School board schedules retreat

Published 4:00 pm Monday, August 14, 2017

By Beth Alston

AMERICUS — The Sumter County Board of Education wrapped up its business in 40 minutes at Thursday’s regular monthly meeting and set a date for a board retreat.
In his report, Superintendent Torrance Choates said the start of school went smoothly at each of the schools in spite of a few traffic problems.
The board took the following action Thursday.
— Approved financial report, accounts payable for July 2017, and preliminary cash flow report.
— Approved acceptance of the CTAE state and federal fund allotments for FY 2018. The state portion represents almost $2.4 million.
— Approved acceptance of the 21st Century PASS Grant. This is for $350,000.
— Approved personnel action items: a resignation, Johnny Beason; employments, Lyana Smith and Krista Greene; a transfer, Porsha Ingram; third-party contracts, Consuela Woodson and Susan McMinn; Family Medical Leave Act request, Ashley Beaver; and FY 2018 academic/athletic supplements.
The board also set a called meeting for 6 p.m. Sept. 12 to hold a retreat at the Central Office, 100 Learning Lane to discuss the superintendent’s review; the transportation budget and how it impacts field trips, summer school and Saturday classes; and an update on the new high school design. Board retreats are open to the public.
Board member Alice Green asked the superintendent what is planned in the schools for the upcoming solar eclipse on Aug. 21, to allow for a “teachable moment.” Choates said that even though the eclipse would be 90 percent of totality in this part of the state, students should not look at the sun at all during this period because it could damage their eyes.
Board member Meda Krenson said some teachers might know how to make box cameras to be used to view the eclipse. She said that Furlow Charter School, which is part of the Sumter County School System, is selling special eyeglasses designed for viewing the eclipse.
It was announced that the delegation from Konu, Japan, will arrive in Americus Aug. 19 for the annual visit.