KidsPeace, a school for troubled children, many of whom are wards of the state, lost its charter school status after a change in state law and has come under the umbrella of the Carroll County School System. Some of the board members worried that the school, which has students from all over the state, would take local tax dollars away from the other schools in the county.
For the past three months, the system and the administrators of KidsPeace have been negotiating an agreement that was finally signed and brought to the board for approval.
“It came down to the economics of the situation, to be quite frank with you,” said Superintendent John Zauner. “We had, with the state’s blessing, received the money for KidsPeace that they had earned based on their FTE (full-time enrollment) count, we were holding it until we had the agreement signed off on both parties. We finally came to a reasonable solution with that last week.”
However, Huckeba still worried that local tax dollars might find their way to KidsPeace through the training and technical support that the system is required to provide under the agreement.
“They kept saying that no local tax dollars would be coming from Carroll County, and they’re right in a direct way,” Huckeba said. “It’s still going to cost us.”
Assistant Superintendent Christie Johnson told the board members that training and access to system software is required for KidsPeace to earn enrollment dollars for the students and the school system will be providing that. The new agreement with KidsPeace is unprecedented. There is no such agreement in the state, she said.
This year is a year of discovery and the agreement will last only until July 2010; it can be amended if necessary next year, Zauner said.
“We have to deal with them as one of our schools and this year’s going to be a learning process,” said board member Bart Cater. “I think for what it might cost the school system to let them train and get in on training we’re already going to provide anyway that that’s money, I think, well spent.”
The school system named its Teachers of the Year 2011. Dr. Sheila Reed, a teacher from Bowdon High School, was named System Teacher of the Year. Nancy Monroe from Mt. Zion High School was named 1st alternate. Monica Smith from Central High School was named second alternate.
Flu season has begun in earnest in Carroll County. Cater said that nearly 100 students were sent home from Bowdon Elementary School with flu-like symptoms Thursday.
Amid H1N1 influenza worries, every illness with flu-like symptoms is being scrutinized. Board member Dorothy Burton-Callaway noted that a 13-year-old Paulding County student who went home from school very ill has died.
“Thirteen years old and she died yesterday,” Callaway said. “If it has something to do with H1N1, we don’t know.”
The school system does have a plan in place for dealing with influenza, which includes isolating anyone sick with flu-like symptoms and sending them home. Parents are asked to keep children home if they are running a temperature of 100 degrees or higher. If a student has been sick, the parents are asked not to send them back to school until they are symptom free without medicines for 24 hours.
Students can get both H1N1 and seasonal flu vaccinations at the Carroll County Health Department.