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BOE adopts 2018-2019 calendar
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COVINGTON, Ga. - At its Sept. 19 meeting, the Newton County School System (NCSS) Board of Education (BOE) adopted a 180-day student and 190-day teacher calendar for 2018-2019.

Next year, classes will begin Aug. 1 and end May 24. There will be full-week breaks in October, Thanksgiving week, and in April as well as a two-week break around the winter holidays.

The BOE’s vote followed a process that involved the creation of two options by representatives from each NCSS school and district-level administrators. Parents, community members, and all NCSS employees were then given the opportunity to review and vote on those options. The BOE adopted the calendar preferred by the majority of people who voted.

In other action, the BOE recognized students from Alcovy and Newton high schools as well as from the Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Institute who attained distinction as 2017 Advanced Placement Scholars.

Deena Sams, director of after school and community affairs, gave a report on the NCSS’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers. These centers offer after-school programs designed to reinforce and complement in-school learning. They are funded by federal dollars funneled through a grant program administered by the Georgia Department of Education.

According to Sams, the after-school programs offered by the NCSS’s centers are achieving nearly all enrollment and program goals.

Samantha Fuhrey, NCSS superintendent, praised Sams and Kathy Garber, grants coordinator, for recently obtaining not just one, but two new grants that will allow the program to continue and expand.

The BOE approved contracts for the purchase of computer equipment and asset management software. These include purchase of laptops and laptop carts with a total value of $238,138 from Dell Marketing L.P., tablet computers and associated equipment worth $40,107 from Apple, Inc., and software from FileWave of Fishers for $63,872.

It approved two contracts for services. One is with Ardor Health Solutions for the provision of speech, occupational therapy, physical therapy, vision, and deaf/hard of hearing services to students with disabilities. The other is with Lynne Mordecai, consultant, for services necessary to comply with federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Child Find requirements. Per those requirements, the NCSS must identify all Newton County students aged birth through 21 years old suspected of being a student with a disability.

The BOE approved a memorandum of understanding with the Community Arts Association of Newton County, Inc., for mutually beneficial use of the Porter Performing Arts Center. The term of the agreement is ten years.

The BOE approved the disposal of surplus property. It also approved: the hiring of eight teachers, five paraprofessionals, and 21 staff members; ten transfers; two retirements; 22 resignations; one separation; and three terminations.