Peach BOE considers tobacco policy changes

jmink@macon.comOctober 29, 2013 

FORT VALLEY -- Under proposed revisions to the Peach County school district’s tobacco policy, all personnel, including visitors, would be banned from using tobacco on Peach County School grounds.

The revision, which was proposed Tuesday during a Board of Education work session, would align the district policy with recent changes in state regulations. Board members will vote on the revision during the November regular session, said Gail Swain, district director of grants and administrative services.

Board member Virginia Dixon questioned including visitors in the same clause as school personnel. District leaders also questioned that wording but were advised to keep the clause as short as possible, Superintendent Joe Ann Denning said.

The revisions would prohibit any type of tobacco use on all Peach County School grounds, including at sporting events. State regulations recently were revised to include visitors in school property tobacco bans, Swain said.

Improvement strategies

As they seek to improve, Kay Road Elementary School administrators are implementing new initiatives, including computerized mentor programs and one-on-one advising.

Principal Angela Ezell informed board members of strides the school already has made, including increased performances in all subjects on the statewide exam.

As schools routinely present improvement strategies to the board, Ezell highlighted Kay Road’s plan. That strategy includes remediation -- particularly math tutoring -- using new computer programs. For example, students already have completed more than 82,000 math problems using one new program, she said.

“So, they’re definitely utilizing those programs,” she said.

Additionally, as part of a new district-wide program, students are meeting with advisers to discuss any issues, including grades and behavior. Each faculty member is assigned a number of students, and a day is set aside for students to chat one-on-one with their advisers.

To contact writer Jenna Mink, call 256-9751.

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