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Three elementary principals appointed
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IN BRIEF: The appointment of three elementary school principals was approved by the school board Thursday night.

Kim Melly, currently assistant principal at Pine Street Elementary, was approved as principal for JH House Elementary. JH House Principal Tammy Smith, who had previously been principal at PSE, is moving to a central office position of Professional Learning director.

Dr. Chara Moore was approved as principal at Sims Elementary. She was previously principal at CJ Hicks and is currently the RCPS English Language Arts coordinator.

Samantha Carlisle, currently assistant principal at Honey Creek Elementary, was appointed as principal at Flat Shoals Elementary.

All were approved in a unanimous 5-0 vote. Board members Sharon Pharr and Katrina Young were attending the Georgia School Board Association annual conference.

The top three finalists for the principal positions - Samantha Carlisle, Kim Melly, Dr. Chara Moore - had presented to parents during town hall meetings at Sims Elementary, Flat Shoals Elementary and JH House Elementary.

Earlier, at the beginning of the meeting, several Sims Elementary parents spoke during public comments to advocate for the hiring of Samantha Carlisle as the new principal at Sims.

Parent and paraprofessional Tammy Anderson has three children currently at Sims and two had gone through Sims. "I'm going to be there for a while. I too am looking for stability for my children. Out of the three presented, Ms. Carlisle did bring something fresh and new, to help get our school on the map."

Shonda Holmes, a parent and substitute teacher, pointed out her family had been through two principal and four assistant principals. "I did appreciate what she brought to the table. I feel like she is someone who could come and be there for a while."

In other school board business:

- In unofficial CRCT figures tracked by RCPS, Rockdale students exceeded the state average in 29 of 30 possible areas, some areas by as much as 8 to 10 points more. The only area where Rockdale did not exceed the state average was in seventh grade math, where 88 percent of Rockdale students met or exceeded and 90 percent of Georgia students did.

Superintendent Richard Autry praised the work of teachers and students. "I've been pleasantly pleased. Considereing the distress we went through this last school year, our teachers and students overachieved."

The CRCTs are administered to grades 3-8 in subject areas including reading, English/language arts, math, science and social studies. Third, fifth and eighth graders need to pass the test to be able to move onto the next grade. However this was the last year of CRCT. Next year, the state moves on to a new standardized form of testing applied from elementary to high school.

Official CRCT district and school level scores will be available by July 10.

- The Rockdale County school board heard a request from PAGE, the Professional Association of Georgia Educators, to reinstate school system contributions to the alternative retirement fund.

Jimmy Jordan, the District 11 representative, said during Thursday's public hearing on the 2014-2015 proposed budget, "I can't say I've heard from every PAGE member, but I've had a number express to me they wished the board contribution to the retirement fund could be restored." With community revenues, sales taxes and property values slowly increasing, he asked the school board to consider restarting the contribution.

This coming fiscal year will be the fifth year RCPS has not contributed to the Alternative Retirement Fund. The 4 percent contribution for about 2,400 employees, would have equaled about $3.42 million, according to RCPS Finance Director Lee Davis.

RCPS withdrew from contributing to Social Security in 1983 and instead began contributing to an Alternative Retirement Fund.

No other public comments were made during Thursday's public budget hearing. .