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Rockdale schools awarded $4.7 million
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You can provide a whole lot of support for $4.7 million.

At least that is what the Office of Support Services is hoping it can do with the $4.7 million grant it was recently awarded to help invigorate educational support systems in Rockdale county public schools. The grant, which was announced at the Rockdale County Public Schools Board meeting Thursday night, will be allotted over the course of the next four years via the U.S. Department of Education.

"(The grant) gives us the ability to expand on things we are already trying to prevent and provide, giving more services to the students that need them," Executive Director of Support Services Dr. Garrett Brundale said.

The "Safe Schools" funding was approved based on the accord that RCPS will use it in prearranged venues of need outlined by the government. Those areas are drug and alcohol awareness programs, mental health services, safe school environments and violence prevention activities, student behavioral and emotional supports and early childhood learning and support programs.

"We have made tremendous strides already, but there's always room for improvement," Brundale said. "This assists us in carrying those elements out."

In other news:
Brundale also gave an update on the status of the School Choice Law (House Bill 251). The law gives parents an option to choose any school within a district to enroll their children in based on available capacity.

So far only two of the 14 families that applied have been permitted to move their children to the approved schools, which are Barksdale, Lorraine and Sims elementary schools. The denied families had all requested a transfer to General Ray Davis Middle School, which does not qualify since it is a newer school with a capacity level already above qualification. The deadline to apply for the transfer is July 16.

-Slides were shown of the ongoing construction on the Rowland Road refurbishment and replenishment project. The continued building will result in the re-opening of C.J. Hicks Elementary and a slew of new facilities including sports fields.
"It's impressive," board member Jeff Dugan said about a recent visit to the project site. "There's a lot of room, and I am sure the learning environment will be enhanced greatly."

-Spurred by the grant announcement from the Office of Support Services, the board announced that Rockdale Public Schools had totaled $1.6 million in grants for the upcoming year, not including Brundale's announced grant. That information came from a report from Lee Davis, the chief financial officer for the Office of Finance who was absent from the proceedings.