Board of Education to recognize student achievement during the 2018 State Literary Meet

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DAWSONVILLE, Ga. — The Dawson County Board of Education will recognize outstanding accomplishments by four Dawson County High School students who competed in the 2018 Georgia High School Association State Literary Meet when it meets Wednesday, April 16, at 6 p.m.

Brady Holcomb was crowned state champion in Extemporaneous Speaking, and Kaylie Beacham, Maggie Wright and Piper Wright placed fourth in the trio competition in the event that was held last month at Buford High School. Those students will receive certificates of recognition for their accomplishments.

Board members will discuss Georgia Power’s Learning Power Program. The school system has partnered with Georgia Power this year to bring the statewide education initiative that focuses on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) subjects. The program is designed to bring energy education to classrooms at no cost to schools.

The goals are to contribute to students’ academic achievement, bring energy efficient concepts to students and teachers and build awareness of careers in the electric energy industry.

Education Coordinator Jennifer Chapman, who has visited classrooms in the district to present special hands-on STEM-related lessons throughout the year, will present an overview of the program and share highlights from her experiences working with the students of Dawson County this year.

The board also is expected to approve one field trip for 20 students and three chaperones to attend the Summer Future Farmers of America (FFA) Leadership Camp in Covington June 18 through 22 and another for FFA state officer candidates April 20 and 21 in Fort Valley, Georgia.

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

 

 

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Wade seeks flexibility in education tax spending

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William Wade

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – Board member William Wade made a plea during Monday’s Dawson County Board of Education meeting for citizen support of HB 781, that would give Georgia school systems more flexibility in spending education sales tax revenue.

The bill, which is sponsored by state Rep. Kevin Tanner, would allow Georgia school systems to amend the existing sales tax to include maintenance and education programs in the authorized purposes for expenditures. If approved in the General Assembly, the bill would have to be approved in a referendum by Dawson County voters to be enacted.

The bill received a favorable report in a House committee on Feb. 8.

From left, the spelling bee champions, Clara Baldwin, Briana Escoto, Eva Fulmer and Brandon Cramer.

Wade told those in attendance, “It wouldn’t hurt to call the Speaker (David Ralston) and let him know you are in support of that legislation. If you’re not supportive, it won’t hurt my feelings if you didn’t call.”

Aside from Wade’s comment, most of the meeting was devoted to recognizing outstanding achievements by students and staff.

The Dawson County seventh grade girls’ basketball team received special recognition for posting an 11-1 record and winning the Mountain League Championship.

Dawson County High School students Amber Autry and Rob Cox were honored for their outstanding performances at the Future Farmers of America (FFA) state competition. Autry finished second in Area 1 and third in state in Floral Design. She also had the highest score on the written exam.

Priscilla Taylor, middle, awards HOBY plaques to outstanding students Taylor Daniel, left, and Braxton Zeidler.

Cox was second in Area 1 in Electrical Wiring Problem Solving. He also finished second in Area 1 and fourth in state in Lawn Mower Safety and Operations and had the highest individual score in Dairy Evaluation.

Riverview Elementary School was recognized for receiving the Georgia Office of Student Achievement (GOSA) Platinum Greatest Gains Award.

School and system spelling bee winners recognized included Briana Escoto (Robinson Elementary), Clara Baldwin (Kilough Elementary), Bella Boyd (Blacks Mill Elementary), Eva Fulmer (Riverview Elementary), Noah Smith (Dawson County Middle) and Brandon Cramer (Dawson County Junior High). Baldwin was the system winner and Cramer was named alternate.

The board also honored its school counselors: Sabrina Graves  (School Social Worker), Beverly Maloney (Homeless Liaison), Jordan Lefevre (Black’s Mill Elementary), Nicole Purdy  (Kilough Elementary), Jeremy Lavender (Riverview Elementary), Lance Stiffler (Robinson Elementary), Pat Finn (Hightower Academy/Dawson County Junior High), Brian Flath (Dawson Middle School), Becca Wilson (Dawson County Junior High), Cherie Ferguson  (Dawson County High) and Kate Jarrard (Dawson County High).

Priscilla Taylor, of the Dawson County Womens’ Club, presented the club’s Hugh O’Brien award (HOBY) to Taylor Daniel and Braxton Zeidler.

 

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

 

 

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Hall County YMCA to Provide After School Care

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Supt. Dr. Damon Gibbs

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – In an early-morning meeting today, the Dawson County Board of Education voted unanimously to allow Superintendent Dr. Damon Gibbs to sign an agreement with the Hall County YMCA to provide after school care for Dawson County students for the 2017-18 school year.

Commissioners approved per diem for school board members Doris Cook, Karen Armstrong, Elaine Wilson, Roger Slaton and William Wade who attended various events and provided services on behalf of Dawson County Schools.

They also approved an overnight trip for Dawson County High School basketball and football cheerleaders to the University of West Georgia in Carrollton, Ga. where they will stay in a UWG dormitory. The cost per student is $300.

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School Board Hires Florida Communications Firm

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DAMON GIBBSDAWSONVILLE, Ga. — Dawson County Board of Education approved spending $27,000 with a Florida-based communications firm during Monday’s meeting in an effort to improve its communications and business partnerships and increase stakeholder involvement.

The company, Voss & Associates, provides services and products exclusively for education and has formed a partnership with the Georgia School Boards Association and Georgia School Superintendents Association to provide economical solutions for school districts.

The agreement was one of seven items to be approved under the Consent Agenda which can be approved by a single vote without further discussion.
Under Action Items, the Board approved a guaranteed maximum price (GMP) of $1.75 million to construct the new JROTC facility and parking lot. The contractor is Carroll Daniel Construction. Superintendent Dr. Damon Gibbs said the parking lot should be completed this school year and the facility by October.

The Board also approved an amendment to the Apple Lease Agreement that will allow the school system to utilize approved ESPLOST funding to lease Ipads for Phase II rollout, which includes grades K-5.

Monday was also a night to recognize achievement within the school system.
Dawson County High School’s girls’ basketball team finished as the region runner-up and earned a fifth trip to the state playoffs where they reached the Elite 8 in the state tournament.

The Tigers’ wrestling team enjoyed an outstanding seaon, posting a 25-8 record, including a win over the North Carolina state champions and had five wrestlers to qualify for the state meet.

The Tigers boys’ basketball team posted a 14-14 record and finished fourth in the district tournament to earn a trip to the state tournament.

The Dawson County High Chorus had five members qualify for the state chorus.
Riverview Elementary School received the Georgia Office of Student

Achievement (GOSA) Greatest Gains Gold Award. Riverside had a three-year average CCRPI progress score in the 97th percentile.

The Dawson County High Chorus had five state qualifiers.

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Board of Education to Vote on Hiring a Florida-based Communications Co.

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DAMON GIBBSDAWSONVILLE, Ga. — The Dawson County Board of Education is expected to vote on spending $4,500 a month to contract with a Florida-based communications company at Monday’s Board meeting. The meeting will be held in the Board of Education Building, 28 Main Street starting at 6 p.m.

If approved, the Board will enter into a six-month agreement with Voss & Associates at a total cost of $27,000 in an effort to improve communications and business partnerships and increase stakeholder engagement.

According to the county website website, Voss & Associates provides services and products exclusively for education and has formed a partnership with the Georgia School Boards Association and Georgia School Superintendents Association to provide economical solutions for districts.

The Board will also vote on the appointment of Roger Slaton as delegate and Karen Armstrong as alternate to represent Dawson County Board of Education at the Delegate Assembly in Savannah on June 9, 2017.

Also on the agenda is a request to approve a milling machine that is no longer being used to be declared surplus and transferred to another Georgia school district. Muscogee County has expressed interest in the machine and the state has approved the transfer

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Dawson Board of Education Selects Officers for 2017

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DAWSONVILLE, Ga. — The Dawson County Board of Education met Tuesday and elected Doris Cook as Chairperson for 2017 and Karen Armstrong Vice Chairperson.

The Georgia Association of Elementary School Principals (GAESP) Educational Patron Award went to Paige Danuser, a retired educator who works as a volunteer at Black’s Mill Elementary School and the GAESP School Bell Award went to the Student Council members at Black’s Mill Elementary.

Under the consent agenda the Board approved:

Field trips to the Dawson County High School Technical School Association to the State Leadership Conference in Athens, the DCHS Chamber Singers for a performance at Dollywood and the DCHS Thespians to the Thespian Theatre Conference in Columbus;

A CCRPI report prepared by Director of Teaching and Learning Nicole LeCave that showed all elementary schools scored above the state average, Riverview Elementary School scored 91.7, a 22 point improvement since 2013, both middle schools and the high school ranked in the Top 5 in the RESA District;

The Financial Report for the period ending Dec. 2016 that showed a general fund balance of $44,199 543 less expenditures of $38,270,758 for a balance of $5,928,785.

The December eSPLOST report that showed collections well ahead of projections. Projected collections were $4,400,000 while actual collections are $4,768,886.

Per Diem for Board members;

2017 meeting schedule;

Position Guide for Chief Operations Officer;

Position Guide for Warehouse Courier;

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School Board Reviews CCRPI Performance at First 2017 Meeting

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DAWSONVILLE, Ga. — Dawson County Director of Teaching and Learning Nicole LeCave shared FY16 College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI) results when the Board of Education met in a work session Tuesday.

In discussing the county’s elementary schools, LeCave said, all elementary schools scored above the state score. Riverview Elementary increased its score from 69.1 in 2013 to 91.7 in 2016 and earned all 40 progress points for the second year in a row. “That is phenomenal,” she said. Blacks Mill increased its score by 6.2 points from last year.

At the middle school level, LeCave pointed out that both middle schools scored above the state score and that the district middle school score is well above state average. She also said that both middle schools earned more achievement points in FY16 than in FY15 and ranked in the Top 5 in RESA district for achievement points.

Dawson County High School scored above state score, earned more achievement points in FY16 than in FY15 and ranked in the Top 5 in RESA district for achievement points.

She also pointed out that the Progress and Achievement Gap is a concern at all levels.

Superintendent Dr. Damon Gibbs was pleased with the results, but expressed frustration in the timing of the release of the information from the state.

“This really speaks about why districts beg the state to give us this data in a more timely manner. We need to be doing this in August and September instead of the middle of a school year. We need to be looking more at trends than a snapshot.”

Jamie Ulrich, Executive Director of Financial Services presented the financial report and eSPLOST report for the month of December.

The Board also discussed approval of a position guide for Chief Operations Officer, Warehouse Courier and Routing Assistant before going into executive session to discuss personnel matters.

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Dawson County Fights State Takeover of Schools

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DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – Dawson County Board of Education has joined a growing number of counties across Georgia determined to oppose a ballot referendum in November that allows state government to seize control of chronically failing schools from local school systems.

State legislators approved the ballot question last year. Now it will be in the hands of the voters.

If passed, the amendment would create an Opportunity School District (OSD) that could seize control of chronically failing schools that do not achieve a 60 on the Career and College Readiness Performance Index (CCRPI) for three consecutive years. The OSD would be operated by the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement (GOSA) and supervised by a superintendent appointed by the governor.

Last week, Dawson County’s Board unanimously approved a resolution opposing OSDs although none of the county’s schools could be considered chronically failing.

Fetch Your News interviewed School Superintendent Dr. Damon Gibbs Tuesday to explain Dawson County’s opposition

“It’s not that we’re opposed to seeing the state helping chronically failing schools but there are other avenues the state can use,” he said. “We’re opposed to a Constitutional Amendment that takes authority away from local school boards elected by the citizens they serve to create a board that answers to nobody but the governor.”

Gibbs also questioned where the funding would come from. “Right now, the state only provides about 45 percent of the money needed to fund schools. That won’t be enough to fund an OSD.”

The amendment would set the bar at 60 or below on the CCRPI and establish a maximum of 10 years that the state can control a failing school.

But Gibbs said, “The scary part is who is to say the state can’t set the bar at 70 on the CCRPI or extend the maximum number of years. We’ve been working under the CCRPI for three years now and the way it is calculated has changed each year.”

In a recent speech, Deal lashed out against critics of his proposed constitutional amendment. “The General Assembly and I have lost our patience in trusting superintendents and local boards of education,” he said.

Asked about the governor’s comment, Gibbs said, “Our school board cares more about our kids than any Board I’ve been involved with. If I take the governor at face value, it’s a little like a slap in the face but there are some school districts that may need a slap in the face to do what’s right for their kids. I didn’t take it personally.”

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