Board of Education Meeting Highlights from Nov. 7

by Khadija Bowen

Chair Dr. Thornton showed video from robot visit to Flowers High school. The event was organized by an alum of the school who now works for the robotics company that created the technology. The robot, very lifelike, was a hit with the students. The purpose of the event was to promote digital literacy and careers in STEM.

Upcoming Hearings/Meetings:

  • Nov. 11 Policy and Governance
  • Nov. 12 Public Boundary Hearing
  • Nov. 14 Academic Achievement Committee
  • Nov. 21 Financial Affairs meeting

All  meetings/ hearings are open to the public and anyone can sign up to speak by phone or by email.

Dr. Goldson report and highlights:

The last of her community listening sessions wrapped up. School bus transportation challenges remain at the top of the list of issues. A task force will be formed to analyze arrival times, hubs, routes and departure times. Task force will consist of parents, school board members, PGCPS staff, and union reps. An interim report is due to the CEO in January and will address break fix resolutions that can be implemented immediately.

Note: Bus driver job fairs are held every other week.

Listening session for employees wrapped up. Key takeaways were compensation, support staff, professional development, and compensation for substitute teachers.

Dr. Goldson thanked the board for passing the public-private partnership to build 18 schools in 7 years. With the private funding obtained, schools will be built in record time. Normal time to build one school is 7 years.

Administration is still pushing to promote and implement the recommendations of the Kirwan Commission as well as the building fund. The two are not separate and will both be implemented.

Deadline for specialty school lottery is Nov. 15. IB and Performing arts lottery has been extended to Dec 1. Charter school lottery open and will close January 31st.

Technology conference registration is open. More information on pgcps.org

Dr. Goldson requested consent to direct unbudgeted funds to 6 schools that need critical maintenance. This request passed. Redirected funds will not have a negative impact on the budget in the first year. Over the next years, the over budget amount will be added into the budget request. The over budget amount is a result of interest over time.

Motion to celebrate computer science week Dec 9-13 passed.

Seven speakers signed up, only three showed up.

1st speaker: Student at Phyllis E. Williams Spanish immersion. Discussed disruptive classroom setting and impact on the learning environment.

2nd speaker: Eleanor Roosevelt HS parent asking for inclusiveness of multi-cultural holidays and religious holidays, specifically Muslim holidays to the school calendar.

3rd speaker: Requested the religious holiday Eid to be added to the calendar.

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