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Technology, SBHC discussion leads to long meeting

Monday night’s Board of Education meeting was an unusually long one as discussion concerning a School Based Health Clinic (SBHC) and an update on the school system’s technology status consumed much of the meeting.
Denise Darley of Jeff Davis Family Connections and Jeff Davis Hospital CEO Barry Bloom explained the SBHC proposal to the board. Darley explained Family Connections applied for an SBHC grant in connection with the hospital and the application process included assessments from students, parents and school system staff. She went over the results of the assessment and said the grant had been awarded if the board makes the decision that it is feasible for the school system.
Bloom explained that there were pros and cons to the proposal. Money has been set aside for East Georgia Health Center to place a SBHC in Jeff Davis County, either in the schools or in the community which would bring increased availability to medical services in the county.
Unfortunately, Bloom said, the clinic would be in competition with local physicians and would compete with pediatric services locally.
School Superintendent Dr. Chris Roppe said he was, at first, encouraged about the possibility to have a medical clinic in the schools, but then realized some of the drawbacks.
“We have an outstanding relationship with our medical community and want to make sure our decision coincides with the medical community,” he said.
He added that the clinic is expected to come to Jeff Davis County anyway and the question was whether or not it would be in the school system or the community.
The board voted to table the matter until they could have a called meeting to get everyone together and get all questions answered.
Technology Director Kelly McLoon gave the board an update on where the classrooms stand as far as technology goes.
He said Pre-K, primary and elementary classrooms have been updated with 25-30 Chromebooks, either a television or a projector, an Apple TV system in each classroom and each teacher had either a laptop or an iPad and telephone access for teachers to contact administrators, parents, etc. Sound systems are being installed in each classroom.
McLoon said his department is now working on upgrading the middle school and then will turn its attention to the high school. He expects the entire school system to be completed by November or, at the latest, December.
When McLoon introduced his fellow technology department members, they received an ovation from the board and the audience on hand for the meeting.
In other action, the board …
… listed as Middle School Principal Dr. Brent Coleman recognized students who made perfect scores on Georgia Milestones Assessments: Vincent Ly – 7th grade math, Sydney Hand – 7th grade ELA, and Miles Rowland – 8th grade social studies.
…. listed as Dr. Shelly McBride recognized elementary school student Patrick Fitzwater who was Region 2nd runner-up for third grade in First District Regional Educational Service Agency Young Author’s Competition.
…. approved a capital outlay project plan application for renovations, modifications to the elementary school.
…. heard financial updates from Finance Director Betty Corbitt.
… approved Superintendent Dr. Chris Roppe’s contract for fiscal year 2022 and substitute pay.
… accepted the resignation of Matt Walsh from the transportation department.
…. approved hiring Pre-K teacher Cynthia Burke, custodians Kacie Griffin, Marilyn Hernandez, Bonnie Holt, Jeraldine Horne, Antoinette Mealing and Neida Oliver, and daycare workers Karen Vann and Sandy Selph.
… listened as Dr. Roppe introduced Kristy Bennett, social worker for the district, and announced that Dr. Cecelia McLoon will serve as interim high school principal in the absence of principal Greer Smith.

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