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School board talks about self-improvement
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The Bryan County Board of Education talked about itself during a called meeting Tuesday morning in Pembroke.

It was part of the Board's Self Assessment Improvement plan, which was recently completed.

Areas addressed in the improvement plan included interaction among board members and the need for respect, agenda changes on the day of meetings, board member training, handling input from residents in the community and the support of school administration.

Board member Billy Mock said he knew at times board members would get cross with one another in meetings, but felt it was mostly due to being interrupted when speaking.

"We need to respect each other when someone is speaking and not interrupt. I know that's where a lot of my frustration comes from. I don't think I say that much, so when I speak, I want to be able to do it without being interrupted," he said.

Board member Judy Crosby said she thought surprise changes in the agenda once a meeting began were more frequent and needed to be addressed.

Mary Warnell, board member, agreed surprise changes in agenda needed addressing, but also recognized emergency issues would come up at times that would require changing agendas.

"There are chances for emergencies that would need to change the agenda, but there also needs to be discretion about non emergency changes," Warnell said.

In talking about community input, Board member Joe Pacenka suggested implementing community forums and extending the allotted time of three minutes per person to speak publicly at Board meetings to five minutes.

Schools Superintendent Sallie Brewer said the time allowed for public comment was a board policy that would need to be reviewed and voted on to change.

The Board said they felt many of the issues discussed for the Self Assessment Improvement Plan could be handled in a training session for the board members and plan to implement such a session annually, beginning first quarter 2009.

The BoE also held an executive session to discuss a personnel matter. No vote was taken.

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