Fannin Board of Education Workshop: Middle School Principal, Lunch Prices, Buses, Rain Barrels and Bathrooms


School Board members try out z-space, a virtual reality system bought for science classes at Fannin County Middle School.


At the May 10th meeting, the School Board listened to other system information lunch prices, school bus purchases, budget, rain barrels and z-space.  After the meeting, Betsy Hyde, Associate Superintendent for Personal and Support Services told FetchYourNews about the ongoing search for a new Fannin County Middle School Principal.

Fannin County Board of Education holds a workshop meeting on the 2nd Tuesday of each month.  They hold their formal meeting on the 2nd Thursday of each month.  The workshop meeting is a time for the School Board to learn about what is going on in the different schools and background information about decisions the Board will make at the Thursday meeting.  Workshop meetings are open to the public, but there is no public comment period.

School lunches will be 10 cents more starting in August.  Breakfasts will still be free.  The current prices of lunch are still about 60 cents below the actual price of lunch.  New prices will be: elementary schools – $1.95, middle school – $2.20, and high school – $2.20.  Lunch prices will continue to increase year-by-year until the county makes up the 60 cents difference.  Superintendent Mark Henson thanked Candace Sisson, Director of School Nutrition, for her great work in “running the largest restaurant in Fannin County.”

The school system finally gets to rotate school buses out of the bus fleet again.  For the last five years, the county hasn’t been able to purchase the new buses it needs because of budget.  Mr. Henson wants to get buses that take care of two problems at the same time – transporting students and providing access to the internet.  He proposes buying buses that are wi-fi hotspots as well.  Students can work on homework and group projects on the bus.  After school hours, the drivers can park the buses in areas of the county that are without internet.  That way, students can get a computer signal and access to the internet from the bus.

boys with rain barrel 2Austin and Wayman, two students from Fannin County Middle School, proudly presented the rain barrel they made for Kim Pack, their science teacher.  The students designed it themselves so that it could easily be built from materials from the hardware store.  Total cost – $30.

The School Board got to try out the new z-space computers that were purchased for the middle school. The computers let students “pull” 3-D objects out of the computer and turn them around to build and examine things.  (for a demonstration click here)   This system is used by medical universities to practice techniques.  Mr. Henson said that they will bring a whole new level to biology classes and that the frogs in Fannin County are now safe from biology class dissection.

Cynthia Panter, School Board Executive Director, described the Board training happening on Thursday from 4:30 to 6.  Board members will hear about how legislation passed during the 2016 Georgia Legislature affects the school system.  The School Board has four trainings a year to keep their Georgia School Boards Association award of “Distinguished School Board.” Only 22 schools in the state are at this level. They hope to move to the Exemplary level next year.

At the end of the meeting Superintendent Henson made it very clear that he will comply with providing transgender bathrooms in Fannin County schools. (read article about Mr. Henson’s comments and watch video)

After the meeting, Betsy Hyde, Associate Superintendent for Personal and Support Services. (read  about Ms. Hyde’s award for Special Education)  told FetchYourNews about the ongoing search for a new Fannin County Middle School Principal.  Fannin County Middle School’s school governance team has made the decision on the Principal.  The team will present their recommendation at Thursday’s meeting.  The Board of Education collected applications and invited eight people to interviews. The Board used questions from the governance team during the interview.  Then, the school governance team, made up of teachers, parents and community members,  interviewed the two top applicants and made the decision about who to recommend to the School Board.

A reminder, Fannin County School Board’s meeting tonight is at the high school cafeteria instead of the Board of Education building.  The meeting begins at 6 pm.


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