The Board of Education rolled its millage rate back for the upcoming fiscal year, the board said at their Aug. 23 meeting.
The rate will be 13.572 mills and bring taxes down about 2 cents per $1,000, according to Bryan County Tax Commissioner Debbie Newman.
And though no one showed at the meeting to discuss traffic concerns, during board member comments, Joe Pecenka thanked Superintendent Dr. Sallie Brewer for initiating the process of communication with Richmond Hill officials about traffic problems. While he admitted traffic is still heavy, "it seems better" he said.
"I’ve seen nothing but positive input from parents," Judy Crosby agreed.
While there have been complaints on the internet about the traffic, Brewer said there’s something people need to realize.
"At the beginning of school, there are always parents who don’t know what all the procedures are yet, and it takes a few days to figure it out," she said, noting that problems generally happen at the elementary and middle schools, where more parents are picking children up.
"In prior years we’ve been 4 p.m. and later, and after two weeks now we’re getting them out at 3:15 p.m.," Brewer said of getting students en route.
Brewer said before school started, she met with Richmond Hill Mayor Richard Davis and Richmond Hill Chief of Police Billy Reynolds. The chief met with principals throughout the district to make sure "law enforcement and schools were on the same page about how traffic needed to flow," she said.
There might be an afternoon when things don’t go as planned, Brewer said, but she feels there has been a significant improvement overall.Brewer said the board has mailed out surveys, asking parents why they continue to choose to pick their children up. She said most have responded they have the time to do it, so they do.
"Three or four years ago, we had the request from a parent for separating children K-5 and 6-12 on different buses, and we gained 400 children by doing it. By now, I think we have all the children we’re going to have," she said.
The bottom line is, "it’s a parent’s choice to get in that line (of traffic)," she said.
In other Board of Education news:
- During Brewer’s "Good News," BCMS sixth grader Amber Patterson accepted an award from Brewer as the 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 winner of the Recognition of Young Georgia Authors’ Writing Competition First District Regional Education Service Agency (RESA). BCHS Teacher of the Year Michael Owens was also recognized; and the board received their Board Member Training Certificate awards for having completed more training hours than necessary.
- The Bryan County school district stands at an enrollment of 6,704 students as of the beginning of the school year, up 200 students from last year.
- Nine personnel employment positions have recently been filled, and the district still lacks one more Special Education teacher at Bryan County Middle School.
- Mary Warnell was appointed the legislative liaison for the 2008 session of the Georgia General Assembly.
- The board unanimously approved the acceptance of a donated Classroom Jeopardy system for students to use as a learning tool, valued at $500, to Bryan County Middle School from Jana Underwood; Brewer said she was grateful for the donation.
- Chairman Eddie Warren reiterated that he felt the start of this year was by far the best he’s seen yet. He and Brewer both thanked the faculty, staff, students and parents for their hard work in helping the year start off right.