Rome City Schools started off the school year by hiring a new transportation planning manager, two bus monitors and seven bus drivers, all of whom were approved by the board during their Tuesday night meeting.

The board voted unanimously during the meeting to approve a list of personnel changes including Elander Graham Sr., who will be planning the bus routes for the system’s new transportation department. Graham is coming over from the Rome Transportation Department, Superintendent Lou Byars said. Graham was the main point of contact for principals when he was at RTD.

“It’s a natural transition,” Byars said. “We are glad he came on board with us.”

The board also looked at enrollment numbers for the school year which are up across the board except at West End and Elm Street Elementary School. Byars said the reasoning for the enrollment difference was because those schools had a large outgoing 6th grade class last year and a smaller incoming kindergarten class this school year. Overall, however, there is only a one student difference between the last school year and the one that started last week.

Rome Middle School’s attendance is over 1,000, which the system had anticipated, Byars said. Mobile learning trailers were moved from the former North Heights Elementary School to RMS where they now hold the extra students. Byars said the system is working on covering the walk way between the trailers and the middle school to shield students from the weather.

Byars reported to the board that the first week of school had gone smoothly according to teachers and administration. He also thanked the teachers who worked hard over the summer to get ready for the new school year. During the meeting, Board Chair Faith Collins welcomed the new faculty and staff to the system.

“We are happy you chose Rome City Schools,” she said.

Tim Williams, chief operations officer for the system, reported the education local option sales tax numbers were $112,020 over the expected collections for the year. At the very end of the meeting, Assistant Superintendent Dawn Williams gave an overview on fundraiser requests for the system and a few board policy changes.

“You did have one month off of reading board policies, but here we are again,” she said.

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