After a lengthy closed session at the start of the Anson County Board of Education’s regular monthly meeting Monday night, the school board appointed a new member and approved several new technology programs.
Carol Ann Gibson, acting health department director for the county, was unanimously approved to fill the District 7 seat left vacant by Rob Rollins, who resigned last month after relocating out of the area for a new job.
Gibson was not present for her appointment to the board, but had spoken during the public comment portion of the meeting, in support of reinstating the booster club. The club has been dissolved and its funds divided between Anson Middle School and Anson High School.
In addition to Gibson, Kim Marshall also spoke on behalf of a group of community citizens who want to start the club up again, and a large number of local citizens supporting the boosters club were present at the meeting. “The boosters club has been dissolved and we are willing to work with you to start a boosters club again,” Marshall said. “We are standing before you to show our support for our children.”
Gibson said that she would look into gaining 501(c)(3) status and come back to the board with more information.
In other business, Superintendent Dr. Greg Firn proposed several new technology programs to the board. First off, Dr. Firn informed the board that Anson schools are part of a Job Alert Pilot Program, a free online service that will send available jobs to students via email. The service is through ZipRecruiter and is available at no cost to students or the school system, Firn said. The school system will pilot the program for a year.
Dr. Firn also proposed that the school system contract with Kurzweil for a software program that helps struggling readers with comprehensive reading and writing. Kurzweil was asking for a three-year contract at a one-time cost of $129,245. The program will be available to students in all schools in grades 4-12.
Also up for approval was a contract with Discovery Education for $421,045 for a professional development curriculum for Anson County Schools staff. Board member Daniel Wilson questioned why the school board needed to approve such a large amount without waiting to get more information. “What’s the negative effect if we wait until the Sept. 24 meeting?” he asked.
Administrator for AIG, iTech and assessment Georgia Maner responded that the Discovery Education program is highly sought-after. “In order to have these people come in and work with our teachers, we have to schedule them now,” she explained. “It’s for the students’ benefit for the teachers to get this training.”
After discussion, the board approved the contract, with Wilson and Michael Livingston opposed.
In other business, the school board also heard an update on the ombudsman program approved its 2012-13 budget resolution and learned about a new communication partnership between the school system and the Anson County Chamber of Commerce.