The Madison County School Board met on Tuesday, Nov. 17 at 6 p.m. Before the regular meeting began, an organizational meeting was held to elect a new chair and vice chair. VeEtta Hagan was elected as the new chair, with Karen Pickles as the vice chair. The board also discussed the schedule of regular meetings for next year; meetings will be held regularly on the first and third Tuesday of every month, with the exception of Jan. 5 and March 1. The January meeting will be held Jan. 19. The March meeting is still up for discussion. After the approval of the new chair, vice chair and schedule, the regular meeting began. Hagan began the meeting by thanking Kenny Hall for being chairman. “You've done a wonderful job,” said Hagan. Staff Trips were discussed first. Superintendent Doug Brown announced there was only one staff trip for Ray Griffin to travel to Jacksonville and attend an Excel training workshop Jan. 14 and 15. This trip was approved. 14A, an item added to the agenda dealing with Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP), was discussed. There were two out-of-county student trips up for approval. The first meeting was for 25 students a part of FCCLA, plus chaperones at Madison County High School to attend a holiday party in Hamilton County on Dec. 15.
The second trip up for discussion was for 23 FBLA and HOSA students at MCHS to tour Florida State University on Dec. 3 and check out the college's nursing/business medicine programs. Both student trips were approved. In a previous meeting, a parent came to the board asking to transfer her son to Lee Elementary since he's been having issues with bullying at Madison County Central School. The item up next for discussion was the child's transfer, and the board denied it because many of the board members believed Lee Elementary does not have the accommodations for the student, as there is no guidance counselor or School Resource Officer available. Brown informed the parent that her son would be staying at MCCS as a trial run to see if the situation improves. The denial of the transfer was approved unanimously. Brown informed the board next that there was a sale of property for a convection oven for the culinary arts program. The convection oven was sold to Hamilton County. There was much discussion for this item, as Hagan was concerned that the process of the sale was not correct. After much debate back and forth, Brown assured her he would get the information she requested and advertise the oven to different counties to see if any other school is interested.
The next item up for discussion was the after-school migrant tutoring program for MCCS and Lee Elementary. The funding for this program is $30,000 and the tutors assigned will work until those funds are exhausted. This was approved by the board. The financial reports from Sept. 30, screened school volunteers, personnel changes and advertisement of non-instructional positions were all approved. Brown concluded the meeting by informing the board that there were some adjustments needing to be made on the after-school tutoring program for MCCS. Instead of the formerly discussed amount of 15 teachers, Brown announced that he wanted to add more tutors, with no cost adjustments needing to be made. The board approved Brown's request. Brown also asked the board if there could be early release on Dec. 4 if the MCHS Cowboys football team move on to the State Championships in Orlando. The early release would be implemented to allow travel. Brown also asked the board to approve four charter buses to transport the football team, cheerleaders and possibly the band to Orlando after school was released. The board approved this request, and the meeting was adjourned.
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1. VeEtta Hagan.
2. Karen Pickles