will be assigned to each county elementary school and to each of the two middle schools (Escambia County Middle and W.S. Neal Middle) that will also serve the feeder elementary schools.
“We will need to purchase instructional materials to train these teachers to be math coaches and to give them proper training to be competent math coaches that will go into the classrooms and support instruction all day,” McClung said. “This is for us to get a head start instead of waiting until the mandate hits.”
The professional development materials will cost $83,965 and will be paid from Elementary and Secondary Schools Emergency Relief (ESSER 3) funds, as will the instructional materials.
Also during the meeting, BOE members:
*Heard from Chief Schools Financial Officer Rochelle Richardson that the system’s unrestricted fund balance on March 31 was $12,382,369.17. The total includes “about $7 million” from the recent settlement of a lawsuit and represents 3.23 months of operating costs.
*Approved out-of-state field trips for Escambia County High School seniors, to Six Flags-Atlanta this Friday and Saturday, May 5 and 6, and the W.S. Neal football team, band and cheer squad to Hattiesburg, Miss., on May 20 for a spring football game.
*Tabled a board policy revision regarding credit cards for 30 days, as is board protocol.
*Approved a board policy revision regarding recordkeeping that was tabled at the last board meeting.
*Approved a 2023-24 textbook adoption.
*Tabled approval of the 2023-24 Code of Student Conduct for 30 days, as is board protocol.
*Set the date of the next BOE meeting for 4:30 p.m. May 18, at the Central Office in Brewton.