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School Community Assessment Team working to improve morale

Rick Patrick: Greene Publishing, Inc.

Greene Publishing, Inc. Photo by Rick Patrick, January 22, 2018
Rev. George Williams (left) and Rev. Jason Justus (right) spoke to the Madison County District School Board about the need to boost morale among teachers and other personnel within the District.

During the regular meeting of the Madison County District School Board on Monday, Jan. 22, Rev. George Williams and Rev. Jason Justus from the Madison County Community Assessment Team (CAT) spoke to the Board. Among the items discussed was the need for greater communication between not only the schools and parents, but with the greater community at large. Another issue addressed by Williams and Justus was that of morale. Williams pointed out that morale among students and teachers was low, especially at Madison County Central School. Both Williams and Justus stated that the CAT had plans to build the morale of both teachers and students. Justus said that he was personally writing “thank you” notes to every teacher in the District. Other plans include “Thank You Dinners” for each of the schools, sponsored by local churches. An “Adopt a School” program was also proposed wherein local churches can “adopt” a school and provide assistance for the school and teachers. It is anticipated that these measures will begin to take place in late February and continue through early March. This will be ahead of the crucial assessment tests for each school. Williams said it was the goal of the CAT to have teachers and students go into the testing period feeling positive and confident. The CAT plans to give both academic support and moral support to the teachers. In addition to the “Adopt a School” program, an “Adopt a Classroom” program is still in the works. “[We all need to] let them [teachers] know they are appreciated,” said Justus. “I think it would be fantabulistic if the Board would send every school employee a 'thank you' card,” said Williams. School Board member Carol Gibson reinforced this idea by telling the other Board members how much it meant to her to get a hand-written “thank you” note or card when she was teaching.

In other business before the Board, Robin Hill informed the Board of new science materials that were being proposed. The new materials are available for the public to review at the District Office, located on NE Duval Ave., in Madison. The Board approved the new instructional materials with a unanimous vote. A joint use agreement with the Senior Citizens Council was also passed. Thirty-two screened school volunteers were passed. A school employee who has recently been incarcerated has been suspended without pay, pending investigation.

District Chief Financial Officer Walter Copeland presented a monthly financial report to the Board. The fund balance for the District is sitting at 5.52 percent at this time. Copeland said that efforts were being made to have as many employees paid with grant money as possible. This will lessen the burden on the general fund.

The next meeting of the Madison County District School Board  is scheduled to take place on Monday, Feb. 19, at 5 p.m. The meeting will take place at the District Office at 210 NE Duval Ave., in Madison.

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