Gilmer Schools updates facilities and personnel

News

ELLIJAY, GA. – February saw updates on a few topics for the Gilmer School System as they approved updated facilities plans, personnel, and financials.

The third phase of Gilmer High’s renovation plans are entering the final planning stages as the project is set to be bid out in April. According to the Assistant Superintendent, Administrative Services, Stuart Sheriff, the project is set to start at the end of May when school is out. They will be working on flooring and painting the classrooms as well as working on the drop ceilings.

Additionally, the science labs will also be seeing updates and redoing the tables in the chemistry lab. Sheriff said this summer will end the entire process of renovations for Gilmer High.

Clear Creek Elementary School got an update as the bid advertisements will close by the end of February and the School should see a called meeting to approve the GMP (Guaranteed Maximum Price). With this, Gilmer Schools could see the company breaking ground on the project by the end of March or early April.

Approval came for the facilities plan on Thursday as well as the board’s approval for personnel. With three retirements set for May including Band Director Joe Pflueger, the official personnel approval was given naming his replacement, David Wiebers.

Legislative Positions were appointed with nominations and approval for Jim Parmer as the school system’s 2020 Legislative Delegate for the session in June, and Doug Pritchett as his alternate.

The Board also approved their December 2019 Financial Report, 2015 ESPLOST Report, December 2019 Nutrition Report, School Activity Accounts, and February Purchasing Policy Expenditures.

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“I Heart Ga Milk” day at EES

Bobcat's Corner
I Heart Ga Milk
Misty Friedman, Farm to School Nutrition Coordination for the Georgia Department of Agriculture, plays with Georgie's, Georgia Grown's mascot, ear at the I Heart Ga Milk Day at EES on February 14, 2020.

Misty Friedman, Farm to School Nutrition Coordination for the Georgia Department of Agriculture, plays with Georgie’s, Georgia Grown’s mascot, ear at the I Heart Ga Milk Day at EES on February 14, 2020.

ELLIJAY, Ga. – Gilmer Schools saw a special Friday as they celebrated the I Heart Ga Milk Day at Ellijay Elementary School with guests from the Georgia Department of Agriculture.

The event was hosted in Gilmer County as part of the state’s Georgia Grown “Feed My School” program from the Georgia Department of Agriculture. Gilmer Schools’ Nutrition Director Linda Waters helped make the program possible along with staff and faculty of Ellijay Elementary and also hosted Misty Friedman, Farm to School/Nutrition Coordination for the Georgia Department of Agriculture.

Friedman commented on the event saying, “My job is to bring more Georgia foods to our Georgia students. And events like this just puts us on the front lines of all the great work that’s being done to support our Georgia Farmers and to really teach our kids where their food comes from.”

The celebration lasted through breakfast, serving hot chocolate milk with marshmallows early that morning and saw the staff wearing their I Heart Ga Milk t-shirts while Georgie the Georgia Grown mascot and the Chick-fil-A Cow mascot hung out with the kids. Staff handed out pencils and educational materials about “the benefits of milk.”

Friedman went on to say, “I love coming out and visiting with the schools and seeing the kids enjoy, literally, the fruits of the labor of our Georgia Farmers.”

 

 

See more photos at FYN’s Facebook Page.

I Heart Ga Milk I Heart Ga Milk

Author

BOE sells bonds for 2020 ESPLOST

News
BOE Bonds Raymond James

EAST ELLIJAY, Ga. – Moving to the selling of Gilmer BOE bonds, no public comment has been presented in any recent Board of Education Meetings to oppose or support selling bonds for the series 2020 ESPLOST (Educational Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax) funds.

Gabe Agan, Senior Vice President of Raymond James Georgia Public Finance, presented the final paperwork at a Called Meeting of the Gilmer County Board of Education on January 9, 2020. The Bond Yield is set at 1.53 percent for “All-inclusive True Interest Cost” with approval for up to $15 million in General Obligation Bonds.

The schedule is moving swiftly as the pricing was set on January 8, 2020. The Delivery Date is set for January 28, 2020. and Gilmer’s first Interest Payment date will be June 1, 2020. This debt will last through the next five years with a final Principal and Interest Payment date set for December 1, 2025.

BOE Bonds Gabe Agan, Senior Vice President of Raymond James Georgia Public Finance

Gabe Agan, Senior Vice President of Raymond James Georgia Public Finance, presents paperwork to sell bonds for the Series 2020 ESPLOST General Obligation Bonds for Gilmer County’s Board of Education.

According to the paperwork provided by Raymond James Georgia Public Finance, Gilmer is estimated to collect $24,302,765 assuming zero growth and report the school system’s final debt service to total $17,206,450.

This item was approved without contest in the Special Called Meeting for the Gilmer BOE before immediately moving to the Gilmer Board of Commissioners Meeting the same night for approval there. As with the bond sales, should ESPLOST not be enough to pay for the Debt service, the Gilmer Board of Commissioners will be set to impose a tax to cover the payments.

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Gilmer BOE sets 2020 Meeting Dates

News

ELLIJAY, Ga. – Gilmer’s Board of Education is preparing for the new year with set meeting dates and a property purchase offer.

Along with approving Financials, Policy revisits, and Personnel, the board unanimously approved all of its 2020 Meeting Dates and January for 2021.

These 2020 meeting dates are:

Work Session on January 13, Regular Meeting on January 16.
Work Session on February 10, Regular Meeting on February 13.
Work Session on March 16, Regular Meeting on March 19.
Work Session on April 13, Regular Meeting on April 16.
Work Session on May 18, Regular Meeting on May 21.
Work Session on June 22, Regular Meeting on June 25.
Work Session on July 20, Regular Meeting on July 23.
Work Session on August 17, Regular Meeting on August 20.
Work Session on September 21, Regular Meeting on September 24.
Work Session on October 19, Regular Meeting on October 22.
Work Session on November 16, Regular Meeting on November 19.
Work Session on December 14, Regular Meeting on December 17.
Work Session on January 25, 2021, Regular Meeting on January 28, 2021.

Additionally, another approval came this month with the additional vote on an item not mentioned on the agenda. Near the end of their meeting, Superintendent Dr. Shanna Downs noted a property the Board has been speaking on in Executive Session before.

The 1.56 acre property is available next to the Clear Creek Campus of Gilmer Schools. Labeled as parcel 3085140A, according to Downs, the Board is looking to purchase the property for future projects.

The offer recommended by the Superintendent and approved by the Board was set at $130,000. With the approval, the offer will move forward to attempt to purchase the land.

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Gilmer announces Teacher of the Year

Bobcat's Corner, News

ELLIJAY, Ga. – Announcing the 2019 Teacher of the Year, Gilmer County’s Board of Education celebrated the award during their November meetings as they named Tina McDaniel as recipient.

Moving from School Teacher of the Year to the system-wide Teacher of the Year, McDaniel said, “This is just a great honor. It’s a blessing to be able to work with such wonderful people in this county. It’s awesome.”

Administration actually surprised McDaniel in first period Science class a week before they announced her during their meeting. McDaniel said she couldn’t believe that she had been named Teacher of the Year as the surprise came early in the morning. The celebration brought smiles to both the teacher and her first period students who shared cake with their teacher during the surprise.

McDaniel has been teaching for 16 years now. Her first year she taught 7th Grade Science and Social Studies, but the last 15 years have been spent in 6th Grade Science and is currently a PLC Leader. She was named Clear Creek Middle School’s Teacher of the Year in October where she was described as “greeting everyone on a daily basis with a warm and welcoming smile, inspires all students to learn through engaging hands-on activities, very well respected by her colleagues, and spends time in the community by being a soft ball and basketball coach for Gilmer Parks and Recreation.”

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REACH signing in Gilmer

Bobcat's Corner, News
REACH Signing 2019

EAST ELLIJAY, Ga. – Five new inductees have joined the Gilmer County REACH (Realizing Educational Achievement Can Happen) program this week with the official REACH Signing Ceremony on Tuesday, November 12, 2019.

The ceremony was hosted at Clear Creek Middle School’s media center with special guests Georgia Speaker of the House David Ralston and Brad Bryant from the Georgia Student Finance Commission.

2019 REACH Signing Student Scholars

Left to Right, Sarah Enfinger, Eduardo Gonzalez-Santos, Emma Heaslip, Sandra Pantoja, and David Rafael-Garcia are honored as the newest Gilmer REACH Scholars at a ceremony on November 12, 2019.

The inductees, Sarah Enfinger, Eduardo Gonzalez-Santos, Emma Heaslip, Sandra Pantoja, and David Rafael-Garcia, signed their agreements during the ceremony as did their parents to adhere to the requirements of the agreement and move toward their choices for post-secondary education.

Speaker Ralston said during the ceremony that this year’s students are joining a group of more than 2,400 students in Georgia who have been a part of the program over recent years.

Ralston said, “The REACH program exemplifies what can happen when communities come together and the public and private sectors work hand in hand to support our young people. REACH is also an example of the state’s continuing commitment to supporting our students and public education. Whether it has been fully funding public schools through QBE, paying for school security improvements, or raising teacher salaries, our general assembly continues to invest in education all across the state.”

REACH Signing 2019 David Ralston

Georgia Speaker of the House, David Ralston speaks to students and families at Gilmer’s REACH signing on November 12, 2019.

The REACH signing is a part of Georgia’s program as a needs-based scholarship that begins in 8th grade. REACH Scholars are paired with a mentor and an academic coach throughout high school. Scholars must maintain good grades (2.5 GPA in core courses), behavior, and attendance throughout middle and high school. Scholars who successfully complete the program and graduate from high school are awarded a $10,000 scholarship that can be used at HOPE-eligible institution in Georgia.

Bryant also took a moment to offer special thanks to the school board members and the mentors to these students for the time and effort they put forth to help the students saying the children are the future, but “it’s the adults that serve the children that are the future.”

Another surprise for the day’s events, the students saw a video message from Georgia Governor Brian Kemp congratulating them on the ceremony and their steps toward the future. Kemp said, “Today’s ceremony is the beginning of a journey. Your REACH scholarship puts you in the fast lane on a road to the future of success. I look forward to watching you accelerate into that future.”

 

See more photos from this event at FYN’s REACH 2019 Photo Album on Facebook.

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GHS mentors students in adult life with “Adulting Day”

Bobcat's Corner, Community

ELLIJAY, Ga. – Students all across Gilmer High School were introduced to life after Senior Year through a new event, Adulting Day.

Including students from all grades, the day showcased different experts in areas of the future from college and careers to everyday tasks like tax forms and budgets throughout the day. Students were also invited to speak with representatives from Military branches and colleges during the day.

Steak Parade at Adulting Day in Gilmer High SchoolWith more available, a few of the classes we visited included culinary skills at the Steak Parade, speaking with law enforcement about career options and opportunities, learning about traveling with a Travel Agency, local economy with JDA Executive Director Kent Sanford, dangers of Social Media, how to fill out Tax Returns, Budgeting, Healthcare careers, and trade careers. Some classes even dealt with current choices about high school life that will directly affect college or post-graduation life including SAT Prep and Personal Health and Wellness.

The day also included an outdoor experience as students attempted to “drive under the influence” through the use of special goggles and a guided course while driving a golf cart.

Drunk Driving Course during Adulting Day at Gilmer High SchoolThe experience used several different goggles that varied through vision and equilibrium impairment based on different BAC (Blood-Alcohol Content) levels. While not overly challenging the course showcased how difficult even simple obstructions become through the different levels of intoxication.

Students attended the classes and college fair throughout the day up to 2:15 p.m. sharing in information from teachers and experts alike. Different from normal college fairs, these classes added the extra step to prepare some who may not choose college or may take alternate paths in life. Additionally, granting these first experiences through necessary events like taxes allowed for questions and advice to be exchanged through the school environment.

The event was hosted by Gilmer High School Administration and Counselors involving the teachers and an additional 30 volunteers.

The Adulting Day event has been confirmed to continue annually as Gilmer High School Principal Carla Foley stated, “We will definitely make this a yearly event.”

 

See more photos of the event at FYN’s Facebook Page.

Author

Georgia Apple Day at Clear Creek Middle School

Community, News
Georgia Apple Day

Georgia Apple DayEAST ELLIJAY, Ga. – Students at Clear Creek Middle School enjoyed celebrating Georgia Apple Day on September 13, 2019. Students connected food and agriculture with Penland’s Apple House providing history and apple facts, along with samples of apples in season, fresh apple cider, and even pencils for students.

Penland’s is located along Highway 515 at 41 Talona Spur Road in Ellijay, Georgia. The apple house is a family owned and operated business. Along with apples, Penland’s offers ciders, jams, and various baked goods, including great tasting apple pies and apple fritters.

Georgia Apple DayGilmer County is nicknamed the “Apple Capital of Georgia”. The apple season runs from late August through December. Every year, over 200,000 bushels of apples are produced, and every taste bud can find its perfect apple with over 30 varieties grown locally.

With the apple season getting into full swing, and Gilmer county preparing for the various Apple events, the Georgia Apple Day was a great kick off for the students. Clear Creek Middle School was able to enjoy the benefit of being part of the Apple Capital of Georgia. This event was made possible by the event host, Penland’s Apple House.

Author

BOE presents 2019 Milestones results

News

ELLIJAY, Ga. – Georgia Milestones Assesment System (GMAS) scores were released this month after the state embargo was lifted at the end of July.

Presented to the board, these scores show results from the 2018-19 school year as well as recent years for comparisons. While grades 3-8 separate scores into Math, ELA, Reading, Science, and Social Studies, High School scores are presented as End Of Course test results.

Chief Academic Officer Lottie Mitchell presented these results to the board in August noting the trends the county has seen in the last five years in levels 2-4, whereas Milestones scores are ranked by levels (level 1 – Beginner / Level 2 – Developing / Level 3 – Proficient / Level 4 – Distinguished). Mitchell also told the board that while the schools did retest this year, they are going to participate in retesting in the 2019-20 school year. In 3rd Grade, they can retest in Language Arts. In 5th Grade and 8th Grade, they can retest in Reading and Math.

In Math, Grades 3-8, Mitchell highlighted the 2019 scores which saw seven of the eight groups scoring above the State’s average. While Mountain View’s 4th Grade did decrease, they are still above the average as well. Only Clear Creek Middle School’s 7th Grade group was below average in Math, but they only missed the average by one percent.

“We are very pleased in Math,” said Mitchell as she pointed out the county’s relation to the state.

In ELA (English Language Arts), Mitchell noted that while the county did generally perform close to the state’s average in most of the groups when comparing levels 2-4, the chart on the right shows four groups above average when looking only at the percentage of those who score at Level 3 – Proficient and Level 4 – Distinguished.

Mitchell addressed the charts differences saying, “We are moving more of our developing up to our proficient.”

In Reading and Vocabulary, Mitchell said, “For the past few years, we have not had anyone. When we first applied for the L4GA Grant, we didn’t have anyone who was above the state average… This year Clear Creek 7th Grade was above the average. We are showing improvement. Sometimes we have a little dip, but we are overall showing improvement.”

With six of the eight groups showing high scores than five years ago, Mitchell said they are happy for the improvements. While administration is excited for the math scores, much of their concern and focus have been on improving these scores. She noted several initiatives to achieve that goal such as a new phonics program, increasing student time in tech and balanced literacy, increases in training and guided reading, and reading rewards programs that have already shown success in GMS and CCMS among other initiatives.

Additionally, she credited the success that CCMS has seen to a new program, WIN, that alligns students in groups according to their MAP scores to allow those of similar skill levels to improve together.

In Science and Social Studies, Mitchell noted that in recent years, only 5th and 8th Grades take these tests. Both grades beat the state average in Science and 8th Grade beat it in Social Studies. While 5th Grade did not score above average in Social Studies, they did scores just below, by one percent, similar to Clear Creek’s 7th Math group. This did, however, show a dip in scores compared to last year.

 

In High School End of Course Tests, only two groups beat the state average. However, Mitchell instead pointed to the growth the county has seen in the last five years. From 2015 to 2019, 9th Grade Lit percentages have gone up 33.1 percent, from 52.99 to 85.88 percent.  U.S. History percentages have gone up 36.58 percent, from 36.96 to 73.54percent. Economics percentages have gone up 35.49 percent, from 48.99 to 84.48 percent. In the past year alone, Physical Science scores went up 13.97 percent, from 70.72 to 84.69 percent.

Addressing the dip in Math scores, Mitchell pointed back to the higher math scores in lower grades saying, “We are sending students up to the high school with a stronger foundation and proficiency to do the rigorous math such as Algebra I and Geometry.”

Additonally, Principal Carla Foley is also arranging schedules to provide additional support in the fall for 9th grade lit and Algebra I to give the a year to master the content rather than one semester.

Mitchell said the Milestones scores not only showcase the successes of Gilmer County, but they are allowing answers and responses like these to address the issue areas in order to spread the success to all areas of the schools.

Author

EDUCATION SHOULD BE RUN BY PARENTS AGAIN

Opinion

One of the key issues today is education.  Everyone should be interested in all children getting the best well rounded education available. Children are the future and it is concerning to have a growing populace that purposely remain ignorant due to the cookie cutter approach to public schools.

My question is why have the American people allowed education to become a government led agenda?

Initially, when America was young, there was no guideline for schooling. In England, schools were available for the privileged, but not the masses. 

The American spirit formed its own brand of education. Children were taught at home or in the homes of neighbors. As communities grew, the one room schoolhouse was brought into play. This building housed the school, served as a community center and often a church on Sunday.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One-room_school

There was usually a home or a “Teacherage” close to the schools, so that male teachers’ families were close to the school and able to assist the teacher with his duties. Unmarried female teachers were usually boarded with someone in the community. 

Laura Ingalls Wilder, author of the “Little House” books, became a schoolteacher two months before her sixteenth birthday. She taught in a one room schoolhouse.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laura_Ingalls_Wilder

The one room school system allowed for the parents and the community to decide on the curriculum and the values taught in the schools. The community that sponsored their own school would have been up in arms if anyone from the government had tried to interfere with their wishes. They accepted some guidelines, but interference would not have been tolerated.

The one room school allowed for a child to go further than his or her own age level. If the child was advanced, they could finish their lessons and listen to the next age level’s work. The community school usually only went up to the eighth grade. This provided basic education.

 If a student wanted further education, they could go to a central high school within the county or state. 

Standardized tests did not come into play until much later, if you went to school and attended and passed all of your classes, you could graduate. 

This system spawned many a leader within the United States.

My maternal Great Grandfather John Thomas Jones donated land for a two room schoolhouse here in Paulding County, Georgia. My Grandmother Clara M. Jones and her older brother Hershel Jones taught there for a period of time.

Though his scholastic career was interrupted by family needs on the farm, my Uncle Herschel returned to school later. He later completed all of his studies and graduated from Oglethorpe University. He went on to be the principal in the Paulding County school system.

Herschel Jones Middle School in Dallas, Georgia is his legacy to education, and a tribute to the power of the one room school.

Instead of relying on the government to educate children, parents need to be in charge of the local educational system. More thought needs to be given to how each parent is personally is going to provide education to their children. In this way, the values of the parents, not the government are instilled

Taking back the power of education is key to developing free thinkers.

The Federal Government’s interference has led to teaching to tests and leaving students behind on important basics, especially American History. It is an indictment of the public school system every time some reporter asks college age students questions, like who is on the $ 20 bill. The school systems have taught our young people to be ashamed of our great nation and have misled them on how our country was founded.

When school systems insist on teaching values that are contrary to the values taught at home, it is unacceptable.

It is time to take your children and their education back from those who are running their own agenda.

 

Optimist Club’s Stuff the Bus sees growing success

Community, News

EAST ELLIJAY, Ga. – With tomorrow set as the final day of delivery and closing out the “Stuff the Bus” event hosted by the Gilmer County Optimist Club, success is the word on everyone’s mouth as final tallies are being collected.

Those tallies showed, according to Event Chairwoman Molly Landry, that more citizens donated actual supplies than financial donations in recent years. While this is the first time she chaired the “Stuff the Bus” in its seven consecutive years of running, she did note that she had done similar events in south Louisiana in a community similar in size to Ellijay, Landry said this year’s event, “has been the most successful event I have been a part of.”

Landry said the club has collected $2,654 in financial donations for supplies, but the real surprise came when she said the schoolbus driver told her he had never seen the bus so full. There were only five empty seats on the bus and every other seat had “boxes on top of boxes, ” Landry said.

That may seem like a “close-but-not-quite-stuffed” kind of situation. However, according to Gilmer Optimist Club President Lisa Salman, the event’s success is only just beginning as they still have one more day of box collecting and deliveries to the Gilmer County Charter School System’s Board of Education.

Alongside citizens and business owners, Wal-Mart also offered a discount on the supplies purchased with the $2,654. Landry said they purchased everything from backpacks and notebooks for the kids to items like calculators and paper supplies for the classrooms.

The accomplishments of these volunteers were felt throughout the county, but especially in the Board of Education, the go-between for this supply drive and the students who benefit from it.

Gilmer County Board of Education Member, Doug Pritchett praised the event and how it helps students that might not have everything they need to start school and obtain the opportunities within.

Pritchett said, “It’s very encouraging. We’ve got a lot of groups in our community that are constantly reaching out and helping with the school system.”

Pritchett went on to call it a “real strength” of the community that so many care for students and children, having not only the Optimist Club hosting, but businesses supporting them, and citizens donating.

With the event completed, these supplies will travel to the Board of Education. The administration will begin distribution as they respond to schools calling out for what they need for their students.

These supplies will last throughout the school year as they continue to fulfill those needs.

Gilmer County Schools Superintendent Dr. Shanna Downs said, “I am always amazed at the incredible generosity of those in our community who donate both school supplies and funds to “Stuff the Bus.” Our school social worker and counseling department use the supplies throughout the year to help our neediest children to be prepared with school supplies. Our teachers appreciate all of the extra disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizer, and Kleenex they receive to use in their classrooms.”

Author

Gilmer readies to “Stuff the Bus” for school

Community

EAST ELLIJAY, Ga. – This weekend, citizens will find the Optimist Club and their school bus in front of Wal-Mart in East Ellijay as they collect final donations and celebrate the county’s return to the school year.

The Gilmer County Optimist Club’s 7th Annual school supply drive still has collection boxes located throughout the county in several businesses. However, for those last minute shoppers, financial donations, and collection box turn ins, this event will host volunteers and club members ready to accept those donations.

The same bus that citizens saw parading through downtown during the July 4th parade will be parked in front of Walmart on August 2 and 3, 2019, as a beacon to show citizens exactly where to go to provide for the supplies drive.

According to the Optimist Club, the drive is to literally “stuff” that yellow bus full of supplies for students in the county who may not have everything they need for their studies. The drive turns in the supplies collected to the school system who, in turn, delivers the supplies as needed to the children.

Sarurday will also see Optimist Club members going through a list of needs provided by the school, and for those things they may not have as much of, they will use the financial donations given to fill in the needs that are lacking. This way, every donation goes to help the students of the county, and the club is able to spread the provisions evenly.

Author

Gilmer sees early plans for CCES

News
CCES Plans Pg 1

CCES Plans Pg 1

ELLIJAY, Ga. – Gilmer citizens are finally getting a first look at designs and plans for the newest addition to the Gilmer County Charter School System.

While the plans are available to the public for viewing, Gilmer County School Superintendent Dr. Shanna Downs made sure to note that the plans are still in their preliminary stage. These plans can and probably will change in the coming months as the Board, Administration, Breaux & Associations Architects, and Charles Black Construction Company alter and address issues during the project.

During their recent meeting, the Board of Education noted that the plans for the new school were a “compact design” based on visits and analysis of another school they visited in March. The compact design is helpful with the school’s position as the Board wants to take advantage of the higher ground at the location.

CCES Plans Pg 2

CCES Plans Pg 2

The green line in the plans indicates a hill that will be cut and “tabletopped.” This allows the school to sit on earth that the Breaux & Associates Architects representative said is already “compacted by nature,” instead of sitting of fill dirt or looser foundations that might cause differential settlements.

The compact design will only cover 86,000 square feet in the school building alone, with a 212 car parking lot and space for bus traffic, playgrounds, and extra space unused in the current plan.

The third page shows the interior layout of classrooms with the central “core” being facilities including the cafeteria, gym, media center, offices, and more. Additionally, the architects have already left space on the ends of the wings for further expansion.

CCES Plans Pg 3

CCES Plans Pg 3

Additional design points are yet to be finalized, but the architects pointed out considerations for stonework on the exterior and skylights in the central area of the four-classroom “pods.”

Current plans are to finish designs by the end of 2019 in order to bid and begin construction in early 2020. They also indicated that they hope to have construction done and the school in use by the 2021-22 school year.

Author

BOE meetings addresses issues before start of school

Uncategorized

ELLIJAY, Ga. – Approaching the coming school year, the Gilmer Board of Education is covering last minute changes to the coming year with their July Meeting.

Receiving some good news, Gilmer Schools Superintendent Dr. Shanna Downs informed the board that while the State originally told them they would not be receiving bond money for bus purchases, they will now be receiving enough for two more buses.

Instead of increasing the planned four buses to six now, Downs recommended the board continue with four bus purchases using two from the state bond money and two from the school systems ESPLOST.

Reducing the ESPLOST purchase from four to two, according to Downs, will allow the BOE to save more money to put towards their construction projects like Clear Creek Elementary School.

As of now, the BOE approved maintaining four bus purchases and they are currently leaning towards continuing to purchase gas buses instead of Diesel.

The board also had last minute changes to Personnel as some resignations and staffing coming even between the Work Session and Regular Meeting in July.

Dr. Downs said the last minute changes are not unusual during this time of the year, even coming in so close to that start of the new school year. The BOE approved Personnel unanimously.

Additionally, the board’s agreement with the Boys and Girls Club of Gilmer was renewed with Boardmember Jim Parmer clarifying that the agreement covered changes to the systems elementary school redistricting done earlier this year.

The School System, said Downs, had already thought about these needs and addressed them in the agreement. The unanimous approval will continue with the school providing transportation to the Boys and Girls Club.

Installation of the new Centigex Security systems is also moving forward with final challenges coming through incorporating the different intercom systems in the different schools. However, Downs told the board that the new badges are being distributed and are already set for codes to instantly alert proper authorities to the level of incidents.

Downs also assured the board that she fully expected the installations to be resolved before school starts.

Author

BOE Advertises 2019 Millage Rate

News
Gilmer BOE 2019

ELLIJAY, Ga. – Despite a delay preventing them from announcing the millage rate at their work session earlier this week, the Gilmer County Board of Education announced and approved advertisement of the 2019 Millage Rate on July 25, 2019.

Looking at the tax digest representing a 3.33 percent increase in the net digest, Superintendent Dr. Shanna Downs recommended the Board stated to the Board, “After accounting for the reassessment of real property and the inflationary growth, the calculation of our 2019 Rollback Millage Rate is projected to be 14, 248 mills.”

Board Member Jim Parmer questioned how major the difference would be between the current and rollback rates. Downs answered him saying, “Not much.”

With the Superintendents recommendation, the motion to acceptance of the Rollback rate was unanimously approved for advertisement.

Author

BOE to demolish old central office

News

ELLIJAY, Ga. – Demoliton plans are underway with the Board of Education (BOE) as they will be taking down the old Central Office Building and annex.

The building, located on Gilmer High School’s Campus, will be demolished by bid winner Anderson Atlanta, Inc. But the process getting there has been questioned by Board members due to a slightly unusual bid range. The six companies, whose bids were presented in the June BOE meeting, ranged from $28,500 to $92,050.

The large range caused concerns as Board Member Ronald Watkins questioned what guarantees the Board had for completion at that price. Facilities and Maintenance Director of Operations, Bob Sosebee told the board that it wouldn’t cost the Board anything to let them try. He later explained with FYN that Anderson Atlanta will be responsible for every part of the demolition including the actual tear down, disconnection of utilities like water/sewer and electrical, permits, and disposal of the detritus.

Demolition is set to begin on July 8. While Anderson Atlanta has 90 days to complete the contract, Sosebee has said he has had several talks with the company, who has sent representatives to inspect the site, in which they have estimated they could complete the contract in a matter of weeks. As such, confidence is high that the demolition will be completed before school starts again in August.

The board has not expressed specific plans for the area after demolition, but Sosebee said they do intend to continue using the area for parking until the board decides on something different.

Author

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