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Madison County School Board holds last meeting of December

The Madison County School Board met on Tuesday, Dec. 15 in regular session at 6 p.m. to discuss many updates. First on the agenda was three out-of-county student trips. The first trip up for approval was for the MCHS boys' basketball team to participate in the Christmas Classic in Panama City from Dec. 28 through Dec. 30. The next two trips were regarding the Madison County Central School and Greenville Elementary fifth grade classes to go to the Challenger Learning Center in Tallahassee on Jan. 19. Both trips were unanimously approved. Next, there were two transfer requests. Superintendent Doug Brown announced that the first transfer request involved a MCCS student transferring to Pinetta because the parent of the student believes Pinetta is a better school. The student would be learning off a virtual school program; the board denied this request because there were no openings in the first grade, and many of the board members agreed that the parent's reasoning was not good enough for a transfer. “That's not an acceptable excuse,” said VeEtta Hagan. The next transfer regarded a student at Pinetta Elementary requesting transfer to Lee Elementary. The parent of the student requested this transfer due to a divorce situation. The parent and child moved into the child's grandmother's house, but the grandmother reportedly passed away; the parent and child reside in the grandmother's home in the Lee district, and the board came to the decision that if the child already lives in Lee, a transfer request is not necessary. However, the board approved the transfer request so long as the child does not live in Lee. Ray Griffin presented the financial report for month ending Oct. 31, 2015, and the board moved on to the Student Progression Plan updates. There was a public hearing held for the Student Progression Plan as well, and many parents were concerned with the format the plan was presented in. Many audience members all agreed that the plan should be presented simply and shortly, as many parents do not have the time to read through the hefty document when it was advertised. The Student Progession Plan was approved 4-0. Willie Williams presented screened school volunteers and personnel changes, which were all approved by the board. There were no staffing table positions or non-instructional positions up for advertisement. Brown updated the board on the construction of MCHS, stating that the gym would have to be closed for part of December and all of January, as renovations around the gym require electric line work. Brown also announced that the closing of the gym will impact the basketball season, and MCHS games will be held in the MCCS gym. Brown also informed the board that the entryway to the parent drop-off area originally had a nice structure planned out but had to be scaled back considerably. “[The entryway is] disappointing, but still will be nice and different,” said Brown. Brown also discussed the topics he brought up at the legislative meeting on Dec. 7. Brown stated he brought up school safety funding, transportation funding, school grades and renovation of the Ag Center at the meeting. Brown concluded the meeting by announcing that the end of the semester was Dec. 22 so that students can enjoy their holiday and not worry about school, and that the district received a check of $16,415.76 from Tri-County Electric. The meeting was adjourned shortly after. The next meeting will be held on Jan. 19, 2016.

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