Although the Anson County Board of Education’s regular monthly meeting moved to Anson High School due to early voting at the board’s usual meeting place, it was business as usual. Highlights of the meeting included a presentation by L. Diane Bennett, who’s heading up a new marketing campaign for the school district, and a presentation from Rives & Associates on the fiscal year 2011-12 annual audit.
Bennett said the marketing campaign will put the school board’s strategic commitments in front of students every day, in the form of banners in each school’s entrance way, smaller banners in classrooms and hallways, a series of postcards that will be sent home to parents.
“We want to be sure that our goals are clear and consistent,” she said.
The marketing information will also be disseminated to the greater community, including local churches and businesses, Bennett said. School board member Russell Sikes asked if there would be an assessment piece to the campaign to ensure that the appropriate messages are being communicated and understood. Bennett said that there would be, and that Anson County students will be pictured on the marketing materials.
Rives & Associates reported that the school district is in good shape, with a total fund balance of $4.5 million. However, the school system cannot spend that money because it is restricted for certain purposes. The unassigned fund balance, which is the money the school district can actually spend, is $1.4 million.
There were no issues during the audit, but Kinley Rives said that the internal control procedures in place could be improved, but also pointed out that the school district’s internal audit had already identified the most pertinent issues. “Your schools are in very good shape,” Rives said.
In other business, administrator for AIG, iTech and assessment Georgia Maner gave the board the results of a parent, student and staff survey of the school district’s program for academically gifted students, AIG. A forum was held Tuesday night to address some of the issues with the program.
Maner reported that only 28 percent of parents of AIG students in grades 4-6 felt that their children were given differentiated instruction, and only 38 percent felt their children’s home work was rigorous.
“It’s good information for us to have in this decision-making process,” Superintendent Dr. Greg Firn said. He added that the school board will have a new plan for the AIG program to approve by May.
School board member Michael Livingston suggested that with the technology currently available to Anson students, AIG classes could meet through computers, rather than busing to a central location in the county. Dr. George Truman, also a school board member, suggested grouping two or three schools together, rather than having all of the students bussed to Wadesboro for AIG classes. Dr. Firn said he would take those suggestions into consideration when formulating a new plan.
The school board also discussed updating the ombudsman program’s dress policy. A committee met earlier this month to discuss changing the policy to require male students to wear dress shirts and ties, and female students to wear dress shirts and knee-length skirts or pants.
The 2013-14 school calendar and meeting dates for 2013-14 were approved as part of the consent agenda.
The Board of Education will next meet at 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 19 at the Charles Riddle Staff Development Center, 320 Camden Road, Wadesboro. Closed session will begin at 5:30 p.m.