By REBECCA HAZEN
Student Benjamin Lind, in fourth grade at Dade Elementary, led everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance during the Board of Education’s meeting on Monday, Sept. 27. Lind was asked to say the Pledge of Allegiance after a show of commitment, which was the school’s character word for September.
Ingle noted that the Congressional Medal of Honor Society Character Development program is modeled after the Medal of Honor.
In Bethany Miller’s class, the students learned about the word commitment, and watched an 11-minute video about the Medal of Honor.
“While that video was playing, Benjamin took it upon himself to stand up, in the middle of the class. He was the only one standing, and he was standing at attention, like a soldier would,” Ingle said.
“I meant it from my heart,” Lind told the Board of Education members.
Lind’s parents are Timothy and Amanda. Lind’s father served in the military, and Lind’s older brother is actively serving.
Lind was also presented a Pin of Excellence by Ingle.
Also during the meeting, Edna Moore, who is retiring after 40 years of service, was recognized by the Board of Education, as well.
“Ms. Edna worked in our cafeteria, and she was a bus driver. She was more than just an employee. She treated every one of these kids like they were her own kids,” Ingle said.
Ingle notified board members that Trenton Telephone Company is looking to expand Internet connectivity through an American Rescue Plan Act grant.
“Trenton Telephone is seeking our help as they submit an application to expand broadband Internet connectivity throughout rural areas,” Ingle said.
“It is a distinct need that was basically amplified once we started doing virtual learning,” Chris Greene, Director of Information Technology and Network Services, said.
Board members agreed to help Trenton Telephone Company, by providing letters of support.
The Board also heard an update from Director of Special Programs, Susan Reyes.
Dade County Schools are currently serving 309 students with disabilities, which is 14.3 percent. Eleven students ages 3-5 are in the preschool special education program. Thirty–seven students are being served in the Functional Curriculum Program, and seven students are being served in the GNETS Program (Georgia Network for Educational and Therapeutic Support).
The largest eligibility for services is the Specific Learning Program, which represents 42 percent of the students with disabilities.
It was also noted that 21 students with disabilities graduated from DCHS in 2020, and 50 percent of those are now competitively employed, which means they are working full-time and they do not have any support. Twenty percent are enrolled in college, 10 percent are employed part-time, and five percent are enrolled in post school education, such as a technical school.
Paula Stallings, with the finance department, gave the financial report. The ending balance for SPLOST V for the month of August was $1,843,899.96. $260,457.31 was collected in SPLOST revenue for the month of August. Stallings noted that collections were up by $48,312.31, compared to August of last year.
Ingle reported that, for the week prior, there were six students who had positive COVID-19 cases, and 116 students in quarantine. There was one staff positive case, and three staff members were in quarantine. Ingle noted that since then more students who were in quarantine had developed COVID-19. The positive case and quarantine numbers are released each Monday morning, as part of the Superintendent’s Newsletter.
Ingle noted that Board of Education meetings in 2022 would continue to be held on the fourth Monday of each month, except for Nov. and Dec. The board will release and approve the list of the year’s scheduled meetings during next month’s meeting.
The Board went into executive session to discuss personnel and property matters. The board approved the retirement of Edna Moore and Suzanne Smith, and the resignations of Cathy Canterbury, Amber Gilbert and Angela Dimos. The board approved Neal Shavers, Melissa Nestell, Heather Holder, Diana Spurgin, Brianna Fuller and Justin Spurgin for hire. The board approved the hiring of Darla Lingerfielt as a cafeteria staff member, Brianna Moore and Ruby Iles as substitute cafeteria staff, and Tara Riddle, Mandy McDaniel, Allison Lemke and Carolyn Hixson as substitute teachers.
The next Board of Education meeting will be Oct. 25.