Dr. Christie Johnson, whose most recent position was as assistant superintendent of administrative and support services, announced her retirement a few months ago. She has worked in the county school system for 30 years.
Johnson said she's "going West" to be a professor at the University of West Georgia after Monday's work session.
"I'm very excited to stay close to home and to start a second career," Johnson said.
The board is planning to agree on a new job description for Johnson's position at Thursday's regular board meeting.
Stan Davis, assistant superintendent of teaching and learning, gave an update to the board on the system's new bring-your-own-technology (BYOT) policy, set to be implemented fully in early December.
Davis said he is getting together with principals and technology supervisors, asking their concerns and giving them ideas to give to their teachers for using the technology to its fullest potential.
Technology support encouraged Davis and the system to increase its access points for Wi-Fi Internet access, leading the system to double up on its access points to allow for more and faster usage.
The cost for the increased access points — $100,000 — was taken out of the system's SPLOST funds.
"We're keeping it instructional-minded," Davis said. "We are getting things ironed out and finding all the exceptions to the rules we can find. A lot of schools have started putting it into place already, but we're hoping for full implementation by Dec. 3."
Superintendent Scott Cowart praised the new policy, saying students he's spoken with "absolutely love it."
"Everyone we've spoken to has extremely positive things to say," Cowart said in September, when the system was visiting with schools in the region who had put such a policy into place. "Student engagement is up and student discipline is down. And I think that's because they're engaged in a way they want to be engaged. It's part of the evolution of where we're headed."
Davis also reported to the board on the seven county schools recognized by the state Department of Education earlier this month as being Reward Schools.
These schools are Georgia schools with the highest performance or biggest academic gains by students in the last three years.
Ithica Elementary and Roopville Elementary were named to the Highest-Performing Schools list, which means they are among the top 5 percent of Title I schools in Georgia. To make the list, a school must make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) in all groups and subgroups in 2011.
Central Elementary, Mt. Zion Elementary, Sharp Creek Elementary, Villa Rica Elementary and Villa Rica Middle made the list of High-Progress Schools, meaning they are among the top 10 percent of Title I schools in Georgia and that they are making the most progress to improve student performance on statewide assessments, like the CRCT.
Ithica Elementary and Roopville Elementary were in a group of 78 schools on the Highest Performing list, while the other five schools were on the High Progress list with 151 other Georgia schools.
"That's outstanding," Davis said of the distinctions, "and it shows that we're going in the right direction."
Cowart said when the recognitions were doled out that he sees the awards as a testament to the work the leaders in the system have been doing.
“We see it as validation of good work done by our students, teachers and administrators to improve student achievement,” Cowart said. “We think it reflects what’s been happening in our schools and what continues to happen in them.”
“These schools, and all our schools, have worked hard to increase parent involvement, which goes a long way in increasing student engagement, which is a huge factor for making this kind of progress.”
Cowart said he is “proud and tickled” with the recognitions.
“These schools are shining examples of what we can achieve in public education in Georgia,” state Superintendent Dr. John Barge said of the schools. “I want to take what’s working at our Reward Schools and replicate that in every school in the state. These are the schools making education work for all Georgians.”
Also at the board's work session, Mike Beers, coordinator of maintenance, gave updates on all the construction projects in progress in the system.
The Temple High gymnasium, he said, should have its certificate of occupancy from the fire marshal by the time the basketball team plays its first home game. However, the game still might not be in the new gym.
The "punch list," or a list of tasks to complete in order for the building to be up to the correct standard, will not be completed by Dec. 4, when the game is planned. Beers encouraged the board to allow him to work with the principal of THS to agree upon an opening date, instead of Dec. 4.
The board agreed to Beers' idea.
Beers also reported on the progress of the Villa Rica High gym, which has been pushed back because of moisture discovered in the concrete slab, preventing the wooden floor from being installed. Beers said the VRHS gym should be completed by mid-December, and said waiting until after the Christmas tournament to open the gym would be a good idea for this gym as well.