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NCSS becomes national board of distinction
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 The Georgia School Boards Association recently recognized the Newton County Board of Education as one of 15 boards in Georgia earning the title of "school board of distinction."

The voluntary application process requires boards to verify compliance with GSBA Standards for Local Boards of Education, which requires teams to consider the current state, goals and strategies for success for their systems as well as complete a checklist with plans for improvement.

"Being designated as a board of distinction, not just a standard board, is proof of this board's commitment to providing quality leadership for the district," said Steve Whatley, NCSS superintendent.

The board also had to meet several other criteria such as formalizing the superintendent evaluation with the incorporation of district goals, posting a link to the district's policy manual on the system's Web site, posting a copy or Web link to the board's goal setting model and list of the district's goals, posting agendas to monthly board meetings on the district's Web site and stating a plan to integrate technology at the governance level of the local district.

For more information about boards of distinction, visit the Georgia School Boards Association Web site at

In other news from Tuesday night's board of education meeting,

• On Nov. 26, the board closed on the purchase of 23.85 acres located at the northeast corner of the intersection of Kirkland and Jack Neely roads.

 A new elementary school, the county's 14th, will be built on the site. The school is expected to open for the 2009-2010 school year and provide much-needed additional bus parking space at the site.

 The price per acre was $45,000, for a total purchase price of $1,073,250.

• Board members received a packet containing several names suggested by the community for new elementary school No. 13 and new middle school No. 5.

 Last month, residents were asked to submit their proposals for names as well as an explanation of why their suggestion would be a good choice.

 The names will be reviewed and narrowed for final selection at the Jan. 8 work session.

The board will then vote to approve names for the schools at the Jan. 15 meeting.