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Rome BOE plans for Black History Month, discusses new school calendars

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Rome City Schools

Rome City Schools has a celebration of Black History Month planned that will involve not only a diverse group of students from each school in the system, but also system alumni and city officials.

The Evolution of Freedom Through the Arts, a production celebrating Black History Month, will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the City Auditorium on Feb. 27. Admission is free and the event is open to the public.

While all the schools are collaborating on the production, each school is also celebrating and learning about black history, participating in activities such as poetry slams, writing blues music and creating African instruments.

“We do this to celebrate our diversity as a school system,” explained Esther Vaughn, one of the organizers of the system’s Black History Month events. “We have brought together students of every ethnic background. There is a place for every child in this production.”

The event will focus on the history of the arts. The jazz band will play, vocalists from Rome High will perform and skits will be performed by students. Rome High alumni who excel in the arts will participate as well, Vaughn said.

In other business, the board adopted a resolution to phase out the current Main Elementary School building. The cafeteria and the gymnasium will still stand, but the building that houses classrooms for Main’s lower grades will be torn down and a new school built in its place.

Students at the school will be transferred to North Heights at the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year during the process. Then, when the new Main is completed, Main and North Heights students will attend school there.

The board also approved school calendars on first reading for the 2017-2018 and the 2018-2019 school years.

For the 2017-2018 year, key dates are: the first day would be July 28; fall break would be Oct. 2-6; Thanksgiving break would be Nov. 20-24; winter break would be Dec. 19 to Jan. 1; spring break would be March 26-30; and the last day of school would be May 18.

For the 2018-2019 year, key dates are: the first day would be Aug. 3; fall break would be Oct. 1-5; Thanksgiving break would be Nov. 19-23; winter break would be Dec. 24 to Jan. 4; spring break would be March 25-29; and the last day of school would be May 24.

The proposed calendars will be posted on the system website for the public.

The board also received an update on ELOST 4 collections. For the month of December, the system collected $558,167, which was $124,167 more than the expected $434,000.

The system has collected $14,074,800 since the education local option sales tax began, which is $247,200 less than the anticipated $14,322,000.