District 5 Schools Site
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This Month's Board Meeting Updates
The major issue facing our Board at this month's meeting was the termination of 180 classified positions. 15 of those positions were cut from Central office. The cuts included probationary clerical positions, nurses, aides, custodians, Cafeteria workers, etc. It is likely that a RIF (Reduction in Force) Policy will be put in force by the end of 2009. This policy will address additional positions of both tenured and non-tenured employees. The Board is holding an Education Summit with County Commissioners, State Legislators, and Members of the State School Board on Thursday, Aug. 27 to discuss additional ideas to help the Baldwin County Schools.
1) As an additional
measure of cost containment, the BCBE voted to freeze step raises for teachers.
In an effort to keep more teachers and staff employed, the board voted on Wednesday, May 27 to freeze annual step raises. The board members truly struggled with this issue, all giving very good arguments for and against making this move. It simply boils down to this. How does one justify giving raises to 1900 employees while at the same time laying off 350? Isn't it better to make a small sacrifice in order to have more people working? Freezing step raises saves the system $1.3 Million. This figure is equivalent to roughly 22 jobs. But not just 22 jobs, that's 22 families, and scores of dependent children and family members. I did ask the staff, however, to take all steps necessary to insure that these 1900 employees are not permanent victims of the economy. If they should retire, they should be caught up so that their retirement is not permanently affected. In addition, when the economy and consequently, the system is back on its feet, it should be the first priority to incrementally "catch them up".
2) The voted on the "rehire" of approximately 40 positions.
this time, we have no way of knowing exactly how many positions can be re-hired.
All calculations of transfers and retirements must first be evaluated, then HR
will determine the dire needs of each school based on ADEM and classes.
This will determine how many positions can be filled.
1) As a measure of cost containment, the BCBE approved nearly 300 teachers and staff jobs to be cut.
1)Transfer Incentive Plans-
The Transfer Incentive Plan consists of a one time bonus/incentive to encourage voluntary acceptance of transfers by tenured or non-probationary employees. The transfers are initiated and required in order to meet critical staffing needs as a result of the Strategic Plan for Cost Containment. Each eligible tenured full time certified employee will receive a one time payment of $5,000 if all criteria are met. Each non-probationary full time classified employee will receive a one time payment of $2,500 if all criteria are met.
Click on the thumbnail to see the Transfer Incentive Plan in its entirety.
2) Elimination of Block Scheduling.
After a careful study of the block system, the instructional staff at central office and all principals unanimously agree that we should move off the block schedule. It was agreed that a 7 or 8 period schedule would better benefit our students. This gives the principals more flexibility for scheduling classes and give students more opportunities to take electives or additional AP courses. In addition, it has been proven that students on a 7 or 8 period day test better for ACT and SAT testing, citing a better comprehension of the material on the tests. Students often express concern over difficulties in retaining information from one year to the next on the block, particularly in foreign language classes and math classes. An important aspect of a 7 or 8 period day will be "teaching to the bell" to make sure that class time is used wisely and efficiently. The schedule change will not occur until 2010-2011, which will allow more study on whether a 7 period schedule or 8 period schedule is preferable. As always, you thoughts, concerns, and input are always welcomed and appreciated. If anyone has questions on this issue, I would be happy to address them. If a staff meeting is in order, I would be happy to accommodate that as well.
3) Approval of Reduction in Force Policy.
Please click the
to see the RIF policy in its entirety.
4) Revised Personal Leave Policy.
Please click here to see the revised personal leave policy in
On January 6, 2009 a meeting was held at the Loxley satellite office. The meeting was set to discuss matters of the Finance Committee, chaired by Bob Wills and the Policy Committee, chaired by myself. Discussions of the Finance Committee involved the 12.5 % proration mandated by the state. With the approval of the Amendment 1 Rainy Day fund, the proration percentage decreased to 9%, meaning a 9% cutback of State education funds. What does this mean to our system? It means we (Baldwin County Board of Education) must cut close to $10 million from our current budget. We are forced to examine every aspect of our system in order to streamline our services and make our system more efficient. It is our intent to do everything within our means to save jobs at all levels. Some cuts may involve some sacrifices in regards to benefits, services, and programs; but if we all work together, we can weather the storm.
A meeting of the Policy Committee immediately followed. The meeting began with a presentation by the Alabama Association of School Boards. Ms. Roberts and I agree that our policy manual is in dire need of re-examination, as many of the policies therein are outdated and vague. The AASB's presentation was in regards to their offer to review the manual and make recommendations for changes and updates. The AASB offers this service for a fee. The Board then discussed whether it was the right time to spend $$ to re-evaluate the manual.
On January 13, 2009, a Special Meeting was held at Gulf Shores High School immediately following the GSHS groundbreaking ceremony for the new addition currently under construction. The purpose of the meeting was to approve the position of AD/Head Coach for GSHS. Coach Mark Freeman was approved as the new AD by a unanimous vote.
The Regular Scheduled Work Session will be held Jan. 26. The Regular Board Meeting will be held on Jan. 29. Updates will be available at that time.
The following were approved at the November Regular Session and may pertain to your child.
1) I was sworn in as your new Baldwin County School Board
2) Also sworn into new 6 year terms were Mr. Elmer McDaniel (Robertsdale Rep) and Mr. Bob Callahan (Fairhope Rep).
3) Election of new officers:
Mrs. Tracy Roberts (Spanish Fort) was elected Board President.
Mr. Bob Wills (Bay Minette) was elected Board Vice President and Chairman of the Finance Committee.
Mr. Elmer McDaniel was elected Chairman of the Building Committee.
Mrs. Angie Swiger was elected Chairwoman of the Policy Committee.
4) A Capital Funds amendment for roughly $38,000 was made to the GSMS weight room facility to add restrooms.
The following were approved at the October Regular Session and may pertain to your child.
1) Approval of the High School Early Exit Program-
At the end of the first term of the senior year, a student
may be eligible to exit high school early under certain criteria.
These criteria include:
*Student must be 17 or or older.
*Must have an Early Exit Application Form on file by the end of the Junior Year with their counselor.
*Must have passed all graduation requirements
*Must have completed all coursework
*Must provide to counselor one of the following:
--Letter of acceptance to a postsecondary institution
--Letter of acceptance to the military
--Letter of employment verifying employment
Please see your counselor for more information regarding this program.
2) Approved new guidelines for 8th grade Algebra including additional high school choices for students passing an end of course test for 8th grade Algebra with a 70% or higher.
3) Approval of half credit courses in the high school
curriculum effective 2009-2010. Courses included are:
Psychology, Sociology, Contemporary World Issues, World Geography, Health, Driver's Ed, Physical Ed, Prep Assistance, Instrumental Music, Vocal Music, Art Survey, Theatre, Visual Arts, Dance, Food Dynamics
4) Approval of textbooks for Handwriting, Spelling, and Grammar
5) Approval of Board Members to serve as delegates to the state board Convention for Alabama Association of School Boards. Delegates approved were: Tracy Roberts, Angie Swiger, Elmer McDaniel, and Frank Trione.
6) Approval of field trips for students at Daphne High School and Spanish Fort High School to Dayton. OH and New York City, respectively.
7) In an effort to cut energy costs, the BCBE entered into a maintenance agreement with Siemens Technologies to maintain and monitor the Siemens systems currently installed. The contract is said to save our system 10-15% in energy savings. In addition, the service is said to monitor air quality, temperature controls, and system breakdowns.
8) At last month's meeting, an agreement was made between Faulkner University and Baldwin County Schools for a dual enrollment program that would offer students enrolled in our technology programs the opportunity to take classes that will double as college credits at Faulkner. The programs included are Heating and Air Technology, Culinary Arts, and Mechanics. The program will be offered at no cost to the students.
9) It was also decided that by the beginning of the school year in 2009-2010, it will be required for every student to take an online or "access learning" course by computer. Students will have a choice as to which class they prefer to take online. The GSHS access learning computer lab will be available to students in Aug. 2009.
10) Other items approved this month included personnel leaves of absence, retirement, transfers, and dismissal.
Current District 5 News
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Contact Angie: SwigerRep@yahoo.com