A shortened calendar for the Houston County school system may affect parents and students this week and next as the system prepares for the first day of school Aug. 9.
Houston County’s schools and central office will be closed July 29 through Aug. 3 because of reduced state funding to the system.
“We had to shut down due to budget cuts,” said Beth McLaughlin, director of community and school affairs. “We’re looking forward to opening the schools, but there’s no choice because of the money.”
Staff will return Aug. 4. The school system has reduced the 2010-11 year for students by two days, and six days for teachers.
Houston BOE approves changes to policies
The Houston County Board of Education approved several amendments to board policies at its meeting Tuesday.
Policy BCBD was amended to address the manner in which board members receive meeting agendas, as well as defining when and how the public can address the board. Among those changes, those wishing to speak to the board at a meeting must submit notification and paperwork to the superintendent’s office 24 hours beforehand. During a called meeting, the public is only allowed to bring up issues related to the topics discussed at that time.
Another policy — KCA — now instructs those wishing to address the board to refer to the procedures outlined in policy BCBD.
A third, policy JBCCA, was changed to say that fourth-year high school students will not attend any high school in the system during its first year and will be transported to the high schools they are currently enrolled in.
All of the amendments were approved in a 6-0 vote, with Fred Wilson absent.
Peach BOE asks for homework extension
They didn’t blame it on the dog, but the Peach County Board of Education still hasn’t finished its homework.
During a called meeting Thursday, the board unanimously voted to push back the due date of an assignment Superintendent Susan Clark gave them at their July 6 meeting by 30 days.
For Clark’s assignment, board members are collaborating on three presentations, ranging from a 30-second sound bite to a 10-minute presentation explaining project-based learning.
Project-based learning, which will be implemented at Peach County High School during the 2010-11 school year, requires students to take on a problem-solving approach in the classroom.
The original due date was the board’s Aug. 3 meeting, which is also the first day of school for Peach County students.
The board members will be doing “exactly what (students) are doing in the classroom,” said board chairman Jody Usry, who introduced the motion as a last-minute addition to the meeting.
“We’re going through the process, going through what they’re doing and sharing with the community what that entails,” he said.
Usry said the extension was needed to give the board members enough time to complete the assignment in the midst of other responsibilities.
“Students don’t have grown-up schedules,” he said.
Houston community groups host back-to-school event
Several local organizations are teaming up to host the Houston County Community Back 2 School Bash next week.
The event, taking place 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Aug. 6 in the McConnell-Talbert Stadium parking lot, is open to all students of Houston County schools.
Free backpacks, school supplies, haircuts, hot dogs, chips and drinks will be available, as well as a talent show and informational booths for parents about after-school programs.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to bring the community together and give back to the youth,” said Hope Hicks, program services coordinator for Houston County Habitat for Humanity, one of the organizations organizing the event.
Other participating groups include United in Christ Forever, GLOW Theatrical Productions Teen Transitional Outreach, Successful Teens Achieving Right Solutions, Middle Georgia Technical College and the Warner Robins Houston County Housing Authorities.
For more information, contact Audrey Philpot at the Warner Robins Housing Authority at (478) 929-0229 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or call Hicks at (478) 328-3388.
Staff writer Andrea Castillo compiled this report.