Below are the news briefs that took place during the Leon County School Board Business Meeting on October 24, 2023.
The Board approved a number of items on the consent agenda including a Teacher and Administrator allocation grant that provides supplemental funds to recruit and retain Highly Effective teachers and administrators who are teaching students at Title I “D” or “F” schools in Florida.
The Board unanimously approved the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Board and the Council on the Status of Men and Boys. The purpose of the MOU is to establish a collaborative partnership between the Board and the Council to serve at-risk students between the ages of 12-24, meeting at risk factors identified by the Council. Students who participate in the program will receive prevention and intervention programing based on the student’s needs.
The Board discussed the World of Works event that took place at Lively Technical College. Superintendent Rocky Hanna noted that over 100 employers from different parts of the County gave LCS students an experience of a lifetime by exposing them to a wide variety of career choices. Additionally, Board Member Darryl Jones noted that the event wouldn’t have had its success without Hanna’s purposeful investment to ensure ninth graders across the district were provided transportation to attend the event.
A concerned citizen spoke during the meeting to spread awareness on the issue of chronic absenteeism. She explained that there are over 12,000 students in Leon County public schools who are missing weeks of school. Her recommendations to the Board are to examine how policy and practices affect student attendance, consider implementing a community wide campaign that raises awareness about chronic absence and to encourage schools to co-develop solutions with students and families.
Board Member Marcus Nicolas noted he was curious how chronic absence is defined and how it could affect academic achievement. Chair Alva Smith then incorporated attendance to be part of a Workshop topic.
One speaker expressed the issues she’s had with the Board’s livestream, explaining that livestream often doesn’t work. She noted that after hearing another speaker talk about the issue in a previous meeting, she realized she needed to speak up. She asked the Board to upload the livestream on Facebook as they did previously. The Board then agreed to look into alternative solutions, such as creating a separate Facebook page for LCS meeting videos and have all comments shut off.