- GREENE COUNTY SCHOOL SYSTEM
- Responses to Public Comments
Responses to Public Comments
BOE Regular Meeting - October 18, 2021
As far as bringing our Reading and Math scores up, why can't we utilize programs and activities that we've used before, such as the Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl, Accelerated Reader, and Math Board? They were all successful.
Thank you for your question. Each year we review our programs and decide if we need to continue, expand, or discontinue them. These decisions are made with central office staff and school principals. We actually use some of the programs (or programs similar) to the ones you mentioned. For example, we use Accelerated Reader at the primary and middle schools. Rather than the Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl, our students participate in a different reading bowl/competition called TomeCon.
Here are some of the other academic competitions that we use to engage and our students:
- Young Georgia Authors (literacy)
- 4H CPA
- TomeCon (literacy)
- Governors Honor’s Program
- Science Fair
- TomeCon (literacy)
We are also working on a STEM initiative at the middle school. We hope to start some afterschool STEM programs this year and begin entering students in competitions next year.
What is the status of the certified math teacher for Greene County High School?
A math teacher has been approved for the high school, but we are waiting on action from the U.S. State Department, which is working slowly.
BOE Regular Meeting - September 20, 2021
We have an untenable shortage of certified teachers, and GCHS students teaching themselves math via an online program. Are we looking into or planning a budget to get more teachers?
Thank you for your question regarding the budget and our teaching staff. The staffing situation at the High School was created when a couple of teachers resigned after signing their contracts for the 2021-22 school year. Their resignation was after the school year started, and is a violation of professional standards, for which we will file a complaint with the Georgia Professional Standards Commission. I am pleased to report that I recommended and the Board approved a new math teacher for the High School on Monday night. Once we get this teacher working, there will be a decision as to whether to move completely away from the Edgenuity program, or for that teacher to use it as a tool in the classroom. At any rate, a full credit will be awarded to all who successfully complete the class.
Dr. Chris Houston, Superintendent
BOE Regular Meeting - August 16, 2021
Why did the BOE not announce publicly where it was planning to purchase property for the new primary school building? Did proximity to ATLAS and the Boys and Girls Club factor into the decision? Will primary school students spend more time riding the bus than they do currently? Why not rebuild on the former Greensboro Elementary School site? What are the plans for the 2022-23 school year? Why is the district spending unnecessary money on the new building, and not on the COVID-19 learning loss?
School districts conduct the process of purchasing property as quietly and anonymously as possible in order to avoid price gouging. It is a legal part of executive session in BOE meetings. The board voted on the purchase of the property in the open session portion at the end of the Board meeting on June 21, 2021, following the executive session. The video record of this continues to be available on the GCSS YouTube channel in the livestream recording of the board meeting from that day.
Once in the new school building, our students in grades PreK-3 will be much closer to Atlas and the Boys & Girls Club, only 2 miles away from those organizations instead of 10 miles away in Union Point, as they are currently. Atlas and the Boys & Girls Club are both valued education partners of the school system, and we look forward to continuing to collaborate with them.
Bringing our students in grades PreK-3 to one campus within the city limits benefits them from a safety and security perspective, as they will be closer to the public safety resources offered by the city of Greensboro. Additionally, moving the school closer to the other campuses (as opposed to being in Union Point) will be a cost-saving measure for the district in terms of transportation. Most of the students who attend GCPS live in Greensboro, so transporting those students a shorter distance from their homes will save the community’s tax dollars; plus, most students will spend less time riding the bus, having a shorter ride in the morning and getting home earlier in the afternoon.
Our primary school students will benefit from learning in a new, state-of-the-art facility that will incorporate all of the latest innovations in physical layouts, technology, and teaching practices. This will provide a better education for them than would continuing to bus them out to an aging building in another town that cannot hold the desired grade bands. The GES site is not an option for the new school because it does not have the space to accommodate the kind of facility we are planning to provide to our students, so ultimately the BOE decided not to use that site. Options that have been offered thus far for the GES land include a possible greenspace/park area, or perhaps future athletic facilities, but a final decision has not been made for that space yet.
Plans for the 2022-23 school year will be discussed with the public closer to that time. We are focused on the current school year right now, and we hope that our students and their parents will remain focused as well on recovering the learning loss caused by the pandemic over the last year.
The school system does not “spend unnecessary money.” Our funding goes toward improving the educational experience of the students of Greene County. We have implemented many support programs to assist with recovering the COVID-19 learning loss, (I invite you to review Dr. Rhodes’s and Dr. McClendon’s presentation in the April BOE meeting regarding this) in addition to the programs and strategies we already had in place to facilitate early literacy, improve the district’s graduation rate, and more. With the exception of the past year due to the pandemic, our scores have shown a trend of improvement over the past several years, and we expect to return to that as soon as we have valid data and new baselines established.
Dr. Chris Houston, Superintendent
BOE Regular Meeting - August 12, 2019
Where do you get the information to plan transportation routes?
When a student registers to attend a Greene County school, his or her parent or guardian provides the school system’s registrar with the student’s home address. The transportation department then uses those home addresses to establish the school system’s bus routes for the coming year.
Why do we have two assistant superintendents?
We have two assistant superintendents because the state has recognized that the workloads handled by the Curriculum and Instruction Department and the Human Resources and Accountability Department are too much to place on one assistant superintendent’s shoulders, so the state provides the Greene County School System funding to have two assistant superintendents.
Why do you keep using the same contractor, when he’s not finished with the 3 projects he’s doing now?
Each year, the Greene County School System contracts with a variety of contractors to complete construction work on our schools. One of the contractors, Kevin Price Construction, was responsible for renovating Greene County High School and installing upgrades at Carson Middle School this summer (2019). Weather-related delays, in particular a very mild spring in which we received a great deal of rain, caused the projects to run behind schedule. We expect those projects to be completed early this semester.
Why are we paying $84,000 for landscaping and yet some pots are just thrown to the side?
As landscapers install shrubs, flowers, and trees, they discard the temporary pots in which the plants were originally delivered.
What is the average number of hours kids are supposed to spend riding the bus?
The amount of time a student spends riding the school bus varies by where he or she lives in the county. A student who live in town or very close to their school will have a much shorter bus ride than a student who lives on a farm in the most rural part of Greene County, far from the school. In Greene County, the average bus ride time is 30-45 minutes this year.
What is the purpose of closing Greensboro Elementary School?
One of the goal areas of the Greene County School System's 2018-23 Strategic Plan is Organizational and Operational Effectiveness, which includes improving operational and financial efficiency. Union Point Steam Academy, Greensboro Elementary School, and Anita White Carson Middle School were all operating at only partial capacity in the 2018-19 school year, and the county's school population was not expected to grow significantly in the near future. The decision was made to close a school after the end of the 2018-19 school year and improve efficiency by operating only two buildings to serve the county's elementary school students, each at full capacity, which would reduce the school system's maintenance and operational costs and (such as utlities and repairs) as well as make the best use of the system's human resources by no longer teaching each elementary grade area in two locations. This is beneficial for the students as well, since they would have more resources available to them in each building. (i.e. instead of having one elementary ESOL teacher each at GES and UPSA, the new Greene County Primary School would have two ESOL teachers working with the students.) The Board of Education voted to close Greensboro Elementary School for a variety of reasons, the primary reason being that it was the system's oldest school and most expensive to operate. The building was more than 60 years old and was very inefficient. The monthly heating and air conditioning bills for GES cost more than any of the system's other schools, and the building's repair bills usually far exceeded the other schools as well. In August 2019, a new primary school (Greene County Primary School) opened in the former UPSA building, serving grades Kindergarten through 3rd grade, and Carson Middle School began serving grades 4 and 5 in addition to 6th, 7th, and 8th.
BOE Regular Meeting - February 11, 2019
What is the plan for transportation for the children that reside here in Greensboro and currently attend GES?
The elementary school-aged children who currently attend Greensboro Elementary School will ride buses to Greene County Primary School and Carson Middle School in the 2019-20 school year. Students in grades K-3 will attend GCPS and students in grades 4-8 will attend CMS. Bus stops will be designated in downtown Greensboro and buses will pick up students and transport them to their school. Bus stops and routes will be published in July prior to the start of school.
Why is there a need to change the school name from UPSA to Greene County Primary? What’s the expected cost for this change?
Union Point Steam Academy’s name will be changed to Greene County Primary School to reflect that students from all across Greene County, not just those residing in Union Point, will be attending the new school. The only expense this change is expected to incur is the installation of new signage at the front of the school. At this time, we do not have an estimate on how much that will cost.
BOE Regular Meeting - September 10, 2018
What is ESPLOST and what are the funds used for?
An Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (ESPLOST) allows local school districts the option to ask voters for the ability to levy and to collect a one percent sales tax to help fund school improvements. It can be used to pay for capital projects or to retire debt, but cannot be used to pay operating expenses, such as salaries. ESPLOSTs are enacted by referendum.
Please direct all communication or media questions to:
Director of Communications
Greene County School System
101 East Third Street
Greensboro, GA 30642
Office: (706) 453-7688 ext. 2015