MONTGOMERY COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION
September 1, 2015
The Montgomery County Board of Education convened the End of the Year Strategic Plan Review on Tuesday, September 1, 2015 at 5:30 p.m. Board members present were as follows: Steven W. DeBerry – Chair, Tommy Blake – Vice Chair, Bryan Dozier, Jesse Hill, Ann Long, Sandra Miller and Shirley Threadgill.
Chairman DeBerry called the meeting to order and asked for a motion to accept the agenda as presented. With a motion by Ann Long, along with a second from Bryan Dozier, the board unanimously approved the agenda. Chairman DeBerry turned the meeting over to Superintendent Dale Ellis.
Superintendent Ellis welcomed everyone to the meeting. Dr. Ellis presented a power point titled, “Preparing for Excellence”. The power point reviewed strategic goals and challenges for Montgomery County Schools. The first year in this strategic planning cycle is 2014-2015. All related performance data aligned to the Strategic Plan is presented as part of our focus on accountability, assuring the board and community that we will not hide from our data. Several goals were met and surpassed. Montgomery County Schools has much to be proud of in all areas.
Dr. Jeff James gave a review of globally competitive students, which encompasses the graduation rate, Annual Measurable Outcomes (AMO) and Ready Expected Growth. The graduation rate continued its upward trend remaining above the state and region at eighty-seven percent. Parent communication, community liaison and social workers, differentiated diplomas at Montgomery Learning Academy (MLA) and the high schools, Career and Technical Education (CTE), the work of student assistant teams and closely monitoring attendance are credited with the rate increase. Numbers are expected to continue to an upward climb.
Dr. Kevin Lancaster gave an update of 21st Century Professional/Healthy and Responsible; including goals for the NCLB highly qualified criteria, ethical violations, teacher retention, attendance rate, pregnancy rate and Out of School (OSS) suspension rate. Ethical violations were down to six from nine the previous year. Ethics trainings are ongoing for all staff members. OSS suspension rates rose slightly, with twenty-five days lost over last year. Areas credited with improving the OSS rate include MLA, Guidance Counselors, flexible and more consistent discipline and active dropout prevention teams. Teacher attendance rates tied last year at ninety-four percent. Incentive programs, principals addressing issues and increased awareness of the need for higher attendance attribute to the steady rate. The pregnancy rate decreased to 57.78% from 64.2% the previous year. Areas of prevention include the Healthy Living curriculum, School Health Centers counseling, the CARE/DARE program and a responsive staff.
Superintendent Ellis updated the board on the Leadership Guides Innovation portion, including grants and parent contacts. MCS received several new grants this year and exceeded the overall goal creating new resources for our schools. The total number of parent contacts are high, with most schools being over fifty percent. Contacts include phone calls, emails and texts.
Chief Financial Officer, Mitch Taylor, reviewed 21st Century Systems, which includes audit findings, goals, maintaining adequate fund balance and adequate facilities. There were no findings or comments in the audit this year, crediting good communication between departments and schools. An adequate fund balance was maintained, with support from experienced staff in Finance, support from MCC and businesses in the county, grant funding and the decrease in the price of utilities and fuel. Weaknesses stem from budget cuts being unknown from the State level and Charter school growth starting to make a noticeable impact. Concerning facilities, collaboration between commissioners, MCS and businesses is gaining traction in the area of funding. MCS secured an i3 grant to improve technology, allowing laptops for middle and high school students, with elementary distribution after December 2015.
After a brief question and answer session, Chairman DeBerry gave a motion to adjourn. Bryan Dozier approved the motion with Tommy Blake seconding. The meeting was adjourned.
The next regular meeting will be held on Monday, September 14, 2015 at 6:30 pm.
Steven W. DeBerry, Chairman Dale Ellis, Ed. D., Secretary